The SABF’S first inter-club bridge day attracted 26 tables from many of the registered clubs last Sunday. Winning the A-grade teams were Graham Pellen, Phil Gallasch, Yadi and David Parrott (SABA) ahead of Sue Lusk, Peter Chan, John Kikkert, Tony Lusk (SABA). The B-grade teams went to the Step-bridge team of John Puskas, Julie Savage, and Rita and Ray Jones, with a tie for second between Jill Schuster, Eve Shillito, Di Fallon, Heather Lee (SABA), and Jill and Evan Allanson, Jim Hayes and Rhonda Wallace (Barossa). In the pairs tournament, A-grade went to Margaret Walters and Mark Fairlamb (ABC) ahead of Garry Deaton and Paul Hudson (SABA). The B-grade pairs saw Jill Schuster and Eve Shillito (SABA) win N/S ahead of Len Cook and Norma Newton (ABC), whilst Jean Richmond and Frances Berry (SABA) won E/W ahead of Rita and Ray Jones (Step-bridge).
Today’s hand from a local duplicate shows how important the lead can be. After East opens 1♣, South overcalled 1♠. Many Wests chose to pass but should raise to 2♣ (critical for the lead) and then what would you bid with North? I’d try 4♥ immediately, but most tried a quiet 2♥, then bid 4♥ after South rebid their spades. When North did bid 4♥, most Easts chose to double 4♥ and South went back to 4♠, with only half being doubled. What would you lead with West? I, like many, chose their singleton heart. Declarer won the ace, throwing a club, then played a diamond to the ace and ruffed a diamond. What would you play next? Declarer tried a heart and ruffed this low. West over-ruffed and with a club and two trumps to come, down one was the result. If declarer had ruffed with the ♠J, they would have been home, and even if they had tried the ♥J and thrown another club, it is likely they would make their contract. So, a club lead was needed to beat 4♠, and strangely 4♥ would also make unless East can find a club lead!