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Sectional to start season with a bang

The Bridge season gets under way with a bang next week with the four-day Bermuda Sectional taking place between the 16th and the 19th at the Bridge Club.

There are two single session events on the afternoons of the 16th and 19th and the three Championship two session events take place on the Saturday (the David Ezekiel Bridge Column pairs!), Sunday (teams) and on the Friday and Monday nights (Pairs).

All afternoon sessions start at 1pm and all evening sessions start at 7.30pm.

Running the tournament and handling partnerships will be the hard-working John Glynn and the chief tournament director for the event will be our own Jack Rhind.

The organisers are hoping to have a separate newcomers section on the Friday/Monday Pairs and even if the numbers require one field there will be separate prizes for the newcomers, so sign up!

Before I get on to the hand I have to note the untimely passing of Patrick Jourdain of Wales who succumbed to a short illness on July 28.

He was a marvellous bridge player, an even better person and as chairman of the International Bridge Press Association he contributed immensely to the game - he will be sorely missed.

On the brighter side our good friend from Mexico, the great George Rosenkranz, had his 100th birthday last month! George is an icon in the world of bridge and was a regular visitor to our Bermuda Regional and we played against him on many occasions when Bermuda met Mexico.

He was credited with discovering cortisone and inventing the birth control pill.

Eddie Wold, bridge professional and sometime bridge partner, describes him this way: “He is the smartest man I ever met. He is fluent in seven languages and understands any and every subject - he is a genius.”

George contributed a lot to bridge bidding and I still use one of his conventions, the Rosenkranz redouble.

It is used when LHO opens, partner overcalls and RHO makes a negative double - now a redouble by you says one thing only “partner, I have the Ace, King or Queen in your suit“ and says nothing else about your hand, so a pass DENIES one of those cards.

It is immensely useful especially when partner is on lead against a no trump contract, so try it out.

This week’s hand is just a brilliant piece of card reading and declarer play and when I first saw it I just shook my head at its brilliance and its simplicity!

Dealer North,

Both Vulnerable

North:

S 6542

H QJ72

D K4

C AQ3

West:

S 103

H 1093

D 9872

C J876

East:

S None

H AK8654

D QJ65

C K104

South:

S AKQJ987

H None

D A103

C 952

The bidding:

North East South West

1C 1H 1S pass

2S pass 6S

The bidding was practical and the slam had to have some chance. Dummy was a mild disappointment.

West led the Heart ten and declarer took stock - there were ten top tricks and the Diamond ruff gets that to 11. The Club situation was not good as East was likely to hold the King after his overcall so declarer zeroed in on trying to avoid the finesse.

Declarer decided that if East had the AK of Hearts he could make the hand - do you see how?

At trick one declarer made the key play of playing low on the Heart and ruffing it. Now two rounds of trumps and King Ace and a Diamond ruff left declarer in dummy. He now played the Heart Queen and when East played the King he pitched a club to leave this position:

North:

S 6

H J7

D

C AQ3

West:

S

H 9

D 9

C J876

East:

S None

H A86

D Q

C K10

South:

S QJ98

H None

D

C 95

East is now dead …..if he plays the heart Ace the Jack in dummy provides a parking spot for the losing Club, if he plays a low Heart declarer discards a Club, a Diamond provides a ruff and discard and a Club goes straight into the Ace Queen! How beautiful is that!