The next County Committee Meeting will be held,Wednesday 6 February 2019 at 7:00 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
for Team of 4 results
Report by John Auld
Congratulations to all the Notts players who found Worcestershire`s latest venue at Astley village hall. Regrettably this level of competence was not generally demonstrated in the match itself.
Dawes: Lloyd Eagling and Keith Rodgers; David Burgess and Gordon Fullerton; Mark Goddard and David Hodge; Irene and John Auld
Porter: Graham Brindley and Graham Lee; Rob Atkinson and Steve Mulligan; Daphne and Mike Coggles; Carol Fisher and Martin Mellor
Markham: Janet Jacques and June Marron; Phil Dale and Ray Furlonger; Dorothy and Chris Close; Bernard Scanlon and Tim Anderson
There were lots of interesting deals many illustrating popular maxims. For example board 7 supported Bob Hamman`s famous rule: " If you have a choice of bids including 3NT then bid 3NT."
Our bidding started (as was common) with a club opener and a diamond overcall passed by East. Personally I would open 1NT and I would not pass 1D as East -a losing policy. Those few who ventured 1H did well as 4H is hard to beat. As it went however my partner responded to 1D with a cue bid and when I showed interest with 2S Irene chose well to bid 3NT. She realised that 9 tricks were easier than 11 and that she should be declarer with the opening bidder on lead. Game contracts by North are defeated on a heart lead. Plus 630 and thank you Mr Hamman.
I missed a chance for an inspired choice on the next board number 8:
I could have passed 1S doubled but trying to get rich at the one level is bad for the nerves. In any case East was waiting to bid 2C which is cheap (one off on an endplay). I bid hearts raised by partner and now I forgot Hamman`s Rule. 3NT is the only make and with my spade holding is entirely plausible. 4H sustained a predictable spade ruff.
Board 14 gave me an opportunity. The opponents ignored one rule of thumb and I applied another to advantage:
East led a low spade won by West who returned a spade. East now uncharacteristically erred by winning the Ace and continuing spades rather than ducking. This contradicts the general rule about maintaining communications with partner. The contract depended originally on guessing diamonds and still does at trick 4 but East`s play gave me extra options. Following the rule about delaying critical decisions for as long as possible I led a top club before tackling diamonds. West won (ducking smoothly is better) and returned a heart. That seemed to mark East with the outstanding spade winner so I could finesse diamonds through East knowing I was safe even if West had the Q. Ten tricks made.
Finally board 15 illustrated the most famous card play rule "lead 4th best of longest and strongest".
I have discussed before the current expert tendency to favour major suit leads against NTs. On this deal a diamond (strongest suit) is required. At every table in the second and third teams 3NT went off on a diamond lead. Only in the first team did 3NT make twice, once on a heart lead and once on a black suit lead followed by some inexplicable defence.
A disappointing day saw the Dawes team lose by 1 imp for 10-10 VPs ,the Porter lose 2-18 and the Markham lose 0-20. A bright spot was the Worcestershire tea, surely the best ever.