Kathleen and Mike take title after two-session win
Welcome to the Christmas and Hannukah column. I hope you are all planning some great things over the next week.
To some the holiday season means presents, time with friends and family, making connections, good and plentiful food and some nice wine and bubbly. To others it means … no bridge game on Monday. But I didn’t say that ...
Some results to give you before the hand and the first is for the oft postponed Non-Life Masters pairs where Kathleen Keane and Mike Viotti took the title after leading in the first session from George Correia and Caroline Svensen and then holding onto their lead in the second session.
In third place were Ellen Davidson and John Luebkemann, with Martha Ferguson and Judy King in fourth and Scott and Sally Godet in fifth.
This was really an event with two very different sessions — Keane/Viotti and Correia/Svensen had strong first sessions but had a number of pairs close behind.
None of the five leading pairs, however, had a good second session and both the leaders maintained their position. Davidson-Luebkemann had a huge second session to vault them into third, and in Strata B Claude Guay and Sharon Shanahan also had a big second session to finish first ahead of Richard Keane and Diana Downs.
Congratulations to Kathy and Mike — any two-session win is really satisfying and a reward for hard work. Mike has been in the mix in many events since entering the Bridge Club with the youth programme and Kathleen has also figured in previous events in between taking on the chairperson role at the Bermuda Regional. Well done.
The Player of the Year awards were presented at the Christmas party and I am grateful to John Burville for providing the detailed results below where the winners were Jane Smith, Molly Taussig and Claude Guay/Sharon Shanahan — many congratulations for a year long performance !!
Senior Player of the Year
Jane Smith 37.92
Margaret Way 35.04
Gertrude Barker 30.18
Edward Betteto 26.37
Elizabeth McKee 22.87
Alan Douglas 22.06
David Sykes 21.13
Diana Diel 20.89
Charles Hall 18.02
Sheena Rayner 16.9
Day Player of the Year
Molly Taussig 72.86
Diana Diel 60.91
Elizabeth McKee 51.59
Gertrude Barker 50.79
Patricia Siddle 44.12
Julia Beach 42.83
Louise Rodger 37.13
Magda Farag 36.91
Sheena Rayner 32.8
Patricia Colmet 28.38
Junior Player of the Year
Sharon Shanahan 10.64
Claude Guay 10.64
Gina Graham 4.96
Felicity Lunn 4.58
David Pickering 3.77
Heather Farrugia 3.74
Carol Eastham 3.07
Michael Farrugia 3
John Luebkeman 2.64
John Kessaram 2.55
Now to the Hand.
Dealer South, both Vul
North East South West
1? 1? 2? 2? 5? Pass Pass Pass
North judged it likely that the king of Hearts was well-placed, and so bid what he thought his side could make.
When West led the ten of Spades, declarer paused to consider his options. It was soon clear that only the heart suit offered any chance of bringing the contract home. The best option in the suit was to play West for three or four Hearts headed by the king.
Many players will see this but will then fall down in the execution by not handling the timing and spot cards well — though not this declarer!
So, after winning the first trick with the ace of Spades, declarer led his Heart. West played low and dummy’s Queen of Hearts won the trick. After throwing a Spade on the Ace of Hearts declarer called for the three of Hearts. After ruffing this with the Ace of trumps, declarer cashed the Queen of trumps and then led the Jack of trumps to dummy’s King.
Next, the six of Hearts was ruffed with declarer’s ten of trumps, thereby establishing the Jack of Hearts as a winner.
This was now the position:
Declarer now drew East’s remaining trump by leading his carefully preserved four of Diamonds to dummy’s seven. He cashed the Jack of Hearts, throwing a second Spade from hand, for his ninth trick.
Then declarer gave up two Clubs and claimed his contract by making his two remaining trumps separately, by ruffing a club in dummy and a Spade in hand.
Eleven tricks and a wonderfully earned top both from the bidding and declarer play !!
Happy Holidays — and start getting your (Bridge) New Year Resolutions ready as I will be suggesting some next week.
Roland Skinner (1940-2018)
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