News from the Bridge Room in Cyprus 2017

Host report by Pauline Durie:

Cyprus – the beautiful island of Aphrodite legend saw us return for an enjoyable two weeks of bridge and more. A change of hotel due to renovation did not disappoint. The Pioneer Beach has excellent facilities. The bridge room easily accommodated our 16 tables of enthusiastic bridge players. The outdoor pool looks beautiful though very few hardy souls used it! The indoor pool was far more popular especially the weekly aquafit session. Other activities included line dancing and tango lessons as well as the opportunity to make and sample frappe and cocktails. The bowls programme was well received by many and honours were shared in the many matches played. Even the wind didn’t deter them. Many guests enjoyed a walk along the promenade to Paphos harbour with its range of bars, restaurants and gift shops taking in the splendour of the spring flowers coming into full bloom along the way. The harbour is also home to the famous mosaics some of which are almost complete. Something for everyone.

For the first week, we were fortunate to have warm sunshine which allowed for breakfast on the terrace with a lovely sea view. Food was cosmopolitan and themed dinners were occasionally accompanied by complementary Ouzo, Zivane or champagne -much appreciated by all. The food was excellent and service was faultless. The hotel offers a choice of restaurants and several bars. Live music accompanied post bridge discussions in the spacious lounge area.

Half of the guests took advantage of an excursion that took in many of the beautiful sights of Paphos – including the legendary Baths of Aphrodite where the Goddess reputedly met Adonis whilst bathing in the waterfall. Lunch in the pretty fishing village of Latchi was much appreciated.

The weather for the second week was not so kind but we did experience a spectacular show of thunder and lightning accompanied by torrential rain showers. The trip this week visited one of the most impressive archaeological sites in Cyprus – Curium – before going on for a stroll along the promenade at Limassol and returning via Aphrodite’s Rock to see where the goddess reputedly came ashore when she arrived in Cyprus.

Director’s report by Nigel Durie:

This is an interesting hand from our Mens/Ladies/Mixed pairs event.

Firstly, can EW reach the small slam in hearts and secondly, can they make it? Over half the pairs subsided in 4 making 11 tricks, while 2 pairs made 12. The remaining pairs were one off in the slam contract, so there were no +980 scores on the traveler.

Auction 1:

(1) Acol, strong, although I think I would also open 2♣ playing Benjamin otherwise my hand would become dummy after a 2 response from partner following my 2♦ opening
(2) negative
(3) it is tempting to overcall 2 here to suggest a lead but it is a bit too risky at adverse vulnerability
(4) a splinter showing the heart support and a singleton diamond. E will want to be encouraging here with three second round controls and a splinter does this nicely
(5) cue bids, first or second round control from E. (West can almost bid 6 after the splinter with a good chance of making via finesses and diamond ruffs even if E has zero points, but after the splinter E is likely to have something to offer)

If E decides not to splinter then an alternative auction might be:

Auction 2:

(1) (2) and (3) as above
(4) stronger than bidding to game directly
(5) cue bids, first or second round control from E
Other auctions are also possible


Can the contract make on a lead from N? Some very careful play is required:
W wins the lead and plays ♦A. Many players will be tempted to lead the ♦K at this point before a ♦ ruff, but it is safer to keep control of the suit and follow with a ♦ ruff after the first round of the suit.

A club to the ♣A is followed by another ♦ but N ruffs with the K and leads another to remove the remaining trump in dummy.

Now W has to rely on a squeeze. The remaining hearts are played leaving W with ♦ Kx and ♣Q:

On the last 2 trumps, as the hand turns out, S is left with trying to guard 3 suits.

If S throws a ♣ then W will play the ♦K and overtake the ♣Q and make the last ♣.

If S throws the ♦J then W makes the two tricks and the ♣K.

If S throws the A then W makes the three kings for the contract.

But W does not know whether N has the length in ♣ or where the A resides. W does know that S has two diamonds left, so:

On the Q, E discards a small club. If A has not appeared then E will discard a small spade on J and watch the discards. The K would then squeeze N who would have to throw A or a club from a holding:
A J 10

Prize Winners:

Swiss Pairs Winners: Michael Owen & Anne Saunders

Mixed Pairs Winners: Graham & Kay Blaylock

Mens Pairs Winners: Michael Beckett & Peter Bonnor Moris

Ladies Pairs Winners: Kris Hughes & Judith Jury

Championship Pairs Winners: Margaret & Olaf Newcombe

Swiss Teams: Winners (on the right): Maureen McIntosh, Valerie Pope, Alan Rainbow, Laurie McIntosh. The team on the left had the highest score but included staff due to illness on the second night: Jennifer Kinloch, Michael Owen, Anne Saunders, Michael Whittaker, Linda Williams (staff)