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Otago/Southland News with Brad Johnston

The start of 2018 hasn’t seen too many tournaments down South, with only the Invercargill 8B Pairs, the Oamaru 5A Pairs, the Taieri and Queenstown 8B Pairs since Moss last wrote to y’all.

The winners of these events were as follows:
Invercargill 8B – 18 pairs


Anne Somerville and Lorraine Oliver



Debbie Cooper and Tony Winters



Geoff Eyles and Harry Shepherd


Oamaru 5A – 34 pairs


Lorraine Peacock and Margaret Perley



Frances Sheehy and Donna Ruwhiu



Dennis Norman and Brian Papps


Taieri 8B – 30 pairs


John Sheehy and Robert Cowan



Annette Fea and Hamish Ryan



Donna Ruwhiu and Kristen Collins


Queenstown 8B Open Pairs


Des Baird and Joy Baird



Marilyn Jackson and Anne  McGregor



Hamish Ryan and Annette Fea



Roberrt Cowan.jpg

At the Taieri 8B,  local pair Robert Cowan (left) and John Sheehy(right) produced a massive 69.51% second session to close out the day.

 Another part of the results that drew my eye was that five pairs achieved over 120% in the two sessions, which is enough to win some tournaments. Commiserations to Lyn Clark and Christine Samson, and Ernie Sutton and Jean-Oliver Begouin for not even placing after a strong day’s bridge. Funnily enough there was also a three-way tie for 13th on exactly 50%. It is bad luck this wasn’t the Babich Pairs, where such a score is always rewarded.

Also of note was the closeness of the top three at Oamaru. An over or under-trick proved pretty significant.

4th placing in Gold Coast Teams

In terms of other matters, Dunedin player Vicki Bouton skilfully captained a 5-man (ex-)youth team of Dunedin and Sydney players over at the Gold Coast to place 4th of the 226 teams trying to qualify. This result made her and your humble correspondent the only two New Zealand players to qualify for the Open knockouts – thanks for the captaincy,Vicki.

Lots of Teaching in Dunedin

Dean Eidler has been running a series of advanced seminars on topics such as transfers and reverses that have been well attended by local players and those from surrounding clubs. Phil Noye has kept up his excellent work with this year’s learners group, reporting that he has 54 people coming through the lessons and 51 of them for the first time. Hopefully some of them stick around!

Here was an instructive deal from the Christchurch Open Pairs on the weekend:

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


The name of the game was match-points. So, when the auction started 2Spade-small pass 4Spade-small to Tim Schumacher sitting West, he found a 4NT call (showing both minors). North passed and East erred here, as passing is completely free. Even if you managed to go 10 tricks off in 4NT, that would be 10 off not vulnerable – or 500 against their vulnerable game. When South doubles this, West will know to bid their better minor, and Tim would have reached a peaceful contract of 5Diamond-smallx. Instead East decided to bid 5Club-small directly – which South promptly doubled. 5Club-small appears to be a hopeless contract, with 3 trump losers, a heart and a diamond loser and great potential to be tapped off and lose trump control.


South started with a spade. The ace won in dummy and a heart was played towards the closed hand. With no apparent losers to pitch from dummy, North won this and continued the attack with a high spade, ruffed in dummy. Declarer now came out the Diamond-smallK, which ran around to South’s ace. Another spade here would have continued tapping dummy, but South chose instead to exit a heart – which gives East some reprieve as it ran around to their KJ. After cashing another high heart, declarer played a diamond to the queen and exited a diamond – hoping for something good to happen.

 Here North took the view to ruff in with the Club-small10, allowing East to pitch their spade loser. Now a spade exit would allow declarer to score a ruff in the short hand, and then play a trump towards dummy. Knowing that North had opened a weak 2 in spades and already shown up with the Spade-smallK and the Heart-smallA, the odds were that the Club-smallAK were with South. Instead North exited a trump, which meant that South could only score their two high trumps. Two trumps, a heart, a diamond and a diamond ruff spelt -3, or the same 500 that was available if the contract was 5Diamond-smallx.

Oddly enough, to limit diamonds to only 500, declarer needs to find the Club-small JT doubleton. Most of the declarers failed to do so. Thus, in practice, they went for 800. "Better to be lucky than good", as East was heard to say after leaving the table.

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