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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

 
Oxfordshire (Away) 09/10/2016

Report by John Auld

The second match of the season was away in North Oxford. It was similar to match one in that Notts had one fair result in the Dawes match (winning 14-6) but lost the Porter (4-16) and the Markham (5-15). Also once again Ankush and Steve were clearly our best pair according to the Butler imps.

The teams with Butler imps:

Dawes

Irene & John Auld                               -7

Steve Raine & Ankush Khandelwal       53

Willie Crook & Sandy Fulton                  8

Mark Goddard & David Hodge            -14

Porter

Will Irving & Janet Jacques                 -57

Lloyd Eagling & Keith Rodgers             -6

John Rolfe & Gerry Franklin                 20

Graham Lee & Dick Milne                   -17

Markham

Ray Furlonger & Phil Dale                   -4

Fay Staton & Diane Abbott                  -33

Tim Anderson & Bernard Scanlon         5

Graham Brindley & Clare Batten         -24

 

I did hope that my partner and I might have a large Butler score after our first set. Board 1 seemed a good start:

 

Our opponents opened 2NT showing 22-23 and chose 6NT rather than 6S on the basis that there were plenty of high cards and no need to risk a possibly weak trump fit. Wrong on this hand but entirely reasonable in my opinion.

6NT is certain to lose two diamond tricks in practice but 6S has an option to draw trumps and eliminate clubs and hearts. That would leave DA54 opposite DQ96 and declarer can view to play a diamond to the Q or a diamond to the 9 endplaying South. Nobody at all made the slam but at the time it felt bad for East-West. Board 8 also felt bad (and was bad) when we played 4S from the "wrong" side and received a favourable lead to make. Board 4 was a close slam for East and his morale was not raised when the three missing trumps QT6 all turned up in the wrong hand. 

Thus it was that East and West were already looking a little like Victor Mollo's doomed Armenian Karapet when board 6 arrived:

By the time Irene bid 6D I knew she had at least five spades to AQ, club Ace and a red King. That made 12 tricks with some chances for 13. A 6 card spade suit was just possible, a heart ruff was certainly possible and the ten of diamonds with the K would give Irene a chance to find the Q. And there was a simple diamond finesse as happened here. (There is one layout which gives declarer no chance but if you noticed that please dont call.)

The diamond finesse worked and -1510 rounded off a very unlucky set for East-West.

 

It did not last. We had some overdue bad luck and made a couple of costly but interesting mistakes. Board 20 was one:

 

 

2D was a multi usually showing a weak 2H or 2S. Irene waited to find out which before bidding spades and reaching game. A heart was led and suffice it to say that 4S went one off. Elsewhere declarer tried discarding a heart on clubs before drawing trumps. That proved insufficient when West ruffed with the 8 and played Ace and another diamond . East ruffed and played another club enabling West to make the SK. A few like Willie made the right play of SA before tackling clubs which stopped the trump promotion.

 

I made the most interesting mistake on board 17.

 

After the double of my 1NT Irene's 2H was a rescue showing spades and hearts usually 4-4. West's double was described as mostly penalties. That does not suggest removing to 3C but it seems to be the modern way. Nobody is that confident about low level doubles. We need Theresa May's help. "Double means Double!" Having failed to defend 2H doubled West bid a confident 3NT. I led DK (for count) and partner showed three. Pause for thought and I decided West probably had HK. I could cash HA to get a signal but that could establish tricks for declarer . HJ was better but could also lose the race to 9 tricks. I continued with a small diamond establishing the suit and hoping that partner would win a spade before declarer got home. Alas not so, -430 instead of +50.

Basically I need partners help in locating HK. So the answer is to cash DA at trick 2. Partner must be awake and signal suit preference with the 6 to show a high heart, or the 7 to show spades. If partner denies hearts I can continue diamonds; if she has KH I know what to do. Not easy but the kind of defence the international players manage (sometimes).