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Derbyshire (home) 08/02/2015

Report by John Auld

The season ended with some signs of progress from Notts in this home match against our Midlands neighbours.

The teams with Butler imps scores were:

Dawes:

William Crook & Sandy Fulton +61

Mark Goddard & David Hodge +23

John & Irene Auld +5

Bill Whalley & Pravin Tailor -64

Porter

Gordon Fullerton  & Frank Ball +73

Lloyd Eagling & Keith Rodgers +9

Graham Lee & Steve Raine +41

John Rolph & Gerry Franklin +8

Markham

Ian Dovey & Shirley Ashtari -38

Janet Jacques & Will Irving +32

Chris & Dorothy Close -72

David & Judy Cadwallander +49

 

The Porter team could as easily have been the Dawes team and they duly won 20-0. The boards were very swingy as reflected by unusually high butler scores headed by Frank Ball & Gordon Fullerton.

There used to be a piece of advice "if you are fixed stay fixed". I think that in the modern game that is old hat. Witness board 24:

At our table West was playing a strong club system which meant that 1D might be diamonds but might be lots of  things. I overcalled 4H and subsequently East without knowledge of the club fit felt unable to compete over 5H. That may have been wrong but worse followed after his diamond lead. West could not read the singleton  with certainty and tried to cash clubs. +450 to NS.

When Mark Goddard was West he opened 1C forcing which could be a good hand with clubs or a strong NT, North bid the inevitable 4H and now David Hodge had a decision. He was sort of fixed but decided not to stay fixed so bid 4S being prepared to run to 5C if doubled at high speed. The speed came from his partner who bid a prompt 6S over Souths 5H bid. The opponents correctly saved in 7H doubled but that was at least a healthy plus.

This hand was a lot easier for those East Wests playing standard Acol whose 1C showed clubs and usually five or more. East should know to keep bidding and some found and made 6C. Unfortunately some misjudged badly by doubling 4H.

I stayed fixed on board 11:

The opponents employed a multi 2D to reach 2S and I limply passed throughout as East. I am sure modern experts would be competing but how? 2H over 2D is a possibility but could be disastrous and takeout doubles leave you stranded when partner bids clubs. Perhaps you cross that bridge as and when. As it happens I do not think I would make game in practice.

The final board 32 was a nice bidding hand:

Our experienced opponents surprised me by passing out 3D. In taking that view they beat those pairs ending in 3NT on a spade lead. Surely 3D is forcing; and surely 3H is the continuation. Now South has a big hand in clubs so the auction could proceed 4C and as a passed hand North could cue bid hearts leading to 6C. Playing a good minor suit slam in a bad 3NT remains a common problem.