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Daily Bridge in New Zealand

A Powerful Problem.

So, you are fed up with picking up 1 and 2 counts? You dream of something a little stronger. Well, those sitting South in the afternoon session of  Consolation Pairs at the Tauranga Bridge Club’s Mini Congress had their dream come true. Take a look at the following.

Bridge in NZ.png nz map.jpg  

     

Board 5
North Deals
N-S Vul

 

N

W

 

E

S

   
 

A Q

A K

A K Q 7 6

A K 10 2

 

West

North

East

South

 

Pass

Pass

2 ♣

Pass

2 

Pass

?

To save you counting, that adds up to 29 hcp, all the aces, three kings and a couple of queens. Imagine if a few of those little cards were jacks!

There’s no problem complying with the “Rule of 29” for 2Club-small openings. This hand has it in high card points alone! So, you open 2Club-small and inevitably get a 2Diamond-small negative response. What, though, next?

Hopefully, 2Club-small was forcing to game. It’s a good idea if it is. However, it would seem many did not know how to handle this collection and just bid 3NT which is where they played. If you trust that your partner must make another bid and like most, do not have a way of showing a flat 29 hcp, then it would seem your best bid is a natural 3Diamond-small….and await and see what partner says. Sometimes partner comes up with some good news. This was one such day.

Board 5
North Deals
N-S Vul

J 10

Q 10 9 6

J 10 9 5 4

8 6

8 7 6 4 2

J 5 2

8 3 2

9 5

 

N

W

 

E

S

 

K 9 5 3

8 7 4 3

Q J 7 4 3

 

A Q

A K

A K Q 7 6

A K 10 2

 

West

North

East

South

 

Pass

Pass

2 ♣

Pass

2 

Pass

3 

Pass

4 

Pass

?

Not bad trump support in that North hand. South could then ask for aces/key-cards and then kings…but the only one South does not hold is missing. So, you can settle for the safest contract, 6Diamond-small. You would not know about North’s queens but even then only one queen would give South 11 tricks in no-trumps, though on this day, the fall of Heart-smallJ in 3 rounds gives South 12 on top with a finesse for Spade-smallK producing 13.

However, in 7Diamond-small, no finesse is necessary as the Spade-smallQ disappears on the 4th round of hearts with South's losing clubs being ruffed in the North hand.

David (or Peter) v Goliath!

Step forward Peter Hagan. Peter is a Life Member of Tauranga Bridge Club as well as being a former President. He has been and still is a great worker for the Tauranga Bridge Club. What’s needed to be done, just call on Peter.

At the start of the Saturday Provincial Pairs, Peter and his wife June played a few boards until late arrivals, Martin Reid and Peter Newell, turned up. The substitutes could not have done too badly as Martin and Peter finished the event a close second.

Now, Peter Hagan and his wife, June, have played for just over 20 years but they do not play in A Point tournaments. No A Points on Saturday for their contribution. Indeed, both are Intermediate players with identical A Point totals, 3.44.

 Peter and June played the above board straight after lunch on Monday. Their opponents were Grant Jarvis and Michael Ware who have between them 16,702.53 As. A fair match? Hardly, you might say. Indeed, you would be correct for this was June and Peter’s bidding with Peter, South:

North                               South

                                          2Club-small
2Diamond-small                                   7NT
Pass 

  "David" alias Peter Hagan  
Peter Hagan 24.jpeg

That’s Peter’s style, a bit of a gamble at times….and did he enjoy this one! 5 diamonds, 4 hearts, 2 top clubs and a successful spade finesse brought his number of tricks to 13. On a day when only 3 pairs bid 6NT and 6 more 6Diamond-small, that was all the match-points for June and Peter. The rest of the North-Souths played in game. Bridge at times can be a great leveller.

Who needs high-card points to bid?

One more story about this deal and that involved Martin Reid and Peter Newell, who may have been the only East-West pair to have taken bids on this board. I did say “bids” in the plural! Points Schmoints, who needs them!

West                    North             East                South
Martin                                         Peter
                              Pass              Pass                1Club-small
1Spade-small                         Pass                2Club-small                  3NT
Pass                       Pass                4Spade-small                  4NT
All Pass

1Club-small was, Polish, multi-meaning including obviously a flat 29 count! Martin has had stronger overcalls though the vulnerability was in his favour! Peter’s 2Club-small was an enquiry showing some interest in game and indeed he decided to bid game as a sacrifice. Had South doubled, Martin might not have enjoyed the experience. A club lead could have yielded 2 club tricks, 3 top heart tricks and 3 ruffs (2 club ruffs and 1 heart ruff) along with Spade-smallA. That would leave 4 tricks for Martin, 6 down, - 1400. 6Diamond-small was scoring -1390!

It seems bridge can be an enjoyable game when one’s side has a total of 7 hcp but even more enjoyable when one holds a 29 count. Martin and Peter went on to win this event scoring 72.27% in the afternoon session while Peter and June had a good afternoon finishing with 52.52%. No more As for them but Michael Ware and Grant Jarvis added to theirs by winning the session despite the first board and finishing 4th overall. Unfortunately, therefore, the gap in As between June and Peter and Michael and Grant widened even further!

  Richard Solomon

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