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Oxfordshire (Away) 14/04/2019
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NCBA Committee Meeting

The next County Committee Meeting will be held,
Wednesday 12 June 2019 at 5:30 pm in Nottingham Bridge Club.

Match Results

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

Oxfordshire (Away) 14/04/2019

A lovely venue – shame about the bridge!

Oxford are one of the strongest counties in the country, and a weakened Nottinghamshire team due to a number of absentees (not helped by the proximity to Easter), led to defeat for all three teams. Credit must go to Steve Fordham and Keith Spencer, along with Clare Batten and Keith Rodgers who were the only Nottinghamshire pairs to finish with positive cross imps.

The day was marred slightly by a couple of director calls which related to opposition making comments during the play. Without going into the detail, these incidents highlighted the importance of calling the director on a timely basis (do not be afraid to do – if in doubt it is always best to do so, and certainly don’t just accept a ‘ruling’ from a player at the table), and also keeping focus – unfortunately, the comments resulted in declarers putting down otherwise cold contracts.

There were a number of interesting hands:

Board 6

All but one table played in hearts, making easily. However, N/S not only have a save in 5S, but it makes (most likely doubled). Who should move? Clearly as only one pair bid 5S, it is not simple, but I think south should move given the implied double fit – it is possible that 5S won’t make and nor will 5H, but given the shape and the favourable vulnerability I think it is a bid worth making. Of course, if south has a ghestem bid available (not recommended, but would have been useful here), then I think it would be clear for North to move as the double fit would be obvious.

Board 18

This board caused a lot of problems. It typically started with a weak NT which was correctly doubled. East then would often pass, forcing West to redouble (either to play or as part of an escape). Should South bid after East’s pass? If they had a clear place to run, then with 0 points definitely. However, with a balanced hand, pass and see what happens is reasonable. In this case the redouble gets passed round to them, at this point they need to run. Trying your longest suit is not a bad idea, so bid 2D. This will get doubled, but North should then be able to redouble for rescue (it should not be to play in this auction), allowing pairs to escape to 2H. This clearly did not happen at many (any?) tables, with lots of 300 and 500 scores registering as pairs went down in three level contracts.

Board 19

Lots of bidding! At some tables N/S bid without competition to 4S (don’t ask me why E/W did not compete – it is beyond me). At 7 tables the contract was 3 or 4 spades, at 2 it was 5 hearts, at another 2 it was 5 spades and at 1 it was six hearts.

The above auction did happen. Yes E/W were aggressive (especially East with the 3S splinter and 5C bids), but it shows the power of shape – all partner needs is the cub ace and K of diamonds and the contract is cold….you can’t rely on precise hands, but as this shows a number of other hands would do). Other than on a diamond lead 6H is cold, despite only having 23 points. With North on lead, a diamond is not obvious and at the table a spade was led…unfortunately, this was then one of the instances where focus was lost mentioned at the start.

Board 27

Only one pair found the slam on this hand.   Unfortunately it was against Steve and Keith.  

6D is a good contract, but only reached once. At 7 tables, the contract was 3NT, where pairs bidding once again took over. If South can find a fit, then they can see slam, so 3NT should be a last resort. The above is a suggested auction. The key point is that after the reverse, 3D is forcing (if you want to start a non-forcing sequence a typical treatment would be to bid the lower of 4th suit and 2NT). Once there is a fit, then 3NT should go out the window. The last bid of 6D is not completely clear, but with no immediate losers you would hope there is play.