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Move to solidify bridge’s future

Last Tuesday the second session of the Junior Teams event took place and when the smoke had cleared the team of John Luebkemann, Delton Outerbridge, Tim Martin, Sharon Shanahan, Claude Guay and Lane Martin finished on top of the five-team field.

The event was played over two sessions and the winners were pushed hard by the second-placed team of Nick Kempe, Samantha Pickering, Lisa Ferrari and Richard Hall.

These two teams separated themselves from the field with five wins, and four wins, respectively.

Congratulations to the winners and to the runners-up and both these teams comprise players that clearly want to get ahead at this game.

Also encouraging, however, is the participation of the three other teams who put themselves in the mix and that will hopefully get them energised enough to be in the shake-up in future years and become regulars at the Bridge Club on not only the Junior games but eventually also at the Open games.

John Burville continues his untiring efforts to promote bridge in the schools and to young people on the island, and achieved a milestone event last week with the staging of a Minibridge tournament.

Here is a fuller description from John:

“Today was probably the first (probably worldwide) Bridge/Minibridge event.

“This was possible because of the way we run our minibridge play (thanks to Alan Douglas).

“The main feature of how we do minibridge is that we commit minibridge players to play at a certain minimum contract.

“The concept of the idea of mixing minibridge and bridge players was suggested by a BHS student bridge player Katarina Rance. Thanks Katarina.

“We had 20 participants including ten student Bridge players, and ten minibridge players making a five table Howell.

“The students came from six schools: Saltus, Warwick, BHS, Berkeley, CedarBridge, and Petra Academy (home-schooling), the most schools we have had participating in an event!

“Many thanks to Peter Donnellan for organising the movement, and directing the event.

“We treated it as a Stratified event, with Bridge players as A players, and minibridge players as B players.

“Of the Bridge players, Ross Cooper, and Scott Gilbertson came first, just beating out Ahjzanai Smith and Gabriella Quinn-Serera in the last two boards.

“Of the minibridge players, Charles Boisvert, and Andrew Tobin came first, with Christopher Skinner and Fee Sanderson coming in second.

“We ran this event as preparation for all the students for the minibridge and newcomer events at the Bermuda Regional (Sunday, January 27, 2019), and for the minibridge players to experience an event at the club with a proper movement.

“Thanks to all those that make this happen: Peter Donnellan, Joanne Edwards, Lisa Burland, Pat Colmet, Bill Pollett and Fabian Hupe.”

Great work by John and his team. This is a really important initiative which will contribute towards securing the future of the game on the island. The Bridge Club at present has a rapidly ageing membership and there is work to be done if we are to slow that process.

Young Signe Buus Thomsen is a rising star in Denmark and she travels to all North American Bridge Championships to improve her game.

In the World Championships in Orlando, Signe was a member of the McAllister team in the Mixed Teams.

Her partner was the young Swedish player, Mikael Rimstedt, who was World Champion in the Open Pairs with his twin brother Ola.

On this deal from the Round Robin, Signe found a spectacular lead, dooming the contract.

Dealer West, Both Vul

The Bidding

West North East South

Pass 1D Pass 2C

Pass 2H Pass 2S

Pass 4S All Pass

Declarer explained dummy’s distribution as 4=4=5=0, 4=4=4=1 or possibly 4=4=3=2, and it gave Signe, sitting West, the clue to the lead.

The lead?

The 2 of Spades!

A trump lead is necessary to beat the contract.

Declarer won with the 9 in hand, and followed with three rounds of Hearts, ruffing the third in hand.

The Ace of Clubs took the next trick, but the Club King was ruffed.

Buus Thomsen continued with the Queen of Spades.

Declarer was forced to open up the Diamond suit herself, losing three red-suit tricks.

In spite of the trump lead, Buus Thomsen made a trump trick anyway. Down one.

Seventy-eight tables played in four Spades, and Buus Thomsen was the only one who chose a trump 3 as the lead.

A few failed after the lead of the Jack of Clubs, but the contract made at most tables without the trump lead.

Brilliant indeed! I am a huge fan of trump leads, but only when they are justified by the auction. They usually work well when the opponents start by bidding two different suits and then find a secondary fit or when one player gives a preference to one of two suits bid by their partner.

Where they rarely work well is when declarer’s bidding shows a long self-sustaining trump suit and decides to play in that suit without needing support from partner.

They also work well when you and your partner have good cards in the other three suits and you need to cut down on those good cards being ruffed.


Monday afternoon


1, Peter Donnellan/Heather Woolf

2, Richard Gray/Wendy Gray

3, Charles Hall/Judith Bussell


1, Tony Saunders/Joseph Wakefield

2, Sue Hodge/John Hodge

3, Diana Diel/Molly Taussig

Monday evening

1, Fabian Hupe/Margaret Way

2, Alan Douglas/Jane Smith

3, Edward Betteto/Diana Diel

Wednesday morning


1, Joseph Wakefield/Marilynn Simmons

2, Gertrude Barker/Jane Smith

3, Judith Bussell/George Correia


1, Edward Betteto/Harry Kast

2, Magda Farag/Sheena Rayner

3, Patricia Colmet/Caroline Svensen

Thursday evening


1, David Pickering/

John Luebkemann

2, David Sykes/Edward Betteto

3/4 G Graham/F Lunn/J Glynn/L Ferrari


1, Gertrude Barker/Jane Smith

2, Elizabeth McKee/Mike Viotti

3, Richard Hall/James Fraser

Friday afternoon


1, Judith Bussell/Linda Pollett

2, Louise Rodger/Dorry Lusher

3, Patricia Colmet/Elysa Burland


1, Elizabeth McKee/Diana Diel

2, Sancia Garrison/Patricia Siddle

3, Magda Farag/Joseph Wakefield

Saturday afternoon

Student Minibridge/Bridge Event

1, Ross Cooper/Scott Gilbertson

2, Ahzjanai Smith/Gabriella Quinn-Serera

3, Katerina Rance/Salayah Stange