PENARTH Bridge Club held their annual team of four competition last Friday. Mike Downey, Joy Seculer, Simon Brindle and Tony Campbell won the event comprehensively.

In second place were Peter Millar, Trish Tracey and Adrian and Diana Trickey.

A key to the winners’ success were three successful slam hands, which other teams failed to bid or make. Slams can often turn matches.

Such occurred last week in a first division East Wales league match played by The Penarth Menagerie against the Archway team from Chepstow.

The Penarth team is named after the famous bridge articles, written by the late Victor Mollo in the 1960s and 1970s, where the Menagerie Bridge Club had hilarious players, such as the Hideous Hog and the Rueful Rabbit, who played in a way that fitted their name. The Chepstow match essentially hinged on a difficult slam.

This was the bidding sequence by Chepstow, the 2C bid showing 19 points. The lead was the JD from West. The Penarth declarer played the Ace, and then drew two rounds of trumps, ending up in hand. He then took the club finesse, which lost to East’s K. East then rightly played another trump.

This meant that now declarer only had 11 tricks – 3 spades, 5 hearts, 1 diamond, and two clubs. In the other room, the Chepstow declarer cleverly refused to take the JD with the ace, and ruffed it. He then played the A and QH, discovering the 4-1 heart break. He then entered dummy with the AS, and ruffed another diamond. Entering dummy again with the AC, refusing the club finesse, the Chepstow declarer drew the last two trumps with K and JH. He then allowed Penarth East to make the KC.

East is now fixed, as a diamond return is taken by the ace, followed by the QS, and return to hand with the QC and KS for 12 tricks. This was a swing of 14 IMPS, Chepstow eventually winning by the narrow margin of 2 IMPS. It shows the value of counting your tricks at the start, and not losers, even in a slam.

Other results at Penarth Bridge Club

Tuesday 15th Oct 2019

1st Patsy Cohen & Marnie Owens; 2nd Tony Campbell & Trish Tracey; 3rd Joy Seculer & John Salisbury.

1st on handicap: Patsy Cohen & Marnie Owens.

Thursday 17th Oct 2019

1st N/S Cyrus & Carmel Hughes; 1st E/W Peter Craig & Marnie Owens

Penarth Bridge Club is a warm and friendly club that meets every Tuesday and Friday at Trinity Church Hall, Woodland Place, CF64 3EN. There is plenty of parking. We ask players to be in their seats by 6.45 pm, so that we can set the movement for a prompt start at 7 pm.

A machine deals the boards, so you can have a print out of all the hands at the end of the play. You can see each hand, compared with the results, on the web site

There is also an improvers’ session every Thursday morning starting at 10 am.

We have several social events during the year, linked to bridge. Contact Tony Campbell or see the web site for further information. Table up.

Professor Tony Campbell,