1 November 2021
‘Southampton?’, a friend commented, ‘what is there to do there?’
The lucky guests who came to the Dolphin Hotel with myself, and Linda and John Benneworth were spoilt for choice. The Dolphin is the oldest hotel in Southampton and is ideally situated very centrally for the sea, shops, art galleries and museums. Exercise could be taken along parts of the old city walls and the Tudor House gave an insight into life in Henry VIII’s time. A variety of boat trips are within walking distance of the hotel and Winchester is only one hour away on the bus (bus passes come in useful here). The sun shone for a good proportion of the time and Southampton looked at its best. The food at the hotel was very good and the staff were extremely attentive.
The bridge room was light and airy and the visibility was good at night. The added bonus was that the room was once a ballroom and Jane Austen danced here several times. The suite is named after her. Queen Victoria also graced the Dolphin with her presence and I could imagine her regally walking down the main staircase. Our group were lively and friendly and shared their ideas for places to visit. The dreaded Covid was hardly mentioned and we all felt happy and secure in each other’s company.
This is board 21 from the final event at Southampton. The board was played seven times and there were seven different scores on the board. What do you expect the final contract to be ?
A possible auction is:
Opening lead 10C.
3NT is fortunate to make. As long as North ducks the opening club lead, East has no entry to enjoy the long club suit.
It’s a little more difficult if East makes a weak jump overcall of 3C; then EW may play in 4C doubled or NS may rest in a part score diamond contract.
What about a spade contract ? It looks as though NS can make nine tricks in spades (which will score better than ten tricks in diamonds) but it’s hard to see how they will settle there, even if it is a Moyesian fit.
This is the full scorecard. 3NT makes 9, 10 or 11 tricks (easier when played by South) and diamond contracts also make 9, 10 or 11 tricks.
However, the only spade contract played at the table was 6Sx, played by West. Not surprisingly, this didn’t play well, going seven down. I don’t know the bidding sequence that arrived at this unlikely conclusion, but it was certainly the strangest result of the week.