News from Algarve

Host’s Report by Jacky Baker

We have just returned from our three weeks in the Algarve and find it difficult to believe that it is nearly the end of November already. The weather over there was very kind to us with almost daily doses of sunshine to enjoy. There was a variety of bridge played – pairs, teams of four, Swiss Teams and Swiss Pairs – together with a series of seminars.

The Grande Real Santa Eulalia Hotel was an excellent venue with a courtesy bus service running several times a day into nearby Albufeira and a local bus making it easy to get to Vilamoura and Faro in the other direction. In addition there were several trips arranged by the excellent local rep Telma and these proved  popular with our guests.

Our thanks go to the hotel staff for their efficient and courteous service and of course to all our guests for their company and kind comments. And we cannot forget a big thank you to Andy and Chris Simmons, members of the First for Bridge team for the first time, who were a great help to us and popular with the guests.

Director’s Report by Bob Baker

So often when we play bridge, at all levels of the game, the desire to win seems to be all-important. Not only do players strive to do well through their own efforts but they are eager to pounce on any transgression against the laws by an opponent, as this often gives them a good result if it results in a penalty.

However, bridge on holiday often shows players in a better light. One example from the recent holiday in the Algarve illustrates this rather more generous attitude:

algarve bridge

With both sides vulnerable, North dealt and opened 1NT (12-14) and South gazed fondly at his fine hand. Having counted his points twice (just to make sure) he decided to make the (very slight) overbid of 6NT, but after West and North had passed he glanced down at the table and realised to his horror that he had placed the 6♠ card on the table by mistake.

Now the Laws of Duplicate Bridge state that a player may correct an unintended call if he does so, or attempts to do so, without pause for thought. However, once his partner has called (as here, where North has passed) it is too late.

“Oh dear!” said a distraught South, “I meant to bid 6NT”

Quite correctly the players called me to the table and I explained the Law and that sadly it was too late for an unhappy South to correct his bid.

Now many players sitting in the East position would have passed gleefully and recorded a good score, as although in theory South can make twelve tricks in spades in practice this is unlikely. However, this East decided to take pity on South and placed a double card on the table, thus allowing South to correct his error and bid 6NT, which became the final contract as intended. A generous gesture, but typical of the attitude found on our bridge holidays.

Prize Winners

Left: Algarve Pairs winners – Gisela Martin and Ursula Henzell
Right: Championship Pairs winners – Phil Palmer & Jenny Flood

Left: Swiss Pairs winners – Gail Davis & Val Price
Right: Swiss Teams winners – Margaret Bradshaw & Naomi Molton, Jennifer Kinloch & Michael Whittaker

Random Teams winners – Gail Davis & Margaret Hope, Phil Palmer & Jenny Flood