News from the Bridge Holiday at The Athena Royal Beach Hotel, Paphos, Cyprus

The Athena Royal Beach Hotel, Paphos, Cyprus - Host's Report

by Jacky Baker Back to Cyprus once more for yet another superb holiday. The staff at the Athena Royal Beach Hotel couldn’t do enough for us, and the guests remarked how they went out of their way to do all that was asked of them and more besides. “Happy Hour” in the hotel bar and lobby area was popular before dinner and the resident pianist was enjoyed by all. After the bridge sessions there was a variety of first class entertainment to enjoy as the players discussed the hands they had just played. There was so much to do on top of the bridge programme it was hard to find enough time in the day to fit everything in. Our guests were given seven free sessions of bowling to try plus the hotel’s own bowls programme. Bowls sessions were available for beginners as well as those guests who had bowled before. There was a full entertainment programme with dance lessons available as well. If you wanted to just relax in the sunshine there were plenty of sunbeds to share around and two outdoor swimming pools and an indoor heated pool too. Also trips exclusively for our guests were arranged to Kyrenia and Bellapais, Limassol and the Troodos mountains and Kykkos. The guests agreed that the adult only hotel was a wonderful venue and the spacious bridge room with large windows looking out to sea was one of the best we have ever had. We are already looking forward to returning at the same time next year. Many thanks again to Andy and Chris Simmons who were excellent helpers and generous with their time and to the management and staff of the Athena Royal Beach Hotel.  

Director's report

by Bob Baker Sometimes in the course of a hand we get just the one chance to make a decisive contribution - this is often the case when we are defending. The following hand occurred in the first session of the Swiss Teams event in Cyprus: After West’s opening bid of 2♠ (weak) North overcalled with a natural 2NT and East decided to compete with 3♥ - possibly EW had an agreement that this showed spade tolerance. West retreated to 3♠ and East (using the fact that it was teams scoring as an excuse) raised to 4♠, which became the final contract. Note that North has already shown the strength of his hand with his overcall and has no real excuse for doubling. North led ♣K and South signalled encouragement by playing his ♣9. Now the contract can only be beaten if North finds an unlikely diamond switch, setting up two tricks in the suit. In practice, however, North continued with clubs and declarer ruffed at trick two. Declarer next led ♠10 and let it run when North followed with a low card. A spade to dummy’s ♠J revealed the (not unexpected) trump split and now declarer played a heart to his ♥10 and North’s ♥A. The game contract could not be beaten - declarer had six trump tricks and four heart tricks, with dummy’s ♠A as an entry - all the defence could now take was North’s ♦A. South missed his chance to take control and beat the contract. After North’s opening bid there could be no more than two club tricks for the defence and South should overtake at trick one and switch to a diamond. This sets up two tricks in the suit for the defence and when North gets in with ♥A the game is defeated - this would have worked even if declarer had held ♦KJx and North ♦A10x.

Prize Winners

Championship Pairs: Michael Owen & Margaret Scurlock Championship Pairs winners Consolation Pairs: David & Hilary Powell Consolation Pairs winners Swiss Teams: Careen Benjamin & Sydney Hetherington, Alex Davoud & Linda Lazarus Swiss Teams winners Swiss Pairs: David Powell & Barry Joyce Swiss Pairs and Mens Pairs winners Men’s Pairs: David Powell & Barry Joyce Ladies’ Pairs: Lyn Hilton & Maureen Payne Ladies Pairs winners Championship Teams: Jennifer Kinloch & Michael Whittaker, Alex Davoud & Linda Lazarus Championship Teams winners Consolation Teams: Michael Owen & Linda Miles, Margaret Scurlock & Stewart Pennycuick