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Otago/Southland News with Brad Johnston

It’s been a few months since Moss’ last regional write-up, and it’s good to see that some other correspondents have weighed in on the issues brought up by Moss with regards to the IP trials. But the trials are over and the IPs are not here yet. So it’s back to the grindstone of weekend tournaments for some keen players. Speaking of weekend tournaments, here are the recent results from down south – with some colour comments where they fit:

Otago Provincial Teams 2nd June    13 Teams


Kaye Wilson, Wyn Jones, Kristen Collins, Donna Ruwhiu

80.80 (19.74 in the last round)


Glenn and Sam Coutts, Vicki Bouton, Brad Johnston

79.91 (1 imp loss their worst result)


Michael Johnstone, Paula Gregory, Anne Somerville, Moss Wylie


Otago Provincial Pairs 3rd June     25 pairs


Arleen Schwartz- Murat Genc



Anne Somerville – Moss Wylie



Nik Mitchell – Brad Johnston



Arleen and Murat had two steady sessions and then a 65% to drive it home replacing Nik and Brad who led after two sessions but who dropped 5% per session. Moss and Anne finished with 68.56% to recover from a sub- par morning.

Taieri Pairs 10th June.        22 pairs


Anne Somerville – Geoff Eyles

56.00 surprised as anyone to win with this score


Arleen Schwartz- Frances Sheehy

55.25 including a tournament high 57.83


Ann- Maree Fox – Bernadette Van Der Lem

55.00 just 2mps different in session scores


Originally there was a three-way session tie for first, and second-equal in the overall placings  but that changed off of a board having been scored by N/S instead of E/W between two non-placing pairs. Please remember to check all your scores, even if it doesn’t make a difference to you!

Winton Int/Junior Pairs 23rd June

Intermediate Pairs – 21 pairs


Wendy Clark – Muriel Mathieson



Sherry and Jeff Elton



Denise Carter – Grant Walker


Junior Pairs – 12 pairs


Henry Wadworth – Peter Norman



Betsy Gray – Jo Smith



Tom Wallis – Colin Laughton



Oamaru All Grades 1st July     44 pairs


Donna Ruwhiu – Kristen Collins

68.28 including a massive 74.21 in the morning


Nik Mitchell – Brad Johnston



Jan Davidson – Sheree Hayman



Otago Winter Teams 7th July       10 teams


Sam and Glenn Coutts, Brad Johnston, Graeme Stout



Robert Cowan, John Sheehy, Susie Lawless, Maria Godfrey



Chris Ackerley, Arleen Schwartz, Margaret Perley, Paul Freeland


                                                                        WINTER WINNERS IN OTAGO

 Sam and Glenn C Graeme Stout Brad J.png     Margaret Perley Paul Freeland.png  Pam Hodgkinson Judy Russell.png
Teams winners, by more than a country       Pairs winners: Margaret Perley and        Intermediate Pairs winners,
mile, Sam Coutts, Graeme Stout, Brad          Paul Freeland                                        Pam Hodgkinson and Judy Russell
Johnston and Glenn Coutts

Otago Winter Pairs 8th July                 20 pairs

20 pairs


Margaret Perley- Paul Freeland



Chris Ackerley – Arleen Schwartz



Graeme Stout – Jeff Miller



Otago Winter Intermediate Pairs 8th July      12 pairs


Pam Hodgkinson – Judy Russell



Barbara Hutton – Andrew Reynolds


3rd =

Paul Yates – David Larsen

Marion Dent – Cushla Colquhoun



Additionally the VCC Congress was surprisingly well represented by Otago/Southland players. Ex-Dunedinite James Coutts won the Swiss Pairs in a canter with Australian Tony Nunn. Glenn Coutts and Moss Wylie were unlucky to finish third. For the Swiss Teams, James Coutts finished 6th playing with a strong Australian team and Moss and Glenn enlisted John Davidson and Sam Coutts to finish a credible 8th.

News from "Central"

Hamilton Plate

Thanks to Lynne Fegan for supplying the following:

"The Hamilton Plate was gifted by Jim and Betty Hamilton on their departure from Alexandra, many moons ago.  We know that two of their daughters were Bridge players - the late Helen Good, and Christchurch player, Joan Small.

4 clubs in Central Otago hotly contested the Hamilton Plate in the hope of wresting it away from Queenstown.  Alexandra, Cromwell, Wanaka and Queenstown Clubs contested at a very social day, under a layer of unwanted Wanaka cloud.

The end result proved to be surprising. Queenstown won the Open division;  Wanaka succeeded in the Intermediates.  But on pooling the results, both Queenstown and Wanaka gained exactly the same result - hence resulting in a ‘tie’.  Queenstown were congratulated by the Wanaka Administration  but were told that Wanaka would hold the Plate for the first 6 months after which it would be forwarded to Queenstown so that they could cover the cleaning in readiness for 2019."

                                Celebrating the joint success

Hamilton Plate 1.jpg       Hamilton Plate 2.jpg

A nice false-card

Board 1
North Deals
None Vul
4 2
J 10 8 5 2
A K J 6 3
Q 6
K 9 7 6 4
A K 10 9 3
W   E
A 10 3
Q 8 7 6 5 2
Q 8 5
K J 9 8 7 5
10 7 4 2

                                                      West                 North              East               South

                                                                               Pass                  Pass               1Spade-small
                                                        2Spade-small                  x                       3Club-small                 3Spade-small

                                                        Pass                Pass                 4Club-small                 Pass 
                                                        4Diamond-small                 Pass                  5Diamond-small                 All Pass           

West’s 2Spade-small bid showed hearts and a minor, North showing penalty interest in at least one minor and East bidding pass/correct in the minor.

  Declarer seemed to have an unavoidable spade, heart, and club loser – which would make the contract 1 light. However if North attempts to cash two high clubs at any point then West can ruff the club and throw a spade loser on the established Club-smallQ.

 After a top club on this hand, you better know what your partners' signal will be! Assuming that North leads the AC, which ‘promises’ the K. The 2Spade-small bid has earmarked Glenn with at most 3 black cards, and with the Club-smallA, K, Q  and the Spade-smallA showing between the North/East hands, South’s attitude in clubs can’t be important. Therefore if North leads a top club South should know to give a count signal, even if it runs counter to their typical signalling methods. If South shows an even number of clubs, then West could either be 2=5=5=1, or 0=5=5=3, or possibly more extreme 0=6=6=1, although that is extremely unlikely.

If West has 0 spades and 3 clubs, then leading a spade now will not give away a trick as only one could be discarded on Spade-smallA. If West has 2 spades and 1 club, then continuing clubs is deadly for the defence. North must switch to a spade to set up their third defensive trick.

What happened

At the table, North chose not to lead a club but  followed the time-tested maxim of leading partner’s suit, Spade-small4.
Glenn diagnosed that the Spade-smallK was offside, so went up with the Spade-smallA and contributed the Q from his hand, hoping to show a 1=5=5=2 shape.

After drawing trumps, Glenn played a heart up and South flew with the A. Now if Glenn started with Heart-smallKJ,  he would have 2 discards from dummy – maybe for his two club losers?
South assumed partner must have something in clubs for the penalty interest, and so led a club to North and the moment of truth came when North tried to cash a second club instead of leading another spade.

Incorrect defence but Glenn had done well to paint a false picture.

If South was confident that North wouldn’t have any more than 2 spades for their lead of the Spade-small4 then South could have cashed the Spade-smallK when in with the Heart-smallA – but some pairs have the agreement to lead MUD from a holding like 642.

As discussed above, South should give count on the first round of clubs. This extends to the point where they lead one after winning the Heart-smallA. Some pairs have the agreement that playing a count card back in the middle of a hand is ‘standard present count’, and some have the agreement that the signal is ‘reverse present count’. If playing standard present count then leading a high card back would show that you currently hold an even number, while playing reverse present count then leading back a low card would show an even number.

These signals are more common as discards, to clarify holdings after giving an attitude signal in the suit – but by then both players should all be aware that the attitude of South in clubs is meaningless on this board and they should simply be giving count. These signals also come up when partner leads a suit, then you win (either the lead card or a latter trick) and return the suit partner lead. This is another spot where present count can be important, and most pairs in New Zealand play what’s called standard present count.



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