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Auckland News with Douglas Russell

Welcome back to your regular updates on happenings in the great big world of New Zealand Bridge, and Happy New Year to one and all. May you enjoy your (mis)adventures at the table in 2020. Of course, as this is the first report for this year, there is an unusually long gap since I last reported at the beginning of November. So bear with me, take a deep breath and skip to those parts that interest you.


First, the year-long regional Interclub competition wound up after 10 arduous rounds. Surviving the year best were the following teams in the three divisions:

Junior (21 teams) – a very close call for Howick (Gail Taylor, Anne Newman, Leslie Keane, Jan Holloway) with 112.58 VPs from Papatoetoe Paul with 112.50;

Intermediate (22 teams) – a slightly more comfortable win for Royle Epsom A (Barbara Imlach, Annette Martin, Linda Phillips, Andrew Durrans) with 130.06 VPs from Franklin Green with 118.81;

Open (8 teams) – the usual tussle between Akarana and Auckland Patrick, with the former (various, but mostly Ian Berrington, Fuxia Wen, Gary Chen, Clair Miao) edging ahead with 157.44 VPs to the latter’s 153.95.

Well done to all and thanks once again to the redoubtable Tony Morcom, Peter Bowyer and the Auckland Club for another smoothly run year.

Tournament Reports

On to the more regular tournament schedule. At the East Coast Bays Restricted in November, Mark Forshaw and Hafizur Khan won with two 60+% sessions; Hafizur later in the same month paired up with Edward Yang to lift the Hibiscus Open with close to 65% overall. The Intermediate event at Hibiscus was a triumph for Bianca van Rangelrooy and Jess Morris.

Several events at the Auckland Club during this period. The final Thursday Pairs of 2019, generously sponsored by Amelia Herbert, was won by regular burglars Malcolm Mayer and Ian Berrington. The Waitangi Day Pairs produced two 70% plus scores; George Sun and Alice Young clocked just over the magic barrier in the first session, but that was not good enough to see off eventual winners John Wang and June Lei, who recorded 75% in the second. Finally, the January 3-nighter sponsored by Babich Wines: after creeping over the qualifying line, Steve Boughey and William Liu had a storming final session to emerge victorious.

Three results also from the Waitemata Club. The dual Open 3A and Intermediate 5B in November were clear wins for Steve Boughey and Paul Carson in the former, and Kevin Birch and Julie Quilty in the latter, whereas the Open event in January was much closer, with Ian Berrington and Fuxia Wen just seeing off Grant Jarvis and Jan Cormack. The Akarana Club’s Christmas Party event – the bridge winners were James Yang and Jeffrey Ren, but the much more important fancy dress prize (theme – Bad Taste) went to GeO Tislevoll, again edging out Your Correspondent. Coming right up to date, the Orewa 8B was a win for Gillian Goodall and Pat Williams, while Franklin’s Summer Swiss Pairs was a resounding third win for Steve Boughey, this time with daughter Andi.

Winning and Wedding

And that leads me on to my next very pleasant topic. The popular summer 3-nighter at Papatoetoe was a clear win for Matt Brown and Andi Boughey, relegating Andi’s mum and dad Carol Richardson and Steve Boughey to third place behind our new Mixed Team internationals Barry Jones and Jenny Millington in second.

Time, I think, to say a little about the winners. Matt and Andi are two of our brightest and fastest rising stars in the local bridge firmament. Both are children of well-known local players, Matt’s mum Tania being a stalwart of the Whangarei Club. Both registered their first master points as recently as 2009, and Matt is already a Silver Grand Master (2500 total, of which at least 1250 must be A points) with Andi rapidly closing in on that mark, and both are among our top 200 all-time master point winners.

Matt is now firmly established in the New Zealand Open national team in partnership with Michael Whibley, while Andi has also represented us in both Youth and Women’s teams. But best of all, they were married in November last year. Many congratulations from all your bridge friends, Matt and Andi. After teaming up together to win the Papatoetoe event, they adjourned to Australia, where they won the Canberra Summer Festival Youth Pairs handsomely.
Happy Bride and Groom                              and parents in law                            

Andi and Matt wedding 2019.jpg Tania Brown Steve Boughey.jpg
  Andi and Matt                                        Tania Brown and Steve Boughey 

Nothing from Biritch the Russian Blue this period – he tends to snooze most of the summer. However, here is a hand that he would certainly have got right (and made very sure that you noticed, of course), but where it is easy to misstep.


Board 1
North Deals
None Vul
J 9 3 2
K J 10 7 5
Q J 5 3
K Q 10 8 7
Q 10 8 2
A 7 4
W   E
6 4
4 3
J 9 6 3
10 9 8 6 2
A 5
A Q 9 8 6
A K 7 5 4

Bold bidding will propel you to 6Heart-small from the South hand, and West will inevitably lead the Spade-smallK, straight away exposing you to two losers. The only possible way to make this contract is for the diamonds to break 4-4 (and the trumps 2-1), and to discard your 3 spade losers on that suit; somewhat unusually, we are in luck today!

But you must be careful – if you draw even one round of trumps at this stage, you will run out of entries back to hand. So win Spade-smallA, immediately ruff a low diamond, back to hand with a trump, ruff another low diamond, back again with a second trump, and smile. An instructive hand. We teach learners not to draw trumps immediately if you need them for something else first – that something is most often ruffing losers in the short trump hand, but here you need them as crucial entries to establish a side suit.



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