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Don’t underestimate experience

As the Bridge Club continues to look for ways to bolster attendance I can bring you news of an interesting new initiative.

On Tuesday, October 24, starting at 7.30pm, the Club will be hosting an ‘open’ game — no entry fee and no partner is required. As long as you have fewer than 150 masterpoints and have played duplicate before you are welcome to play.

I think the idea is to try to regenerate interest from people who played duplicate at one time and don’t any longer, perhaps because their regular partner stopped playing and they didn’t know how to get another, or a break for illness that turned out to be something longer, or a host of other reasons why people stop playing.

I think it is well worth trying and if there is sufficient interest the organisers may hold two side-by-side games, one for 0-20 players and the other for 20-150. So if you know someone who fits into this category try to get them to attend or, better still, bring them down and play.

Also news that the game on October 12, that is the night before the Sectional starts on the Friday, has just been designated as a Teams Game.

The great thing about bridge is that performance doesn’t tail off dramatically with age.

Yes, some memory issues arise and concentration may not be as sharp as it once was, but the memory bank keeps building, and bids and plays become more and more automatic over time. Recognising a bidding or play situation is an enormous advantage.

Yes, I have a hand to support that.

N/S Vul, Dealer South:


S 632

H 43

D AJ1092

C 653


S QJ109

H Q108

D Q74

C J92


S 87

H J972

D K43

C 10874


S AK54

H AK65

D 86


South opened a strong 2 Clubs, North bid 2 Diamonds (waiting) and when South bid 2NT, North had an easy raise to 3NT.

The hand was played nine times. At 8 tables the result was 11 tricks and plus 660 but at the 9th table it was minus 200!

How you say, when declarer has 8 top tricks? Well, let’s take a look.

Every West led a spade, declarer won, played a diamond to the 10 losing to the King, won the spade return, took another diamond finesse and now made 11 tricks with 2 spades, 2 hearts, 4 diamonds and 3 Clubs — all very normal and easy.

So what happened at the other table?

West at that table was what one calls a ‘senior’ who had sat at many a bridge table and at trick two when declarer led a diamond he played the queen.

Look at the effect.

Declarer realises that if he wins the ace and plays another he is forever cut off from dummy, so he ducks the queen, thinking ( hoping!) West started with KQx , in which case another finesse would bring in 4 diamond tricks. West continued a spade, won by declarer, and now declarer played a diamond to the 10 and to his shock and horror that lost to the King.

Careful defence now left declarer with just 7 tricks and a stone-cold top for East –West.

All because the canny, wise, grey-haired West had “been there before”.

Results (Week of September 25)

Monday afternoon


1, Gertrude Barker/Julia Beach

2, Molly Taussig/Diana Diel

3, Richard Gray/Wendy Gray


1, Jane Clipper/Caroline Svensen

2, Michael Bickley/George Correia

3, Edward Betteto/Russell Craft

Monday evening

1, David Sykes/Edward Betteto

2, Miodrag Novakovic/Charles Hall

3, Richmond Simmons/Alan Douglas

Tuesday evening

1, Claude Guay/Sharon Shanahan

2, Margaret Kirk/Marion Ezedinma

3, Betsy Baillie/Lisa Ferrari

Wednesday morning

1, Marilynn Simmons/Patricia Colmet

2, Gertrude Barker/Jane Smith

3, Katrina Van Pelt/Kathleen Keane

Thursday evening


1, Alan Douglas/Jane Smith

2, Charles Hall/John Burville

3, Sheena Rayner/Ruby Douglas


1, Elizabeth McKee/Mike Viotti

2, Lorna Anderson/Diana Diel

3, Wendy Gray/Diana Downs

Friday afternoon


1, Alan Douglas/Edward Betteto

2, Julia Beach/Patricia Siddle

3, Louise Rodger/Greta Marshall


1, Sancia Garrison/Charles Hall

2, Michael Bickley/John Hoskins

3, Harry Kast/Molly Taussig