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Tight Finish at the North Island Teams

A strong consistent performance from the team of Wayne Burrows-Clair Miao and Andi Boughey- Carol Richardson saw them win the North Island Teams in Wellington last weekend by just under 2vps. Perhaps the key to their success was their 6th successive vicory, by 5 imps in Round 6 against Pam Livingston- Jan Alabaster and Peter Newell- Martin Reid.

                                                                        North Island Teams Champions

Wayne Burrows Carol Andi Clair 2020 1st NI Teams.JPG
That's Wayne Burrows, Carol Richardson, Andi Boughey and Clair Miao

Burrows suffered their only loss in the final of the 7 rounds, losing to Sun (George Sun- June Lei, Gong Yunfei- Yuzhong Chen) by just 2 imps… but Livingston suffered a larger loss, by 12 imps, to Brown (Matt Brown- Michael Whibley, Nick Jacob- GeO Tislevoll) pushing Burrows into top position. These were the top 10 when it mattered:




Wayne Burrows- Clair Miao, Andi Boughey- Carol Richardson




Pam Livingston- Jan Alabaster, Martin Reid- Peter Newell




Alan Grant- Jane Lennon, Jane and John Skipper




Matthew Brown- Michael Whibley, GeO Tislevoll- Nick Jacob




Jonathan Westoby- Malcolm Mayer, Tom Jacob- Brian Mace




George Sun-June Lei, Gong Yunfei- Yuzhong Chen




Moss Wylie- Kevin Skoropada, Brad Johnston- Glenn Coutts




Gary Foidl- Anthony Hopkins, Rachelle Pelkman- Murray Wood




Anthony and Charles Ker, Nigel Kearney- Karl Hayes




Jeremy Fraser-Hoskin- Jack James, John O'Connor-David O'Shaughnessy


                                              Close Runners-Up

Pam Livingston Jan A  Martin Peter  2nd 2020 NI Teams.JPG
Pam Livingston, Jan Alabaster, Peter Newell and Martin Reid

About half the declarers in the following 3NT contract from round 5 failed, some by multiple tricks. Andi Boughey made this contract after losing the first four tricks:

Match 5

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


2Club-small was either clubs or balanced. Thus, West led a low club with the defence taking the first three club tricks with East discarding a low encouraging diamond. West switched to a diamond ducked to the queen. East exited a low heart. It was all left for Andi to find 9 tricks.

She could deduce East held Spade-smallK or else West would have cleared declarer’s club winner. So, Andi won with Heart-smallA and took the spade finesse, East covering.

She played a diamond to the ace and a heart to her king, these cards remaining:


J 9 7
9 8
6 3
7 6
W   E
10 4
9 4
Q 8


Club-smallQ squeezed East in three suits. East threw a heart but now Andi played two rounds of hearts and East was squeezed once more. They threw Diamond-smallK hoping their partner held the jack but Andi had Diamond-smallJ and Spade-smallJ (whoever said jacks were not worth one point!) to make her 9 tricks.

It would not have helped East to have withheld their Spade-smallK as Andi would have cashed Heart-smallQ and Club-smallQ (squeeze number 1) and assuming East threw their heart, the high Heart-small8 would force East to bare one of their Kxs. A nicely played hand.

In the same match, about half the declarers in the following 4Spade-small contract were successful, including Clair Miao:

Board 15
South Deals
N-S Vul
A J 8
9 5 4
K Q J 8
A 10 4
7 3 2
A K J 6
A 5
J 8 7 3
W   E
K Q 10 9 5 4
10 6 4 3
K 5 2
Q 10 8 7 3 2
9 7 2
Q 9 6
West North East South
Dbl 4  4  Pass
Pass Dbl All pass  


At adverse vulnerability, opening that South hand would not be everyone’s choice but in a flash, it got N/S up to 4Heart-small (“pass or correct) with Clair (East) having a go at the spade game. Wayne Burrows’ double showed either a good balanced 12-14, a minimum minor overcall or a very strong hand.

Clair would no doubt have been very disappointed at all Wayne’s heart honours. The opening lead was Heart-small3. One route to success would be to insert Heart-smallJ and discard her three clubs on the hearts. However, she took the Heart-smallA and discarded a club and a diamond on the top two hearts.

She had now to be careful. Had she played Diamond-smallA and a second diamond, she would not have had enough entries to dummy to lead both black suits successfully. However, had she played a black suit at trick 3, the defence could draw all dummy’s trumps preventing a diamond ruff.

She found the winning exit of Diamond-small5. North could not play spades as Clair would only lose one trump. Any other switch would give Clair two entries to dummy (Diamond-smallA and a ruff) to play both black suits herself. North played Club-smallA and a second club. Diamond to the ace was followed by a trump to the king. Diamond ruff and a second trump and Clair had 590 and 12 imps when 4Spade-small was defeated at the other table.

It was wonderful to have so many teams, 44, take part. The Wellington Club and Regional Committee led by Bridget Hannaway-Willcox and Mindy Wu, organized the event very well with the weekend running without a hitch, excellent catering and with the usual challenging hands. Thanks to the directors, David Stephen and Allan Joseph and the scorer, Kevin Walker, who ensured that the event ran so smoothly.

Richard Solomon 

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