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Otago- Southland News with Brad Johnston 1

Greetings from the South,

Since Moss has last updated you, we’ve had a few tournaments to test our mettle in and a few high finishes in National events (although at this point I feel that everyone is all “Congressed out”).

We’ll start our recap in sunny Clyde, which held the 5A Central Otago Teams and Pairs combo over the 8th/9th of September. Director Lindsay Gunn managed the round-robin teams and the surprisingly low-scoring Pairs event as well as she ever does, proving to be one of the top directors in the region.


1st: Victoria Bouton, Samuel Coutts, Glenn Coutts, Brad Johnston              


2nd: Donna Ruwhiu, Kristen Collins, Phillip Hensman, Hamish Ryan


3rd: Michael Johnstone, Gillian Alexander, Paula Gregory, Moss Wylie




1st Michael Johnstone, Paula Gregory


2nd Margaret Clarke, Daphne Randle


3rd Gillian Alexander, Moss Wylie     


 The next weekend saw the Wanaka Intermediate Pairs on the 15th followed by the Balclutha 8B Open Pairs on the 16th. I can’t report too much on the happenings at Wanaka, but maybe Lindsay could – seeing as she directed both of these tournaments too.

Wanaka                                                                                     Balclutha

1st Mark Harry, Marc Simmonds



1st John Sheehy, Maria Godfrey


2nd Alan and Susan McRae



2nd Tim Webb, Brad Johnston


3rd Gillian McLeod, Richard Hishon



3rd Kaye Wilson, Kevin Farnden



Both of these events were much higher scoring than the Central Pairs, especially considering that John and Maria had a very comfortable lead after their morning session score of 73.02%.

Following this there were some more high scores at the Winton 5A Open Pairs, on the 22nd:

1st Ross Sherwood, Ernie Sutton



2nd Moss Wylie, Harry Shepherd       



3rd Marilyn Jackson, Ray Crowe




Two great sessions (both over 66%) saw a comfortable victory for this pair from Queenstown.

At the National Congress, Otago saw modest success (a touch of "modesty", indeed, with Otago-Southland players finishing first in 5 events including New Zealand Teams):
NZ Youth Teams:    1st. Brad Johnston (Dunedin), Feitong Chen (Auckland), John McMahon and Nico Ranson (Australia)

Back-to-the-Future teams: 2nd
Peter McCaskill (Dunedin), Jeff Thompson (Auckland), Richard Lapthorne and Neil Hawkins (Christchurch).

New Zealand Teams:1st
Graeme Stout, Jeff Miller (Dunedin), Pauline Gumby, Warren Lazer (Australia).

Senior Pairs:       1st Ernie Sutton(Queenstown) and Frances Sheehy (Oamaru).

Same Sex Pairs: 1st Charles Ker (Hokowhitu) played with Moss Wylie (Invercargill)

Swiss Pairs:        1st E/W and top scorers:Margaret Perley and Paul Freeland (Dunedin)


The next big event down South after Congress was the Otago Southland Congress for Labour Weekend (don’t say we are not imaginative). In a return to the hot weather of Clyde we saw players from Invercargill to Wellington compete.

            Open Pairs                                                Intermediate Pairs

1st Jane Lennon, Jane Skipper



1st Jenny Pryde, Marion Furneaux


2nd Brad Johnston, Sam Coutts



2nd Darryl Dowthwaite, Deborah Matthews


3rd Alan Grant, John Skipper 



3rd Dorothy Butterfield, Barbara Hutton


 Jenny and Marion held on despite a 65.5% surge from Darryl and Deborah in the third session.

Jane Lennon Alan Grant Jane and John Skipper.jpg                          Peter Mountain Frances and John Sheehy Maria Godfrey.jpg
Final winners: Jane Lennon, Alan Grant,         Plate winners: Peter Mountain, Frances Sheehy,
Jane and John Skipper                                   Maria Godfrey and John Sheehy

The Congress Teams saw a format new to the South, with two pools of 8 teams play a round robin; with the top two from each playing a final and the rest playing a Swiss plate.

     Final                                                                                                Plate

1st Alan Grant, Jane Lennon, Jane Skipper, John Skipper


1st Frances Sheehy, Peter Mountain, John Sheehy, Maria Godfrey


2nd Chris Ackerley, Arleen Schwartz, Paul Freeland, Margaret Perley


2nd Adrien Dever, Judy Robertson, Lesley Andrew, Kay Nicholas


3rd Greg Buzzard, Harry Shepherd, Anne Woodhead, Bruce Batchelor


3rd Tony Winters, Debbie Cooper, Ron Evans, Diane Evans   



Very recently, we’ve had the New Zealand Wide Pairs, with the top scores from the region being:

1st Jeff Miller, Graeme Stout



2nd Estelle Maxwell, Phil Merchant



3rd Marie Galland, Heather Donald

Te Anau



Interesting things must have been happening at the Invercargill club that night. Tony Winters and Debbie Cooper posted a score very similar to their club-mates Jeff and Sherry Elton at the club; but saw their score increase by 9.77% while the Elton’s score decreased by 8.71%. While most of the changes from being scored nationally were of the order of a percent or two, these two pairs had the dubious honour of the largest changes from the region.

     25 tables at West Otago's "Paint The Town Red"  Tournament

West Otago tournament 2018.JPG
a room full of happy players at the West Otago Bridge Club for the club's tournament in mid-October.
Top scores of the day went to Donna and Kevin Skoropada (67.21%, Martin and Pat Oyston (66.22%)
and Steve Hardiman and Murray Speden (65.89%).

Finally, the 3rd of November saw the Maniototo Intermediate Pairs. While the uploading of the scores has seemed to go awry – so I can’t find the rest of the results, I can happily report that first and second place were members of the Otago Bridge Club:
1st Elizabeth Goodhew, Kay Dickson

2nd Barbara Hutton, Andrew Reynolds

The only big event coming up locally is the Nina Hewitt Christmas Pairs memorial event, although it’d be remiss of me not to wish everyone playing in the Inter-provincials and the International trials good luck.

I leave you with a hand from the Otago Southland Congress – to prove that silence is sometimes golden:

North Deals
N-S Vul
6 4
9 8 7 5 4 2
Q 9 7 6 2
K Q J 9 6 5
K Q J 10
J 5
W   E
K Q 10 8 7 2
A 6 3
K 8 4
A 10 8 7 3 2
A 9 5 3
A 10 3
West North East South
  Pass 1  1 
Pass Pass 2  2 
Dbl 2 NT Pass 3 
Pass Pass Dbl All pass


If West had passed at their second turn to speak then they would have found themselves on lead to 2Spade-small. This contract is obviously doomed, while 3Club-small only needed spades to be 5-2 instead of 6-1 to make. While West had originally passed 1Spade-small anticipating their partner to reopen with a double for them to pass, and their double of 2Spade-small was unmistakably a penalty, the subsequent auction should alert them to the fact of extreme distribution around the table. Better to take the sure plus defending 2Spade-small than give the opponents another chance to escape.


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