2016 March Newsletter

Welcome to the 3rd edition of the 2016 Auckland Bridge Club Newsletter.

In this edition we bring you

Club News

Thank You do those who made donations to the club in addition to the annual club subs. receipts for donations over $50 are in named envelops to be collected at the office window sill. 

If you need a receipt for your donation, please let Ann know.

Reminders and Notices

Please remember to display your Crimson Auckland Bridge Club Member Parking Permit when parked in our car park, so that your car is not towed while you are playing.

From the Committee

Vice President Mark Robertson updates us on the ongoing conversation about our club building, below. 

New Health and Safety Rules come into effect as of the first of April. Immediate Past President, Anthony Hopkins will share the details in the April newsletter of how they will effect club members.

Auckland Northland Easter Congress in Conjunction with Auckland Bridge Club

This coming weekend. There is still time to get your entry in by tomorrow, Thursday 24th of April.

Easter Pairs 10A & 8B

March 26th


Sponsored by 

7 St. Vincent

entries close 24/3/2016

Easter 10A Teams

qualifying rounds March 27

Final March 28 and non-finalists are automatically entered in the Pairs event


Sponsored by 

7 St Vincent

entries close 24/3/2016

Easter Monday Walk-In Pairs

Players entered in the Teams, who did not make the Finals are automatically entered in this event, at no extra charge

Sponsored by Remuera House of Travel


Our thanks to the sponsors for the Easter Congress. Please click on the logos to visit their websites for more information

Howick One Session 3B Junior Tournament

a single session to encourage new players to experience tournaments on April 2nd

Waitemata 8B Open Pairs

Saturday April 9th

Whangerai 5A Open Teams

Saturday April 16th

Northshore 3A Open Swiss Pairs

Saturday April 23rd

ANZAC 8B Open Pairs

Sponsored by Bloom Hearing

Monday April 25th



At the close of the AGM in November 2015, there was a short presentation from our Vice President, Mark Robertson, to discuss ‘securing the long term future of the club’. In that presentation, Mark talked about the work the committee had started, in thinking about the future options for our membership and our premises.

Mark discussed with members:    

  • the future vision the committee has for the club
  • the challenges we face from falling attendances and membership (a problem shared with many similar         organisations)
  • that an unsolicited offer had been received from property developers                  
  • some of the ways we might approach securing the long term future of the club.

Since the AGM, the committee have been having talks with several organisations and groups. We have also been very fortunate to have the support and advice of a professional property manager guiding us.

Mark said, “I’d like to thank everyone for the positive feedback we received following the November AGM. It’s worth mentioning that everything the committee is working on is the exploring of a wide range of ideas. We (the committee) are keen to narrow down our options and then come back to our members and get everyone’s feedback. We’ll call a meeting to do this sometime in May or June”.

Mark continues, “I know there are several members who hear about these discussions from some of the other parties we’re talking to. I find it a wee bit amusing that by the time the story has passed through several people, it can become somewhat exaggerated from the actual conversation we had”.

“But let me assure everyone, it is our members who will guide us on these options. Any important decisions will only happen with the endorsement of our members” said Mark, “creating long term value and securing our clubs and members future are the primary objectives of the current work”.

So keep an eye out for an information meeting in May or June. We’ll make sure we give everyone several weeks advance notice for that event.

Interclub 2016

Last Friday, March 18th, the first of the regions nine-session interclub series was hosted at Auckland Bridge Club.

Teams came from all over the Auckland Northland Bridge region, representing the following clubs: Auckland, Mt Albert, Howick, Franklin, Akarana, Royle Epsom, Waitemata, Waiheke, Papakura, Papatoetoe, E.C. Bays, Northshore and Franklin

There are a total of 47 teams in this years competition consisting of

9 Open teams, 3 from Auckland

18 Intermediate teams, 5 from Auckland

20 Junior teams, 3 from Auckland

Beginner Lessons Update

Russell Douglas

The Beginners' lessons have now begun on Monday evenings. We have had close to 40 attending each evening, and some very lively sessions.

Interesting Hand

Sylvester Riddell

On board 26, Tuesday evening February 16 you pick up this nice hand, vulnerable, third in hand:

S:  K

H:  A74

D:  AJT9

C:  KQJ43

Playing a big club system, you look forward to opening 1C when something unexpected happens:  partner opens 1C in front of you.  This is good news.  Partner has at least 16 HCP which combined with your 18 HCP totals 34 - more than enough for slam.  You won't be stopping below 6NT.

We play transfer responses to 1C, so I respond 1S which is game forcing with at least 5 clubs.  Often transfer responses save us a level of bidding, but you don't expect that to happen on this hand because partner is bound to have the spade suit.  Then another surprising thing happens - partner accepts your club suit by bidding 2C.  In response to this we show controls (and Ace is counted as 2 controls, and a King is 1 control).  With 2 Aces and 2 Kings, I have 6 controls, and the bid to show that is 3C.  After partner digests this his next bid is rather disappointing - 6NT!.  It feels like you have extra's and a grand slam could have been possible, but there is no room left to explore.  You must trust partner and pass - he was in control of the auction and knows more about the hand than you do.

Here is the full deal:

                    S:  53

                    H:  KT653

                    D:  754

                    C:  T87

S:  K                                                  S:  AQJ92

H:  A74                                              H: QJ2

D:  AJT9                                            D:  K

C:  KQJ43                                         C: A652

                    S: T8764

                    H: 98

                    D: Q8632

                    C: 9

There are a total of 12 controls in the deck.  Our 6 added to partner's 5 makes eleven.  Partner knows we are missing a King and makes the practical bid of 6NT.  You can make 7C by ruffing a Diamond.  Maybe if we embarked on a complicated series of asking bids we could have worked out that the missing King did not matter.  Two pairs did bid 7C.  However the brief auction resulted in a bonus - because Declarer did not show his Spade suit, the South hand thought it safe to discard a Spade, so we made an overtrick.

This is the travelling score sheet for the hand:

7C making 7 scored   21/22 Match Points or 95.4%.

6NT making 7 scored 18/22 or 81.8%.

This hand shows how important it is in Match Point scoring to be in the right denomination.

6C making 7 was worth only an average, being outscored by 6NT making 6, 6NT making 7, and of course 7C.

Editor’s Note.

This hand that Sylvester wrote up occurred in section one on a Tuesday night. As it happens, in section two they were playing the same boards using IMP scoring. The results there show that when using IMP scoring, in Swiss pairs, and in Teams, that there is a significant swing in points between those who bid and made slam and those who stopped at Game. No-one in this section bid the grand slam in 7C which would have created a further swing between those who bid the small, and the grand slams.

Exposing the Psych

Hamish Brown

Hamish Brown was South, Peer Bach North.  Some players have a reputation for Psyching.  On occasion they make a bid deliberately intended to confuse everyone and create mayhem.  On this hand a well placed double exposed the psyche to East West early and a second double exposed the psyche to a sleeping South later in this auction.  East West are vulnerable and North South non-vulnerable.

S              W            N             E

2H           /              2S*         X*

/              /*           3C           3D

/              3NT        /              4S

X*           /              5H           X

/              /              /







KQJT                                                      A76543

KT9                                                         5

JT7                                                          AQ942

T84                                                         A






North’s holding here of long trump support few points and short spades are the ideal holding for his 2S psyche.  He knows because South opened 2H that East West have a game in spades and his 2S deception is an attempt to stop them bidding what may be the only making game.  This is a legitimate bridge tactic within the rules and although some players do not like getting deceived like this it can be useful to discuss counter measures with your regular partner.   

 South doesn’t know 2S is not natural although South should have noticed when East doubles and West passes, forcing North to run.  On the actual hand South doubles 4S on what looks like 3 tricks across from Norths spade suit.   Of course North did not have a Spade suit.  Norths 5H response to Souths double alerts South to this rather late in the auction.  Both East and West had worked out North’s hand early in the auction after Easts X 2S. 

 East West dealt with the psyche effectively.  East’s X is an example of a double intended to expose the psyche.  Generally X is take out and you should have length in the other two suits to X.  When you expect a psyche and the opposition have shown two suits (here hearts and spades) you can double one of the suits expecting if you are right partner will pass for penalties and this catches North who has been exposed and must run.  Now East West describe their hands to each other and settle on 4S as the best game.  On this hand it assists East that they have a good hand with long diamonds so that they have another bid to make if needed. 

 The reason there must be two suits for this ‘double to expose the psych’ to work is that you must be able to cue to show various strong hands after a X.  Here with two suits bid and spades a suspected psyche, East can cue hearts with a forcing hand if she doesn’t want to pass 2S for penalties.

On the following hand different tactics are needed:

If East opens 1S holding:







What should South do, holding:





It is expected by South that East has a minimum opening hand with spades, a takeout X shows short spades.  It is critical that South not break partnership agreements by doubling.  A useful agreement is that if you pass a suit and then double the same suit later in the auction it is for penalties, normally this happens when partner has shown some values.  

On this hand if East has a normal minimum opening West and North have about 10 HCP between them and 1S may get passed out.  If this happens and West has a 5 card heart suit then North South may miss a heart game – however 1S not doubled looks to be going very light and when North South don’t have a game on 1S not doubled will be OK.  On a good day you may get to penalize 2S later in the auction after all. On the actual hand, West and North have 5 more spades between them and more points than might be expected.

It may assist you to redefine PSYCH in your mind as "Too high in the wrong Suit".  The added advantage you have is that the opposition are outside their agreements and so the partner of the Psych-er may not realize they are too high in the wrong suit.  If your side sticks to its agreements you are on firm ground and will sometimes be able to take advantage.

Achievements: Club Level

Westchester Shield

Tuesday section 1 PM

Russell Watt/Leslie Watt

Swiss Pairs

Tuesday section 2 PM

Margaret Skegg/Susan Glennie

President's Pairs

Wednesday AM Sect. 1

Wendy Walsh/Liz Ware

President's Pairs

Wednesday AM Sect. 2

Linda Gray/Terry Melhuish

Summer Pairs

Monday AM

Brett Hart/Neville Thomas

President's Pairs

Wednesday PM

Ian Handricks/John Wilson

Summer Pairs

Friday AM Section 1

Wendy Walsh/Shirley Pedersen

Summer Pairs

Friday AM Section 2

Vera Woollerton/Sunday Millar

Summer Pairs

Friday PM

Amelia Herbert/Anisia Shami

Easter Pairs

Monday AM

Stephanie Benfell /Shirley Pedersen

Swiss Pairs

Tuesday section 1

Sylvester Riddell/John Khourie

Presidents Pairs

Tuesday Section 2

Liz Ware/Stephanie Benfell

Achievements : Regional Level

Mt Albert's social bridge evenings started on Saturday February 27th, where Pat Milliner and Sandra Pearce's results caused a few goggling of eyes and jaws to drop, and earning them each a bottle of wine.

Carol Joseph and Anna Powell finished 3rd in the East Coast Bays Intermediate tournament on March 19th

Editor's Note: I have published those results that I either attended, or someone made me aware of. If you, or someone you know, participated in a regional tournament in the last 5 weeks and placed, and I have not mentioned it, please send me an e-mail with the details to include in next month's Newlsetter. Similarly, if you or someone you know participates in and places at a regional tournament in the next 5 weeks, please send me an e-mail with the details for including in the April Newsletter

Achievements: National Level

Every year, at year's end, the NZBridge website updates every member's point accumulation and uses this to assess that member's grade for the new year. They also assess the players who acquired the greatest number of Masterpoints in the year that has just concluded, one for the top scoring Gentleman, and one for the top-scoring Woman. This years winner of the Woman's trophy spent almost half the year overseas, which makes her achievement even more impressive.

Congratualtions Kathrin Boardman on winning the Baden Wilson Cup for 2015

Editor's Note: I have published those results that someone made me aware of. If you, or someone you know, has won a National award or participated in a National tournament in the last 5 weeks and placed, and I have not mentioned it, please send me an e-mail with the details to include in next month's Newlsetter. Similarly, if you or someone you know participates in and places at a national tournament in the next 5 weeks, please send me an e-mail with the details for including in the April Newsletter

Gold coast Congress 2016

Congratulations to 

Sharon Stretton and Pauline Mulligan for winning the Intermediate Pairs D Final

Glenis Palmer and Christine Wilson for wining the Senior Pairs B Final

Tony Jiang and Julia Zhu for Winning the restricted pairs A Final and Denise Mayhew and Carol Joseph for winning the restricted Pairs E Final

Below: a couple of photos from the 2016 Gold Coast Congress

Photo Credit: Alice Young

Photo Credit: Alice Young


Richard Solomon - re-printed with permission, originally published in NZBridge News

Wellington was the venue for the third qualifying event for the 2016 National Trials. Not that all 36 teams had a trip to Poland on their mind. The large field, following on 38 in Auckland and 28 in Dunedin, was proof that these events are popular and offer less ambitious players the opportunity to mix it with the best.

This time we had 9 round x 14 board Swiss format, a good number to determine a rightful winner. When the music stopped, trialists featured quite strongly at the business end, though the winning team contained a pair well qualified to be in our National team with another who made a strong statement for first time selection.

There were 126 deals of which we are only going to feature two. The first is a kind of deal which you will either love or hate, depending where the bidding ends.

At the 36 tables, there was naturally a wide range of contracts with North-South declaring 19 times and East-West 17. Game can be made both ways with 4Spade-small by East-West making very comfortably despite holding only 17 hcp combined. The bad trump break should and did in all bar one case beat North-South’s 4Heart-small game. Even though a diamond lead will beat 3NT by South, all four times that was the contract, the spade lead from West plus the favourable club position gave South a very easy and successful ride. 

One rather successful option for East-West, this time, was for East to open the bidding 2Spade-small showing spades and a minor or spades and another suit. With such a "robust" spade suit, the bid  is not for the faint-hearted.  With South showing a strong balanced hand (2NT), West could go all the way to game and find the most perfect lay of the cards. There will probably be 2 trump losers to go with the Diamond-smallA, but no more. Otherwise, East passes, North-South will find their heart fit and unless East does stick their toe in the water, their opposition will buy the contract in 3/4Heart-small.

The other deal came in the final match and was an opportunity for the North-South pairs to show their bidding skills.

22 out of 36 pairs played the board in 3/4NT with only three being successful. Only four reached the cold 6Diamond-small contract, including both pairs in the Coutts V Jacob match while 7 others can earn some form of honorary mention for reaching 5Diamond-small and staying clear of the no-trump trap.

After a 1Diamond-small opening from South, North has a very very awkward choice of bids unless one is playing Inverted Minor Raises, where 2Diamond-smallshows 10+ points  and is at least a one round force (some say it is game forcing). North just cannot bid 3NT at their first turn as they are too strong and have no heart hold. It is not usually wise to lie about one’s major holding though a made-up 2Club-small call is not that appealing either. If you choose 2Club-small, South raises the suit and you might be a little wary about no-trumps given partner is showing 9 cards in the minors.

An initial made up 1Heart-small response from North might work here if the bidding proceeds:

                            North                   South


                             1Heart-small                        2Club-small

                             2Spade-small 1                     2NT

                             3Diamond-small 2

1 4th suit forcing

2 slam try even if 4th suit was only a 1 round force (since any bid over 2NT should be game forcing)

Now, a 4Heart-small splinter (showing shortage) from South would be the winner.

Let’s, though, see how Inverted Minor Raises can work. They worked very well for James and Sam Coutts and for Nick Jacob and Glenn Coutts:

                             North (Sam)             South (James)


                             2Diamond-small (inverted GF)       3Club-small   (natural)

                             3Diamond-small  (waiting)              3Spade-small  (completes shape (usually 3154)

                             4Diamond-small  (requests cues)  4Heart-small   1

                             4Spade-small 1                         5Club-small    1

                             6Diamond-small                            Pass

1  cue bids, first and second round shown together.


                         North (Nick)                        South (Glenn)


                          2Diamond-small (inverted GF)                  3Heart-small (splinter)

                          4Diamond-small (slam try, no Club-small control)  5Diamond-small

                          6Diamond-small                                        Pass



Claiming for 12 tricks would have been so much more pleasant than receiving a heart lead in 3NT.

After 8 of the 9 rounds, Ware had a handy lead:

Ware                              126.06

Coutts                           109.61

Cornell                          106.64

Hurley                            103.21

Wilson                             99.21

It looked like it was Ware’s event for the taking but a lot can happen in 14 boards..and did. Ware played Hurley and only scored 2.51 vps. Meanwhile, Coutts played Jacob (Tom Jacob-Brian Mace, Nick Jacob – Glenn Coutts) and scored 19.28. Suddenly, the maths looked very different and very good for Coutts:

  1. Coutts (James and Sam Coutts, Martin Reid- Peter Newell)                                                         128.89
  2. Ware (Michael Ware- GeO Tislevoll, Alan Grant-Anthony Ker)                                                      126.57
  3. Cornell (Michael Cornell – Ashley Bach, Michael Whibley- Matthew Brown)                                 122.67
  4. Hurley ( Evelyn and Bob Hurley, Wayne Burrows- Charles Ker)                                                    120.70
  5. Humphries (Susan Humphries- Steph Jacob, Jenny Wilkinson- Shirley Newton)                          110.94
  6. Wilson (Russell Wilson- Alister Stuck, Lorraine Stachurski- Mindy Wu)                                        107.63

Apart from Newell-Reid, all the pairs in the teams who finished in the first three places and 5th place were “trials teams”. That was a great result especially for Sam and James Coutts which certainly helped in their being named reserve pair in this year’s Open team.

Finally, a special word of praise for all involved in the organisation where no stone was lefty unturned, including shuttling players to and from the airport, to the directors, Arie Geursen and Allan Joseph, the scorer, Sam Ward, a most efficient caddy in young player Tegan Bennick, all those behind the scenes and last and by no means least, Mindy Wu, who managed to be both caterer of excellent food and play in the team which finished 6th, a neat double.

Editor's Note: The NZBridge Newsletter can currently be found as a News Feed on the NZBridge website, which the above links to in the smaller heading of the article.

Newsletter Help

Thank you to those who took the time to let me know of our member's tournament results at club level, around the region, country, and at the Gold Coast Congress.

I look forward to getting more updates on results in the coming weeks to include in the 4th edition of the 2016 Auckland Bridge Club Newsletter.

Copy Deadline: Noon on Friday April 22nd