News from Cyprus Bridge
Whilst England fought the wettest January since 1766 the First For Bridge group were enjoying sunnier climes at the luxurious Athena Royal Beach Hotel in Paphos. Guests had the opportunity to relax on the beautiful beach, enjoy a massage at the tranquil Elixir Spa or try their hand at complimentary dance lessons and free bowling. It was lovely way of relaxing after the Christmas and New Year festivities.
A first class hotel, managed superbly with wonderful staff and facilities. Having been a policeman for 30 years and running bridge holidays for 18 years you would have thought that we would have been past surprising but it did come as a bit of a shock when one of our regular female guests started giving us a demonstration of belly dancing saying she had been doing it for many years. Excellent food, excellent bridge directing by Andrew Kambites and of course excellent company. Many thanks to all concerned.
Martin & Judy
News from the Bridge Room
Bridge throughout the fortnight was played in good humour and was enjoyed by all. Hands where both sides can make game are always of interest. There was a wide variety of results when this hand appeared in a pairs session.
South usually opened a weak 2♠. After West’s pass the spotlight was on North.
Although 4♠ is unbeatable for North/South because of the secondary club fit it is hard for North to envisage this.
When North passed the way was open for East to use a very useful gadget, called Leaping Michaels. After a weak two opener in a major by opponents a leap to four-of-a-minor shows the other major and the minor bid. Hence East could have bid 4♦ to show diamonds and hearts, at least 5-5 shape. 4♦ is not forcing but it clearly shows a good hand. The East hand is ideal. It is perfectly reasonable for East to assume his partner has something useful and at least tolerance for one of the red suits. West would then bid 4♥. This particular East/West pair were not playing Leaping Michaels so East just bid 4♥ and struck lucky.
One North jumped to 4♠ over 2♠. East guessed 5♥ and seemed to strike lucky, but 4NT would be a far better bid, provided partner would understand it. 4NT is not Blackwood, for one thing no suit is agreed. In a contested auction with no suit agreed 4NT should show two places to play (at least 5-5 shape). West would initially assume East had the minors. On this hand he would clearly bid 5♦, but it is worth noting that if West had bid 5♣ East would have converted to 5♦, showing diamonds and hearts.
Note that in both of these scenarios an expert East would have had a two suited overcall available. Two suited overcalls are very valuable in the contested auction because if you can show both of your suits it doubles your chances of finding a fit.
Most Norths raised 2♠ to 3♠, pre-emptive rather than a game try. East could have bid 4NT to bring both suits into play, but given the opportunity to bid 4♥ he quite reasonably chose that option.
The East who played in 5♥ initially misplayed it but subsequently gave North a chance to misdefend. South led the ♠K, ruffed by declarer. The correct way to tackle trumps is to start with the ♥K, because it is then possible to pick up ♥ J 10 4 3 in the North hand by taking two marked finesses. (It is never possible to pick up ♥ J 10 4 3 in the South hand). However East took his eye off the ball by starting with the ♥A. Now he had an inescapable trump loser. He continued with two more rounds of trumps and cashed the ♦A K. He now had three inescapable losers, but he entered dummy with the ♣A and led a diamond. North fell from grace by using his master trump to ruff. He was effectively trumping his partner’s winning diamond. North protested that he couldn’t have known that South had a winning ♦Q, but how could North possibly gain by trumping?
Don’t use a winning trump to ruff what might be a loser!
And the winners were….
Main winners Cyprus 2014
Dot & Peter Kelly & Heather & Eric Wood
Clive & Rosemary Froggatt
Naomi Moltan & John Shand
Ken & Betty Baxter, Donald & Sheila Goodyear
Michael Owen & Margaret Scurlock