February Newsletter 2016

February is typically the hottest month, and with some of the temperatures we were experiencing in the last week of January, I for one was not looking forward to the expected temperatures this month. So far, the temperatures have not exceeded those of that notable week in January, and with the windows and doors open, the fans spinning, and the extraction fan humming, the heat in the club rooms have not yet melted any of our members or visitors, and the truly committed have continued to play.

In this, the second edition of the 2016 newsletter, we welcome our new members, introduce you to our newest committee members, our newest employee, and make a request for help in promoting this glorious game we love.

As usual, we also bring you


Auckland Bridge Club Tournaments

Corbans Salver 7 St Vincent Pairs 8B

Thursday March 17th

Play starts 09:45

Sponsored by 7 St. Vincent


Easter Congress

March 26th Congress Pairs 10A  and 8B Intermediate/Junior pairs

March 27th Congress Teams 10A (2 days)

sponsored by 7 St. Vincent

March 28th Remuera House of Travel Walk-In pairs

Club News Bit

Some of our more avid gardeners have been bringing in surplus from their vegetable garden harvests to share. You can find fresh edibles on the kitchen serving counter, to take home

Reminders for Members

If you have not yet paid your 2016 Club Subs, a reminder that now the early payment date has passed, you will need to pay the full amount.

Once you have done so, you can collect your 2016 Parking Permit card from Deb or Ann in the office.

From The Committee

The Committee are pleased to announce the appointment of Douglas Russell as the Teacher for the Beginner Lessons. Douglas will also lead the Club in the development of all things related to Teaching

Nau mai haere mai, Welcome to our new Members

Keith Plows, Denise Johnson, Lorraine Fletcher, Mark Lynn, Lesley Christiansen, Don Christiansen, Don Fairley, Roger Wilson, Jim Salinger, Jane Field, Vikki Little


It is with sadness that we learned of the passing of Doreen O'Dowd, a member since 1968, and Annie Small

Koutou te hunga mate, kia okioki koutou i roto i te rangimarie, koutou ko te hunga ora, kia ora ai ki runga i te rangimarie.  May they rest in peace. Our condolences to their friends and loved ones.

Northland Auckland Bridge Tournaments

click the title of the tournament to be taken to the relevant club's website.

you can also find details on the "Tournaments" Notice board on the 'north' wall just next to the entry to the gentlemen's toilet.

Papakura 5B intermediate & 3A Open pairs

two separate tournaments running concurrently

Saturday March 5th

Howick 8B Open Swiss Pairs

Howick trials a new format replacing their Restricted Tournament

Saturday March 12th

Kerikeri Dolphin 8B Open pairs

an image heavy website, may be slow to load

Saturday March 12th

East Coast Bays Intermediate 5B & Open 3A pairs

two separate tournaments running concurrently

Saturday March 19th

Introducing our newest committee members

Bianca van Rangelrooy

I was invited to join the Bridge committee in late 2015. My partner and I relocated from Christchurch, earlier in the year. We were active members of the Christchurch Bridge Club and experienced, through the multiple earthquakes, the demise of our club rooms, the temporary relocation to a local Bowling club and the return to the beautiful new premises.

I first heard of Bridge from my father, who as a boy learnt the game from the neighbours and was often roped in to make up numbers. He spoke of his conquests, as a conscripted soldier, of playing tournaments with Officers and Generals. He spoke of those  special hands that led to success, making the game sound complex and intriguing . My sister is also a keen player at the Hastings club.

The aspect of Bridge  I enjoy most, is the energy and  community generated around the game, as partnerships are formed  with the intent of out-witting, through the use of varying systems, the vagaries of a set of playing cards.

Peter Hensman

Peter was born in Hamilton, and first learned to play bridge while at school, some 45 years ago. Upon moving to Auckland he initially played at Akarana for many years when they met on Sundays, while teaching physics, chemistry and mathematics at Mt Roskill Grammar and de La Salle College. In 1989 Peter joined the RNZN, where his roles included training, HR, Recruitment, Projects, and Personnel Planning until retiring in 2012. Peter took a twelve year break from bridge in this period, when he became a father, returning to bridge at Auckland Bridge Club approximately 6 years ago.


Peter's approach to bridge is to treat every hand as a unique puzzle within which to achieve the optimal play, rather than focusing on the overall result of a session. As such he prefers the play of the cards to the auction, and is not particularly competitive, playing only the occasional tournament. He acknowledges that his aim for perfection of play in every individual hand can make him a difficult partner to play with.

Alice Young

I came to NZ after graduating from a university in China, majoring in Commerce and started work in the areas of accounting and real estate. 15 years ago I became the co-founder of a small business in IT software development where my main job was to take care of the admin/accounts.

In 2009 I started learning 3 things: golf, singing, and bridge.  After one year, golf decided to dump me, while singing tried to keep it’s distance from me, but I didn’t give a toss because I had grown this huge obsession with bridge right from lesson no 1.  This addiction (which I’m sure all you readers would agree, is a fairly healthy addiction… right? haha) has brought me great joy, excitement, frustration, but has also taught me to be calm, patient yet decisive and to accept whatever the outcome.

Of course I certainly do have a life outside of bridge.  I love opera, adore animals, am very interested in social networking and current affairs, I care about the environment, am pretty spiritual too and I love a good intelligent conversation over a nice cuppa with a friend.

I’m glad to be part of the committee and hope to add value to the club. 

Beginner Lessons Teacher 

Douglas Russell

I have been appointed by the Auckland Bridge Club to take over the role of Class Tutor for the Monday evening Beginners' programme from Christine Wilson, and also to a new role designing, coordinating and managing a coherent teaching programme. This year's series will start on Monday 22 February 2016. Here is a little about myself.

I am originally from the UK; my career was in the University sector, my last post being Professor of Chemistry at the University of Auckland. I retired in 2012. I hugely enjoyed the teaching aspects of the job, especially to First Year students; an example of my teaching style may be viewed here. One of my obsessions outside my chosen subject has always been bridge. I have been playing competitively (with some breaks for career reasons) since the late 1970's, and I have represented New Zealand at the Seniors' level 10 times in 7 different countries. More recently, I have become involved with helping others learn this fascinating game, through sessions for Developing Players at the Auckland Bridge Club, assisting in supervised play sessions at the North Shore Club, and partnering players eager to develop their skills in tournaments and club sessions. Other hobbies include gardening, tramping and most recently playing rock guitar, something I always wanted to do as a teenager but for which I did not have the time or resources.

Call for Bridge Teaching Mentors/Buddies and Assistants.

Douglas Russell

I have been appointed by the Auckland Bridge Club to take over the role of Class Tutor for the Monday evening Beginners' programme from Christine Wilson, and also to a new role designing, coordinating and managing a coherent teaching programme. A critical aspect of this programme is assisting and supporting learners as they progress from the relative comfort of the beginners' class to the much more daunting world of club duplicate bridge sessions and eventually tournament play. To this end, I need a group of willing and able volunteers to take on the role of mentor (called "buddies" by Jane Stearns in her excellent videos on teaching). These players would each be readily and reliably available to a small group of learners, and would provide advice on bidding/play issues, chaperon individuals into club or other sessions, and play with individuals in sessions as they see appropriate. I also need a small group of assistants for the teaching sessions themselves, depending on numbers; these would help me in advising and instructing in the classes, and might also deliver sessions if I were unavailable (note that I shall prepare all the relevant materials). Either role would be an excellent way of giving something back to the game that we all love; empathy with learning players is far more important here than high level expertise. This year's series will start on Monday 22 February 2016

If you are interested in either of these roles, please contact me directly at (09) 480 2294, 021 235 2220 or Note that I shall reserve the right to accept volunteers.

Tactical Decisions 

Hamish Brown

Playing Matchpoints we frequently have to decide whether to play NT or a minor suit contract. Once we have determined the best contract we need to then consider how many tricks to attempt to make for a competitive result. 


Board 14 on Tuesday night- January 26th provides an interesting example.

Sitting East you hold:





Perhaps you resolve this hand by opening 1NT immediately losing the D suit forever?  Most players would open 1D. 

West holds:






The auction develops:

N             E              S              W

                1D           /              1H

/              1S           /              ?


Is East showing an unbalanced hand with 5D and 4S in your partnership?  If East could also have a balanced hand with 4D then it is hard for West to know which contract to choose.  At Matchpoints it is frequently best to play 1NT rather than 2 of a minor because it scores better.  However if you have an 8 card fit and one or both hands have a singleton, or the partnership has a 9 card fit then the minor part-score is likely best.   If there are situations like this where you are in the dark about partners shape and or strength the Checkback convention will assist you.

If West bids 2D in preference to 1NT will East know when to offer 2H?  East needs to know what types of hands West will have to rebid 1NT and which 2D.  East should offer 2H when they hold this hand K743 A82 AQ982 7 and West bids 2D.  The third H and singleton C suggest H will play well even if West only has 4H.  When West has chosen 2D which does not score well they must have a hand that strongly suggests playing a suit rather than NT.  West cannot be expected to bid H twice when they are weak and have only 5.

The Play

In our auction the contract was 2D. South leads the KH and Declarer’s first job before playing a card is to place the missing honours in the North/South hands. When they lead an honour from dummies suit you can often work out quite a bit about the hand.  The lead suggests South holds something like KQJX or KQTX or maybe KQT or KQJ in H.  It seems likely South has the KC since they did not lead the unbid suit.  No one overcalled so North probably has one or both of the AS and the KD (If South has AS K+QH and the KC that’s 12HCP. South often finds some bid to make over 1D when they have 12 HCP for example they may have X for take-out or bid 2C)

If South has the KC and North the KD and AS it looks like people playing 1NT may make 2NT for 120 (5D+ AH + AS +KC = 8 tricks).  This means we have to make a tactical 4D or 10 tricks for 130 to get a decent result however if the D finesse loses it looks like 1NT will struggle with few holds in the black suits.

This placement of high cards based on the lead gives us the key to the play of the hand.  We can aim to ruff 2 Spades in the short hand and play to set up H hoping for a 3-3 or 4-2 break. However the KC looks like the key card.  If the K of clubs is with South then North has to win the AS and switch to a club before we have a chance to throw our losing C on the long H.  

So we duck the first H. Win the next trick (a heart at our table). Try the D finesse – when this loses we have beaten the folk in 1NT and South is on lead again so can’t lead a C.   

At our table South leads a 3rd H which East can ruff.  This sets up the 4th and 5th hearts for discards.  Because we played the trump before playing towards the KS we now have an entry to dummy via the JD.  This means that we can lead towards the KS at this point, and we have the controls and entries to win the AC immediately if North does go up with the AS and leads a C.


The full hand:






J8                                                            K743

A9543                                                    82

J763                                                       AQ982

Q4                                                          A7






On the actual hand if East does open 1NT East will play 2H after a transfer by West.  With the hearts 3-3 it looks like North has to switch to the JC when in with the JH to hold East/West to 110 so diamonds is the best contract since it is the only strain that gives us a legitimate play for more than 110.

New Zealand Bridge has a new web address, and a new website. They are seeking feedback on the new look and functionality from their membership - and if you are a member of any affiliated Bridge club in New Zealand, then you are... Yes Auckland Bridge Club is affiliated to NZBridge... so pop on over to the website, have a look around, and let them know the good, the bad, and any issues you may have had.


Waitangi Day Pairs

Those of us that deliberately did not enter, because the idea of playing in the summer heat was intolerable, were disappointed with the weather of the day. Those 84 stalwarts who did enter, had the satisfaction of successful forward planning, and spending an enjoyable day Bridging in weather that inspires indoor activity.

Bev Hinton (Auckland), and partner Carol de Luca(Franklin) won top honours, followed by Glenis Palmer/Linda Cartner (Auckland), Anne Gelb/Penny McRobie (Auckland) and Steve Boughey(Akarana)/Andrew Tarbutt (Hibiscus)

Top placed Intermediate pair, and 7th overall were Robin Hardley/Bev Cossar (Auckland). Top pair from the Director's Cut were Carol Joseph/Richard Stuart (Auckland) and top Junior pair were Beverley Petersen/Glenys Melhuish (Auckland)

Bell Taylor Pairs

The Bell Taylor tournament is open to all partnerships, however there is the Eileen Taylor Salver for the best Women's Pair, which was won this year by Cheryl Winsor/Susan Rowe (Howick) ,and the Bruce Bell Salver for best Men's Pair which was won by Allan Dormer/Anthony Hopkins (Auckland) .

The overall results had Allan Dormer/Anthony Hopkins(Auckland) with top honours, second place to Grant Jarvis(Franklin) and Jonathon Westoby (Akarana). George Sun (Akarana) and John Wang (Auckland) came third with Allan and Beverley Morris (Auckland) being the top mixed pair and fourth overall.

Joey Chang/See-Lin Lee (Howick) came top on the Director's Cut with Carol Joseph/Denise Mayhew (Auckland) the highest finishing Intermediate pair and Eddie Tan (Hamilton) and William Han (Howick) the highest junior pair.

Our thanks to Perform Podiatry for their sponsorship of the 2016 Waitangi Day Pairs

Our thanks to Sibuns Funeral Directors & Advisors for their sponsorship of the 2016 Bell Taylor Pairs

Club Series Results

Congratulations to our first series winners for the year 2016

Monday Morning New Year Pairs: Joan Hunter/Sally Martin

Tuesday Evening Section 1 New Years Pairs: Mike Dunn/Mark Roberston

Tuesday Evening Section 2 New Years Pairs: Gillian West/Mila Hill

Tuesday Evening Section 1 Westchester Shield: Russell & Leslie Watt

Tuesday Evening Section 2 I.M.P. Pairs: Margaret Skegg/Susan Glennie

Wednesday Morning Section 1 New Year Pairs: Anne Gelb/Bobbie Greenwood

Wednesday Morning Section 2 New Years Pairs: Vera Woolerton/Jean Brenton

Wednesday Evening New Years Pairs: Rita Kale/Stephen kale

Thursday Evening Summer Pairs: Sylvester Riddell/Mark Roberston

Friday Morning Section 1 New Years Pairs: Joan Beagle/Barbara Hayes

Friday morning section 2 New Years Pairs Susan Horn/Trudy Lange

Auckland Northland Tournaments - and beyond

Congratulations to our members who participated in tournaments within the Auckland Northland Region, particularly to

John Wang and partner for placing 2nd in the Franklin Summer Swiss 8B pairs on January 16th, where Richard Stuart and partner finished 3rd, Val Gardiner and partner 5th, and Patrick Carter and partner finished 6th.

Patrick Carter and partner for placing 4th in the Waitemata 5A open on january 23rd

Carol and George Wilkinson placed second in the Warkworth 8B open on January 30th, with Alan Dormer/Anthony Hopkins 3rd, Russell & Leslie Watt 4th, and Peer Bach and Setsuuko Lichtneker 7th

On Waitangi Day, Mark Roberston and Sylvester Riddell opted to travel to Rotorua in the Waikato-Bays region, to play the Kelly Pierce Memorial 10A Teams, rather than play our Waitangi Day tournament. I'm sure their team mates were particularly appreciative, as they took out First place. Congratulations.

Your Club Newsletter.

It's been lovely hearing your comments about the newsletter since I took on the role as editor. I appreciate the positive feedback, and those of you who have made constructive comments have hopefully found them received positively and implemented when feasible. 

In past editions I have asked for some help, and as a result Hamish Brown has come on board to write up interesting hands that present some of the trickier situations that can arise at the table. With a diverse range of ability within our membership, it is no easy task to present something for all. I personally have found this editions hand quite illuminating, experiencing a "D'Uh" moment at having something so apparently obvious pointed out regarding the assessment of tricks needed to gain a competitive result in a minor part-score contract, and the potential for doing so when others may be in NT, yet I had previously failed to fully register these implications.

I hope you will agree that Hamish has been doing a great job in presenting these hands, and I look forward to reading more in the future. If you would like to see a hand, or topic covered by Hamish, then please let him know directly when you see him at the table, or I can pass it on to him.

The process of putting together the newsletter is time consuming. Culminating the results of all the session series, which include looking through the programme booklet to keep tabs on all the sessions I do not play, then searching the website results etc, and tournaments in our region and further afield can take several hours.

It occurs to me that if a volunteer from each session were to send me a quick e-mail at the completion of one of the club series in a particular session, with the name of the series and the winner(s) name of each section it would ensure I did not miss a series, and save me a considerable amount of time. So with that in mind:

Club Results

Volunteers from the following sessions, to email me the winners of a series, would be very much appreciated:

Monday morning

Wednesday morning

Wednesday evening

Thursday evening

Friday morning

Friday afternoon

Club Tournament Results

If you participate in one of the tournaments hosted by our club, and have the means, it would be wonderful if you would be able to capture a few digital photos of the event, and especially the prize giving, to include in the next newsletter.

Tournament Results

If you participate in a tournament within NZ or Australia, and one of our club members places in the top 25% of the final results, or top of their grade,  please send me the details... and if you can get a photo of them receiving their winnings I can include that in the newsletter too.

Proof Reader

Often, by the time i am reddy to publish, i have red the content so many times I flail to see the typos and spelling erors. If this paragraph anoys you, perhaps yo'd like to proofreed and correct future editions pryor to publicashun

Next edition submissions deadline Noon Friday 18th of March

to the editor:

Anticipated publication 23/03/2016