Host report by Jacky Baker
The sun shone down on us nearly every day in Lanzarote and it was lovely to be able to stroll around in temperatures of 23C and swim in the heated outdoor pool at the splendid Hotel Rubicon Palace. The days warmed up early and many of the guests enjoyed breakfast outside – very acceptable in January!
The food in the buffet restaurant was excellent, with plenty of variety and a different themed menu available every evening. In addition, on one evening the entire group sat down together to a meal in the Italian a la carte restaurant. The waitress service, fine menu and plentiful wine proved very popular.
All agreed that the large and airy bridge room was one of the most comfortable we have enjoyed at any venue, with plenty of natural light for those players attending the afternoon sessions.
There was a level promenade walk along the seafront from the hotel into Playa Blanca, with plenty of bars and cafes to stop at on the way. Once the town was reached there was a good selection of shopping, and beyond that was the marina with more restaurants overlooking the sea.
There were three trips arranged exclusively for our group: the first two took in the principal sights of the North and South parts of the island respectively. The third trip was to the old capital of Teguise and the large market there held every Sunday; this was followed by a visit to the Cesar Manrique Foundation, which showcased some of the work of Lanzarote’s most famous artist and sculptor.
Thank you to Andy and Chris Simmons who helped us throughout and to the staff of the Rubicon Palace Hotel.
Director report by Bob Baker
The following hand from one of the evening Open Pairs sessions in Lanzarote saw most North South pairs playing in a contract of 4♥. Curiously this usually made, although played by the North hand (who is likely to bid hearts and become declarer) the game is defeated on the natural lead of ♠Q from East, the defence collecting two tricks in each black suit before declarer gets in. The 4♥ contract is unbeatable if South happens to become the declarer – unlikely after the almost inevitable 1NT opening bid by West.
However, one intrepid East West pair managed to do better than defeat the opponents’ heart game. West opened 1NT, North overcalled 2♥ and East (who obviously was not a man to be trifled with) ventured a 2♠ bid, hoping to buy the contract. South raised his partner to 4♥ and now it was West’s turn to be brave: he bid 4♠.
With eleven points and a bidding partner South felt that he had enough to double this, but the favourable position of the black suit honours for West meant that this contract could not be beaten. Successful finesses in trumps and then in clubs gave declarer ten tricks and a clear top.
Random Teams winners – David & Ruth Martin, Shirley Leak & Jack Hampson
Swiss Team winners – Sue Grant, Carla Sidney-Woollett, Peter & Helena Cohen
Swiss Pairs winners – Nigel Maggs & Jennie McDermott
Joint winners of the Championship Pairs – Sue Grant, Malcolm & Catherine Boyack, Carla Sidney-Woollett
Championship Teams winners – Malcolm & Catherine Boyack and Martin Isham plus Carla Sidney-Woollett (not pictured)