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New Zealand Mixed Trial

The trial to select a Mixed Team to represent New Zealand at this year’s   Mixed Team Championships in Italy took place at the Christchurch Bridge Club this past weekend, Saturday, Sunday and Monday. The trial was a double round-robin of 18 board matches between five teams.

At the death, it became a head-to-head battle between the top two teams with the result of that match making the end result seem more emphatic than it actually was. The final scores after 12 rounds including 10 vps for each bye were:

1.

Pat Carter- Julie Atkinson, Barry Jones- Jenny Millington

130.90

2.

Liz and Blair Fisher, Jo and Sam Simpson

107.68

3.

Annette and Stephen Henry, Clair Miao- Wayne Burrows

104.29

4.

Jane and John Skipper, Alan Grant- Jane Lennon

  90.67

5.

Kate Davies- John Patterson, Mindy Wu-Murat Genc

  66.66

 

It had not been Davies’ weekend but they chose a very significant moment to record their first win in the penultimate round when they beat Simpson 43-22 (14.96). Up to that point, Carter and Fisher had virtually been neck and neck in front. That loss meant that Fisher had to beat Carter by close to 15-5 or better in the last round to win.

That did not happen with all bar one of the significant swings going to Carter. These were the two largest:

Board 29
North Deals
Both Vul
J 8 6 3
10 9 3
Q
K 10 9 7 4
A 8 7 5
K 10 9 6 5 3
A Q 2
 
N
W   E
S
 
A K 10 9 7 5
A J 8
8 6 5 3
 
Q 4 2
K Q J 6 4 2
7 4 2
J
West North East South
Jenny Millington Blair Fisher Barry Jones Liz Fisher
  Pass 1  Pass
2  Pass 2  Pass
3  Pass 4  Pass
4  Pass 4  Pass
5  Dbl 6  All pass

 

Barry and Jenny had an uninterrupted 2 over 1 auction to slam. 4Diamond-small was stronger than going directly to game and was followed by a succession of cue-bids. Jenny won the Club-small10 opening lead, ruffed two hearts in dummy and discarded a club and a heart on the high spades to score an overtrick.

However, in the other room, a 2Heart-small overcall from Pat Carter,South gave West a decision. Jo Simpson passed round to Sam who reopened with a double and then with a void in partner’s opening suit, passed for penalties. They took the contract down 2 though 500 was not adequate compensation for the missed slam…13 imps to Carter.

The following slam needed a pretty favorable lie for it to produce 12 tricks. Both black suits obliged though the red suit queens let Fisher down:

Board 35
South Deals
E-W Vul
5 4 2
Q 9 8 5 4
10 9
7 6 3
A J 9
A K 6
K 8 6
A Q 8 4
 
N
W   E
S
 
10 7 6
J 3 2
A J 5 3
K 10 2
 
K Q 8 3
10 7
Q 7 4 2
J 9 5

 

Jenny Millington (West) showed 20 or a bad 21-point balanced hand. Barry Jones was not overly impressed and raised to 3NT which made comfortably with two overtricks for 660. However, a Precision auction took Jo and Sam Simpson to 6NT played by East. Pat Carter led Spade-smallK and Jo Simpson was soon one down after taking a standard diamond finesse. Not even Deep Finesse could untangle 12 tricks on this one…and on the penultimate of 144 boards, Carter collected 13 more imps to win the match 54-19 (17.18). A slam swing the other way on board 35 would not have been enough for Fisher.

The selectors now have the task of selecting the third pair to travel to Salsomaggiore with the winning team.

Richard Solomon

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