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Bridge bug is catching in schools

There is a huge effort currently under way to pave the way for the growth of bridge in Bermuda and to produce future members for the Bridge Club, and much of this is concentrated on the teaching of bridge in the schools.

The initiative was launched by and is under the overall care of John Burville, but it needs a lot of people to make it work and it appears that Bill Pollett and the Pollett family are playing a huge part in this.

Bill and Linda have always been popular and avid supporters of the Bridge Club and now that they also have the rest of the family on the case things are really moving. This message to me from John pretty much sums it up.

“David, I’d really like you to know about the wonderful enthusiasm, and success that the Pollett family have brought to the bridge in schools programme at Warwick Academy this year. Bill, daughter Kirsty and son Cameron were heavily involved in the recruiting, and the number of student attendees (24-plus) has been spectacular.

“It is only in the past few weeks with the advent of exams that the participation has reduced below 20. We have seven Warwick students scheduled for the Las Vegas bridge trip, and all of them attend our weekly after school event at the club.

“Bill’s enthusiasm has turned into a real passion for helping the youth bridge cause, and his help, along with Linda and Kirsty, has been invaluable — it also appears that younger son Rory will be heavily involved in recruiting fresh students for the next year!

“Not only that, but Bill has done a stalwart job with the adult lessons on Tuesday. Interestingly, of the 44 participants at the adult lessons, 11 were parents, teachers and students from Warwick Academy, so the bug is catching !” – John

I think that sums it up pretty well and I know that all of us who love, even worship, this game will send a big thank you and well done to Bill, Linda and the kids, all with the proviso that none of that will turn into generosity in the heat of battle!

Before I get to the hand, the game scheduled at the Club on Thursday, June 27 will be a teams game — sign up at the Club as a team of four anytime before noon on Wednesday, June 26.

This week’s hand was just sent to me by Jack Rhind and comes from the Mixed Teams event in Costa Rica and it is fascinating — when have you ever seen a hand with no six-card suits where the score predictor says that you can make 12 tricks in no-trump, spades, hearts, diamonds and clubs?

Now remember that the score predictor only predicts the result after seeing all four hands — in bridge parlance that is called a “double dummy” solution.

Six no trump, six diamonds and six clubs are all easy — you have 11 top tricks and the favourable lie of the heart suit provides the twelfth. But what about six spades and six hearts? Try them, looking at all four hands — answers next week.

I warn you that neither of them is easy, especially six hearts — I can see, from a quick look, the path to success at six spades, but the best double-dummy play in the six heart contract is far from obvious and I think will be a real brain teaser. Fear not though, if there is a solution, and there had better be one, I will have it for you next week.

If you do get the answer to either slam send it to me at dez@vlm.bm and all correct answers will be acknowledged in next week’s column — give it a bash!

As a hint — in both trump suits you have the ability to ruff behind another defender who is ruffing — in spades you are ruffing the red suits behind West and in hearts you are ruffing spades behind East.

Sorry for the lack of results the last two weeks — my trusty results provider, Linda Abend, is now back and things get back to normal — she has promised not to take another vacation this year!

Results for week of May 27

Monday afternoon


1. Elizabeth McKee/Stephanie Kyme

2. Lynanne Bolton/Molly Taussig

3. Peter Donnellan/Linda Pollett

Tuesday evening junior game

1. Katyna Rabain/Louise Payne

2. Wendy Salvia/Gina Graham

Wednesday morning


1. Diana Diel/Patricia Siddle

2. William Pollett/Linda Pollett

3. Gertrude Barker/Jane Smith


1. Edward Betteto/Lynanne Bolton

2. Tracy Nash/Desmond Nash

3. Elizabeth McKee/Joseph Wakefield

Thursday evening

1. Edward Betteto/William Pollett

2. Judith Bussell/Diana Diel

3. Stephan Juliusberger/Rachael Gosling

Friday afternoon


1/2 W Pollett/K Van Pelt/J Beach/M Taussig

3. Elizabeth McKee/Diana Diel


1. Edward Betteto/Sancia Garrison

2. Gertrude Barker/Marilynn Simmons

3. Joseph Wakefield/Tony Saunders