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Staffordshire (Away) 14/01/2018

Report by John Auld

Wolverhampton Bridge Club on Sunday 14th January 2018 witnessed that rarest of events- a 20-0 victory for our Dawes team. In fact a win by 228 cross imps which sounds even more impressive. It also saw a great fightback by the Porter team who recovered a deficit of 80 cross imps to snatch a win by 11-9. The Markham lost 6-14.

 

The teams with cross imps :

Dawes  
Willie Crook & Ankush Khandelwal  64
David Hodge & Frank Ball  51
Irene & John Auld  21
Mark Goddard & Steve Raine  -9

Porter  
Toni Smith & Maciej Lejman  20
Dick Milne & Graham Brindley  18
Bill Whalley & Pravin Tailor   7
John Rolph & Gerry Franklin -41
Markham  
Hannah Tuus & Lloyd Eagling  16
Ray Furlonger & Phil Dale   3
Wendy Walker & Nick Clarke -12
Dorothy & Chris Close -36

 

 

 

Staffs & Shrops operate the latest EBU software which does  the scoring and produces the cross imping for all 24 pairs. I believe this means scoring each pairs results with 11 others on each board and taking the average. That produce a paradox in that a teams total imps are based on double scoring for each pair so that it is reasonable to see this as double the individual scores. Whatever the technicalities Ankush & Willie and Frank & David comfortably headed the list.

Given the scale of the victory there were few moments of brilliance to report-in fact none.

One area where Notts gained was in bidding ones cards to the limit, as on board 16:

 

 

Against Willie and Ankush East bid just 3S, doubled by Ankush leading to 4H. This can go down on a club lead and diamond ruffs but not on the actual spade lead. Obviously North South should not be allowed to play the hand; an immediate 4S is the answer.

Against us East hesitated and settled for just 1S before quickly bidding game opposite partners raise. It is hard to blame Irene for doubling and the diamond Ace seemed a normal lead. Unfortunately a cross ruff now saw declarer home. It may seem wise after the event but there are clues to finding the trump lead. The opponents have a low point count and surely lots of shape. Ruffs are likely so a trump lead could be the answer. Against a direct 4S you dont have the same inferences.

Another 7-4 distribution occurred on board 15 :

This time Irene held the long suit and bid to the limit with 4H. Now I thought that six might be cold or could be off and also that seven might be cold. I could not see how to tell so settled for the small slam. (Should I bid 5H?)

Several players underbid with a  3H preempt and made life difficult for partner.

 

To be fair to Staffs & Shrops when you are losing heavily you always get some bad luck to make things worse:

This was board 3. Our opponents started with 2D showing 11-15 (denying a major) and the 2S response showed five. The decision to finish in 3NT was natural enough with C QT but proved unfortunate when a club was led. It is hard to know who if anyone was at fault; perhaps this is the well known pairs syndrome of never playing in a minor suit game. What was unlucky was to find two of the our Dawes teams most enthusiastic slam bidders trying 6D. This needed SQXX onside and duly made for a flying  start for Notts.

Notwithstanding the final score our best pairs still managed the occasional catastrophe:

On board 26 Ankush undeterred by the vulnerability tried a weak NT and left Willie toiling in 2S X for -1100. I think 1C or pass is more prudent; Willie certainly did. This seems to happen to the weak NT vulnerable, so perhaps it is significant that in the recent EBU trials nine of ten pairs played a strong NT. However the clear winners were the only pair playing a 12-14 NT!

Unperturbed by this setback our intrepid pair showed how to gather in the imps on board 32: 

Willie's multi 2D was 0-6 points and West was drawn into bidding 3C. Ankush passed smoothly before doubling first 3H and then 4C for an 800 penalty.  Amazingly 3N makes for East West.