BRIDGE: What’s been on the cards this week?

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Demographic shift at Rugby Bridge Club!

Ask an olympic athlete’s reaction to victory and they will say “amazing”, “unbelievable” and “incredible” - several times. Winners at duplicate bridge don’t say that - although their opponents might. Despite the mental effort necessary to extract the best results from the hands dealt, much depends upon capricious fortune.

Rod Larter & Judith Kleiner navigated their way to first place on Tuesday of last week, on a spring tide of largesse from their opponents that carried them just beyond Val Wormleighton & Peter Langley, in second, and Peter & Vera Iredale, in third.

By contrast, this hand from Tuesday displays admirable parsimony by the defence. Dealer North, with North-South vulnerable in a contract of 4S.

North S: Q 8 5; H: J 9 3;

D: A K Q 4 2; C: 10 4

South S: A K 7 4 3 2;

H: K Q 10 5; D: 8 5; C: J

East S: J 9; H: A 8 6 2;

D: 7 3; C: K 9 8 7 3

West S: 10 6; H: 7 4;

D: J 10 9 6; C: A Q 6 5 2

West almost always led DJ or H7 and South almost always collected 12 tricks. On the H lead East may make HA immediately, but is unlikely to return a C - so South is able to discard the C loser. But the unique lead of C5 resulted in two tricks for the defence, and a top for this board. Under questioning, West claimed to have rejected all other leads by a logical process of elimination. Stroke of genius, stroke of luck, or a bit of each?

The remainder of last week’s intellectual giants/lucky dogs, were:

Wednesday - 1st, Joe Davies & Sue Spirett; 2nd, Stuart Warne & Maxine Ross; 3rd, Keith Lodge & Brian Richardson.

Thursday - 1st, Phil Shorey & Clare Dixon; 2nd, Debbie Welch & Terry Bradbury, 3rd, Sid & Pat Downton.

Friday - 1st, Roger Ward & Patti Jarvis; 2nd, Marion & Peter Dixon; 3rd, Rod Larter & Judith Kleiner.

Wednesday’s showing by Joe Davis represents something of a demographic shift. Most players profit from the accumulated experience of, well ... age, but Joe is just fifteen years old. The club’s demographic foundations are also being shaken by the creditable showing of thirteen year old Adam Bradbury.

Further details of all events may be found at