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Daily Bridge in New Zealand

Vivienne Sexton and Maureen Russ celebrate here in 2020.

A Repeat Performance in the Babich.

Just 12 months after scoring  72.16% in the 2020 event, Kerikeri’s Vivienne Sexton and Maureen Russ did it all over again with 73.04% to win the event by 1.96% from Te Anau’s Marg Cockburn and Marg Hughes. Nationwide, both their scores improved by 3-4% from the percentage achieved at their club.

Before you read on, what chance have you of making 5Club-small with the following cards after the defence start with two rounds of hearts and exit with a trump.

Bridge in NZ.pngnz map.jpg

Board 15
South Deals
N-S Vul
A 8 7 6 5
8 7
K 9 2
K Q 5
   
N
W   E
S
   
 
Q 3
4 2
A 4
A J 10 9 8 7 6
West North East South
      1 
1  1  2  Pass
Pass Dbl Pass 3 
3  4  All pass  

 

Covid had a big impact on this tournament which raises money for the New Zealand Bridge Foundation. There were 45 heats this year, 12 down on 2020, and of those 45, 5 in the Auckland City and Waikato areas, were played on Real Bridge, a first, while the Masterton heat could not be scored because of a fouled movement. There were 750 competing pairs this year, well down on the 888 pairs who played  in 2020. Nevertheless, it seemed to be an enjoyable evening for most.

While our top two positions are occupied by less well-known players, with three of the players still being Intermediates, there was a good smattering of top internationals playing like Peter Newell in Wellington and Michael Ware in Thames.

The largest section was the 18 tables at the Wellington Club. There were 14 each at Picton and Marton where the home clubs combined with Marlborough and Taihape respectibly. The on-line Mt Albert heat attracted 16 tables while other clubs who recorded double figure table numbers were Auckland, Christchurch, Hastings, Howick, Motueka, Nelson, Palmerston North, Upper Hutt, Waikanae, Wanaka and Winton.

The prize winners are listed at the bottom of this article. They will all be receiving Babich wine packs. Everyone can take advantage of Babich’ 20% discount offer (see inside cover of the booklet, which is also on-line on this website. I am happy to send booklets to anyone who played on-line and who would like a paper copy (email me at rksolomon@xtra.co.nz)

Firstly, though, one that got away, well “away” that is from the booklet writer. Not though from Grant Jarvis and Barry Jones who found the way to make 11 tricks in clubs on Board 15 after the defence had taken their two heart tricks. Barry and Jenny Millington had stopped in 4Club-small (their sequence is below) but still got an 82% result for making the overtrick while for Grant and Lynne Geursen, the stakes were much higher as Grant was in 5Club-small. Their 90% score would have been even higher had several defenders been able to take 5 quick heart tricks against 3NT:

Board 15
South Deals
N-S Vul
A 8 7 6 5
8 7
K 9 2
K Q 5
K J
Q 10 9 6
Q J 8 7 6 5
3
 
N
W   E
S
 
10 9 4 2
A K J 5 3
10 3
4 2
 
Q 3
4 2
A 4
A J 10 9 8 7 6
West North East South
      1 
1  1  2  Pass
Pass Dbl Pass 3 
3  4  All pass  

 

The above was the sequence to 4Club-small whereas West had made a weak jump overcall in diamonds before Grant got to the club game. Our booklet made a fateful comment: “As long as the defence play only two rounds of hearts, there is no hope for South if they reach 5Club-small.”

“No hope?” 5Club-small is absolutely unbeatable at that point. Declarer can win the trump switch, draw the remaining trump and then make the key play of cashing the Spade-smallA before running another four rounds of trumps to reach this end position:

 
8
K 9 2
K
Q J 8
 
N
W   E
S
 
10 9
10 3
 
Q
A 4
J

 

When South plays the last trump, West has an insoluble problem and South will have made 11 tricks.

The defence can beat 5Club-small but after an initial heart lead, East must not cash the second heart winner but must find the spade switch.This would be the end position with 5 cards remaining:

 
 
8
7
K 9 2
K
Q
Q J 8
 
N
W   E
S
 
10 9
K
10 3
 
Q
4
A 4
J

 

Now, in the rather complex end position, West can throw a heart (everyone has 1 card more than in the first diagram) on the 7th round of clubs, North and East a spade. The defence must then take two of the last four tricks, Spade-smallK and a trick in one of the red suits. All rather esoteric!

Well played, Barry and Grant.

On then to the wine winners, prizes going on the combined North/South and East/West places:

 

  Top 5            
1 Vivienne Sexton - Maureen Russ KeriKeri 73.04 E/W
2 Marg Cockburn - Marg Hughes Te Anau 71.08 E/W
3 Bob Hurley - Wayne Burrows Palmerston North 70.92 E/W
4 Ken Yule - Lesley Quilty   Matamata 70.86 N/S
5 Barry Jones - Jenny Millington Hamilton 70.24 N/S
               
  (7 of the top 10 pairs sat North/South but the top 3 sat East/West.
  Draw your own conclusions!)      
  Note that a pair can only win one prize each.     
  Top 2 Restricted Open Pairs       
6 Ed Roggeveen Chris Marshall Picton 70.07  
7 Jenny and Peter Story   Kaikoura 69.34  
  Jenny and Peter had the highest score of the night before the scores 
  were combined, 79.58% but lost 10% when combined with the other
  43 heats.          
  Top 2 Scores below Open      
8 Janenne Oates - Frances Loader Palmerston North 69.13  
9 Jenny Meads - Simon Loudon Marton 69.01  
               
  Top 2 Scores below Intermediate      
102 Paul and Stephen Kauri    Marton 59.48  
113 Christine de Vries - Hilary Williams Rotorua 59.08  
               
  Top  2 Novice Scores        
144 Phillippa Holstein - Pauline Clifford Kaikoura 57.89  
313 Paul and Richard Meek   Greymouth 51.53  
               
  Nearest to 50%        
367 Klaus Steiner - Doug Appleby Oamaru 50  
  The tightest battle of them all with 8 other pairs within 0.04% of 
 

the  magic 50.00! 

 

 

       

 

Which way to go?

An awkward situation has arisen from a simple Stayman auction. What to do?

You are playing Teams with 1NT being 12-14 hcp.

     
South Deals
None Vul
 
N
W   E
S
 
Q 7
A 6 4 3
J 8 5 4
A 5 3
West North East South
      Pass
1 NT Pass 2  3 
Pass Pass ?  

 

Richard Solomon

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