Dealer: S Vul: Both
♠ 10842 ♠ KJ953
♥ 3 ♥ Q5
♦ AKQ109 ♦ 6
♣ A86 ♣ Q9532
The Collins team, leaders at the end of Round 1 of the Club Teams Championship had a solid second round, which was enough to keep them comfortably ahead of the fast-finishing Price team. Board 23 (above) was one of their best.
In teams competition, players are more likely to risk a small loss in order to prevent their opponents from securing a game bonus. Highly contested auctions are common when both sides have long suits. For the Collins team, North jumped the bidding in hearts after South had opened the bidding. East/West surrendered after South bid 4H over East/West’s 3S. Predictably, declarer failed by one trick, losing one trick in each suit. All would be well if their partners could score 620 for 4S making ten tricks. Partners did reach 4S by East and received the lead of the eight of hearts. Making ten tricks was no certainty, but there was no easy exit card for North. The seven of clubs was best. South would cover the Queen if played or finesse the Jack. Declarer still has club losers in hand and three rounds of diamonds will allow only two to be discarded. A fourth round must then be trumped. Declarer will return to dummy with the ten of spades, followed by the remaining diamond and the discard of another club from hand. The Queen will lose to the King but East’s Jack of spades wins the tenth trick. With only a small loss at the other table this contract gave the Collins team 11 IMPs.
Results: Teams Championship: N. Collins, M. Simpson, J, Nankervis and P. Kelly (103 VPs) 1; H. Price, R. Hart, B. Bonnell, N. Bonnell (83 VPs) 2; T. Hinde, P. Campbell, J. Mobbs S. Goddard (80 VPs) 3. Monday, 30/10/23 (Rd 2 Teams Championship): Price team (92 IMPs) 1; Collins team (63 IMPs) 2; Hinde team (12 IMPs) 3. Friday, 03/11/23 (5 & ½-table Howell) L. Munson J. Nankervis (61.1) 1; W. Milne J. Sipple (60.8) 2; L. James S. Head (58.3) 3; N. Bonnell B. Bonnell (54.6) 4.