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