Brighton 2009 Focus

The Brighton Congress kicks off with a four session Swiss Pairs. Over 215 tables play fourteen 8-board matches and this makes it the largest single-field bridge event in the world.

Here's a nice defence found by Richard Johnson, reported by his partner Michael Ranis:

S8 7 3
HK 6 3
DJ 10 6
C10 9 8 6
SK 4
HA Q 10 7 2
DA 3 2
C5 3 2
HandSA 2
HJ 9 8
DQ 9 8 7 5
CA Q 4
SQ J 10 9 6 5
H5 4
DK 4
CK J 7
3HPass4HAll Pass
1. 12-14
2. Long major

"I led the seven of spades against West's 4H. Declarer won the ace (the queen from partner denying a higher honour) and played a trump. I won the king and played the ten of clubs. Declarer correctly rose and drew trumps. When he played the ace of diamonds, Richard recognised the need to unblock the king to get me in, so that I could play another club through the queen... one down!"

The first weekend was won by Jon Cooke and Martin Garvey, who led for much of the way. Here's Victor Silverstone with one of the hands that contributed to their success.

"As East you hear the following:

1. Weak two in either major.

"What do you do with:

SK Q 10 5 4   HA J 6 5 3   DA Q 5   C--

"This was the table one action where Cooke and Garvey faced a frisky young pair with a combined 173 years of experience. Garvey found a beautiful picture bid to describe this hand -- six clubs -- 'partner I have a club void and am interested in a major suit grand slam'. It would have been a beautiful ending if Cooke could have provided Kx in hearts with his AJxxxx in spades, but he couldn't so he settled for six. This was the full deal, and Messrs Priday and Teltscher had to settle for a poor result."

Dealer West
None Vuln
HQ 9 2
D10 8 2
CA Q J 5 3 2
SA J 9 8 7 3
H8 7
DK 9 7 3
HandSK Q 10 5 4
HA J 6 5 3
DA Q 5
HK 10 4
DJ 6 4
CK 10 9 7 6 4

There are many midweek events, suitable for all tastes. On the lighter side there is a Play With The Experts on the Monday evening, where pairs score up with fantasy team-mates from a World Championship. Slightly more serious is the Midweek Knockout -- a strong teams event played during the afternoons. Here's a hand which Graham Osborne reported from his match against the Byrne team.

Dealer South
Both Vuln
HA Q 4 2
DA 8 7
CA 8 7 6 4
S10 8 6 2
H9 8 7 6
D9 6
C10 9 3
HK J 10
DK Q J 10 4 3
CK 5 2
SA K J 9 7 5 3
H5 3
D5 2
All Pass

"In the match Byrne vs Allerton both South players in the match missed a chance to make an interesting four spade contract. On the nine of diamonds lead both declarers rose with the ace, overtook the spade queen with the king and then attempted to draw trumps. With the spades 4-1 and both kings wrong, the contract was one off.

"The winning line, which is almost 100%, is to play a low club towards the queen. When RHO wins and plays two rounds of diamonds, declarer discards his heart loser. If a fourth round of diamonds is played, declarer ruffs low and, if LHO over-ruffs, still has the spade queen in dummy as protection."

The Hoskins team (Matthew Hoskins, Karen Pryor, Andrew Southwell, Peter Clinch and Malcolm Pryor) won the Midweek Knockout in the end, beating Byrne in the final.

The final weekend switches to Swiss Teams with another fourteen 8-board matches (seventeen if you make one of the finals). The 2009 winners were the Irish team of Tom Hanlon, Hugh McGann, Adam Mesbur and Nick Fitzgibbon.

To see more hands from Brighton as well as other articles take a look at our Brighton Focus, which is linked from the Brighton Results Pages.