Bridge players gear up to play in larger competitions

So far, we’ve qualified 51 players for the North American Pairs competition.

The Unit 157 (clubs in Central Alabama) will have a two–session event in early September where roughly 50 percent will qualify for the District 10 (Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas and western Tennessee) tournament held in Vicksburg, Va. in January. Of that field, only four teams will earn a spot in the NAP finals in Houston in April.

THIS WEEK’S WINNERS

Monday: Liz Milko and Jerrie Friar, Kitty Griswold and Kathryn Howell, Janet Johnson and Barbara Dawson, Aileen Hill and Kathryn Howell, Peggy and Gene Graham.

Thursday: Roy and Guy Martin, Judy Chase and Mel Dupuis, Kathryn Howell and Judy Converse (Kathryn’s third partner in the week—all winners!), Liz and Tom Milko, John Lusco and Mac LaCasse, Judy and Don Hasseld, Jill Salmon and John Griffith, Beth Fletcher and Gayle Cole.

Friday: Roy and Guy Martin, Lorette and Clark Ogle, John Griffith and Jill Salmon, Lanell and Paul Saeger, Joyce Demboski and Sam Harris (morning and afternoon winners), Judy and David Funk, Aileen and Odis Hill (also morning and afternoon winners), Sandy and Joe Primm, myself and Geri Dodson, Frances Hereford and Rita Van Blommesteyn, Judy Chase and Bob Fennell, Roberta Roby and Judy Burlage.

Saturday: Jill Salmon and John Griffith, Judy Hasseld and Liz Milko, Charlotte Lusco and Jo Weatherly.

HAND OF THE WEEK

We had quite a few hands this week. If you’re a bridge player go to my Web site at www.riverchasebridge.com and take the link to Hands of the Week. I use the Bridge Composer program to create the hands from selected boards played during the week.

This turned out to be a tough hand to play, but well bid. North couldn’t put the brakes on hard enough after opening light in second seat. Even though the Rule of 15 is only used in fourth seat (High Card Points + the number of spades you hold, if = 15 or more, then open the bidding), I’d open this shapely hand with 1S as well.

South can only mutter, “thank you partner” when she sees 11 HCP, especially playing in NT. Oh, well. Things have to fall right.

First she tackles the spades, losing the king, then takes the club return in hand. Diamonds and hearts have to fall exactly correctly. Declarer first finesses the big diamond and back to hand with the king of hearts. The second diamond lead produces the king (thank goodness) and declarer has four spade tricks, two hearts, three clubs and three diamonds for 12 and a top board. Nice bid and well-played. Everyone else was in spades (4 making 6, 6 making 6) or NT (3 making six).