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Otago/Southland News with Brad Johnston

Congress and Tournament and one Local Success.

As we’re coming to the close of another year, it’s a good time to look back and reflect on how well it has gone. But before I rip into lauding achievements, a simple play problem for you to ponder:

 

Board 13
North Deals
Both Vul
J 8
A K 9 7 3
A
A K Q 7 5
   
N
W   E
S
   
 
A 10 2
10 8 4 2
K Q 7 2
J 9
 

 

Play 7Heart-small from North on the Heart-small6 lead, West contributing the Heart-smallJ on the first round.

Now onto the prize list – a bit longer than usual due to some “minor” get-together in Hamilton. Otago/Southland experienced a lot of good success this year at Congress, with people placing well throughout the week (O/S players in bold):


1st Youth Teams:             Ella Pattison – Cesca McGrath, Bradley Johnston – Jamie Thompson

1st Rubber Bridge:         Moss WylieBruce Batchelor

1st NZ Pairs Plate:         Graeme Stout – Jeff Miller

2nd NZ Pairs plate:        Kate Davies – Anne Somerville

Congratulations also to Murat Genç – John Patterson, Russell Dive – Moss Wylie and Glenn Coutts – Sam Coutts who made the NZ Pairs Final.

Congress 17 Sam Coutts and Brad J.JPG                                                   Jeff Miller Graeme Stout.png                                                                 

Sam Coutts looks happy with life in the NZ                                              Jeff Miller and Graeme Stout who performed very well

Pairs final. It is the kibbitzer, Brad Johnston,                                           in the qualifying Swiss of the New Zealand Teams.

who looks worried!

On to the NZ Teams, I think by now everyone knows about James Coutts’ team's [Liam Milne – Tony Nunn, Michael Courtney – Rosie Don, Nick Jacob – James Coutts] spectacular run, averaging nearly 17 VPs a match in the qualifying and comfortably winning the Finals. The only other team with Otago/Southland members to make it out of the qualifying was probably the youngest team in the event: Sam Coutts – Glenn CouttsSam BaileyVicki BoutonBradley Johnston, who reached the Quarter Finals.

Graeme Stout and Jeff Miller can also be happy with their 2nd place for the datum prize, with a steady 1.47 IMPs a board average.

The Point-a-Board Teams was taken out by Anne Somerville – Kate Davies, John Patterson – Murat Genç, a full 2 points ahead of Ker. Phillip Hensman – Frances Sheehy, Ernie SuttonAnne McGregor finished third in the NZ Seniors Teams, and Anne Somerville continued her fantastic Congress by placing second in the Open Swiss Pairs with Kate Davies.

Congress 17 Point a Board winners.jpg

Congress Point A Board winners,(from left) Anne Somerville,Murat Genc, Kate Davies, NZ Bridge Board Member Allan Morris, presenting the prizes and John Patterson.

Babich Successes

Another place where Otago/Southland can hold their head high was the Babich New Zealand Wide Pairs. Taieri’s 17 tables was one of the highest table counts for the event, with players coming from as far as Balclutha to support the heat. James CouttsEllena Moskovsky couldn’t quite replicate their success of 2nd from two years ago when they only placed 15th, but that was still the highest placing pair from Otago/Southland. Well done also to Anne CosgroveMarilyn Jackson who placed 17th from the Winton heat.

Local Tournaments should also be celebrated:

Otago/Southland Congress Pairs: Open 1st Greg Buzzard – Bruce Batchelor

                                                                2nd Ernie Sutton – Phillip Hensman;

Intermediate                                            1st Jenny Pryde – Marion Furneaux 2nd Sue Wilson – Sue Dwyer

Winton Open Pairs:                                 1st Carol Scott – Sue Scott 2nd Ross Sherwood – Keri Sherwood

Balclutha Open Pairs:                             1st Sam Bailey – Sam Coutts 2nd Donna Ruwhiu – Kristen Collins

Wanaka Intermediate Pairs:                    1st Sheryl Strudwick – Barbara Waterworth

                                                               2nd Ken Roberts – Georgie Roberts

Central Otago Pairs:                               1st Tony Winters – Paul Tomlinson

Central Otago Teams:                             1st Ernie Sutton – Anne McGregor, Bradley Johnston – Lindsay Glover

[Apologies runners-up from Central – the listed results seem  not be whole and complete, I wouldn’t want to misstate who placed where]

After looking at both national and local tournaments, it seems only fair to finish with a piece of success from the Otago Bridge Club. If you don’t recognise the hand above, that’s because you weren’t playing recently in the Open Division.

Hopefully you've had a chance to think about how you would play the hand from the start of the article. When you did, you may have decided to cross to dummy and take a trump finesse, playing West for Heart-smallQJx (and East to have led from a singleton).

Otago Club Thursday 2nd November

Board 13
North Deals
Both Vul
J 8
A K 9 7 3
A
A K Q 7 5
K Q 5
J 5
J 10 6 5
10 6 4 2
 
N
W   E
S
 
9 7 6 4 3
Q 6
9 8 4 3
8 3
 
A 10 2
10 8 4 2
K Q 7 2
J 9
7 Heart-small by North

 

Sadly that doesn’t work on this hand, as Otago’s Stewart Kerr had found the spectacular under-lead of the trump queen as the only way to give declarer a losing option on this hand. Sometimes it takes a bit of flair and some courage to make a lead like that, particularly given that they can so often blow up spectacularly! That was not the case here though, and  Stewart was duly rewarded with what would be a top board even in the Babich.

North would probably endorse the well-used saying of Board 13 being "unlucky for some". What a great opening lead, though, Stewart, deserving the success it achieved.

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