Tales of Akarana

Tales of Akarana

 Little Club Action                    Welcome back to some of the happenings at the regular Akarana club nights. The club as always did not play during the National Congress as most of its players were in Hamilton. Indeed, Club President, Mark Hangartner welcomed everyone back with congratulatory mentions to those who had done well the previous week. Most notably were the team who won the New Zealand Open Teams, all of whom are members of this club. It is wonderful to salute their efforts. It would, though, be nice for other club members if they fronted up for club sessions. Of those who either won the Open Teams or played in our Open Team in the recent Bermuda Bowl, only Michael Cornell plays club sessions at Akarana on a regular basis. We can excuse Ashley Bach who would hardly cross the Tasman to do so but the others are financial rather than active members of the club.

         Celebrating New Zealand Teams Success

Matt B Michael W and Michael Cornell smiling.JPG
   NZ Bridge Chairman, Allan Morris, also an Akarana member, celbrates success with Matthew Brown,
   Michael Ware and Michael Cornell

Perhaps, had they been present, they would have assisted those who held the East-West cards on Board 1. What would your choice be as East second time round after the start of this sequence?

West              North            East                South

                                                1Heart-small                  1Spade-small

X                      Pass                ?

East held:

Spade-small A93

Heart-small AJT43



You have first round control of every suit, a shapely hand and a partner making constructive noises in the bidding. In some ways, 2Club-small might be a better response than 3Club-small as that might entice some further action from someone at the table. The “softly softly” underbid did not work this time as 4 East players were left to play at the 2 level while another 2 found 3Club-small passed out.

One East reached 4Club-small for no greater reward although all these pairs gained against two pairs who are still looking for the 9th trick in 3NT:

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


There is no lead to break the small slam as East embarked on a cross-ruff, discarding two spades on the Diamond-smallAK.

So, what should East bid? Surely game will be a certainty or very close? Don’t give partner the chance to pass. Don’t rely on the opposition reopening. 2Spade-small seems a good start as redouble is illegal!

That will surely evoke 3Diamond-small from West though 4Club-small now from East must get West thinking. This sequence must be forcing to game.

West              North            East                South

                                                1Heart-small                  1Spade-small

X                      Pass                2Spade-small                Pass

3Diamond-small                  Pass                4Club-small               Pass

4Diamond-small                  Pass                4Heart-small              Pass

5Club-small                  Pass                ? 


A 4Diamond-smallcue-bid would now help though East does not know they are facing a singleton heart while West must be nervous about the spade situation. Surely now 5Club-small from West is enough… and East? Just reaching game on these cards would have won all on this occasion. Only Spring Lin and Kevin Fan reached 5Club-small.

The missing internationals might also have assisted the North-South players on Board 10:

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


If 2Diamond-small is not a reverse, and nor should it be if North’s is a standard negative double, then South must be worth 3Diamond-small, a possible springboard for a sequence to 6Club-small, much easier when the opening bid promised a genuine suit. However, if the double now promises 4 spades, or even 4+ spades (both methods are becoming more common), then 2Diamond-small is indeed a reverse. Do you know in your partnership? Three pairs managed it to slam this time.

Despite the continued great success of its members, the club this evening was short on Open internationals and strong club auctions.

Richard Solomon



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