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Match Results

Team Captains are invited to email match results to the appropriate League Secretary chris@theclarkhome.tv  for Team of 8 results and keith.m.spencer@btinternet.com for Team of 4 results

 
Staffordshire (home) 13/01/13

Report by John Auld

At last a win - for the Dawes team, minus yours truly.

The teams:

Dawes: Lloyd Eagling and Keith Rodgers; David Burgess and Gordon Fullerton; John Rolph and Gerry Franklin; William Crook and Mark Goddard

Porter: Carol Fisher and Martin Mellor; Graham Lee and Graham Brindley; Irene and John Auld; Rob Atkinson and Steve Mulligan

Markham: Dorothy and Chris Close; Bernard Moore and Mary Cook; Bernard Scanlon and Tim Anderson; June Marron and Janet Jacques

This match contained plenty of slam hands: seven in total of which five were good contracts both biddable and makeable with normal technique. The assembled pairs managed to bid just 40% of these sensible slams. Board 15 was a prime example of collective failure:

A grand slam in clubs is cold but only two declarers bid a slam and that was 6C. Ten pairs languished in game. The quoted auction obviously did not happen.

Why did so many county players fare so badly? The answer lies in the constant diet of pairs events. North generally responded 1S and when South rebid 1NT headed for the haven of 3NT ( 29 points partner). Contrast Norths reaction if South with a different hand had opened 1S: now a splinter in diamonds,cue bids and all round enthusiasm would lead to a slam.

Playing teams there is really no need to look for an alternative to clubs- a 3D splinter response works beautifully.

When I say that five slams were readily makeable that assumes normal good technique as demonstrated by Willie Crook on board 1:

Willie got a spade lead and a small problem. Rejecting the 50% trump finesse he cashed heart Ace and proceeded to play clubs then diamonds to pitch spades. It was important to play clubs before diamonds to maximise chances: a 5-2 diamond break would be slightly surprising but a 6-2 club break would be very unlucky.

This was routine for a good player but surprisingly the opposing declarer in the same situation finessed hearts for one off.

It was not all slams. Board 19 was a very interesting 2NT:

I did not like bidding 2NT but saw no alternative; I still do not.

A heart was led and West cashed three tricks and receiving a signal from partner played his King of clubs. Now even when East made the best play of ducking twice I had the time and entries to establish spades. A less helpful diamond switch would be more testing. However the elegant way for West to defeat 2NT was to play small on the opening  lead maintaining communication with East.

Willie and Mark  were the best pair on the day helping the Dawes team to win 18-2. Regrettably the Porter and Markham teams lost again 8-12 and 3-17.