The next County Committee Meeting will be held,Wednesday 12 June 2019 at 5:30 pm in Nottingham Bridge Club.
Team Captains are invited to email match results to the appropriate League Secretary Jane Hall for Team of 8 results and Shirley Ashtari
for Team of 4 results
Report by John Auld
Our first match of the 2017-18 season was at home to Oxfordshire.
The teams with Butler imps:
Mark Goddard & David Hodge 56
Steve Raine & Ankusch Khandelwal -4
Irene & John Auld 6
Lloyd Eagling & Keith Rodgers -37
Pravin Tailor & Bill Whalley -52
Robin Fisher & Geoff Topol -18
Toni Smith & Maciej Lehman -65
Tim Anderson & Shirley Ashtari - 42
Dorothy & Chris Close -8
Mike Bleaney & Tony Stevenson -15
Nick Clarke & Wendy Walker -9
Will Irving & Janet Jacques -7
Not much doubt about the best pair. David Hodge & Mark Goddard were 50 Butler imps ahead of the Aulds the only other pair to be positive. The Porter team had a collective bad day at the office losing 20-0 and the Markham managed a 15-5 loss.
Despite their overall superiority Oxfordshire lost the Dawes match 8-12. Notts ran up a big first set and managed to hang on to win despite losing sets 2, 3 and 4.
Board 5 yielded a few imps:
I opened 1C despite having 3NT in my own hand (more or less) . I could not open 3N which shows just a solid minor suit, and although 2C is possible my experience is that non vulnerable opponents get the bidding up to 5D before your next go. Over 1C East bid his hearts rather than showing his two suiter with 2N. Presumably he was subject to the agreement of weak or strong for Michaels overcalls. This hand is a good advert for Andrew Robsons advice to show a wide range of 2 suiters. . When I bid 3N over Wests 1S East chose to lead spades rather than hearts. Unfortunately for him diamonds were the answer. I must hold a long solid club suit in a strong hand so as with defence to an opening 3N it is wise not to lose the lead before finding 5 tricks. The DA is indicated.
When Steve Raine was East he bid 2N showing red suits and Ankusch bid several diamonds putting paid to 3N.
Board 10 was an interesting bidding hand:
Irene and I produced a sequence from the 1950s on this hand. I know that everyone opens 1S on the East hand but I believe that is a good idea on this shape only when minimum. On this one if you open 1S what do you rebid over 2H from partner? 2S is too little and 3C is too much. Irene now commited the sin as many see it of suppressing a 4 card major by bidding 1N. True if partner has 4 hearts with you then you may have done the wrong thing, but if partner were to raise hearts with 3 card support that would certainly be unfortunate. When I now bid spades she saw the good fit and felt able to raise knowing I would expect only 3 cards.
Where Acol players started 1S-1N it was difficult to envisage 10 tricks in spades.
Notts lost more points in the second half of the Dawes match on 2 slam hands starting with board 18:
Steve and Ankusch used the Kokish convention whereby 2H may be hearts or a big flat hand. In this case it showed hearts and clubs and Ankusch showed some values correctly diagnosed by Steve as CK. Steve chose 6C not 6H and was pretty pleased with the contract until the defence led SA and another. Suddenly a club loser was (in practise) unavoidable. Even seeing both hands it is hard to choose between 6C and 6H. The club slam succeeds unless the clubs break badly on the wrong side and spades are led. Steve and Ankusch won the bidding contest but lost about 20 imps. No other Notts pair bid the slam.
At our table Irene as South bid 2S over 2C (correctly I would say). The 2C was two way, either strong or - more often - a weak 2 in diamonds so West preempted with 4D. Not what East wanted to hear, as she subsided in 4H. All these gadgets have a price.
The final and most costly slam hand was board 25:
Steve Raine nobly took the blame for pushing East-West into 6S. Their tactics of being nudged slowly fom 4S through 5S and finally 6S were either very clever or very lucky!
Irene and I had a disaster when the auction started similarly except that North (the opening bidder) passed over 4S and South bid 5H. Irene as West paused awhile and doubled 5H . This was meant as "we must do something" but interpreted as "I have defensive values". I passed but should bid 5S- after all partner has bid 4S on her own vulnerable. An important point is whether in this auction at this vulnerability pass by Irene would be forcing?
David and Mark were the only Notts pair to bid 6S when South bid only 3H over 2C. Mark bid 3S which was forcing and slam arrived soon thereafter. If there is one pair you dont want to give extra space to in pursuit of a slam it is David and Mark.
A couple more interesting points arise here: firstly in the fairly recent good old days East's hand did not qualify as a vulnerable 2C overcall - too much defence and poor clubs. Pass would have worked well - it would proceed 1H pass-4H- 4S and East can surely sense 6S.
And secondly the teams slam records: Notts bid 9 made 4; Oxon bid 3 made 3.