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Inter-Provincial Championships: Day 1 Report

7 regions, 4 grades (Open, Women’s Intermediate, Seniors), 12 matches of 12 boards (+2 byes) over 3 days…that’s the formula for this year’s Inter-Provincial Championships at the Christchurch Bridge Club.

Here are three problems for you from Day 1.

  1. West         North        East                South

                           1Heart-small              x                      2Spade-small

         4Diamond-small            4Spade-small             ?

2Spade-small = 6 card suit, less than 6hcp

What do you bid as East with:

Spade-small KT52           Heart-small T93             Diamond-small AK8             Club-small AT7

 

  1. Dealer West. E/W Vul.

As West, you hold : Spade-small KQ   Heart-smallJ8  Diamond-small AKQ543    Club-small QJT

West              North             East                South

1Diamond-small                Pass                2Club-small                   3Spade-small

?

  1. You are West and observe the following sequence:
     
    Board 4
    West Deals
    Both Vul
    A Q 5 4
    A 3 2
    10
    K 10 9 8 5
    J 9 3
    10 8 7 5 4
    K 7 4
    A 6
     
    N
    W   E
    S
       
    West North East South
    You Dummy    
    Pass 1  1  Dbl
    2  3  4  6 
    All pass      

    1Diamond-small is any three-suited hand. Dbl shows 4+ spades. 3Diamond-small confirms a diamond shortage and within a flash, you are on lead to 6Spade-small.

    You choose a low heart, won by the ace with declarer discarding the Club-small7. Declarer then plays three rounds of trumps finishing in hand with the Spade-smallK. Your partner had no spades and discarded a couple of small hearts and a small diamond.

    Next comes Club-smallJ from the South hand…..and you?

    POINTS ON THE BOARD

    A good start is a good moral booster (not bad on one’s score, either) and Wellington’s Seniors got that in their first match of the day, winning by 40 imps (18.78 vps) against Central Districts. 16 of those imps came on Board 5.

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

     

    With Pat D’Arcy’s double as North showing 3 card spade support, Pete Benham,South, decided to compete over a making 3Diamond-small. He was then raised to game by Pat. West led Diamond-smallQ and had to find a switch. East had to play Diamond-small8 and West was in the hot seat. Whatever the outcome, the Club-smallQ seemed to have most to gain for the defence and would have beaten this contract by 2 tricks. However, the heart switch was welcome news for the declarer who followed up with a spade to the ace and three more rounds of hearts. +650 was the result.                Hard at work
    Pete Benham.jpg                                             Caroline and Murray at work.jpg
    Pete Benham....happy with the lead                                That's director for the event, Murray Wiggins         
    he received in 4Spade-small                                                           and the scorer, Caroline Wiggins. This is just to
                                                                                             prove that the event is not scored by hand. Indeed,
                                                                                             all very efficient scoring...

     

    Wellington’s East-West pair bid to 5Diamond-small as follows:

    1. West      North        East            South

                            1Heart-small             x                   2Spade-small

             4Diamond-small        4Spade-small             5Diamond-small               All Pass

    2Spade-small = 6 card suit, less than 6hcp

     with North in the hot seat. Heart-smallA lead …down 1. Spade-smallA lead making 5. Alas for the defenders, the Spade-smallA was chosen and Wellington had their 16 imps.

    In our first question, you could have taken + 500 from 4Spade-smallx though East’s decision to bid on to 5Diamond-small produced +400 and, on this day,  a bundle of imps in as well.

    Small wins in the Intermediates

    The Intermediate event started as a very close competition. Top of The South, with their bye, led after match 1 with a clear advantage. They were on 12vps while 7th placed Auckland-Northland were on 8.62 vps. The imp margin in the 3 matches were 4, 3 and 1. This trend continued into Round 2 where the margins in 2 of the three matches was just 4 and 6 imps. After that, the winning margins increased. So did the losing ones!
    The best dressed man at the I/Ps                                             The Inter-Provincial Silverware
    Les Frater.jpg                                                     Trophies.jpg
    That's local Christchurch player, and                                            These are the 5 trophies for which
    member of the Canterbury Open team,                                       the 112 players are competing, with
    Les Frater. Les was dressed for the occasion.                            the overall Dougal McLean trophy in
    Not the I/Ps but was able to disappear during                            the middle.
    one of the breaks to attend his granddaughter's
    wedding.

     

    WHY MUST THEY PRE-EMPT!

    The following hand challenged East-West pairs in round 2.

    The bidding so far had been:

    West              North             East                South

    1Diamond-small                   Pass             2Club-small                   3Spade-small

    ?

    If West chose 3NT, it was up to East to make a forward move. These were the 4 hands:

     
    Board 16
    West Deals
    E-W Vul
    10 9
    9 7 3 2
    9 7 6 2
    9 7 3
    K Q
    J 8
    A K Q 5 4 3
    Q J 10
     
    N
    W   E
    S
     
    6 3
    A K 5 4
    J 10
    A K 6 5 2
     
    A J 8 7 5 4 2
    Q 10 6
    8
    8 4
    West North East South
    1  Pass 2  3 
    3 NT Pass 4 NT Pass
    6 NT All pass    

    3NT following a 2Club-small response, whether or not you were playing “2 over 1 game force” is rather negative. 4Club-small seems a better forward move (or even a slam try 4Spade-small) and must surely be a slam try rather than a competitive bid. However, East is still worth a second bid even if West calls 3NT and a quantitative 4NT seems the best answer.

    One approach when responding (positively!) to this 4NT bid is to show the number of aces you hold if you have  less than 2 since you do not want to be in a slam off 2 aces. So, 5Diamond-small from West here would say “yes, I want to go to slam but I only have one ace, partner”. Thus, East can determine the number of missing aces and bid accordingly.

    Only 3 Open, 4 Women and 1 Senior pair bid to a small slam. One Seniors pair bid to 7NT which, South, not on lead, doubled. This is a dangerous double if North were to interpret the double as “do not lead the suit I bid but a different suit”, Lightner style. There was no slip as North led a spade though there are 13 top winners without playing spades on any other suit lead.

    Beating a slam…

    Do you want to? As a defender, of course you do. So, have you planned what you would do should declarer produce the Club-smallJ? It could happen. Indeed, it just did! Did you win the trick with your ace? Did you hesitate and play low? If the answer to either question was “yes”, then write down -1430? Your only chance was to play low smoothly….

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

    North was Alan Grant, South the very cunning Anthony Ker. On trick 1, Anthony threw Club-small7, a cunning false card, hiding Club-small3 from view. After drawing trumps, he produced the card that West might have anticipated, the Club-smallJ…and when West took his ace, it was “game, set and small slam!”. That was 15imps to Wellington when Karl Hayes and Nigel Kearney found an excellent 5Heart-smallX sacrifice, just down 1, at the other table.

    The only other pair in the four competitions to attempt 6Spade-small were Denis Apperley-Arthur Bennett of Central Districts (Open). They failed which gained 14 imps for Otago-Southland when Ross Sherwood- made 5Spade-small x… no overtrick!

    Day 1 Scores

    It was a great day for the South Island with Otago-Southland’s Open and Women’s teams unbeaten while Otago-Southland and Canterbury’s Seniors (also unbeaten) leading their events by large margins. The North Island has its nose in front only in the Intermediates in the shape of Wellington.

    However, it is Wellington who lead the Dougal McLean competition narrowly from Otago-Southland with some consistent results from Top of The South seeing that region in 3rd equal position.

    Open

    1st

    Otago-Southland

    69.24

    2nd

    Wellington

    67.89

    3rd

    Auckland-Northland

    59.72

    4th

    Waikato-Bays

    54.30

    5th

    Central Districts

    45.66

    6th

    Canterbury

    32.11

    7th

    Top of The South

    31.08

     

    Women

    1st

    Otago-Southland

    77.02

    2nd

    Auckland-Northland

    57.05

    3rd

    Wellington

    55.88

    4th

    Top of the South

    55.10

    5th

    Waikato Bays

    54.53

    6th

    Canterbury

    43.19

    7th

    Central Districts

    17.23

     

    Seniors

    1st

    Canterbury

    83.96

    2nd

    Top of the South

    59.16

    3rd

    Wellington

    56.22

    4th

    Auckland-Northland

    49.56

    5th

    Otago-Southland

    48.01

    6th

    Central Districts

    32.82

    7th

    Waikato Bays

    30.27

     

    Intermediate

    1st

    Wellington

    71.29

    2nd

    Top of The South

    66.72

    3rd

    Canterbury

    57.24

    4th

    Otago-Southland

    42.06

    5th

    Central Districts

    41.53

    6th

    Auckland-Northland

    41.09

    7th

    Waikato Bays

    40.07

     

    Overall- Dougal McLean

    1st

    Wellington

    39

    2nd

    Otago-Southland

    36

    3rd=

    Top of The South

    26

        =

    Auckland-Northland

    26

    5th

    Canterbury

    25

    6th=

    Central Districts

    10

         =

    Waikato Bays

    10

     

    The Dougal Mclean results are distorted by byes. Central Districts and Waikato Bays are still to have their first-round byes.  The points in this competition are awarded per event as follows:

    1st                    13                               2nd                   10                   3rd                        8

    4th                     6                                  5th                   4                   6th                        2

    7th                     0

    Tune in for the next report on Monday morning.

    Richard Solomon

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