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Gertie and Rachael off to a big start

The tournament season is well under way at the Bermuda Bridge Club and in last week’s Open Pairs Gertie Barker and Rachael Gosling got things off to a big start by winning the event with a great 70 percent first session followed by a none too shabby 59 percent to wrap up the title. Not too far behind in second were David and Sally Sykes who finished a board and a half back and were a board ahead of Joe Wakefield and John Burville in third. Finishing fourth and fifth respectively were Marge Way - Simon Giffen who had two steady sessions and Alan Douglas - Jane Smith who dragged themselves up with a winning second session after a really poor first one. Gertie and Rachael have won many events at the Club and have established themselves as leading contenders in all the Open events - they have both represented Bermuda in International competition and will win again. All the placed pairs were experienced players though Simon Giffen is not as experienced as the others and deserves special mention for holding his own in a strong field. Congrats Gertie and Rachael for two solid sessions! Before I get to the hand let me tell you of a number of events on the immediate calendar. On the tournament front the Junior Teams will take place on Tuesdays the 8th and 15th of October and in between those on Friday the 11th will be the Ernie Owen Individual. Another series of beginners lessons began at the Club on October 2nd, and for those who took part in the LBIAD (Learn Bridge in a day) there will be introductory games on Tuesday, October 8 and 15. This week’s hand came up in the 2013 Yeh Brothers Cup, a tough event where 24 top class teams battle out in a Swiss Teams format to arrive at two brackets which decide the finalists. Sponsor Chen Yeh’s team is preordained as the top seed in the top bracket - an understandable concession. The hand caught my fancy as declarer claimed at trick three and the defence accepted … as you will see the hand, even with a favourable lie of the heart Ace, needs a lot of careful handling. Dealer West N/S Vul ???K6 ? 942 • KQ9743 ? A3 ? J84 ?109732 ? 7 ? AJ108 • 862 • J ? KQ10986 ? J72 ? AQ5 ??KQ653 • A105 ?? ????????????????????? 54 In the Closed room West passed, North opened a diamond and now after a complex auction where South showed 5 hearts, N/S got to six hearts which went down on the bad trump split. In the Open Room West opened 3 Clubs, North bid 3 diamonds, East raised to 4 Clubs and South then Blackwooded into 6 Diamonds. There would be no story if East had found the heart Ace lead and given partner a ruff, but why would he when hearts had never been mentioned, so he led a club. Declarer won, played the diamond King and when both opponents followed claimed. He presumably claimed saying ‘ I make if East has the Heart Ace’ but even that is not necessarily true. If declarer draws three rounds of trumps before proceeding he is down. Try it! He must now discard his club on the spade before leading hearts and can only do that once so he is defeated. What declarer must do is take two rounds of trumps only, play three spades pitching a club, now cross to the third trump in hand and lead a heart ... he still has another entry to hand with a club ruff to lead another heart, and the hand makes. I am sure that if East West had called the Director after the claim the Director would have ruled that, having not stated his line of play, declarer must draw trumps first and that would have ended in defeat. A teachable moment - look at those claims carefully!