BRIDGE: The week's round-up from Rugby's two bridge clubs

Rugby Village Bridge Club and Rugby Bridge Club

Tuesday, 12th December 2017, 7:08 pm
Updated Tuesday, 12th December 2017, 7:25 pm
The start of play at Rugby Village Bridge Club's Christmas event on Saturday


On Saturday Rugby Village Bridge Club held its Christmas event. Nineteen tables played a six round Swiss Pairs.

The event was won by Malcolm Melrose and Max Kynoch, pictured on the outside of the photograph. Max making a special display of his winner’s pen! Pauline Smith and Wilma Kiernan, on the inside, were second, a very special result for them. Well done!

Winners and runners-up in the Christmas event, Malcolm Melrose, Pauline Smith, Wilma Kiernan and Max Kynoch

​​The raffle raised £300 for the air ambulance.

​On Monday the weather had become very cold with snow lying all over Rugby. Twenty players still made it to the afternoon session and played a two-winner Mitchell movement. Judy Douglas & Diana Kinch led North/South with 70.00. Bill & Lyn Stubbins topped East/West with 60.00.

In the evening it was still colder, but four and a half tables played the first event in the new Founders Championship Pairs series. ​​​Malcom Melrose and Max Kynoch led the Howell movement with 59.92; followed by Janet O’Connor & Michael Ward with 57.14.

On Tuesday Afternoon of last week, ​six and a half tables played a Hesitation Mitchell. Lo Tolbutt & Jim Bainbridge won with 62.38 followed by Edwige Quick & Sue Robards.

Winners and runners-up in the Christmas event, Malcolm Melrose, Pauline Smith, Wilma Kiernan and Max Kynoch

On Wednesday morning we were delighted to welcome two graduates from our beginners’ course to our friendly themed practice session.

The field of five tables practised opener’s re-bid when the auction has gone: 1S;P;1NT;P;?.

Jim & Nicky Bainbridge, with 59.72, led the Thursday Evening session of four tables; Chris Cooper & Margaret Aitchison scored 58.33; and Dennis Angove & Rosemary Jordan took 56.94.

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Both the Tuesday and Thursday sessions produced big wins. At Tuesday’s well attended session, Alan Webb and Dennis Angove romped to victory, over 10% ahead of Ken Miles and Smita Basu and Terry Bradbury and Wendy Crees in joint second place.

On Thursday, Wendy Pattinson and David Heron were almost 10% ahead of David and Conny Dachtler, with Roger Ward and Maria Smyth and Pam Southern and Anne Pettitt in joint third.

There could not have been a greater contrast with Wednesday’s Improvers session, when Maureen and Chris Ursell and Clare Dixon and Clive Toll tied for top place in an exciting finish. The Friday results were not available at the time of writing.

Difficult decisions had to be taken on both the bidding and the play on this Tuesday hand –

North - S - Q 9 5 4 2

H - A Q J D - - C - A K J 5 2

South - S - A J 8 3

H - K 7 6 5 3 2 D - Q T C - 6

A slam beckons, but should it be in hearts or spades? Two pairs bid 6 hearts but both went down. Meanwhile two pairs bid 6 spades and one of them (Ken and Smita) made 12 tricks for a well deserved top.

Six other pairs stopped short of game in one or other of those suits.

The distribution is not helpful in either case. East has all four spades for the defence, so the spade slam can only be made by constantly leading from the north hand.

One diamond can be discarded on a winning club, but the other one must be ruffed, reducing North’s trumps to the same length as East’s. The hearts break 3 – 1 so declarer cannot easily both remove trumps and ruff a diamond in dummy.

All in all this was a very searching test of declarer’s ability to cope with bad breaks.

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