News from the Bridge Room in Sardinia

Host report by Barry & Maggie Watts

The Greeks called it Hyknusa or Ichnussa (Ιχνουσσα), from the greek Ichnos (footprint of human foot) because of its similarity to a large footprint (how would they know?) Sardinia takes its name from the Latin (or Roman).

Le Ginestre Hotel


Sardinia, like many other parts of the Mediterranean, saw Phonecian, Carthaginian then Roman rule. However, its history is much longer than most. From Neolithic times the Nuragic civilisation lived on the island and the population today still includes 7,000 Nuraghe. In 1979 human remains were found that dated back to 150,000 BC.

The Island itself is a mix of highly fractured, low lying granite and limestone mountain areas interspersed with sedimentary plains. The coastal areas of the whole island reflect this rugged nature comprising complex and beautiful inlets and islets in azure blue seas.

In the North East of the Island the Costa Smerelda is probably the island’s most beautiful and has been the playground of the world’s super rich since the middle of the 20th Century.

Porto Cervo


The Le Ginestre Hotel on the Costa Smerelda reflects the Island’s history ancient and recent in its construction, its staffing and its cuisine. The cheerful and helpful staff, mostly Sardinian but also from Italy and all over Europe, were the making of the holiday. The sunshine and the spectacular scenery completed the package. Lazy days by the pool drinking the newly discovered Cannonau red and Vermentino white wines, watching the super yachts coming in and out of the bay while the UK weather forecast showed heavy rain.

It rained one day (a little) so we had afternoon bridge. Every other day was blissful weather so we all got out and about and the bridge competition took place each evening. The first two evenings were pairs events. Welcome Pairs on the first then Mixer Pairs on the second evening where all North South pairs from the first evening played each other and all East West pairs played each other. By day three, everyone had played against everyone else on the holiday.

The two day Swiss Pairs competition followed. After the first evening Liz Hardisty and Jean-Pierre Simon were leading but the top ten pairs were only separated by 10 IMPs. The second evening saw Stephanie Donner and Roy Riley come through and win by a margin of 12 IMPs.

Director’s report by Mark Hooper

One of the seminar topics for this holiday was protection. Bidding in the pass out seat after our left hand opponent has bid, and their partner has passed. Here is a typical example from the Butler pairs.

mark hooper hand

South passes initially, but when West opens 1 and that is passed by East, South should strain to bid again, rather than let the opponents play at the 1 level. Here South should double; you wouldn’t double with that hand in the direct seat, but it is a clear cut double in the pass out seat. The guidelines in this position are to bid with 3 points less than in the direct position. So this is equivalent to a 14 count in 2nd seat. Of course here, South is a passed hand, so no chance that partner will take you for more than you have.

Several East / Wests were left to play in 1, which made an easy 9 tricks. Those North / South’s who competed played part scores in either spades or clubs, some making, some not. On this particular hand it is right for E/W to bid on as far as 3; but in practice this was difficult to do, vulnerable, with a minimum opener opposite a passed hand. A couple of E/W did compete to the 3 level, but otherwise, whether N/S made their contract, or went down, they beat the -140 they would have got had they left 1.

Prize Winners

Swiss and Championship Pairs Winners:

Swiss and Championship Pairs

Left to Right: Roy Riley, Stephanie Donner, Mark Hooper

Roy and Stephanie then went on to win the Championship Pairs Competition later in the holiday so they became everyone’s target couple for the rest of the holiday. It didn’t work though. They won the Farewell Pairs on the final evening with a score of 75%.

Men’s Pairs Winners:

Men’s Pairs Winners

Left to Right: Peter Pharoah, Mark Hooper, Richard Tyler

The Men’s Pairs Competition was won by Richard Tyler and Peter Pharoah

Ladies’ Pairs Winners:

Ladies’ Pairs Winners

Left to Right: Jane Green, Mark Hooper, Jennie McDermott

The Ladies’ Pairs Competition was won by Jennie McDermott and Jane Green

Multiple Teams Winners:

Multiple Teams Winners

Left to right: Roy Riley. Stephanie Donner, Mark Hooper, Carla Sidney-Woollatt. Sue Grant

Stephanie Donner and Roy Riley again featured in the Multiple teams event. In partnership with Carla Sidney-Woollett and Sue Grant they won by an impressive 73 IMPs; 24 IMPs in front of their nearest rivals.


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