Australia sees two major tournaments take place over this weekend’s Queen’s Birthday holiday. Townsville hosts the Barrier Reef congress, while Melbourne hosts its very popular Victor Champion tournament, both with pairs and teams events. Results next column.
The Australian Bridge magazine held its Australia-wide Novice pairs competition around the country over the last week of May. The Adelaide Bridge Centre held a heat of the competition, with heat winners Pauline Wilson and Louise Netherway, ahead of Paul Serafin and Judith CasleySmith, for NS, and Chris and Tim Lebbon, ahead of Carol Papandrea and Pat Mesmer, for EW. Clubs should consider running a heat next year as it is ideal for the less-experienced players. Australian
Bridge will be running its Australia-wide Open pairs at the end of October.
Today’s hand, from the Novice pairs, caused problems for E/W, predominantly in the play, but also perhaps in the bidding. How would you bid the E/W hands? After East opens 1 ♣ and West responds 1 ♠ , most will raise to 2 ♠ with the East hand, although some may consider 3 ♠ , with the singleton diamond and only 6 “losers”. All Wests, over 2 ♠ , simply bid 4 ♠ , although the magazine suggested West should push on towards slam with Blackwood, and end in 6 ♠ . Since no-one made 12 tricks, it was fortunate that they didn’t bid slam. What should North lead? Many would choose a red suit, and you should try the 8 or 7, suggesting a poor suit. South should refrain from playing their king on this trick. Declarer should then try the finesse in the other red suit, and when that works and trumps are 2-2, you may make all the tricks. A number of Norths chose a cunning club lead. Declarer should win the ace and try the ♦ J. If this loses, your diamond winners will discard dummy’s hearts, after drawing trumps, and you can trump a heart in dummy, whilst when it wins, you then try the heart finesse, and, with success of that, you again can make all the tricks. Try it and see.