News from the Bridge Room in Lanzarote

Host’s report by Fran Keene, Liz Farrar and Judy Petran:

The weather was cooler than last year (it rained twice) and it was quite amazing to watch the landscape turn green and produce flowers so quickly after the rain. However, guests were able to have breakfast in the sun outside most days – unlike the UK!

On one evening, we all sat down together in the Italian restaurant, the Dolce Vita, for a delightful meal with wine, enjoyed by all – the bridge was extremely relaxed that evening!

Once again we must mention that the bridge room is one of the best and most comfortable we have enjoyed and the bridge was well attended, afternoons as well as the evenings. The hotel activities were wide ranging and well supported by the group. Particular mention must be made of one of our most senior members winning the table tennis tournament against all comers, young and old. Awesome!

The trips arranged for us were perfect, incorporating visits to the North and South parts of the island, the old capital Teguise with market and a visit to the Cesar Manrique Foundation. Without exception, everyone thoroughly enjoyed the trips and our thanks go to Sam, Noah and the tour guide Monique of Welcome Tours.

The level promenade walk along the seafront to Playa Blanca was very popular providing regular exercise and offering a good selection of shops and tapas bars with sea view.

Our thanks to Mark, our Director, and all the staff at the Rubicon Palace Hotel for their help throughout in making this a most enjoyable holiday.

Directors’s report by Mark Hooper:

At the end of the 1st day of the Swiss Teams, a lady passed me on the way back to score up with her teammates. “I’m shaking”, she said, “he put me to 7!”.

I forgot the conversation until the next day when someone asked me how the bidding should go on a slam hand, and I realised it was the same one. Many people bid 6 (and 1 pair admitted “falling in to 6”), but not many bid 7.

Although the seminar was several days later, the seminar on Roman Key Card Blackwood demonstrated how this invaluable tool worked well on this hand.

What do you open with that East hand? Many would open 2♣, but it creates rebid problems. If you are going to bid your longest suit first, then to show 5/ 6♣ you need to bid clubs then hearts twice. If you start with 2♣, your first natural bid is 3♣. If partner bids 3, you can bid hearts twice, but here partner will bid spades and now you are bidding hearts for the 1st time at the 4 level, and now partner is likely to pass.

It is much easier if you open 1♣, how likely is it when you have a void spade, that no-one else can bid? Now you will be able to bid 2 next time, and then repeat hearts later if required.

Some people showed the hearts first (whether they opened at the 1 level or the 2 level), this worked well on this hand, but on another day you might miss a club slam.

In this case 1♣ works well because partner bids 1♠, you bid 2 and partner raises. Now East can count 11 tricks in their own hand on reasonable breaks (losing just a heart and a diamond). It isn’t usual to ask for Aces when you have a void, but here you have all the other key cards so if partner shows 1 key card you know what it is. And you can use the Ace of spades to pitch the diamond loser. Here partner bids 5♣ denying the ♠A, so East continues with 5 to ask for the Q. West bids 6 showing both the Q and the K in 1 bid. The perfect cards for the grand.

Prize Winners:

Swiss Pairs: Sue Ozer & Anne Saunders

Ladies Pairs: Gillian Watts & Christine Dean

Swiss Teams: Geoff & Linda Simpson, Colin & Janet Bate

Championship pairs: Joe & Jane Ridyard

Holiday Gallery: