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Titles defended — and what a finish to event

The Men’s and Ladies Pairs concluded at the Bridge Club last Friday and when the smoke had cleared both winners, Alan Douglas-Eddie Kyme and Judy Bussell-Stephanie Kyme, had defended their titles - but what a finish to both events.

Going into the Men’s event, Douglas-Kyme were tied with Misha Novakovic-David Cordon after both pairs had massive first sessions with 66.88 per cent and still in touch were Tony Saunders-Charles Hall who themselves had a 60 per cent game. Well, in the second session Tony and Charles had a great 68.13 per cent game and Misha-David a 62.5 per cent game to edge just ahead of them, so Eddie and Alan needed something special. And they produced it - an excellent 64.5 per cent game saw them finish 1.5 match points ahead of Misha and David with Tony and Charles a further point back.

I don’t think I have ever seen an event where the average score of the first three pairs was 65.7 per cent, 64.7 per cent and 64 per cent.

Great play by all three pairs who left the rest of the field trailing and many congrats to the winners who have now won this event three times in the last four years.

The Ladies event by contrast was really tight after the first session and even tighter after the second.

The scoring didn’t have the same fireworks as the Men’s but a winning second session of 58.16 per cent was good enough for Judy and Stephanie to hold off Mona Marie Gambrill-Pat Siddle who were 3.5 match points behind in second and were just one match point ahead of Rosie Smith and Barbara Cerra.

Great performance by the winners to defend their title and also excellent from Mona Marie and Pat. Third place though caught my eye for a superb performance by Rosie and Barbara - they led after the first session and would have been expected to fall away in the second but they didn’t - well done. Congratulations to all three pairs.

Today’s hand is all about planning, and then sticking to the plan - an all-important part of successful declarer play.

The hand came up in a local Teams event and three out of the four declarers failed in the contract.

Board 1. Love All. Dealer North.

North

S QJ96

H AQJ103

D 53

C Q10

West East

S K5 S 42

H 964 H K75

D QJ96 D K872

C K852 C 9763

South

S A10873

H 82

D A104

C AJ4

WEST NORTH EAST SOUTH

1 H Pass 1S S

Pass 2SS Pass 4S S

All four declarers were in four Spades and the Diamond Queen was the lead at all four tables.

Declarer one decided to win the first Diamond and exit with a Diamond making it easy for East to win and lead a Club won by West.

Now with both major suit Kings being offside the contract went one down. Unlucky, as any of the three Kings being right would make the contract safe, but successful declarers combine luck with skill.

The other three declarers did better by ducking the Diamond Queen, but all three defenders did superbly to not continue Diamonds but lead a Heart. Two of the three declarers succumbed by calling for the Queen and when East won and returned a Club both these declarers also tasted defeat.

The fourth declarer surveyed the hand and decided to do everything to keep East off lead while the major suit Kings were still out.

So he ducked the first Diamond and then when West switched to a Heart he stuck with the plan and called for the Ace - he now ran the Queen of Spades and when West won he was helpless - Heart exit was pointless, a Club too dangerous and futile and when West continued a Diamond declarer won, drew trump, knocked out the Heart Ace and claimed the contract, succeeding despite a tough opening lead and all the three Kings being wrong …. a well deserved success, don’t you think? The lesson ... the message? Plan BEFORE playing to trick one.

David Ezekiel
<p>Bridge results</p>

Monday, February 23North-South1 Russ and Dee Craft2 Peter Donnellan-Betsy Baillie3 Lyn O’Neill-Louise RodgerEveningMen’s Pairs1/2 David Cordon-Misa Novokovic2 Eddie Kyme-Alan Douglas3 Charles Hall-Tony SaundersLadies Pairs1 Rosie Smith-Barb Cerra2 Ellen Davidson-Janice Trott3 Judy Bussell-Stephanie KymeTuesday, February 24North-South1 Claude Guay-Sharon Shanahan2 Mike Shaw-David Theaker3 Ken and Irma HodgsonEast-West1 Delton Outerbridge-Richard Keane2 Nikki Bryce-Betsy Baillie3 Louise Payne-Marion EzedinmaWednesday, February 25North-South1 Donna Leitch-Jeanette Shaw2 Richard and Wendy Gray3 Russ Craft-Judy BussellEast-West1 Dee Craft-Dorry Lusher2 Nea Willitts-Heather Woolf3 Pat Siddle-Diana DielThursday, February 261 Magda Farag-Sheena Rayner2 Marg Way-Diana Diel3/4 Richard and Wendy Gray3/4 Dee Craft-Mona Marie GambrilFriday, February 27Afternoon1 Louise Rodger-Pat Siddle2 Elysa Burland-Russ Craft3 Pat Hayward- Bea WilliamsGranaway Bridge ClubNorth-South1 Lynanne Bolton-Peter Donnellan2 Sheena Rayner-Magda FaragEast-West1 David Cordon-Julia Lunn2 Rachael Gosling-Elizabeth McKeeMen’s Pairs1 Charles Hall-Tony Saunders2 Alan Douglas-Eddie Kyme3 Misa Novokovic-David CordonLadies Pairs1 Judy Bussell-Stephanie Kyme2 Pat Siddle-Mona Marie Gambrill3 Marg Way-Lynanne Bolton• Compiled by Julia Lunn