ANALYSIS

When Suffolk captain Rick Hanley and his partner missed a slam, he decided to email US expert Marty Bergen and - for $1 a minute - seek his opinion.

How did he rate my bidding?

Within a couple of hours, I discovered the answer.

He didn't rate it all! Nor did he rate my partner's bidding as being much better.

Click on Consulting The Oracle to read more.

ANALYSIS
How much are results on a board determined by different systems used by players? Malcolm investigates a hand where No Trump ranges proved crucial. To read more click on Suffolk@TheNationals
HERTS CONGRESS

Hertfordshire has released details of its popular green pointed congress next July.

The two day event will be on Saturday 20 and Sunday 21 July at the usual venue - Wodson Park, Wadesmill Road, Ware SG12 0UQ.

For all the details click on HERTS. To enter on line, click PAIRS (Saturday) and/or TEAMS (Sunday)

WEBMASTERS

Richard Evans & Paul Rickard are the webmasters running Suffolk's dedicated bridge website.

If you would like to publicise a forthcoming event or submit a news item for this website click Richard or Paul

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I & K SWISS PAIRS

Ipswich and Kesgrave are setting a standard that other bridge clubs in Suffolk will do well to match. In July, as part of their 60th anniversary celebrations they hosted a well-attended and well-received visit from England international Sally Brock. On Sunday 2nd September, however, they topped this by staging a superb Swiss Pairs event comprising 7x6 board matches that attractedno fewer than 112 players. A convenient start-time of 11.30 allowed the event to conclude by 6.30 pm. Play was interrupted at around 2.00 by a break for a sumptuous lunch organised by Chairman Trevor Stiff (so good that one player who will remain nameless was rumoured to have gone back for a fourth helping). And all this for only £10 a head! As genial hostess, Anne Edwards, pointed out, it was encouraging that all ability levels were represented from NGS twos to members of the Suffolk, Norfolk and Herts county teams. 

Happily, Suffolk players were seen at the top of the leader-board from start to finish. For most of the event, the force was with Iris Green and Glynne Whitehead. In the opening match, they swept aside Peter Sutcliffe and myself by a 15-5 margin. On Board 4, holding:

♠ 952  92  A10943 ♣ K86

and playing a weak NT, Glynne raised her partner's opening 1D to 2D and then wisely passed her partner'sre-bid of 2NT. Even 8 tricks required accurate card playby Iris who was rewarded with 44/58 of the match points. Later rounds included decisive victories over Jenny and David Price and over Richard Evans and Andre Gray. By the start of the final round they had accumulated an impressive 95 out of a possible 120 victory points and led the field by 6 vps.

In the final match, Iris and Glynne faced the promising new partnership of Jo Harpur and Conor Bignell, who had won the Bamberger trophy at Ipswich earlier in the summer and had recently made their debut in the Suffolk county team. At this point, fortune deserted Iris and Glynne. On the first board of the match (Board 37), for example, at favourable vulnerability and sitting East in second seat, Conor dealt and bid 1 club holding:

♠  -  K104  K842 ♣ A106432

South immediately bid 4 spades and after 2 passes Conorbid 5 clubs for only one down doubled (-100) and 43/58 of the match points as most E/W pairs chose to defend 4 spades for -620. Conor and Jo then proceded to play faultless bridge. By the end, they were the clear and deserved winners claiming first prize with 9 vps to spare. All credit, though, to Ipswich and Kesgrave bridge club for hosting such an enjoyable and well-organised event.

Rick Hanley

Full details of the results can be found by clicking on I&K

One of the more interesting hands was board 17 where 6  is the optimum contract.   After a safe ♠ lead taken in hand declarer plays A and K finding the good news that both the Q and J drop but still leaving a probable loser in the S hand.   Declarer now has to play the singleton club and win the probable ♠ continuation in dummy.   A club ruff, a third spade and another club ruff leaves the following end position:

All declarer needs now is a successful diamond finesse finishing in dummy and South is forced to concede the last two trump tricks. Congratulations to the two pairs who made 12 tricks in Hearts.

Our most frustrating hand was board 8 where our opponents held their nerve and played in 1NT by N.

After the reasonable small  lead round to the Q, the ♣A and ♣Q  brought declarer the welcome news that the ♣ suit had been established and eight tricks were soon brought home. 

The unlikely lead of the K or a diamond lead followed by a heart switch would have resulted in declarer making three or four less tricks.   That’s bridge!

Roger & Jill