MAYFIELD DUPLICATE BRIDGE CLUB
NEWSLETTER No. 42 – JULY 2005
ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
The 21st Annual General Meeting of the Club was held on 12 April 2005 and this ran very smoothly lasting only 20 minutes so enabling us to complete 24 boards.
Sylvia Timberlake resigned from the Committee. Malcolm expressed his thanks for her great contribution to the running of the Club over the years and presented her with a bouquet of flowers and a Needle craft book. Sylvia has offered to continue to assist with the scoring and to help in many other ways and I’m sure we’ll be calling on her for some time before we can catch up with all of the tasks she performed
The following were re-elected to the Committee: Malcolm Channing (Chairman), Pam Southon (Secretary), Peter Lee (Captain), Peter Southon (Chief Director), Chris Pullan (Treasurer), Ron Maclaren, Rosemary Rice, Roger Sugden and Joan Underdown. Two new members elected were Keith Jackson and Roy Smith bringing the Committee back to full strength.
The trophies were presented by Peter Lee as follows:
Norman Cup Tim Cook & Roger Morton
Mayfield Teams Cup Bernard Pike, Tony Scouller, Arun Suri, Tim Cook, Roger Morton
Mayfield Cup Liz Phillips
Mayfield Handicap Cup Mike Stilwell
Kath Coward Cup John Timberlake
Kath Coward Handicap Cup Phillip Brooks
Men’s Pairs John Cruickshank & Tony Turnage
Ladies Pairs Angela Forsyth & Liz Phillips
Mixed Pairs Denny Wade & Sean O’Neill
Committee Cup Jack Feld & Martin Trouse
Liz Phillips Cup Rosemary Rice & Joan Cullen shared with
Bernard Pike & Liz Phillips
Dorothy Williamson Cup Ann Madden, Phillip Brooks, Mike Stilwell & Norman Grant
Pro-Am Cup Mike Stilwell & Sean O’Neill
MEMBERS ADDRESSES & TELEPHONE NUMBERS
The membership database has been updated and the list of telephone numbers is included with this newsletter. Please check that we have your correct address (on the envelope) and the correct telephone number on the list. If in error, please inform either Ron Maclaren or Rosemary Rice of the required correction. Also if you wish us to be able to contact you by email, you may inform us through the Mayfield email address email@example.com.
We are pleased to welcome Malcolm Pryor, Jacky Boulding and Adrian Boulding as new members since the last newsletter.
Committee & Liz Phillips Cups – Tuesday, 16th August. The rank determining the split between these two events will be decided on the night in order to even out the number or pairs in each. It will be either National Master plus or Premier Regional Master plus.
Pick up Teams Nighs – Tuesdays, 30th August and 29th November.
EBU Simultaneous Pairs. - Tuesday, 13th September.
Pro-Am - Tuesday, 27 September. This event has been moved in the calendar to avoid last year’s clash with the Guernsey Congress which contributed to some extent to reduced attendance.
No Bridge - Friday, 18th November
Christmas Party - Tuesday, 13th December
Pachabo Cup 3rd – Surrey
This competition is for the County Teams Champions of each County. This year Surrey was represented by four Mayfield members, Peter Lee, Bob Rowlands, Liz Phillips and Margaret Lee. They were third in a very close finish and were leading after 29 (of 30) matches.
Gold Cup Roger Morton’s team is now in round 6 (last 16)
Crockfords Plate. Roger Morton’s team has made it to the semifinal in this event too
National Pairs 7th - Peter Lee and Bob Rowlands
EBU Spring Holiday Notable results achieved by members of
the Club were:-
Swiss Teams – 1st - Peter Lee and Bob Rowlands
Swiss Teams – 12th - Malcolm Pryor
Swiss Teams B Flight – 12th - Mae Gayner and Ulla Alilz
Swiss Pairs – 3rd - Malcolm Pryor
Year End Men’s Pairs 3rd - Tony Turnage & John Cruickshank
(Apologies for this not being reported in the last newsletter)
Wanborough Cup Winners - Mayfield
This Cup is presented to the winners of a Multiple Teams Tournament where the competitors are the Club Teams Champions of all the Clubs in Surrey. The Mayfield, represented by Bernard Pike, Tony Scouller, Arun Suri and Tim Cook finished 1st of 20 teams.
Surrey Affiliated League The Play-Off was won by Mayfield A
(Liz Phillips, Tim Cook, Peter & Margaret Lee)
Mayfield Teams 1st - Bernard Pike, Arun Suri, Roger Morton, Tim Cook Tony Scouller
2nd - Sean O'Neill, Liz Phillips, John Frosztega, Peter & Margaret Lee
Norman Cup 1st - Roger Morton & Tim Cook
2nd - Malcolm Channing & Ron Maclaren
Dorothy Williamson 1st - Liz Phillips, Peter Lee, Sean O'Neill & Bernard Pike
2nd - Audrey Vaughan, Molly Slevin, Jean Davies & Pam Cox
Mixed Pairs 1st - Martin Trouse & Rosemary Lyttle
2nd - Alan Bailey & Jill Leslie
Mens Pairs 1st
- Roger Morton & Sean
O’Neill, on a split tie from
2nd - Arun Suri & Peter Lee
Ladies Pairs 1st - Audrey Vaughan & Molly Slevin
2nd - Mary Street & Rosemary Rice
Tony Forrester's Daily Telegraph annual Christmas Competition
Roger Morton won 2nd prize of £50 to match the success of Phillip Brooks in the previous year.
The Mayfield can now boast that it includes yet another winner. Tony Scouller is a member of the consortium owning this year’s Derby winner, Motivator.
Our Captain Peter Lee has to put in entries for Mayfield teams for the 2005/2006 competition in the next few weeks. Please could any prospective captains get in touch with Peter.
We use revenue from the ordinary nights to support the prizes vouchers for that night but we need it also for those prizes presented at the AGM for the special events There has been concern expressed by members who attend very regularly that a few of the higher ranked members choose to attend only to compete in the special Club Championship events. Please could those who feel they may fit this description endeavour to attend more regularly on the ordinary club nights. This should not only boost the numbers and the revenue and (maybe) raise the standard of play but also allay the concerns of the members who have raised this issue.
Again with revenue in mind, your Committee has decided that, as from July 1st, the number of prize vouchers issued will depend on the number of tables in play. The new conditions set are:
when less than 5 tables - no vouchers
when 5 –9 ½ tables - 2 vouchers (one pair)
when 10 tables or more - 4 vouchers (two pairs)
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The 21st Mayfield AGM was held on 12th April 2005 and was attended by 51 members. It was notable for its speed, only 20 minutes from beginning to end, which at least meant the bridge could start even earlier than normal.
The AGM saw the retirement of Sylvia Timberlake from the Committee and a presentation was made to mark the huge amount of time and effort she has put in over the past twenty-one years either as a Committee member in her own right or as ‘PA’ to John when he was Chairman. She continues to support the Committee by still fulfilling some of the tasks that she has done in the past, such as making sure we are provided with tea and coffee and scoring on Tuesdays.
Two new Committee Members were elected at the AGM, Keith Jackson and Roy Smith. We have lost little time in putting them to good use with Roy taking over responsibility for the production of the Calendar Cards for the coming year.
The Surrey Annual General Meeting was held on 12th June and saw the election of a new Chairman, Chris Stableford, and a new President, Peggy Griffin - an ex-member of our Club. There are vacancies on the Surrey Committee and if anyone is interested in serving on the Committee then please see me.
It was also announced that there would be changes to the AGM in future. In 2006 the Surrey Swiss Pairs is going to be revived and a shortened AGM will be held in the tea interval. The trophies will not be presented at the AGM but will be presented at the winning member’s Club.
The attendance at the Pairs evenings is still falling and this places additional pressure on the finances of the Club. One measure the Committee has decided to take is to rationalise the issuing of Prize Vouchers, from 1st July. The matter was brought to a head by the Friday evening when five pairs played, and we found ourselves issuing Prize Vouchers as well as letting the Host and the Director have a free play, (although the Director did insist on paying).
This was held on 31st May and there were ony seven entries which was very disappointing. This year it was held as a Pivot Teams but, due the lack of interest shown in the Competition, the Committee will look at the format to take for the Dorothy Williamson Cup next year.
At present Peter Southon, our Chief Tournament Director, takes it upon himself to direct most of our events. To ease the load on him and let him give 100% attention to his own game it would be nice if we had some more volunteers to direct on an occasional basis. There is a list on the Notice Board so if you feel you are able to direct please enter your name on the list or talk to Ron Maclaren or myself.
Mike was one of our more frequent attendees, especially on a Tuesday, until his debilitating illness which has meant that he has not been well enough to attend the Club since January. I am sure that I speak for the members of the Club in wishing him a speedy recovery and hope that we’ll see him in the not too distant future.
One thing that I have been asked on several occasions is why do the match points from some boards have a decimal place? This occurs when the boards are not all played the same number of times, either due to vagaries of the movement or because a board has been fouled.
The EBU, in line with most other National Associations, use a formula to calculate scores when a board hasn’t been played the maximum number of times. This formula assumes that if the board was played an extra time there is a probability that the top score might be beaten and, to reflect this, the match points given are reduced from the maximum.
This calculation must be done to four decimal places, although it is usual for the results to be printed to one decimal place. But don’t worry as this only applies to Computer scored tournaments.
As part of his ‘getting to know’ the Counties the General Manager of the EBU, Terry Collier visited Surrey. Although the whole of the Surrey Membership was invited, only 12 Committee Members and 5 others turned up.
Terry Collier’s previous job was Chief Executive of the British Boxing Board of Control, and he proved an entertaining speaker, recounting a number of anecdotes about his time with the EBU and his previous employment. The first difference he noticed occurred a few weeks after his arrival when he was taken down to the Brighton Summer Congress and he saw over a thousand people playing and only two watching - a complete turnaround from Boxing where there are two competing and a thousand watching.
One of the more surprising facts is that the Chief Executive of the EBU cannot play bridge but, as he said, he is there to administer the game, not to play it.
Terry was very candid about the failings of the EBU, especially its computer system. He promised things would change for the better in the future and briefly summarised some of the improvements to watch for, including all Local Points to be sent directly by computer and lists of players and their status to be available to the counties at anytime as they will have access to the EBU database.
It is likely that the EBU will set up a National Bridge Centre at Kettering and move its headquarters there. Alongside the new offices will be a playing area that will be able to cater for over 100 tables and a larger area will be available, if necessary. A 100 bedroom hotel will be on the same complex and there are over 500 hotel rooms within a five mile radius.
If this goes ahead it is likely that the playing area will be fitted with the Bridgemate System, which was tried out at Wimbledon earlier this year, so scoring will be instantaneous.
Terry has the brief to bring more money into Bridge and, using his contacts, he has been instrumental in getting the World Championships on Sky last year. Also, negotiations are underway about bringing the Pairs Tournaments to the television featuring the top players in the world.
Terry was an entertaining speaker who was willing to admit the shortcomings of the EBU and to hint at the improvements to come in the future whilst showing a politician’s ability to avoid answering the question when he didn’t have an answer. At the moment the jury is out but, after listening to him, I am more hopeful for the future of Bridge in this country and the EBU in particular.
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MAYFIELD TEAM FALLS AT LAST HURDLE IN PACHABO
by Peter Lee
Last autumn I entered the Lady Rose, Surrey's main team event, with a team consisting of four Mayfield members – Bob Rowlands, Liz Phillips, Margaret and myself – and another pair, Jon Cooke and Paul Gibbons. After getting through three early rounds fairly uneventfully, we beat Tony Eastgate (Bob James, Charles Chisnall, Nick Press) in the semi-final and faced Mike Ellis (Bob McMurray, Tim Cook, Ian Fraser) in the final. The Ellis team had done well to put out the fancied Hinden team in the other semi-final and held a small lead against us for more than half the final. Things improved for us on a freak hand where a strong 6-6 red hand faced another strong hand with 8 clubs. Our team mates bid to a making 6¨, but Cook and Fraser had a confusion over the meaning of a 4NT bid and ended in 7NT off the ©A and the §K. We gained 18 imps on that, the whole tempo of the match changed, and we won comfortably in the end.
The winner of each county major team championship qualifies for the Pachabo, a multiple team event, this year held over a weekend in West Bromwich and involving 31 counties. Unfortunately, Jon Cooke had arranged to get married on the Saturday and had invited Paul to the wedding, so we were down to 4 players. We decided that Bob and I should play together, with Liz and Margaret resuming an occasional partnership. With Liz still not fully recovered from her car accident and Margaret not in great practice, we were not expecting necessarily to do very well.
The Pachabo is played in a strange format with 3 board matches against each team with 10 points at stake per match. 2 points per board are split 2, 1 or 0 depending on whether you win, tie or lose the board – a difference of 10, e.g. 430 for 3NT + 1 vs 420 for 4S, counting as a tie. The other 4 points are based on a complex formula based on the ratio of the swing to the aggregate score. Strategy is a mixture of pairs and teams. The opposition tends to be variable, with some counties having international players and some counties having quite weak teams.
Margaret and Liz were concerned about the first match, having taken 500 off 5ª doubled when they had a vulnerable slam on. However, Bob got out for 300 in the same contract and had another good board and we had started with an 8-2 win. We followed that with a 9-1 win, Liz making 4 tricks more than her opposite number in a 3NT, and we were in front. Over the 10 matches on the Saturday afternoon we won 8, lost 1 and drew 1 and ended the session with 79/110 (including 6 for a sit out) and were just behind Gloucester in second place.
The Saturday evening session started badly, with two 8-2 losses, and we dropped to fifth, but we picked up with 5 wins and a draw to end the day back on second, though by this time a number of other teams had closed up.
The final session, on Sunday, remained close. Bob and I had a remarkable and undeserved success when we bid and made 6§ off two Aces. The hand on lead had both Aces, but did not lead either of them! Furthermore, this hand, which had bid a Michaels 2§ over 1§ also had to not have a singleton diamond or void club.
A later match had a board which showed that points are not everything.
W ªAKJ942 ©10985 ¨K73 § -
N ªQ73 © AKQ ¨AJ9 §AQJ7
E ª1065 ©76 ¨Q1082 §K1062
S ª8 © J432 ¨654 §98543
After a bidding sequence which started 1ª by West (me), Double by North and 2ªby East, I ended in 3ªdoubled by an affronted North with her 23 count, who found that there was no defence. In the other room, Liz reached 3NT by North on a spade lead. West fell from grace by failing to duck the first or second round of the suit and then, when Liz got in with the ªQ and cashed 3 hearts, East threw a disastrous club. The net result was +630 instead of –200. This massive swing helped to counterbalance a poor slam the opposition bid and made against us on the next board.
By the time the last match started, we had won 6, drawn 3 and lost 2 of our matches on the Sunday and were leading, just ahead of Kent and about 6 ahead of Cambridge, with Cambridge to play. The crucial board was one where NS have 4ª on and EW have 5¨ on (and can make six). For some reason I cannot understand, Bob and I let Cambridge play in 4ª when both of us should have bid 5¨. This was doubly disastrous, as in the other room the Cambridge declarer had gone off in 5¨, taking a risky finesse playing for overtricks. Had we played in 5¨ making we would have won 6½-3½ and won the event. As it was, we lost 9-1 and came third. I am still annoyed by it, though we finished ahead of a lot of good teams.
Congratulations to the winners, Ian and Catherine Draper and Gerald and Stuart Tredinnick of Kent.
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Roy Smith Challenges
When to Play the Ace of Trumps
Several points of interest can be picked out from the following hand which was dealt in a recent national competition. Sitting South as dealer and NV you have this modest collection:
ª A 5 3
© J 7 6 5
¨ A 10 5 4
§ K 4
and you have just enough to open a weak 1NT. Partner replies with a Stayman 2§ and raises your 2© reply to 3© (forcing, by your methods). You wonder about 3NT but the shape is not ideal for NT and you settle for 4©.
West begins by cashing the Ace of hearts and partner puts down this dummy
ª K 10
© K 9 4 2
¨ K 6 2
§ A Q 7 6
East contributes the ©8, after which West continues with the ©3.
How do you proceed? What should you be considering?
It should be routine to ask yourself (a) is this teams or pairs?, and (b) what alternative contracts might be played at the other table(s)? Only then can you decide on your initial personal target.
Playing low in dummy at trick 2 ensures the contract: if East follows, trumps are breaking 3-2 so that even if East wins with the Q there is at most only one loser outside the trump suit. Is it at all likely that East will show out? If he does you can play low in dummy and still win cheaply in hand, draw a second round of trumps and take eight more tricks by cashing winners including one spade ruff. But the chances of West having started with ©A Q 10 3 must be very low –and to insure against it you have to run the risk of losing an over-trick worth perhaps one VP. The over-all match position should normally dictate your decision.
The only sensible alternative to a 4© contract is 3NT. On a spade lead some 3NT declarers may struggle, but on any other lead ten tricks is the probable outcome. It makes sense to set 11 tricks as your initial target.
With that in mind, the location of the ©Q is crucial. Holding that card, West is most unlikely to start off by leading the Ace – he cannot be sure that the King and Jack are in the dummy (if he were sure about that his defence would be a brilliancy). So it is odds-on that East has ©Q. It must be correct to play the ©K and hope the ©Q falls.
This was a pairs event (the Corwen) and one declarer was duly rewarded when the Q fell under the K. South cashed the© J and now had 11 tricks in the bag. Do you think you can revise your initial target and improve even on that?
Since you have already lost one trick, it is only a squeeze that can give you twelve. There is no threat card in spades but the minor suits do look promising. To have any chance you need one opponent to hold both four clubs and the diamond guards.
Before you read on, make sure you plan the hand in the right way to exploit the squeeze if there is one.
It is vital that, in addition to cashing 3 club tricks and 2 in spades, you take a ruff of the third round of spades before cashing your last trump to complete the squeeze. Dummy’s last three cards are the ¨K x and one small § and you are left with ¨A 10 5. If it is the opponent with the club guard who has been reduced ¨Q J your ¨10 will provide your 12th trick.
Yes, that did happen! Time to reveal the W/E hands –
ª Q 9 7 6 4 ª J 8 2
© A 10 3 © Q 8
¨ 7 3 ¨ Q J 9 8
§ 9 8 3 § J 10 5 2
This precise distribution meant that East was duly squeezed. Would you have made the same play?
Are there any useful lessons we can extract? If much of the above has been all too obvious, remember that there are exceptions to almost every bridge precept. However, as a general rule do not
(i) as a defender, play the Ace of trumps ‘on air’
(ii) as declarer, fail to set yourself a conscious, initial target (which you must revise as the play develops, otherwise you may overlook potential overtricks)
(iii) in any situation, fail to plan ahead in order to achieve your original – or your revised – target.
Now that you have seen all four hands you may like to investigate, as a double dummy problem, whether there is any defence to this contract whereby W/E can forestall the squeeze and hold declarer to ten tricks? Give it a try at this point – the answer may surprise you!
Double Dummy Defence
On an initial spade lead South has no difficulty in reaching the ending described above. If anything he will be forced into taking his tricks – including a spade ruff – in the right order. But the lead of either minor puts the defence on the right track, and declarer’s communications can be fatally disrupted, if between them the defenders lead clubs twice and diamonds once. Also West must always take care to win his Ace of hearts on the third round, not the second. Any other combination of plays will allow South to make eleven. Try it for yourself.
The variations are too numerous to be explored in full here, but one curiosity is worth an airing. If the opening lead is the ¨7 on which the 2, J and Ace are played, inferior play by both sides can lead to a most interesting variation. Suppose declarer next leads a small trump and West contributes the 3 whilst the 9 is played from dummy and E’s Q wins. At this point East should of course switch to clubs, but what if instead he selects a spade? Declarer may well mistakenly win in hand in order to continue with a trump.
W may then see that, if he wins with the Ace in order to lead e.g. a second diamond, the squeeze is bound to succeed. The diamond has to be won in dummy with the¨ K (if East’s ¨Q is allowed to win he can give West a ruff and defeat the contract!) but the minor suit squeeze will still be available. South would simply defer capturing W’s last trump and, instead, take three spade tricks, using the §K as an entry, and taking the ruff with the© K. Only then, at trick 9, would the third trump be drawn and the©7 cashed in the position where dummy’s losing diamond is discarded and East is forced to part with his last diamond stop. West can also see that his lead of a third heart would fare no better.
However, it is safe for West to withhold the ©Ace at trick four. The lead is now in dummy and, again, the timing has been disrupted. Declarer can next use his club entry to take two more spade tricks but this will leave him in dummy and the vital trump re-entry to set up the squeeze will have gone. So declarer is reduced to cashing all his remaining winners and, at trick eleven, either:-
(a) throwing West in with Ace of trumps – West then has only to lead a spade for East to capture trick 13, or
(b) ruffing the fourth round of clubs.
Now, West also has the perfect answer to (b). He refuses the over-ruff, and if declarer next concedes a trick to E’s winning diamond the©Ace triumphantly wins trick 13!
I cannot recall ever seeing the Ace of trumps take the thirteenth trick for the defending side. For it to do so as part of a near immaculate defence by the player holding it must surely be almost without precedent!!!
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