The next County Committee Meeting will be held,Wednesday 12 June 2019 at 5:30 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 Shirley Ashtari
for Team of 4 results
Report by John Auld
The second event of the season was against Derbyshire at Spondon. As against Oxfordshire Notts narrowly won one match (the Porter this time) and lost the other two.
The teams (with Butler imps ):
Willie Crook & Sandy Fulton 10
Irene & John Auld 32
Lloyd Eagling & Keith Rodgers -36
Frank Ball & David Hodge -10
Bill Whalley & Pravin Tailor 29
Graham Lee & Graham Brindley -11
Toni Smith & Maciej Lehman -15
John Rolfe & Gerry Franklin 2
Tim Anderson & Shirley Ashtari -3
Janet Jacques & Mike Bleaney -20
Phil Dale & Ray Furlonger -37
Hannah Tuus & Ivan Brajkovic -47
This time the Aulds were best on the Butler imps scoring just ahead of Bill & Pravin who led the Porter scores.
The match featured demanding boards from the start.
On board 6 the above auction occurred at at least two tables, East taking Jeff Meckstroth's advice on teams tactics: namely if partner supports your 6 card major bid game.
Willie led HQ and declarer could count 10 tricks if spades broke ( just one diamond ruff required). He saw that ruffing two diamonds might land the contract even where trumps were 3-1 and followed a plausible line. Win heart and duck diamond; Willie continued hearts and declarer played DA and ruffed a diamond. Now a spade to the Ace and last diamond ruffed by S10 and overruffed by Q. Sandy cashed a club and played a heart to promote Willie's SJ. Nicely done but probably declarer should have seen this coming and fallen back on the spade break.
When I played 4S on the same auction and opening lead I too ducked a diamond, but South switched to clubs rather than continue hearts and I could not go wrong. The bidding was illuminating. North was evidently struggling to find a sensible call. That meant he had a poor 5 card heart suit and surely not a singleton spade with which he would have doubled. He also was unlikely to have 3 spades as that places South with lots of minor suit cards with which he might bid at the vulnerability. It all added up to a 2-2 trump break. (In fact I think double is better than 3H on this hand partly because, ironically, you dont think you want a heart lead).
Things got no easier with board 10:
This was the most surprising make of the day. South showed hearts and clubs over my 1D, Irene showed general values by doubling, and North did not hold back with 4C. I am unapologetic about envisaging slam now but could have involved partner in the decision by cue bidding rather than bidding 4N. At least, I thought, I will know if we are missing two Aces.
Against 5D South led a spade and my spirits rose. Given Souths known shortage in spades and diamonds all I had to do was draw a trump or two and play spades for a club discard. Alas South showed out on the DA and the contract was hopeless. There was nothing which gave me any chance. Nonetheless I played spades and on the fourth round as I prepared to pitch my club North went ino the tank. It is easy when declarer to forget that defenders cant see your hand; North was spending a long time reconstructing the unseen cards. Eventually, probably exhausted, he made an unexpected play of the ten of diamonds as I discarded my club. Next came a heart on which I played the K and South completed a double dummy misdefence by taking the Ace. Now I could enter dummy with the HQ and pick up North's trumps which had become DQ8.
I should stress that North South were a very good pair. No hard words were exchanged, just an apology from South for not ducking the HK.
At other tables South overcalled 1H not 2N and East West made 3N. This is another advert for wide range Michaels cue bids.
This was board 20.Those who risked a 12-14 NT on the scruffy North hand found their luck had run out when East doubled, whether South passed or ran. This happens from time to time and casts doubts over the weak NT vulnerable at teams. You can improve the odds by passing this one, but it still happens sometimes.
At our table North South were playing the Viking Club (I think) so that I had a problem over 1D-a prepared bid showing 2+ diamonds. We treat these bids as natural initially so I passed. When partner reopened with a double I thought that we must have a major suit game so bid 2D to get a bid from partner. South doubled and it was soon my turn again. I continued to torture partner with diamond bids, and she was finally forced to play 4S down one.
The biggest problem when opposing strange systems is not their superiority in constructive bidding but the lack of familiar methods to combat bids like 1D. Forced to think on my feet as it were I missed two chances here. Why not pass 1D doubled? Even more enjoyable why not play 2D doubled?