Stamford Bridge Club enjoys weekend at Links Country Park hotel in Norfolk
A couple of weeks ago just over 70 of our members made the journey to West Runton, Norfolk, to the Links Country Park hotel for our annual weekend away, writes Marcus Witt, of Stamford Bridge Club.
The hotel has been our choice of venue for a number of years and has always proved a winner. 2024 was no exception. Congratulations to Mary and Terry Knights (North South) and Peter and Diane Guttridge (East West) for winning the main pairs event, and to Ruth Few and Mike Palmer with Fiona Parker and Jenny Harding for taking first place in the teams.
There were other bridge events over the weekend and none of what was put on would have been possible without the efforts of a number of our folk. Among others, our thanks are extended to Jane Reeve (organisation), David Ogg (organisation), Trevor Thrower (director), David Banks (our in-house jester and entertainer) and Cliff Orme (getting multiple sets of boards ready).
Hand of the week
For today’s hand we take the ferry across the North Sea to the Sankt Erik bridge club, Stockholm where, recently, the Swedish open trials were taking place to choose their team for this summer’s European teams championship. North has a tricky opening bid as bidding out the lengths of the suits suggests 1D first. The problem is that subsequent bids in hearts are reverses suggesting extra values. For this reason North opened 1H, treating the hand as if it were 5/5 shape. Because South was holding both the ace and king of spades, that hand knew that North’s control of the spades must be another shortage (to go with the one advertised in clubs). That placed North with 11+ red cards and using RKCB provided a check before blasting the grand slam.
The hand looks “cold” with 13 tricks from, say, three spades, five hearts, four diamonds and a club. But it is at such moments we should ask “what can go wrong?” The only problem arises if trumps are 4-0. If the length is held by East nothing can be done but H9 is the saving grace if West has four hearts. Consequently we cash HA first and can pick up West’s trumps for no losers. Cash HK instead and it’s curtains.
Needless to say, in a quality field, all pairs bid and made the grand slam.
Play optimistically but have some pessimism in reserve to counter hidden dangers.