News from the Bridge Room in Lake Bled 2017

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Host report by Rob Richardson:

Slovenia is a small country in the Alps. It was part of Yugoslavia, and earlier the Austro-Hungarian Empire. It is the world's first officially recognised green country. The Hotel Park overlooks both Lake Bled and the castle, which sits atop a very high rock on the opposite side of the lake. The area is noted for scenery, rowing and Bled cake (flaky pastry, custard and whipped cream) . As there appeared to be no interest in rowing amongst our guests, and the scenery spoke for itself, the bridge staff concluded that we ought to research the best place for our guests to sample the Bled cake. This onerous task was performed diligently in the Brown Bear most lunchtimes.

The food in the hotel was both plentiful and of a high standard. This along with the preponderance of very appetising local cakes in the numerous cafes posed a severe threat to our waist lines. However this was countered in two ways. Firstly our director Eddie Williams led those of us who wished on two wonderfully scenic walks, both reached by the very cheap local bus service. The first was along Vintgar Gorge and the second was from the medieval old town of Radovlijica and back along the Sava River. Secondly the European Court has recently ruled that bridge is indeed a sport, which meant that we could all indulge in the cakes with a clear conscience as we were playing sport in the evening. I think that this must explain the 100% turnout for all our evening sessions.

There were two optional excursions on this trip. One to the Bohinj valley where nearly all of us went up the Vogel in a gondola. The other was to the countries historic capital Ljubljana. Many guests however just preferred to remain in the wonderful location where we were based.

Director's report by Eddie Williams:

Some interesting hands in all the sessions, but the following deal from the Multiple teams proved costly for half the teams.

Board 1: Dealer N all non-vul

These were the auctions:

bled hand 2

Different auctions with different outcomes.

South has the perfect hand for a 2-suited overcall over either a 1♣ or a 1♠ opening from East. With little defense to 4♠ and an excellent heart fit N/S should have found it easy to sacrifice in 5. Good tactics in teams. On the day only one N/S managed to get to 5, ensuring +13 imps on the board.

These days many players agree that with 5-5 clubs & spades, with minimum opening values – open 1♣, but with stronger opening values and 5-5 clubs & spades – open 1♠.

I asked my regular bridge partner what she would respond with west’s hand if I opened 1♠ and she replied 4♠ (without any hesitation), irrespective of the action that south takes.

I would like to add a big thank you from me to everybody who joined us on this fantastic holiday for making it a really great week.

Prize Winners:

112

Left to right: Brian Gillbanks, Gerry & Shahla Hegan (Swiss Pairs Winners), Penny Handson, Paul Lindsay & Barbara Munro (Championship Pairs Winners) and Eddie Williams (Director).
Gerry, Shahla, Brian and Penny were the winners of the Championship Teams.