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High standards were met at bridge tournament

The 2017 Bermuda Bridge Regional is now in the history books and it ticked all the boxes in meeting the really high standards set by previous tournaments.

It all seemed to work seamlessly, but that is usually a testament to the organisers who put out any fires before they spread! So congratulations to chairperson Kathy Keane and the local committee, Sol Weinstein and his Director Team, Janet Evans for the Bulletin and the Fairmont Southampton and their staff for the great support.

We even had the excitement of some sort of murder mystery being filmed at the hotel during the tournament, but that also created some challenges with areas being blocked off, etc, but for the most part our visitors handled it well.

The weather cooperated giving us some good days and a few not so good days which always boost attendance at the games.

At the table the event produced a huge number of local winners and good performances across the various strata, which bodes well for the future.

The list of local winners is produced in the table.

OPEN CHARITY PAIRS STRATUM A

Bill Souster, Newport Gwent Wales; Sheena Rayner, Smiths, Bermuda

SUNDAY TEAMS, BRACKET 5

Betsy Carlson – Virginia Cenedella, Charlottesville VA; Desmond Nash, Smiths , Bermuda

MON.-TUES. GOLD RUSH PAIRS 300 STRATUM

Katrina Van Pelt – James Leitch, Smiths , Bermuda

MON.-TUES. CHAMPIONSHIP PAIRS STRATUM B

David Sykes, Flatts Bermuda; Bill Souster, Newport Gwent Wales

MON.-TUES. CHAMPIONSHIP PAIRS STRATUM A

Robert Todd, Tallahassee FL; John Burville, Pembroke Bermuda

WED.-THURS. GOLD RUSH PAIRS 300 STRATUM

Michael Viotti, Devonshire Bermuda; Desmond Nash, Smiths , Bermuda

WED.-THURS. GOLD RUSH PAIRS 750 STRATUM

William Pollett – Linda Pollett, Warwick Bermuda

WED.-THURS. CHAMPIONSHIP PAIRS STRATUM C

Rachael Gosling, Paget Bermuda; Elizabeth McKee, Devonshire Bermuda

WED.-THURS. CHAMPIONSHIP PAIRS STRATUM B

David Sykes, Flatts Bermuda; Charles Hall, Smiths , Bermuda

FRIDAY B/C/D SWISS STRATUM B

Richard Gray – Wendy Gray, Southampton Bermuda; Gill Gray, Pembroke Bermuda; Patricia Siddle, Hamilton Bermuda

CHAMPIONSHIP KO, BRACKET 3

Peter Donnellan – Lynanne Bolton, Warwick Bermuda; Sheila Leard, Bedford NS; Maureen Donovan, Halifax NS

BERMUDA NEWCOMERS (0-20) MASTERPOINT WINNER (Bermuda Trophy)

Gloria Rego 5.10 Masterpoints

BERMUDA OPEN MASTERPOINT WINNER (Norman Bach Trophy)

David Sykes 63.18 Masterpoints

As you can see this is a long list, so well done all! David Sykes had an excellent tournament winning an event and the Norman Bach Trophy and it is good to see him back at the top end of the game.

So did ex-resident Bill Souster who also won an event and came close to winning the Maude Lines Trophy for the visitor with the most masterpoints and I could have got him there on one hand from our last match! I was in 3NT with AQJxx of Clubs in dummy opposite xx in my hand and one line of play was to look to clubs for only three tricks and play LHO for either Kx or singleton King and a second line was to play LHO for exactly Kxx to make five club tricks. I went for Option A and went down one … LHO actually had exactly Kxx!

This hand wouldn’t have won the event but would have won Bill the Maude Lines, so I owe him big time!

I am sure I will get over the hand before the 2018 Regional – maybe! In fact, cancel that - no chance! Before I get to this week’s hand, a reminder that the Tournament Season gets under way later this month with the Mens and Ladies Pairs on Monday the 20th and Friday the 24th, the 0-100 Junior Pairs on Tuesdays February 28 and March 7, the Mixed Pairs on Monday March 27 and Friday March 31 and the Non-Life Master pairs on Thursdays May the 11 and 18 - so slot those in your diary before your other half arranges any dinners or outings! Also, the Sectional this year moves into October 13 to 16.

This hand from the Teams is mainly a declarer play hand, but is also worth discussing on the bidding.

N/S Vul – Dealer North

NORTH

S 95

H 9

D KJ109842

C 964

EAST

S 7642

H 7532

D A5

C K75

SOUTH

S AK

H KQJ108

D Q6

C AQJ2

WEST

S QJ1083

H A64

D 73

C 1083

North opened a pre-emptive 3 Diamonds in first seat and South is faced with an impossible decision as to whether to drive to Six No Trump which must be cold if opener has Ace-King to seven Diamonds, or to stay lower in case partner has AJ10xxxx or KJ10xxxx.

For me the North hand is NOT a vulnerable 3 Diamond opener in first seat opposite a passed partner, but I am in the minority and I think most would open it.

If I was South I would bid 4NT Blackwood and when partner shows no Aces settle in 5 Diamonds, which is actually a solid contract.

Declarer at this table decided not to look for Slam and bid a very conservative 3NT. As it turns out, this was not any easy contract to make.

East led the Spade Queen and this contract was shaky as Declarer could only count 7 tricks by playing on Hearts – if he started on Diamonds the defence would clearly hold up the Diamond Ace and if declarer switches to Hearts after the first Diamond there are still only 8 tricks available.

One Declarer found the answer … at trick two he led the Diamond Queen and overtook with the King. East, as expected held off, as the defence is dead if he takes the Ace, and declarer now looked for his ninth trick from the Club suit by finessing the King.

When this won Declarer knocked out the Heart Ace and had his contract with 2 Spades, 4 Hearts, a Diamond and 2 Clubs!!

Very nicely done and all it needed was clear thinking!