Alan Douglas and Edward Betteto are the 2017 Open Pairs Champions after a convincing two-board victory last Saturday.
This was the first time the event had been held on a Saturday, with the first session at 10am and the second at 2.30pm. The players seemed to welcome that change judging by the 20- pair turnout.
Douglas/Betteto scored 317.5 matchpoints. Second place went to John Burville/David Cordon on 299.5, with another big gap to Julia Beach/Pat Siddle in third on 286.5. They were followed by Jane Smith/Gertie Barker on 285, Marge Way/Diana Diel on 276.5 and Lynanne Bolton/Peter Donnellan on 276.
Winning Strata B were Beach/Siddle, with Bolton/Donnellan in second and Richard and Wendy Gray in third.
This was an excellent win by Douglas/Betteto. Douglas has won any number of Championships at the Club and Bermuda Regional, and he has represented Bermuda internationally over the last four decades.
Ed is a relative newcomer to the local scene but clearly brings enough skill and experience to start making his mark at the Club. If this partnership continues to thrive, they could well fill the gap left by Smolski-Petty in the last few years.
Beach and Siddle also put in great performances.
Winning the B is nice, but finishing third in the A flight is probably a better achievement. The same comment applies to Bolton and Donnellan, who finished second in B and sixth in A.
This week’s hand is instructional as it emphasises one of the guiding principles in declarer play to give yourself as many chances as possible, especially if the additional chances come for free.
Dealer North N/S Vulnerable
S Q6532 SKJ9
North opened 1 Diamond as his 18 points was just above the 15-17 NT range, intending to jump in NT to show his hand if required. When South responded 1NT, North correctly raised to 3NT.
The contract is a bit shaky after a spade lead but has chances.
Declarer ducked the first spade and East won with the King and fired back the Jack, suggesting that the suit was breaking 5-3.
Most declarers now had to choose between trying to find 5 tricks in diamonds or clubs by a finesse of the Queen in those suits, but with both queens ‘offside’ the contract sidled to a one- trick defeat at 8 of the 9 tables that played 3NT.
At the 10th table, declarer was a seasoned performer who saw a small extra chance to try for a doubleton queen in one of the minors and, if that didn’t work, trying for 5 tricks via the finesse in the other. Realising that a doubleton queen in diamonds would not help (as that would leave the other defender with 10xxx), he decided to keep the diamond suit in reserve and play for a doubleton queen in clubs by playing the Ace and then the King.
This worked spectacularly well and declarer soon racked up nine tricks — five clubs, two diamonds and two major suit Aces. The free Plan B raised declarer chances of success from 1 in 4 to 1 in 3, a big leap in the odds over a lifetime of bridge playing.
Bridge results (week of October 30)
1. Elizabeth McKee/Stephanie Kyme
2. Richard Gray/Wendy Gray
3. Geoff Bell/Kathleen Bell
1. Diana Diel/Molly Taussig
2. Harry Kast/Edward Betteto
3. Martha Ferguson/Caroline Swainson
1. Wendy Gray/Richard Gray
2. Margaret Way/Jean Johnson
3. Edward Betteto/David Sykes
4. David Pickering/Linda Abend
1. Claude Guay/Sharon Shanahan
2. Margaret Kirk/Marion Ezedinma
3. Heather Farrugia/Michael Farrugia
4. Mike Dawson/Jo Ann Dawson
1. Peter Donnellan/Lynanne Bolton
2. Gertrude Barker/Jane Smith
3. Judith Bussell/Stephanie Kyme
1. Magda Farag/Sheena Rayner
2. Molly Taussig/Charles Hall
3. Elizabeth McKee/Julia Beach
1. Gertrude Barker/Jane Smith
2. Judith Bussell/Gordon Bussell
3. Claude Guay/Sharaon Shanahan
1. Ellen Davidson/John Luebkemann
2. Charles Hall/David Sykes
3. Edward Betteto/Elizabeth McKee
1. Jane Smith/Magda Farag
2. Judith Bussell/Stephanie Kyme
3. Gertrude Barker/Marilynn Simmons
1. Elizabeth McKee/Diana Diel
2. Elysa Burland/Molly Taussig
3. Ellen Davidson/Dianna Kempe