Regional a huge success on every level
At the time of writing the Bermuda Bridge Regional 2017 is a day away from wrapping up and it has been a resounding success on every level.
It’s featured increased attendances at the games and panel shows, seamless organisation by Kathy Keane and her committee, a wonderful director group led by Sol Weinstein that includes our own Jack Rhind, great bulletins from Janet Evans, excellent service from the Fairmont Southampton staff and ... tons of Bermuda winners over the week.
Look out for a full round-up next week featuring the event winners and the winners in the Masterpoint Races, both local and visitor.
One of the highlights of the week has been the return of the superb champion Jeff Meckstroth who, in addition to winning trophies and friends at the table was tremendous on my panel show on the Tuesday with his deep knowledge of the game and his dry humour.
Also doing a great job on the panel were Nova Scotia’s Linda Tuff, Mike Cappelletti from Florida, whose father, also Mike, was a great supporter of our Regional, and Jade Barrett, from South Dakota, who has been a supporter of the Regional for some 35 years.
This week’s hand contains the sort of defensive play the likes of Meckstroth can see but few others can.
It comes from the South American Championships of 2008 and can be regarded as a classic defensive play by the Chilean defender sitting West.
The bidding was simple, but important. South opened a 13/15 NT and North had a simple raise to 3NT.
West got off to a good start with a low Heart lead to the Queen and Ace. Declarer decided to attack Diamonds immediately and ran the 8, won by East’s King, a pleasant development for declarer. East returned the Heart nine and West won the King, cashed the 10 and then ... stopped to think.
Once East had shown up with 5 points, West could see another 21 between him and dummy so declarer had to have every other high card, including Spade Ace and the King-Queen of Clubs to be able to open a 13/15 NT.
West saw that if he cashed his heart now declarer could discard the Club Ace and make his contract with 5 Diamonds, a Spade, a Heart and 2 Clubs — so instead of cashing the last good Heart, West switched to the Spade King. This killed declarer as he now had no entry left to the two Clubs. After a bit of wriggling, declarer conceded down one — 10 imps to Chile and a tie for the South American Championship with Brazil. What a piece of brilliance — the stuff bridge dreams are made of.