Barbara’s Barbados tournament will be great experience
A large contingent of local players travelled to Barbados last week to play in a tournament hosted by Barbara Seagram — I have not been able to get any results online but hopefully will be able to bring you news of any good performances in next week's column.
I believe that all but two of the travelling contingent have less than 300 masterpoints and this should be a great experience for them.
Barbara, who is an excellent teacher and ambassador for the game, used to be a regular at our Regional for many years.
Barbados is where she was born and when you combine her organisational skills with the beauty of Barbados and the incredible friendliness of the Bajans, a guaranteed good time will be had by all.
Next Saturday, the Bridge Club will stage the Mens and Ladies Championship pairs and for the second year both sessions will be held on the day.
Play starts at 9.30am with the first session and then after a short break for lunch will be followed by the second and final session.
The format proved extremely popular last year and I expect more of the same this year.
The week after, on March 1, the club will schedule a teams game and players are asked to sign up as a team of four by noon on February 28.
Today's hand is an instructional declarer play hand but also has an interesting nuance in the bidding.
South opened a 15-17 NT and North made the practical raise to 3NT — he did not look for a 4-4 spade fit because his doubleton contained the Queen, which makes some sense even if it does not always work out. With a small doubleton it would always be right to look for the major fit.
West led the eight of Diamonds. After winning this with the Jack of Diamonds, declarer took stock and saw that if Spades were 3-2, he would make 12 tricks by conceding a Heart to the Queen — he would make four Spades, three Hearts, four Diamonds and one Club. If Spades were 4-1 though, he would need to make four Heart tricks.
Good declarers have a simple rule for playing suit combinations when there are no pointers from the bidding or play — tackle the suit in a way that does not waste pips.
In this case, cashing the Ace of Hearts would waste the ten. So, declarer played a low Heart to the ten at trick two. When that held, he cashed the Ace and King of Spades, getting the bad news that the suit was 4-1. So, he crossed back to hand with a Diamond to the Queen and led a second low Heart to dummy's Jack.
When that also held, he cashed the King of Hearts and returned to hand by playing the nine of Diamonds to the Ace, cashed the Ace of Hearts, crossed to the table with a Spade to the Queen and cashed the King of Diamonds. Declarer took 12 tricks via three Spades, four Hearts, four Diamonds and one Club.
Quite simple, but very well played.