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Territory Gold Bridge Festival N.T.

From Phil Power

Having never been to Darwin Kathy decided she would like to go and have a look and the Territory Bridge Festival gave us the excuse to do it. I went to work Friday morning and it was 6deg outside. 3 days later (Monday afternoon) we walked off the plane in Darwin into what seemed like a blast furnace.

We didn't get out to the Crocodile farm but there was a business in the main street called Crocosaurus where they have Croc's in large tanks and boy were they BIG. It definitely makes you realise that in the water you have no chance against these prehistoric creatures.

Anyway on to Bridge-

The Festival consisted of a Match point pairs event the same as our local Club Congresses hold which is a Qualifying round followed by a Final and a Plate A and Plate B (In W.A. we call the Plate B a Consolation) followed by a Teams event followed by two days of Swiss Pairs.

Gold points along with PQP points were awarded along with cash prizes. There were a few top eastern states players after the PQP's.

pp1 (410K)

We didn't make the final but we put some good bridge together to sneak over the line by .1 of a match point to win the Plate A.

In our first match in the teams Kathy and I were up against Michael Courtney and his partner. I was wearing one of my card shirts and Michael upon seeing it said "you could almost signal to your partner with that shirt : but you would have to memorize where all the cards were ":.

It was now the last two days of the festival. The Swiss event had started and after three rounds we were sitting E/W at table 1 against Marilyn Chadwick, a Sydney player with over 6,000 master points to her name and with an easy to remember ABF number of 9911. A minus 2 draw saw us back at table 4.

The last day saw us seemingly on the wrong side of the cards all day and in the 4th last round we were still at table 4 when Attilio De Luca from Adelaide was one of only 3 pairs to bid 6C and we never recovered. We finished middle of the field.

Here is a hand we played in 6D. I was really impressed with Kathy's bidding especially since quite a few of the top seeded players did not find slam.

We were N/S and vulnerable.

North Deals
N-S Vul
A Q 8 4 2
K 7 6
A K 6 5
10 7 3
A J 9 5 3
8 4
6 5 4
K J 6
10 8 4 2
9 7
K Q 8 3
9 5
Q J 10 3 2
A J 10 9 2

West was the dealer and passed. I opened 1S and East passed. Kathy bid 2C.

West bid 2H which I can only assume was lead directing and I bid 3D. East passed and Kathy placed 4NT on the table and I replied with 5C. (0/3) Kathy bid 5D and I corrected to 6D. Deep Finesse said 6D was cold for North.

We are all taught to take trumps out straight away but when dummy hit the table it appeared to me that if I touched trumps there would not be enough to ruff out my losers.

East dutifully led out a heart which West won with their Ace and a Heart was returned. I took my KH and dropped a losing spade in dummy then played my AS dropping dummies other spade and then ruffed a spade in dummy. Next AC and ruffed a club. I was able to ruff all my losing clubs and spades finishing with the QJ trumps in dummy and AK trumps in hand and claimed. That was a nice little pick up of 12 imps when some pairs failed to even make 5D or went down in 6D......

You might ask what would happen if the defence started with a trump and then followed up with another trump after claiming their AH. If that happened

I would have to rely on the spade suit breaking 3/3 which it does, so I would come to 2 spade winners after playing AS and ruffing 2 out.

Kathy and I both enjoyed our experience at the NT Bridge Festival. It was very nicely run by Judy Herring and her team. There were lots of spot prizes of red/white wines/chocolates. The venue was in close walking distance to bars and restaurants. Matt McManus as always did a great job with directing and having the results posted promptly.

pp2 (419K)

pp3 (362K)

Convener Judy Herring with Jean Field and Judith Tuckey who were 2nd in Plate B


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