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Day one at the Inter-Provincials

   Waikato Bays' Day.

Day 1 of the 2018 Inter-Provincial Championships has seen Waikato Bays teams make a strong start in the quest for the Dougal McLean Trophy, for the best performing region over the four categories. After 5 of the 14 rounds, the points in the hunt for this trophy are:

  1. Waikato Bays                  43
  2. Canterbury                     35
  3. Wellington                      25
  4. Auckland-Northland        23
  5. Otago-Southland            22
  6. Top of The South           16
  7. Central Districts               8

Waikato Bays lead the Senior field and are running second in the other three categories. Canterbury lead the Intermediates, are second in the Seniors and also recorded a third and a fifth placing.

The Open field has a strange look to it. It looked like Wellington and Auckland-Northland would vie for top position…and while Wellington do hold a very large lead (by over 16vps),Auckland-Northland hold up the table.

Only in the Women’s field are Auckland-Northland dominant, with the top 2 over 20vps ahead of third with this time, Wellington at the bottom. The Dougal McLean is about consistent performance…hence the initial strong position of Waikato Bays. Here then are the tables:

Open                                                                                     Women

1.       Wellington

65.09

 

1.Auckland-Northland

64.10

2.       Waikato Bays

48.47

 

2.Waikato Bays

62.61

1.       Canterbury

44.20

 

3.Otago/Southland

41.37

2.       Otago/Southland

42.60

 

4.Top Of The South

37.16

3.       Central Districts

37.74

 

5.Canterbury

35.34

4.       TOPS

31.18

 

6.Central Districts

29.84

5.       Auckland-Northland

30.72

 

7.Wellington

29.58

 

Intermediate                                        Seniors

1.Canterbury

55.20

  

1.Waikato Bays

53.18

2.Waikato Bays

50.07

 

2.Canterbury

52.31

3.Wellington

49.63

 

3.Top of The South

51.74

4.Otago/Southland

41.99

 

4.Auckland/Northland

48.78

5.Auckland/Northland

41.23

 

5.Wellington

37.10

6.Central Districts

37.46

 

6.Otago/Southland

34.90

7.Top of The South

24.42

 

7.Central Districts

21.99

 

Board 7 of Match 1 required accurate defence from the North-South pairs to defeat their opponent’s slam.

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

 

The Intermediates bid these hands a little tamely in that at five of the six tables, the spade game was made in comfort, once doubled, while one North was beaten by a trick in 6Heart-small. In the Open, three tables played in 4Spade-small. Three times 5Heart-small was beaten a trick, once doubled and once redoubled.

5Heart-smallxx was played by Waikato Bays' Brett Glass and Gary Foidl. Brett thought they were missing a making slam and hence redoubled. He was wrong but still gained 6 imps when his teammates bid and made 5Spade-small at the other table.

In the Seniors, half the field made a comfortable spade game while another table saw 6Heart-small defeated by 2 tricks.

It was left to the Women and a couple of Seniors tables where the real action occurred. After an auction like the above involving Kay Nicholas and Lesley Andrew, for Canterbury Seniors as East-West. North led the top heart but failed to find the club switch meaning Kay could set up diamonds to discard her club and make the slam. At the other table, Michael Johnstone, South, discouraged on the opening lead and Paula Gregory tried a speculative and successful club.

In the Women’s field, 6Spade-small was bid and made three times with two tables in the spade game and 5Heart-small made at the sixth.

The hand demonstrates the importance of count. Assuming North-South have bid and supported hearts, South must give count on a top heart lead. North can identify South has an even number of hearts. Continuing hearts is thus hopeless…and North must chance their arm with a club, as diamonds lie so favourably for the declarer.

There are six more matches played on Day 2 with the event concluding lunchtime on Monday.

Richard Solomon

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