The two-session Open Teams Championship took place at the Bermuda Bridge Club last Saturday and in a cliffhanger of a finish the team of Alan Douglas, Ed Betteto, Fabian Hupe and David Cordon took the title by only one Victory Point.
The winners scored 118 VPs and just behind on 117 were the team of Mike Viotti, John Burville, Elizabeth McKee and Diana Diel, who finished first in Stratum B.
In third place, and taking first place in Stratum C, were the team of Heather Woolf, Lorna Anderson, George Correia and Joyce Pearson.
The two top teams distanced themselves from the field — the Douglas team did not lose a match, winning seven and drawing one and while the Viotti team lost two matches, they also scored two 20-0 and one 19-1 victory to compensate and allow them to challenge.
In the head to head between the two teams, Douglas won 11-9 which was crucial — even a 10-10 draw would have given the title to the Viotti team.
Really exciting stuff and congratulations to the winners — they would probably have been favourites going into the event, but were really made to pull out all the stops to take the top spot.
The Viotti team can also take a lot of positives from the battle — this was a tough field and most of the top six teams were packed with experienced players.
Talking of experienced players, one only has to look at Diana Diel who was part of the Viotti team. Diana has just achieved a major milestone in bridge by making Gold Life Master after achieving 2,500 Master Points.
Diana came to this game from a background of competitive golf where she was at the top of the women’s game in Bermuda for many years. She couples that drive with an intellect and talent for the game which has brought her much success. Many congratulations.
The third-placed Woolf team also deserve a lot of credit because they were punching well above their weight and finished ahead of some strong and experienced teams. There is no hiding in teams bridge and one does not get the fluky results that one can get in a pairs game, so this was quite a performance.
The winners have all won numerous titles at the club and Regional before this. Douglas, Betteto and Hupe represented Bermuda at the CACBF Championships earlier this year and these events should give them confidence for their next representative trip if they qualify. Cordon is also an experienced player who has been in the top group at the club for many years.
Well done all.
Declarer play in bridge is a combination of experience, technique and logic, and a bit of psychology in trying to read into the opponents’ actions.
With that said, look at today’s hand, which was given to me by the great Hugh Kelsey when we were talking bridge during the Bridge Olympiad in Holland many, many years ago — in 1980!
Dealer North E/W Vulnerable
You arrive in four Spades as South after partner opened 2NT — people didn’t play transfers back then — and West leads the Heart Ace.
East encourages with the 10 and West continues a Heart to the King and Queen with East — the defence now have three tricks and at trick four, East leads the thirteenth Heart giving you a ruff and discard! What do you make of that?
It looks like a gift, as now you can discard a Diamond, ruff in dummy and claim?
Or can you? Let’s think about this, keeping in mind Greeks bearing gifts and Trojan Horses!
Firstly, there is no way East can hold the King of Diamonds over the AQJ, as he would never make this play. So you can be certain that West has the Diamond King and that East, knowing this, sees the only chance of a setting trick coming from the trump suit and therefore you must be careful. The full hand:
Take a look at what happens if you discard a Diamond and ruff in dummy, as West will also discard a Diamond.
Now you draw two rounds of trumps with the King and Jack and have to find a way back to your hand to draw the remaining trumps. You play the Ace of Diamonds, dropping West’s now singleton King, but now West is guaranteed a trump trick — try it.
So, having seen through East’s dastardly plan you must ruff the Heart at trick four in your hand — whether West overruffs or not you can now safely draw trump, take the marked Diamond finesse, and chalk up your contract. Well played.
Tonight is the big night of the Bridge Club Christmas party. I hope you all have a great time at the party, which is usually a lot of fun thanks to a ton of hard work put in by the club and the organising members — and if you have too much to drink just sleep there until the next game!
Results for week of November 18
1. Marilynn Simmons/Patricia Siddle
2. Richard Gray/Wendy Gray
3. Judith Bussell/Molly Taussig
1. Martha Ferguson/Judy King
2. Sue Hodge/John Hodge
3. Gertrude Barker/Peter Donnellan
1. Wenda Krupp/Barbara Elkin
2. Tim Mardon/Matthew Charleson
3. Katyna Rabain/Louise Payne
1. Sandra Ogden/George Ogden
2. Desiree Wood/Meishka Zuill
3. Malcolm Moseley/Mark Stevens
1. Gertrude Barker/Jane Smith
2. Richard Gray/Wendy Gray
3. Julia Beach/Patricia Siddle
1. Elizabeth McKee/Marilynn Simmons
2. Aida Bostelmann/Heather Woolf
3. Sue Hodge/John Hodge
1. Miodrag Novakovic/Margaret Way
2. Alan Douglas/David Cordon
1. Judith Bussell/Diana Diel
2. Edward Betteto/Fabian Hupe
1. Edward Betteto/Margaret Way
2. Alan Douglas/Sancia Garrison
3. Ellen Davidson/Jeanette Shaw
1. Magda Farag/Sheena Rayner
2. Judy King/John Hoskins
3. Gertrude Barker/Martha Ferguson
Saturday Open Teams Championship
1. A Douglas, F Hupe, D Cordon, E Betteto
2. M Viotti, J Burville, E McKee, D Diel
3. H Woolf, L Anderson, G Correia, J Pearson