Radical changes could open up event

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As I mentioned last week there are some big changes coming for the 2017 Bermuda Sectional. Firstly, the date change to October 13 to 16, which I think makes a lot of sense as it is back in the tournament season and players should be back on island and ready to play.

The other change is somewhat more radical and clearly comes from a good place as the committee tries to boost attendance, but I think it comes at some “cost” in terms of the quality of the results.

Whereas previous events always had three “Championship” events, which were all two-session events, together with two single-session events on the Friday and Monday afternoons, which no one took very seriously, the new format will have only one two-session event, the Teams on Sunday, and the rest of the play will be in six single-session events on the Friday, Saturday and Monday.

One can see where the committee is going with this — perhaps higher attendances from people who cannot commit to two-session events and, as the announcement said, “more winners and more prizes”. So what’s the problem?

Well, I think that if I were a serious contender for the Championship Pairs events I would be disappointed in the change as the results will undoubtedly be more random and will throw up some unlikely winners. A pair can get really lucky over one session, a bit less lucky over two sessions and by the time one gets to four sessions or more the cream will pretty much rise to the top.

Granted, the number of serious contending pairs is way smaller than the host of non-contenders so the majority might well welcome the change, and perhaps that is all that matters. Clearly though, a multiple-session win brings with it much greater satisfaction.

Anyway, I think we all need to keep an open mind on the changes and at the end of the day the only feedback that matters is from the participants themselves, so we will wait on that. So get the dates in your diary now.

The IBPA (International Bridge Press Association) recently held its Annual Awards for Bridge Personality of the Year (Benito Garrozzo — one of the greatest players ever and still a force at the age of 89 — he is on BBO almost every morning), Best Book of the Year (Battling the Best — Sartaj Hans on playing in the Reisinger), Best Declarer Play (Boye Brogeland, Norway) and Best Defence of the Year (Cédric Lorenzini/Jean-Christophe Quantin (France).

The Best defence of the year was a peach!

? 5

? AQ1084

? 10753

? 1097

? 2

? J972

? QJ962

? K54

? J76

? K5

? AK84

? Q632

? AKQ109843

? 63

? None

? AJ8

The North South pair sniffed at Slam but ended up in 5 spades. The bidding was very complicated but South showed a hand with a lot of spades and 0-2 hearts after he had refused to support North’s heart bid. This was enough of a clue for the defence.

West led the 2 of hearts and declarer had a couple of choices — play the 10 hoping to draw the King, or play the queen hoping West had led away from the King. In the end, he decided on the latter and East won the heart king. Look what happens now if East tries to cash diamonds — declarer ruffs, draws trump and eventually plays a low heart to the 10 finessing the jack and throws a losing club away on the ace of hearts, contract made.

Not at this table though. After winning the heart king, Lorenzini, without a ton of delay, fired a heart straight back into the A10 ten ace. Declarer was dead — he realised that trying the heart ace now was futile so he took his only chance of a low club to the jack which would be the winning play any time East held both club honours, or if he held Kx or Qx. It was not to be, however, and the contract failed by one trick thanks to Lorenzini’s moment of inspiration and bravery. This cost a whopping 97 Imps across the field in an Imp Pairs game. Wonderful thinking.

Notice also that no other lead beats the contract so both defenders played their part.

Before I finish — I absolutely revered the partnership of Benito Garrozzo and Giorgio Belladonna and followed every event they played. The affinity got even greater when Benito shared in an interview: “I play golf every day and then play bridge — if there is no bridge, I go to the races.” What a hero.

Results for the week of August 14

Monday afternoon

North/South East/West

1. Elizabeth McKee/Stephanie Kyme 1. George Correia/Caroline Svensen

2. Gertrude Barker/Julia Beach 2. Ellen Davidson/Dianna Kempe

3. Gwen Christensen/Elma Anfossi 3. Margaret Way/Lynanne Bolton

Monday evening

1. John Glynn/Magda Farag

2. Simon Giffen/Margaret Way

3. Elizabeth McKee/Joseph Wakefield

Tuesday evening

North/South East/West

1. Betsy Baillie/Lisa Ferrari 1. Willi Christensen/Linda Abend

2. Claude Guay/Sharon Shanahan 2. Marion Ezedinma/Diana Downs

Wednesday morning

North/South East/West

1. Aida Bostelmann/Desmond Nash 1. Charlotte Emery-King/Judy King

2. Gertrude Barker/Jane Smith 2. Elizabeth McKee/Marilynn Simmons

3. Annabelle Mann/Patricia Colmet 3. K Keane/D Diel, M Bickley/P Hayward

Thursday evening

North/South East/West

1. David Sykes/Fabian Hupe 1. Gertrude Barker/Martha Ferguson

2. Marilynn Simmons/Richmond Simmons 2. Elizabeth McKee/Mike Viotti

3. Lorna Anderson/Patricia Colmet 3. George Correia/John Glynn

Friday afternoon

North/South East/West

1 .Margaret Way/Molly Taussig 1. Elizabeth McKee/Diana Diel

2. Gertrude Barker/Marilynn Simmons 2. Nea Willits/Michael Bickley

3. Lorna Anderson/Annabelle Mann 3. J Patton, L Abend/E Davidson, D Kempe

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Published Aug 26, 2017 at 8:00 am (Updated Aug 26, 2017 at 12:41 am)

Radical changes could open up event

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