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Gold Coast Congress

By Phil Power

Scattered points

Kathy and I recently played at the Gold Coast Congress which was held at the Broadbeach Convention Centre.

We warmed up with 24 boards in the Friday night walk in pairs. Saturday and Sunday we played 81 boards in the weekend Match Pointed Swiss. Monday was a Butler Swiss event of 54 boards. The teams were next on the Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. That was another 168 boards and then we finished off with 80 boards in the Ivy Dahler Swiss on Friday and Saturday. That was 9 days of bridge playing a total of 407 boards. Phew.

As usual there were lots of varying hands of interest and difficulty. I noticed a number of hands where it was important to show partner scattered points. We were taught one needed 6 HCP to answer Partner's opening bid, however it soon became apparent that with scattered points such as a King here and a Queen there or simply just an Ace it is important in most cases to say something.

In the Monday Butler event we played a husband and wife pair where the wife opened 1S which was passed out. The husband said "I have a maximum pass "and promptly placed his hand on the table which included a King and two Jacks. His wife without any trouble made 11 tricks giving us a good result on the board.

In round 4, Board 26 of the Open Teams I sat East with the following hand -
S 9642
H T742
C K982

Kathy opened 1D which showed 5D's. I thought that if Kathy had a 4 card major she would much rather play in a 4/4 fit than a 5/1 fit but the danger of only having 3 HCP was if Kathy did not have a 4 card Major and rebid 2NT we could be in trouble.

Anyway I bid 1H and Kathy bid 1S and the hand was passed out. Kathy had no trouble making 11 tricks for +200.

Board 26
East Deals
Both Vul
10 8
A K 6 5
J 2
Q 10 7 6 5
A Q J 5
J 9
A Q 8 7 5 3
9 6 4 2
10 7 4 2
K 9 8 2
K 7 3
Q 8 3
K 9 6 4
J 4 3

When we scored up our direct opponents had played in 1D making 9 tricks for +110. The +90 in our favour meant we as a team picked up 3 imps on the board. Upon checking all the results for the board I discovered that whilst most of the room played in 1 or 2D approx 6 pairs found game in 4S. ....It is possible that they were pushed there by aggressive opposition bidding or their system is far superior to ours.

On the next board whilst most of the field reached 4H , 30 teams either did not reach game in 4H or never found their heart fit....and I believe it again comes down to showing your scattered points. West may only have 5 HCP but this time with their void their hand is much stronger. It was a flat board for our team upon scoring up as both E/W's found the game in H's.

Board 27
South Deals
None Vul
Q 10 7 4
J 6
K 7 4 3
A 4 2
8 6 5 2
Q 10 7 5
K 10 9 8 3
K 9
A K 9 8 3
A 10 6 5
A J 3
4 2
Q J 9 8 2
7 6 5


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