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Waikato Bays' Day in Wellington

After Day 1 of the 2017 Inter-Provincials at the Wellington Bridge Club, Waikato Bays have their nose in front in the overall Dougal McLean Trophy competition. Were the competition to end at this point Waikato Bays, who have never previously won the trophy, have 38 points, chased by defending champions Wellington on 35 and Otago Southland on 33.

IP 3 2017WB Mascot 1.jpg

A very valuable mascot. Leading the Waikato Bays' team, assisted by chef de mission, Karen Martelletti

Karen could not mention without her four legged friend.

Waikato Bays lead both Seniors and Intermediate competitions, the Seniors by an impressive 22.04 vps while Wellington lead the Open and Otago/Southland the Women’s competition. Meanwhile, while the other three Top of The South teams had a tough first day, the Region’s Intermediate team gave that region something to smile about as it is in second place, just under 13 vps behind Waikato Bays.

The event is a double round-robin, seven matches per round, with each region having one bye per round. At this point, with six rounds completed, Otago Southland is the region still to have its first bye.

Time then for a taste of the action. Round 2 produced a bidding test for the East-West pairs and a lead problem for some of the South players. What would you lead after this swift sequence, holding:

Spade-small QJT75              Heart-small J6           Diamond-small 8762      Club-small T6

West          North         East            South

Pass            2Diamond-small1            3NT            All Pass

1 Multi 2Diamond-small, weak 2 in a major or 20-22 balanced

You know your partner has a weak 2 and the odds must be very strongly in favour of that suit being hearts. So, do you go for what is in front of your eyes or lead partner’s suit? The minor suits do not get a look in.

With no outside entry, your partner, your team, your chef de mission and your region’s supporters would all be delighted if you started with the Heart-smallJ.

Board 24
West Deals
None Vul
4
A 10 9 8 7 3
A J 4 3
8 5
9 8 6 3 2
K 5
9 5
9 7 3 2
 
N
W   E
S
 
A K
Q 4 2
K Q 10
A K Q J 4
 
Q J 10 7 5
J 6
8 7 6 2
10 6

 

For all East’s strength and partner’s ever so useful Heart-smallK, the East players only have 8 top tricks on Heart-smallJ lead. Declarer must cover at trick 1 and thus has their own heart entry knocked out at trick 2 , or trick 3 if they hold up one round. After holding up, East reels off some club tricks but has to lead a diamond at which point come enough heart tricks from North to beat the contract.

How should East-West handle the bidding as if West gets to be declarer, hearts cannot be played to North’s advantage: declarer has a double hold.

If North opens a weak 2, East could double and get a 2Spade-small response from West. Now a 3Heart-small hold ask from East might, perhaps, get West to bid 3NT, with a certain degree of reluctance. Similarly, after that Multi 2Diamond-small from North, the bidding could proceed:

                   West           North         East            South

                   Pass            2Diamond-small              x                 2Heart-small (pass or correct)

                   Pass            Pass            x                 Pass

                   2Spade-small              Pass            3Heart-small which has to be artificial as North has confirmed hearts as their suit.

A tough deal. All bar 3 pairs played 3NT but only Peter Delahunty- Lynda Rigler for the Wellington Senior team played from the West seat. 4 other East players were relieved to get Spade-smallQ lead and made their contract.

IP 2 2017Canterbury underwear.jpg                                           IP 2017 1.JPG

suitably coloured underwear from                                         Good food to bring on the good

Canterbury. As one might say "Canterbury                           Bridge.... or such is the theory!

through and through!

The opening lead was pretty important in a couple of matches on the following board too. Most South players declared 6NT from the safe South seat but the Auckland Women’s and Otago Southland North-South both played 6NT from the danger seat. Could you find the winning lead after a sequence like:

                   North                   South

                                                1Diamond-small

                   1Heart-small                       3Club-small

                   4NT                      5Heart-small (2 key cards in support of Club-small)

                   6NT                      All Pass

East held Spade-small42  Heart-small T54          Diamond-small  843    Club-small AT743

and the unattractive lead of the unbid suit was the defensive winner as these were the 4 hands:

Board 6
East Deals
E-W Vul
Q 10 7 6
A K J 8
J 7 6
K 9
K 9 8 5 3
7 6 3 2
10 2
6 5
 
N
W   E
S
 
4 2
10 5 4
8 4 3
A 10 7 4 3
 
A J
Q 9
A K Q 9 5
Q J 8 2

 

The finesse had to be taken after the spade lead, found by the Otago-Southland Open player…West doing well to find the necessary immediate club switch. Of course, 6Diamond-small from either the North or South seat is a very safe contract too.

Finally, which two black cards do you discard on the Heart-smallAK on the following board. You are in 6Diamond-small.

Board 3
South Deals
E-W Vul
   
Q 5 2
A K 8 4 2
A 10 2
A 8
 
N
W   E
S
 
A 9 7
K Q 9 8 7 6 3
J 4 2

 

Say you received a club lead. If you throw two clubs, you need to play that spade suit for one loser. If you throw two spades, you will need to ruff a club, which means on this deal, not drawing trumps straightaway:

Board 3
South Deals
E-W Vul
K 10 8 3
Q 10
J 5 4
Q 10 9 6
Q 5 2
A K 8 4 2
A 10 2
A 8
 
N
W   E
S
 
A 9 7
K Q 9 8 7 6 3
J 4 2
 
J 6 4
J 9 7 6 5 3
K 7 5 3

 

Three Open pairs bid and made 6Diamond-small while one failed. The only Women’s pair in slam failed while the whole Seniors and Intermediate fields stayed in the safety of game…except for Top of The South Intermediates, Wayne Smith and Val Mundy who bid and made 6Diamond-small. Well done. Yes, throw those spades but give up a club first of all as trumps broke 3-0.

Good luck to all on Day 2…and thanks to Colin Carryer and Barry Palmer for contributing the above hands.

Auckland Northland team.jpg

Auckland Northland team.

Richard Solomon

 

 

 

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