Otago- Southland News with Moss Wylie
ILT Murihiku Teams and Pairs
The Invercargill Licensing Trust controls the sale of alcohol in Invercargill. No supermarket is permitted to sell alcohol within the town. All outlets are owned by the Trust. In return some $8,000,000 is handed out to over 500 organisations each year. Murihiku is the Maori name for the southern part of New Zealand.
The Invercargill Bridge Club held its main tournament on first weekend of May. The weather is usually fine as the date coincides with the start of duck shooting, where the ducks can elude the hunters by flying high.
May 4th (Star Wars Day, May the force be with you) was a good omen for the Somerville team. Nine teams played an 8- round robin of 8 boards. Three of the teams travelled down from Dunedin and one from Central Otago. The tournament ended up being a two- horse race with Somerville slipping past Genc on the final straight. Well done to Anne Somerville, Kevin Skoropada, Lindsay Glover and Peter Hall who finished less than 2 VPs in front of Murat Genc, Arleen Schwartz, Margaret Perley and Paul Freeland.
May 5th saw 26 pairs compete for the Pairs trophy. Harry Shepherd and Geoff Eyles from Invercargill got off to a flyer with 74%. After a heavy lunch they managed to hang on to a win by 2 match-points over Dunedin pair, Kristen Collins and Donna Ruwhiu.
Both days saw a hearty meal put on by the ladies from Inner Wheel. The ILT generously sponsored the bridge weekend with money for both catering and prize money. Craig Rogers and Geoff Eyles helped the bridge run smoothly, directing & running the computer. Thanks heaps!
Te Anau Open Pairs
Te Anau is a sleepy town by a lake bearing the same name. The place is a must do for the avid traveller on the way to the picturesque Milford Sound.
The Annual Open Pairs were held May 18th with 32 pairs in attendance. The bridge club share the property with the local bowling club. The Te Anau Club is said to be one of the friendliest around, with the locals putting on a great spread for morning tea and supper. Harry Shepherd continued his good form winning with Bruce Batchelor. Lindsay Glover and Greg Buzzard, also from Invercargill, came a close second.
26 pairs met in Dunedin on the weekend of the 11th May to battle it out for spots in the Open, Women’s, Senior, and Intermediate IP teams. Half of these contestants were trialing for the Intermediate team, which is by far the largest number of trialists that Otago/Southland has had for the section in a number of years – for most of the recent years that has been fewer than 3 tables of trialists.
Jo Smith and Jeff Elton swept the Intermediate field, and are joined by Sandy Buzzard and Jen White. Commiserations to Peter Mountain and Paul Yates who missed out by less than 1 victory point for the third spot.
All of the other trialing sections were combined, with pairs nominating which category for which they were competing.
The local pair of Brad Johnston and Matt Blakeley led virtually the whole way to comfortably make the Open team, with teammates Ernie Sutton and Ross Sherwood (who finished second). I believe that this is the first time any of these players has been on the Open Team; so, I hope their ‘beginners luck’ carries through to the actual event!
The Women’s Team rekindled an old partnership of Frances Sheehy and Ann Wood, and regular partnership of Kristen Collins and Donna Ruwhiu, while Kevin Farnden and Wyn Jones made the Seniors’ team alongside Phil Hensman and Hamish Ryan.
Good luck to all the competitors in Christchurch.
Otago/Southland Provincial Events
Queen’s Birthday weekend saw two of the bigger events of the local calendar take place.
In the Provincial Teams, locals Jeff Miller and Graeme Stout teamed up with Glenn Coutts and Brad Johnston to win by 11 Vps over Michael Johnstone, Paula Gregory, Moss Wylie, and Anne Sommerville. Greg Buzzard, Marilyn Jackson, Harry Shepherd and Geoff Eyles finished third.
The Provincial Pairs saw a double achieved by Graeme and Jeff, proving that match-points is less luck based than some consider it to be. They won by over 3 boards (60.22%) over Glenn Coutts and Moss Wylie (56.67%). Michael and Paula were a credible third.
One thing that people might not know is that Graeme is somewhat deaf. Upon winning the teams, he recounted the story that before the event, Glenn informed him that “if we win today, Brad will give a clock to his grandma.” It took some time for this to be interpreted as “If we win today, Brad will clock over to be a Grandmaster.” It’s less impressive than the recent Gold and Emerald rankings achieved, but one should still recognise these achievements. As far as I know, his grandma is still waiting on that clock, though!
Brad attributes much of his success at bridge to his aggressive bidding style, admitting that frequently putting the opponents under pressure in the auction makes up for poor declarer play and defence!
|1 ♣||3 ♠||3 NT||All pass|
On this board from the Pairs: West opened 1 (playing a strong NT system), and Murat Genc as North jumped to 3 to put the pressure on (opposite a passed partner there isn’t much risk of missing a game). Brad showed his nerve by calmly bidding 3NT on the East cards, despite not having any resemblance of a spade stopper. Partner duly provided a sure stopper and 3NT rocked home for a top board, with the rest of the field languishing in 4 or defending some number of spades.
The only complaint about the weekend was that the photographer was nowhere to be seen!