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Burville and Cordon storm to Open title

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Congratulations to John Burville and David Cordon who carried off the first Open title of the year by holding a narrow lead after the first session and then storming clear with a 68 per cent second session, which left the other pairs trailing. Coming second was the pair of Misha Novakovic and Marge Way, with Gertie Barker and Jane Smith in third place overall.

A good turnout of 16 pairs sat down for the first session and at the close John/David led with 59.52 per cent, closely followed by Gertie/Jane on 58.93 per cent and Judy Bussell and Stephanie Kyme on 57.44 per cent.

When the smoke had cleared after the second session, the winners had a total of 200 matchpoints, well ahead of Marge-Misha, who also had a great second session, on 180 and Gertie-Jane on 172.5.

All of the top three pairs have solid credentials at the Bridge Club and have been frequent winners in past championships which makes this a strong win for John and David, who would probably have been the bookies choice at the outset.

Both are students of the game with very strong technique and in both bidding and declarer play, and are both players that very rarely beat themselves — many congratulations to them and to the podium pairs.

The Stratum B winners were Molly Taussig and Harry Kast with Martha Ferguson and Judy King in second and Richard and Wendy Gray in third.

This hand from the final session gained John and David a clear top. See Figure 1.

Figure 1

East opened One spade and John avoided bidding two diamonds but instead doubled to show the four-card heart suit – David now made the good invitational bid of 2NT and, despite holding only 12 points, John accepted, based on the good diamond suit and the spade jack which looked helpful.

East led a spade to the King and Ace and, after cashing six diamonds, David played the spade Jack to set up his tenth trick. The points were won by some good hand evaluation in the bidding. Also, notice the value of the spade ten – the value of tens is something I’ll be talking about on April 1.

Now the solution to last week’s problem and well done to Tony Saunders, David Barber and John Burville, who took the time to send in correct answers. See Figure 2.

Figure 2

West opens four hearts which comes around to South who bids four spades, which becomes the final contract.

West leads the heart King, which is ruffed by East. Over to you!

The hand features the hugely rare “double ruff and discard“. When East ruffs, declarer must ditch his heart Ace! Win the diamond return, draw trumps, cash the two top clubs and exit with a heart.

West now has only hearts left and on the first one you refuse to ruff but instead discard a club from dummy and a diamond from your hand. On the next heart, ruff in dummy and discard your other diamond – contract made.

But wait! At trick one you must play the heart five from dummy! If you don’t, when you try and exit with a heart, West will let the five win in dummy and now you have to lose three minor suit tricks!

Don’t you just love this game?

See you at the Bridge Club at 2pm next Saturday! Notepads, etc, will be provided so just turn up will a few dollars for the donation – I know you will enjoy it and will benefit in the short term and, more importantly, in the long term.

David Ezekiel can be reached on davidezekiel999@gmail.com


Friday, March 17

1. Linda Pollett- Charles Hall

2. Tony Saunders-Margaret Way

3. Jane Smith-Molly Taussig

Monday, March 20


1. Jack Rhind-Molly Taussig

2. Rachael Gosling-Margaret Way

3. Sheena Raynor-Magda Farag


1. Charles Hall-Martha Ferguson

2. Patricia Siddle-Dianna Diel

3. Judith Bussell-Joseph Wakefield

Tuesday, March 21

1. Tim Mardon-Richard Hall

2. Benjamin Stone-James Fielding

3. Erica Jones-Louise Charelson

Wednesday, March 22


1. Gertrude Barker-Jane Smith

2. Rachael Gosling-Margaret Way

3. Charles Hall-Tony Saunders


1. Sheena Raynor-Molly Taussig

2. Patricia Siddle-Diana Diel

3. Peter Donnellan-Lynanne Bolton

Thursday, March 23


1. Gertrude Barker-John Glynn

2. Tim Mardon-David Petty

3. Peter Donnellan-Jane Smith


1. Elizabeth McKee-Linda Pollett

2. Stephan Cosham-Molly Taussig

3. Martha Ferguson-Judy King

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Published March 25, 2023 at 7:58 am (Updated March 25, 2023 at 8:51 am)

Burville and Cordon storm to Open title

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