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Gold and Silver for North Island Pairs Winners

Jo and Sam Simpson squeezed home in a very tight finish to last weekend’s North Island Pairs held at the Wellington Bridge Club. The format was the same as at the recent South Island Pairs with each pair playing three boards against the other 43 pairs, Barometer style over 5 sessions.

Jo and Simpson 19.jpg 
    Sam and Jo Simpson. They had 4 very consistent sessions in the upper 50's and saved their best score
   for the last session (63.49%) which proved just enough

In the early rounds, Jo and Sam exchanged the lead regularly with Nigel Kearney and Karl Hayes. However, the latter pair had a horror fourth set allowing Jo and Sam to hold the lead all day on Day 2…. until the penultimate round.

Malcolm Mayer and Tom Jacob had a huge last 24 boards. They were scoring well over 70% after 21 boards and had actually inched above Jo and Sam, who were not exactly having a tough time, with an above 60% session.

However, Malcolm and Tom were to have two bad scores out of three in the last three boards, reducing their round to 69.15% while Sam and Jo scored 63.49%.

Board 22
East Deals
E-W Vul
10 9 4
9 3
K 9 6 5 4
A 8 5
5 3
Q J 8 5 4 2
7 2
J 10 3
 
N
W   E
S
 
J 7 6
A K 10
A 8 3
9 7 6 2
 
A K Q 8 2
7 6
Q J 10
K Q 4

 

After a 1Spade-small-2Spade-small start to the auction, reaching 4Spade-small seems fairly normal with, for once, absolutely nothing to prevent 10 easy tricks for declarer. A few got stuck in their strong 1NT opening. Yet, while Jo and Sam scored 81% for bidding and making game, Malcolm and Tom gained only 19% as Peter Ramsey and Noel Woodhall also bid game against them.

Meanwhile, both leaders scored well on Board 23:

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

 

Sam’s powerful Weak 2Spade-small on the South hand brought a strong 2NT from West and eventually 3NT from East. This was not the time to be in a 23hcp 3NT. Even had clubs broken evenly, the contract would be two tricks short after a spade lead. The bad club break saw Jo and Sam score 5 spades, one heart and Diamond-smallA for +300. (88%).

Meanwhile, Tom and Malcolm scored a 95% board for scrambling home in 3Club-small a contract which must fail on passive defence.

However, on Board 24 Tom and Malcolm scored only 19% for going down 2 in a popular but unmakeable 4Spade-small contract while Jo and Sam beat the same contract by one trick for a 55% board. Those last three boards left Jo and Sam the winners by 33 match-points. The top 10 positions were:

                                                                                    Mps                            %

  1. Jo and Sam Simpson                                       3210.8                     59.26
  2. Tom Jacob and Malcolm Mayer                       3172.1                     58.55
  3. George Masters and Blair Fisher                     3097.1                     57.16
  4. Anthony and Charles Ker                                 3031.0                     55.94
  5. Michael Ware and GeO Tislevoll                      3025.4                     55.84
  6. Nigel Kearney and Karl Hayes                         2982.1                     55.04
  7. Grant Jarvis and Pam Livingston                     2908.9                     53.69
  8. Alan Grant and Jane Lennon                           2890.4                     53.35
  9. Moss Wylie and Glenn Coutts                         2885.2                      53.25
  10. Mairi and Matthew Bristow                              2854.7                      52.69

George Masters actually had three partners in the event as he had to play some sessions with David Ackerley and Murray Wiggins as substitutes as Blair Fisher’s plane from Hamilton was cancelled. Thus, third was a pretty good result.

                                                Second and Third Placings

Tom Jacob and Malcolm Mayer.jpg                           Blair fisher  George Masters 19.jpg
A storming finish almost took Tom Jacob          George Masters (right) welcomed Blair
and Malcolm Mayer to victory                            Fisher when he arrived but was also grateful
                                                                           to his very able substitutes

Only 7 pairs bid to slam on the following from Round 4.

Board 12
West Deals
N-S Vul
J 9
K Q 7 2
J 10 9 7 5
8 5
A K 10 7
A 10 5
A 10 9 7 4 3
 
N
W   E
S
 
8 6 4 2
8
K Q 4 2
K Q 6 2
 
Q 5 3
J 9 6 4 3
A 8 6 3
J
West North East South
Jo   Sam  
2  Pass 2  Pass
2  Pass 4  Pass
6  All pass    

2Club-small was Precision style. Sam did not want to splinter opposite a limited Precision opener in case his partner took him to be stronger. No worries. Jo had a “monster” controllish hand and bid slam any way. Trumps behaved and she soon had 12 tricks.

Board 14
East Deals
None Vul
K Q 8 5
Q 9 5 2
9 6
Q 7 6
6
A J 7 4
A K 7 4
A J 8 4
 
N
W   E
S
 
A 3
3
Q 10 8 5 3 2
K 10 9 3
 
J 10 9 7 4 2
K 10 8 6
J
5 2

 

This slam from the final set was well bid by Jo and Sam. Jo opened a Precision 1Club-small and Sam showed a positive with diamonds then clubs. Key card took them to 6Club-small which made comfortably after Spade-smallK lead. Jo and Sam were one of only seven pairs who bid to a making slam with only one declarer finding the Club-smallQ for the overtrick.

They along with all others who played would like to thank the event organisers, directors and scorer for an excellently run event.

Ed Roggeveen Craig Shanahan 19.jpg
Event directors, Ed Roggeveen and Craig Shanahan
Scorer was Caroline Wiggins while helping where needed including as an
able fill-in substitute was Murray Wiggins

The "Gold" in the title is for Jo and Sam coming in first while the "silver" is for Jo as the event provided enough A Points for her to reach the rank of Silver Grand Master.

Richard Solomon

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