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Daily Bridge in New Zealand

 

Which bridge player is in this picture and where is it taken? My guess is that you do not know the answer to either question. That is why you will need to read today’s Jan’s Day article to find out the answers.

 jan cormack 2021  1.jpg

Jan’s Day: Creative Defence

“The 1991 New Zealand Bridge trials were held at Christchurch over eight days during the Easter holidays. Seven teams from Australia joined New Zealand teams” in Open and Women’s competition “to play five days of qualifying, two days of semi-final and two days of finals. Australia won both Women’s and Open finals and will represent Zone 7 for the Bermuda Bowl and Venice Trophy in September in Yokohama.”

In 2021, we will have on-line test matches in mid-May between an Australian and a New Zealand team in 5 categories (Open, Women, Seniors, Mixed and Youth), the first ever anywhere on-line international matches. We hope that our zonal teams (our Zone now has two teams in the Bermuda Bowl, Venice Cup competitions) will have a world competition in which to compete. At present, that is highly uncertain.)

“New Zealand will be represented in the Women’s event at the Far East Championships by Lorraine Boyd, Vivien Cornell, Sue Weal, Lorraine Stachurski, Karen Cumpstone, Jan Cormack and non-playing captain, Michael Sykes.

See if you can match Karen Cumpstone’s inspired defence on the following deal from the trials.

Bridge in NZ.pngnz map.jpg

West Deals
None Vul
A 3
J 3 2
Q 9 7 2
K Q J 3
K 2
7
A K 10 8 6 5 4
A 6 4
 
N
W   E
S
   
West North East South
Karen Cumpstone Dummy    
1  Pass Pass 2 
3  3 NT Pass 4 
All pass      

 

2Diamond-small showed both majors.

You lead Diamond-smallA and your partner follows with Diamond-smallJ and declarer with Diamond-small3. It appears likely that there are two tricks in your bag with the minor suit aces but where can the defence hope to score two more tricks to set the contract?

Karen reasoned that her partner needed to score a trump trick to have any chance of securing four tricks for the defence. What if the declarer could be convinced that a spade ruff threatened? With this in mind, Karen switched to the Spade-small2. This was the full deal:

 

West Deals
None Vul
A 3
J 3 2
Q 9 7 2
K Q J 3
K 2
7
A K 10 8 6 5 4
A 6 4
 
N
W   E
S
 
10 7 6 4
Q 10 6
J
10 9 8 7 2
 
Q J 9 8 5
A K 9 8 5 4
3
5
West North East South
Karen Cumpstone   Jan Cormack  
1  Pass Pass 2 
3  3 NT Pass 4 
All pass      

 

Put yourself in declarer’s place. If trumps broke 2-2 and the Spade-small2 was a singleton (this seemed very likely from declarer’s point of view), then it was imperative to rise with Spade-smallA and draw trumps. Thus, the declarer called for the Spade-smallA from the North hand and had to concede defeat when trumps broke 3-1.

Karen’s imaginative defence had paid off handsomely as Lorraine Boyd had made 4Heart-small with an overtrick at the other table.”

Unfortunately, Lorraine Boyd is no longer with us though the other team members most certainly are even if Sue Weal no longer plays bridge and Michael Sykes plays very little.

Karen Cumpstone returned to her native Canada for family reasons in 2007. As well as being on the NZ Bridge Management Committee, she featured in the New Zealand Women’s Team several times with 1991 being the first time and 2004 the most recent. Among her international partners were Kathryn Yule and Emma Barrack.

She still plays bridge “although not as much as I used to”. She met friends a little while ago at a bridge tournament in Reykjavik and as you can see above got to see more of Iceland. This article prompted communication with Karen and Karen replied with a few comments about bridge:

“I really miss the NZ bridge tournaments. There is nothing to compare them with in Canada.   On the positive side though I have met some fun, and some great, bridge players.  Some are so funny that I'm always laughing at the after-bridge dinners and parties.

Karen Cumpstone and int team.jpg
   Karen, Kathy Yule, Vivien Cornell and Lorraine Boyd at score-up time
  during an NZ Women's international in the 1990's.

 
Here is the one of the best things I have learned.   It is for when you are playing in a Teams competition and you have a bidding misunderstanding with your partner.   You go back to score up and of course your teammates ask you about that board and say "what did you do on board 5?"   All you say is "We didn't play that board"!   That is code for "We messed up and we don't want to talk about it".  wink

We had planned to visit New Zealand in November 2020 but obviously that didn't happen and so we are waiting until we can visit again.”

 

Karen made a big contribution to bridge in New Zealand at the table, administratively and with her always bright and positive personality. I am sure all who remember her will welcome her when she is able to visit New Zealand again.

 

 

A Contract to make…for less experienced players and others.

Well, it was impossible if West had made a more aggressive lead but the unbid suit passive lead has given you a chance:

South Deals
N-S Vul
K 7 2
A Q 6
A 7 4
8 7 3 2
   
N
W   E
S
   
 
A J 8 5 4
K 5
J 9 5 2
Q 10
West North East South
      1 
Pass 2  Pass 2 
Pass 4  All pass  

 

West led Heart-small10. What’s your plan to make 10 tricks? Do not worry about the overtricks. Oh, in case you are hoping for a lucky diamond break, there is no singleton diamond honour or doubleton Diamond-smallKQ in the opponents’ hands.

Richard Solomon

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