Report by Bob & Jacky Baker
A happy group of players saw in the New Year with four days of bridge at the Mercure Hotel in Bristol. The winners of the two principal events were:
New Year’s Eve Pairs: Donne Hoong and Pip Duncan
New Year’s Day Teams: Ann McMahon & Richard Tyler, Robert & Joyce Jones
A special mention to Eddie Richart, Tony & Patricia Craddock who registered the highest score in the New Year’s Day Teams competition (an impressive +100 IMPs over 24 boards) but were ineligible for the prize as their teammate was Bill Bethell from the First for Bridge Team (thanks, Bill, for your support over the four days).
The following slam hand from the Teams evening was interesting:
Most pairs reached a straightforward small slam in spades, although those ending up in 6♥ managed to get home despite the nasty trump split. One player ended up in 6NT played by North, which on a non-club lead presented no problems – declarer can set up a second diamond trick to add to six spades, three hearts and the club ace. A club lead from East looks dangerous, but in fact declarer can get home, after a club to the king and ace, by cashing six spades and three hearts ending up in hand. East has had to reduce to three cards, almost certainly ♦Kx and ♣Q. Declarer, who holds ♦AQ and ♣J, now throws him in with a club and the diamond lead at trick twelve gives declarer the slam. Note that the (very) unlikely lead of ♣Q does not beat the contract as West can be end played to open up the hearts, giving declarer four tricks in the suit.