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Auckland News with Douglas Russell

This will be a somewhat abbreviated report, as Biritch the Russian Blue and I will be overseas for much of the period for a spot of R & R and a little bridge. Nonetheless, a little bit to bring you up to date.

This period has definitely belonged to NZ Womens’ International Carol Richardson. Back in February, she won Franklin’s Swiss Pairs with son-in-law to be Matt Brown, and followed it up four days later by taking Auckland’s Waitangi Day event with daughter Andi Boughey. And then in March she teamed up with Andrew Tarbutt to win Papakura’s Open event, where the Intermediate winners were Caroline Griffin and Darren Old.

Andi  Carol R   Allan Morris.jpg

Multiple champion Carol Richardson with Andi Boughey and Allan Morris

Auckland’s Bell Taylor event commemorates two former New Zealand bridge greats, namely Bruce Bell and Eileen Taylor. Winning overall and therefore the Bell Trophy were Herman Yuan and Andrew Liu, while Tracey Lewis and Sue Spurway warmed up for the popular Gold Coast Congress by walking off with the Eileen Taylor Trophy.

Andrew  Liu Herman .jpg                                    Tracey Lewis.jpg

Herman and Andrew with Kaye Shannon of sponsors, Sibun’s                  Kaye Shannon and Tracey Lewis

Going North, Gary Chen and Clair Miao triumphed at Orewa, and Jess Morris recorded her first tournament success, playing with Michael Whibley at East Coast Bays. A more familiar partnership were winners at Howick, namely Patrick Carter and Julie Atkinson, and Prem Soundranayagam teamed up with mentor GeO Tislevoll at Auckland’s Thursday tournament sponsored by St Vincent’s.

Prem GeO GeorgeW.jpg
Prem and GeO along with George Wilkinson

Finally,at Mt Albert, Steve Moore and Graeme Duhs won the Intermediate Pairs, averaging over 63% in doing so while Birgit Cameron and Suzy Halls came out on top in the Junior Pairs held on the same day.


Breaking a Beginners' Rule

Here is a hand from the Howick tournament which requires declarer to do something that we strongly advise beginners not to do!

Board 23
South Deals
Both Vul
9 3
J 6 5 2
K Q J 7 6 4
Q J 7 2
A Q 8 7 5 2
K 9
W   E
A 8
K 6
A Q 10 8 7 3
A 5 3
K 10 6 5 4
10 9 4 3
9 8 2


Many Wests ended up in a contract of 6Heart-small; this can be beaten with a very unlikely spade lead, but the much more likely Club-smallK allows the contract to be made. Declarer wins theClub-smallA, plays trumps and discovers the bad news that there is a loser there. If West now plays on diamonds, unless they take an unusual low percentage second round finesse, South can ruff and stop West enjoying the diamond suit (only one entry to dummy with the diamonds not yet set up.)

Thus, strangely, declarer must give South their trump trick before playing on diamonds. South cannot successfully attack spades. Once South has no more trumps, they cannot stop West setting up diamonds and using the Spade-smallA to return to dummy to run the suit.

 Of the 12 pairs who tried 6Heart-small, 5 were successful, 3 failed by one trick, and 4 by 2 tricks.

Inter-Club under-way..and even more popular

The ever-popular Friday once a month Inter-Club competition is under-way again and even more popular than before. 2019 will see 51 competing teams as compared with 47 in 2018. The growth has come in the Junior section, up by 5 to 21 with the Intermediates steady at 22 teams and Open down by one to 8. In the Junior event, Mt Albert Jane and two Royle Epsom teams got off to flying starts while Auckland Carter, Franklin and Akarana have started very well in the Open and Franklin Green, Papatoetoe and East Coast Bays in the Intermediate section.

 Social Sundays for new players

Novice Sunday .jpg

Jan France the Auckland/Northland RBM has been running Beginners Sunday Socials. This is a new initiative for ‘novice grade’ players who have recently finished lessons  (within the last year or so), to meet other novice players, to play bridge, talk about bridge, have afternoon tea plus the possibility of winning a prize! The emphasis is on enjoying bridge and socialising with other relatively new bridge players. Since last September, three have been held and over 100 novice players have taken part. There will be a new set of Socials later in the year after this round of lessons. Look out for the poster which will be sent to the clubs in July.



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