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Close finish in championship

2011 BEA Gala Event

The 299er Non Life Masters Championship concluded at the Club last week and in a really close finish one of the fancied pairs, Katrina Van Pelt and Michael Tait, took the title. In second place were Claude Guay and Sharon Shanahan and in third were Carol Eastham and Nikki Boyce.

These three pairs put some distance between themselves and the rest of the field after the first session when Katrina-Michael scored 95.43, Claude-Sharon 92 and Carol – Nikki on 82 with fourth place in the low 70’s. The second session was even tighter with Carol-Nikki scoring 64.5, Claude-Sharon 61.5 and Katrina-Michael 60 ! When the final tally was made Katrina and Michael were the winners 2 matchpoints ahead of the second placed pair .

Congratulations to the winners and the two placing pairs – as I said earlier the winners would have gone into the event as one of the pairs expected to do well and well done to Claude and Sharon for pushing them to the wire. Carol and Nikki, as one of the newer pairs to duplicate bridge, have to also be thrilled with their showing over two sessions.

Today’s hand comes from the prestigious Cavendish Pairs and when I first saw the bidding I thought there were some typos but it all really happened . Sitting East West were Woolsey-Stewart and North-South were Cohler -Seamon

N/S Vul Dealer South.

The Bidding :

Some explanation…Seamon clearly played a system that did not allow him to open the South hand two hearts and Woolsey, sitting West, decided to not open a NT as he had two suits unstopped.

Stewart then had to improvise with One Spade as he didn’t want to bid a no trump with a singleton heart and presumably 2 diamonds would have been Inverted showing a much stronger hand !

Now when South bid 2 hearts Woolsey leapt to 3NT based on his undisclosed extra high card points and the double heart stopper, despite holding four card spade support for partner’s suit !

Cohler led a heart won by Woolsey who now played the diamond jack losing to the queen. He ducked the heart return and won the next heart and when North turned up with both Aces nine tricks could not be stopped!

Flat board? Not so! At the other table North also led a heart but when West led the diamond jack he hopped up with the Ace and cleared the hearts. Now East had a decision to make on who had the diamond queen and who had the Spade Ace ! He got it wrong, finessed the diamond and sidled to a three trick defeat !!

Cruel game !!