The Open Pairs Championship took place at the Bermuda Bridge Club last week and at the end of the two-session event, Alan Douglas and David Sykes finished on top, narrowly ahead of Marge Way and Misha Novakovic in second and first-round leaders Charles Hall and Tony Saunders in third.
After the morning session, Charles and Tony had a great 65.18 per cent with Alan and David in second on 60.71 per cent, Peter Donnellan and Lynanne Bolton on 60.42 per cent, Ellen Davidson and John Luebkemann on 59.52 per cent and John Burville and Ed Betteto on 59.23 per cent.
It was, however, all change in the second session — Charles and Tony had a rough 50.68 per cent game compared with David and Alan, who had a decent 57.82 per cent, and their 118.53 aggregate was just enough to hold off Margie and Misha who scored 62.59 per cent to get to second place on 117.95, just ahead of Charles and Tony on 115.86.
Congratulations to Alan and David for a fine win — they would probably have been the bookies’ favourites in a field with a number of good pairs, and two good steady sessions did the job.
Both are multiple winners on the local scene at club and regional level and have represented Bermuda on many occasions.
Special mention to Ellen Davidson and John Luebkemann for their first-session score and their overall finish. They came second in Section B behind Peter and Lynanne, with Delton Outerbridge and Elizabeth Baillie in third.
Next up is the second session of the Junior Teams on Tuesday and then both sessions of the Open Teams on Saturday, November 23.
Hopefully, we will see some of the top pairs getting together in the four-player teams to contest this event — sign up at the Bridge Club by noon on the 20th.
This week’s hand features some aggressive bidding after which declarer has to justify his partner’s optimistic leap to the Grand Slam.
The bidding, while aggressive, was good and well practised:
The 2NT opener showed 20-22 HCP and the three Hearts was a transfer to Spades. When North showed four Key Cards in response to RKC Blackwood (five Clubs would show 0 or 3, five Diamonds 1 or 4), South got a bit carried away and asked if he also had the trump Queen with the five Hearts bid. The six Diamonds response said yes, and I also have the Diamond King (five Spades would have denied the Queen, 5NT would have said yes, but no side Kings) after which South bid the Grand Slam.
The Lead was the Heart King and declarer, North, had to do some thinking — he could only count 12 top tricks and needed to see if there was any way to find a 13th. There was, if the trumps broke 3-2 (about 68 per cent) and declarer set about using a dummy reversal play, using the hand with the long trumps to ruff and the hand with the short trumps to draw trump, which does not usually happen.
So, win the Ace, ruff a Heart, trump to hand, ruff another Heart, trump to hand and ruff the last Heart. This was now the position:
Now cross to a Diamond, draw the last trump throwing a Diamond from the South hand and claim the rest of the tricks — declarer made three trumps, three ruffs, the Heart Ace, two Diamonds and four Clubs, 13 tricks and a stone-cold top. Well played!
Results for week of October 28
1. Charles Hall/Sancia Garrison
2. Peter Donnellan/Julia Beach
3. Edward Betteto/Tony Saunders
1. Magda Farag/Sheena Rayner
2/3 D Diel/L Pollett, M Bickley/D Lusher
Tuesday evening junior
1.Katyna Rabain/Louise Payne
2. Diana Downs/Willi Christensen
1/2 AD Rayner/J Cook, S Ogden/G Ogden
1. Jack Rhind/Edward Betteto
2. Sarah Lorimer Turner/Marian Silver
3. Sheena Rayner/Magda Farag
1. Linda Pollett/William Pollett
2. Patricia Colmet/Heather Woolf
3. Tony Saunders/Molly Taussig
1. Alan Douglas/David Sykes
2. Margaret Way/Diana Diel
3. Miodrag Novakovic/Edward Betteto
1. Elizabeth McKee/Linda Pollett
2. Peter Donnellan/Lynanne Bolton
3. Tim Mardon/George Correia
1. Charles Hall/Margaret Way
2. Gertrude Barker/Molly Taussig
3. Elysa Burland/Sancia Garrison
1. Edward Betteto/John Burville
2. Elizabeth McKee/Diana Diel
3. Judith Bussell/Stephanie Kyme
Saturday Open Pairs Club Championship
1. Alan Douglas/David Sykes
2. Margaret Way/Miodrag Novakovic
3. Anthony J Saunders/Charles Hall