Cambs & Hunts Bridge

Newsletter Number 21 30 December 1998

Editors:  Chris Jagger, 2 Wycliffe Road, Cambridge CB1 3JD, Tel: 01223-526586 and
Jonathan Mestel, 180 Queen's Gate, London SW7 2BZ, Tel: 01223-329671.
E-mail: or<

Unofficial web page:

The next newsletter is scheduled to appear on 30th April. Please try to get copy to us no later than 15th April. All contributions welcome!


Once more, the County has qualified for the final stages of the Tollemache Championship to be held in February.

Congratulations to David Kendrick who, with Brian Senior, will be representing England in the Camrose Series.

One of the editors and Catherine Ashment would be embarrassed if their engagement were to be mentioned on the front page of this Newsletter. Otherwise, I'm sure the County would have wished to congratulate them both warmly.


In this issue Paul Barden describes some hands from the Tolle qualifier, while Chris Jagger discusses the gambling 3NT. Victor Milman takes us through his team's triumph in the Newmarket Open Swiss Teams and there is the usual round-up of news and events.


Philip Cooper writes: The word `fatuous' appears more in the Cambs and Hunts Newsletter than in real life, and as a consequence I thought of this limerick. It's a bit of fun and may raise a few smiles amongst your readers.

`Fatuous' is a bridge term so it seems, If it's something which can't ever gain,
`Fatuous' describes play whether in pairs or in teams, And might easily cause you some pain,
First there's a `fatuous' double, Then `fatuous' we name it,
Then a `fatuous' lead into trouble, And loudly proclaim "It
Would someone please explain what this silly term Won't ever, partner, happen again."
`fatuous' means. Philip Cooper Anon

Tollemache Qualifier 98

by Paul Barden

We were in a group of 9 with a team of 8 (Warren & Kendrick, Wightwick & Woodruff, Barden & Mestel and Jagger & Young) plus Chris Larlham as npc. This worked well enough; we seemed to do less well at the end of each day, so perhaps tiredness was a factor, but the advantage of getting into rhythm by playing all the sets should not be underestimated.

The set against Lancashire was an early indication of the way I was playing:

Game All
S 10732
H 1094
D 97
C 10865
Dealer South
S AK654
H 72
C AJ92
W         E
S 8
H KQ65
D Q1063
C Q743
H AJ83
D K8542
   S       JM       N       PB   
1d 1s P 1NT
P 3NT all pass

At the other three tables, South led a diamond and 3NT made easily. But against us South led a heart, which went to the nine and king; this had the effect of removing an entry to East's hand. At trick two I led a club to the king and ace, then played on diamonds. South allowed the jack to hold, and when I cashed dummy's spade winners he alertly unblocked the queen and jack, leaving me without resource.

This was good defence, but soft play by me. I should have tried a small spade off dummy after the jack of diamonds held. No doubt North should rise with the ten; would you? Better still is to lead the DJ off table without unblocking the dA. South must duck this and then a small spade is led off table. If N wins this and puts a heart through he is squeezed in the black suits (or endplayed if only two hearts are cashed.)

However, we got all that back and more two boards later:

E-W game
S K5
H 84
D 42
C AKQ10843
Dealer North
S 943
H K5
D J1098753
C 6
W         E
S J1086
C 95
S AQ72
H 97632
D 6
C J72
   N       PB       S       JM   
3NT X all pass

The 3NT opening was Acol style, allegedly a solid suit with nothing outside. My double just showed a good hand; we play that 4d would be take-out of clubs, but this hand is too defensive. South seems to have had a brainstorm in passing the double. Jonathan bravely passed on the strength of his king of hearts. This was very right and we cashed the first eleven tricks in the red suits with the help of suit preference on the second round of diamonds.

At other tables the hand was played in 5c by North or 5d by West. Against 5d, North led a top club and then had to switch to spades; this looks like the right defence and was found by Chris Jagger. Against 5c East led a top diamond and then had to switch to hearts. This looks harder, and Fiske Warren (playing with David Kendrick) scored up +550. But West should surely give suit preference in this position, whereas against 5d South must give count.

My one good hand of the event came against Derbyshire:

N-S game
H K5
C 1094
Dealer East
S 103
H Q92
D 10874
C QJ85
W         E
S Q762
H 1043
D 963
C K62
S J954
H AJ876
D 5
C A73
   PB       S       JM       N   
P 1h P 2c
P 2h P 4NT*
p 5h P 6NT

The auction was quick, but North took longer over 2c than 4NT (asking for plain aces), and I smelt a rat. Reflecting that a lead from Kxx wasn't too likely to cost if I was wrong, I led a club. Lucky this time, and three off when declarer took the heart finesse. David and Fiske played the same hand in 6d, one off when East also led a club.

There was an echo later in the event, when we played the second half of the match against the same pair:

E-W game
S 1095
H 8754
C -
Dealer West
S 6
H QJ32
D 8762
C QJ105
W         E
S Q7432
H 96
D 1053
C 763
H AK10
D -
C AK9842
   JM       N       PB       S   
P 1d P 3c
P 3d P 3s

No inspiration this time, and I led the seven of spades. North had a difficult decision to make, had I led from the queen of spades, or could West be induced to take the queen if the jack were played from dummy. He played the jack, and in due course drifted three off again. [I like to think I might have managed to duck holding sQxx as West, but we'll never know. However, one opposing declarer reached 7NT, and on a neutral heart lead, led the sJ at trick 2! East stared at this, but then took the trick, as you don't expect to lose IMPS for setting a freely bid grand. However declarer was only one down as a result. Why declarer declined the reasonable shot of laying down sAK I cannot say. - JM] David Kendrick made 6NT from the South hand by leading the jack of spades early in the play, inducing an error from East, but no one in our match managed to bid 7d or even 6d.

North on these two hands was Jim Tomlinson, who has sent me his write-up of them for the Derby Evening Telegraph. He was so charming that I made a horrible misbid in the first set to give most of the points back, and Jonathan joined in with a more understandable slip on this hand from the second set:

E-W game
S 832
D J43
C Q865
Dealer South
S KQ10964
H 7
D Q85
C A94
W         E
S J5
H 10643
D K962
C 1032
S A7
H AK982
D A107
   S       JM       N       PB   
2h 2s P P
2NT P 3h P
4h P P P

Actually I've forgotten the auction, but it did start with an Acol 2h (not my choice). Jonathan led the sK and I unblocked the jack to clarify (?) the situation for him. Declarer won, played a heart to dummy, then a club to the king and ace. There was nothing in the play after this and ten tricks were made when the clubs broke 3-3.

I mention this hand because of the interesting play which results if Jonathan ducks the king of clubs. Declarer draws all my trumps, throwing a diamond from dummy, and West has to find three discards. The only winning defence is to throw two spades and a diamond. If he throws three spades declarer can duck a spade, win West's club exit in dummy, ruff a spade, and exit in clubs to make two diamond tricks. A possible alternative is to cross to dummy with a second heart and lead the jack of diamonds. Looking at the diamond suit in isolation East should cover this, but on this hand that lets the contract make. Declarer wins and again draws trumps, and this time the squeeze on West works against any defence. But if East ducks the jack of diamonds, West wins and plays two rounds of spades, East pitching a club. Now if declarer draws trumps he's lost control, and if not West can give East a club ruff when he takes the ace.

The eventual winners of our group were Berks & Bucks, with us quite comfortable in second place. This hand against them did not change that, but I was very angry about it:

N-S game
S 3
H KJ9853
D 2
C AJ854
Dealer North
S K1042
H Q4
D AQ753
C 92
W         E
S AQ75
H 1072
D KJ64
C 63
S J986
H A6
D 1098
C KQ107
   N       PB       S       JM   
1h P 1s 2d
2h 2s* 3h P
4h 5d X all pass

My 2s bid showed a sound diamond raise. For some reason, Jonathan failed to alert it. He mentioned this at the end of the auction, and our opponents seemed unhappy, so we called the director. South now added that Jonathan had passed slowly over 3h, I said he hadn't, North said he had. In view of the failure to alert, the director offered North the opportunity to change his final pass, which he declined. He led his singleton spade, and Jonathan claimed two off. This was a poor score for us, since teammates had played in a club partial; if West passes North will bid 2c, South 3c, and North may well pass.

The director was called back because South thought I didn't have a 5d bid. There was more discussion; it was agreed that everyone knew all along that 2s was conventional, Jonathan conceded that he had realised that he had failed to alert by the time South bid 3h and had dithered to some extent about correcting his error.

At the end of the set the director returned with his ruling; in view of Jonathan's statement it was ruled that a hesitation had occurred. It was ruled that pass was a logical alternative to 5d, and therefore the score was adjusted to 4h making up one.

This is not too unreasonable a ruling for a TD to make, and I was civil enough to him. But I was very angry about our opponents' behaviour. They can see by cursory examination of declarer's hand - and it was immediately available to them since he claimed at trick one - that he could not have been thinking about bidding over 3h. Therefore I have learned nothing from any hesitation. To my mind it is wholly unsporting to seek an adjustment when no unfair advantage has been gained.

At the end of the event I wanted to appeal, but Chris Larlham refused to let me do so, as is his right. He knew that the appeal would not affect the final standings, he felt that there had in fact been a hesitation (he was kibbitzing at the next table) and he had been advised (rightly, by Chris Jagger) that pass was a logical alternative to 5d. In fact the main thrust of my appeal would have been that any hesitation would not suggest 5d over pass, but I had no wish to argue with Chris, so the appeal went unheard. Since the event I've consulted neutrals, who have expressed the unanimous view that I would lose an appeal. I'm surprised by the unanimity, and it confirms my suspicion that the rules on hesitations have gone too far.

Newmarket Open Swiss Teams

by Victor Milman

I was asked to write about the Newmarket Open Swiss Teams, a nice homey competition that was won this year, quite unexpectedly - especially for ourselves - by Eryl Howard, Sally Dempster, Nadia Stelmashenko and myself. The team was put together on a rather short notice and did not have high ambitions until the penultimate round when we managed to beat Giles Woodruff's team 17-3. This win put us in the second position, and we had to play Dr Hair, the leading team, in the last round. This was lucky since our fate was in our own hands, and 15-5 was just enough to beat Giles' team by one VP!

Our teammates played solid bridge throughout, bidding and making their games and slams. Here is an example of bridge judgement by Sally from the match against Woodruff, the board that probably decided the distribution of the prizes. Sally held Qx Axxxx Qx AKQx and the bidding started identically at both tables: 1d by her partner, 2s weak jump overcall by nonvulnerable opponents. The difference, however, was that Eryl's 1d was precision, 11-15, while Giles's 1d was a normal unlimited Acol bid. At this point Sally decided that the only chance of a slam was to find a heart fit with her partner; without a fit they were unlikely to have enough points and tricks for a slam. She then continued with a forcing bid of 3h and passed partner's 3NT response which denied fit. As it happens, 1d opener had a maximum, nice 15 count (Kxx QJ AKJxx Jxx), and 6NT depended on a heart finesse which was off. Eryl still managed to take 12 tricks in her vulnerable game, but then defence to a cold 3NT is an ungrateful task at IMPs. At our table events took a different turn when Steve Siklos decided to double for takeout with his strong hand. Now Giles jumped to 3NT, his partner very reasonably bid 6NT. On a heart lead with the spade return declarer lost the first two tricks: a very useful gain for our team.

Here is another hand from the same match where Eryl and Sally stayed in a partscore, with opponents bidding to a hopeless game. Sally (and Steve) both opened 1s in the third seat, and in both cases this showed a 5 card suit. Once again, Sally's bid was limited by 15 points, while Steve's wasn't. At our table Nadia bravely overcalled 1s with 3h - very weak, king to six and nothing else. Giles leapt to 4s on this hand: xx Axxx xxx AJxx. The contract had no play since trumps broke 4-2, not unexpectedly in view of the preempt, and the peaceful 2NT by our teammates brought another badly needed swing.

The only game (as far as I recollect) that our teammates missed still brought us one IMP, although on a rather unusual score comparison: 2s+2 by our teammates, +170, and 6c-3, -150, by us! The full hand, rotated for convenience, was):

E-W Game
S Qx
H 10xxx
D 10xx
C 10xxx
Dealer S
S AJxxxx
H Qxx
D Kxx
W         E
S Kxxx
H AJxx
D Qx
C Kxx
S x
H Kx
D AJxxx
C AQxxx
   VM       West       NS       East   
1d 1s P 4s
5c 5s 6c all pass.

In fairness to my partner, she missed an easy sacrifice in 5d a few boards earlier and had been mildly criticized for that. This time she was determined to sacrifice at as high a level as was needed - thus 6c. The bidding was so confident that nobody could find an obvious double. I have sympathy with West, who probably expected 4s to be of a preemptive variety. On the other hand East was unhappy about doubling with weak and finessible holdings in both minors. As the cards are, 4s is the last making spot for E-W, so our 6c turned a plus into a minus - at least not a very big minus.

Teammates managed to stop in 2s after a scientific sequence:

   SD       West       EH       East   
1d 1s P 2d
P 2s all pass.

2d here showed support for spades with at least invitational values; perhaps after 2s East has enough to either make another try or just blast 4s - it's a vulnerable game at teams, after all, and partner's minimum for a vulnerable overcall will probably offer some play for the contract. It's hard work getting 1 IMP in...

Brilliant defence by Sally and Eryl earned us a game swing on the next hand.

S AKxx
H 10xx
D xx
C Axxx
Dealer S
S Qxx
H KJxx
D AQxxx
C x
W         E
S Jxxx
H Axx
D xxx
C xx
S x
H Qxx
C KQJ1098
   South       West       North       East   
1c 1d 1s 2d
2NT P 3NT all pass

and was pretty similar at the other table, probably with a negative double instead of the 1s bid. 2NT is a fairly aggressive enterprise on the South hand, but it seems that the club suit is good enough to justify the bid. I was lucky to get a diamond lead, so that nine top tricks were available, and at the end West was endplayed with a spade and conceded another diamond, +430 (it's hard to keep everything on the run of clubs - are you tired of references to bad defence?). Sally found an inspired lead of a small heart, and now declarer can only take his top eight tricks he started with. I think this defence illustrates a nice point. When you bid a suit, even with partner supporting it, and opposition bids confident no-trumps after that, it pays off to look for an alternative lead. Once in a while they will be bluffing, but in the long run their 2NT-3NT sequence shows that they do have the suit stopped. If anything, let partner lead towards your broken holding through the hand that announced the stopper first. Another case of leading your suit regardless of the bidding often occurs after a preempt. One can so frequently see the bidding go (2h) - 2s - P - 2NT, P - 3NT or some such, and preemptor on lead still fishes out the fourth highest from a holding like K10xxxx with at most one outside entry. I'd suggest that having some respect for opponents' bidding will save a few tricks on hands of this sort.

Back to the Newmarket competition. Nadia and myself specialized on the day in bidding and making pretty thin vulnerable games. The reasoning went as follows: we know pretty well that defence is difficult; it's probably as difficult for our opponents as it is for us; the normal odds for bidding a vulnerable game at IMPs are at about 30%; let's add a misdefence factor, and you have to bid 15-20% games...and so we did...

Here is one example. The hands were Q10xxx x AJ1098 xx opposite Kxxx Kxxxxx xx A, and the bidding was straightforwardish: 2s-4s. The 2s opening showed a weak 5-5 hand with spades and an unspecified suit; being vulnerable, partner was expected to have a reasonable hand as far as weak openings go. It seemed to me that 4s should have enough play opposite either minor. And indeed, diamonds were established for one loser on the lead, the ace of hearts was right although that was irrelevant. All that was needed now was for Nadia to play trumps for one loser, which needs either spades breaking 2-2 or finding a singleton honour. Declarer thought that the best line would be a small spade from hand to the king, and she dutifully tried performing this at trick four, being in fact in dummy with the ace of clubs. She was not allowed to play from the wrong hand and decided to lead a small trump from the table instead which was luckily covered with a singleton ace. There did not seem to be much to choose between the two lines, but declarer would have gone down if allowed to play according to her original plan...

Another pushy vulnerable game was bid as follows: 1NT-2h, 3s-4s, with the hands being Q9xx Kxx AKxx Ax opposite KJ10xx xxx x xxxx. 1NT promised 15-17 points, the transfer break showed four card support and 16-17 points. Now Nadia decided that her hand, however weak, had sufficient playing strength and went on to game. Note that this time we had more points, the whole 20 of them instead of 17 in the previous example. The hA lead on a not very informative auction solved all the problems. As it happens, this is a roughly 65% game which requires hA being onside or an original heart lead - see above about defensive contributions to the odds...

If you think that this was quite enough overbidding for one afternoon, here is the hand from the final match: AJ10 Qx AQJxx KJx opposite xx J10xxxx Kx xxx. The bidding went 1d-1h, 2NT-4h. The opening could in theory be on a three card suit, but the 2NT rebid (i) showed 17-18 points; (ii) denied four hearts; (iii) by inference promised at least a four-card diamond suit. This meant that the Kx diamond holding became nearly ideal, and another vulnerable game was bid. On a lead of a small spade the play was simple, and defence not quite accurate: ace of spades, three rounds of diamonds discarding sx (the first hurdle - diamonds had to be 3-3). This was followed by declarer playing on trumps, and the defence on spades. After seeing my RHO turn up with king-queen of spades and ace-king of hearts it was easy at the end to play a club to the king to bring home a game and another 11 IMPs. Of course, a club switch at any time takes the contract down - but remember, misdefence has been factored in...

Our only disaster happened, not surprisingly, when it was our turn to defend.

Love all
S Kx
H Qxx
D xx
C AQ9xxx
Dealer E
S 10xx
H x
D A10xxx
C 10xxx
W         E
H KJxxx
D QJxx
S Axxxxx
H A10xx
D Kx
C x
   East       South       West       North   
1h 1s P 2c
2d 2s 3d X

Perhaps the 2s bid was too aggressive, and partner expected more from my hand, but it's still hard to find the penalty double of a red two-suiter by North. I passed as South because of nice controls, hopefully a trump trick or a club ruff or two. Little did I know that partner would return a high club for me to ruff, asking for a spade, and then unblock the king of spades under the ace...There was no way of defeating the contract from there. A normal low spade under the ace, followed by a spade to the king and another club ruff with the now bare king of trumps would have netted +300.

This hand reminded me of a piece of advice I was given when playing in my first ever teams competition. First of all, don't double a partscore. Secondly, whatever you do, NEVER double a partscore.

The Gambling 3NT

by Chris Jagger

I'm not going to pretend that the gambling 3NT is a vital convention that everybody should know, but it is a part of normal Acol, and your partner will probably assume that you are playing it. Moreover, I recently discovered that half of the Tolle team don't know the continuations! But, most importantly, it's fun! At one point I decided that the convention never came up, and ever since it has been cropping up regularly!

The Gambling 3NT shows a solid seven or eight card minor, with no more than a queen outside. For example, xxx x AKQJxxx Jx would fit the bill. Traditionally the suit should be headed by the top four honours, but nowadays many people don't worry about the jack.

The idea is that you preempt the opponents, while at the same time you don't go past 3NT, the most likely game for your side. Partner has a very good idea of what you have, and so he can remove with a weak hand, or leave it in with a good hand. With an even better hand, he is well placed to bid a slam.

For example, with xx AKxxx x Qxxxx, bid 4c (which partner will remove to 4d), as there is little chance of making 3NT. On the other hand, with Kxx Axxx KJxx xx, opt to play in 3NT. You may make the contract, or you may go down, but you probably won't make 4c anyway. What about Ax AK10xxx 1065 Kx? This came up in the Tolle qualifier. No need to hang about, simply bid 6d. You have a spade entry and hopefully two diamond entries to set up the heart suit - surely a good bet! (Incidentally, would you have reached 6d without opening it 3NT?)

So what are the continuations over 3NT? Generally they are very simple, as you know a lot about partner's hand. Bidding clubs at any level asks partner to correct if it is not his suit. Bidding diamonds at the five level or higher says that you know what his suit is. 4h/s are natural to play. It is futile to use 4NT to ask for aces, as you already know how many he has. This should be invitational to slam, asking if partner has an eighth card in his suit. Similarly, 5NT is invitational to the grand.

The interesting bid is 4d. Take a deep breath before you read this paragraph! Some people play this as asking partner to pass or convert to 5c. The main use of this is to right side the contract when you know that partner has diamonds. However, the more common use is as a singleton enquiry (the only thing you don't know about his hand). Partner responds 4NT with no singleton, 4h/s to show a singleton in that suit, and five of a minor to show a singleton in the other minor. This last bit is the bit to watch out for! You hardly want partner to bid 5d showing you a singleton in that suit, and bypassing the 5c contract you may want to play in!

How do you respond to 3NT with the following hands? (solutions at the end):

1. QJx Ax xxxx xxxx

2. KQxx AKxx xx xxx

3. AKx Axxx xx Axxx

4. Axx AKQJxx x xxx

5. xxxx x xxxx xxxx

The crucial thing to remember if this convention comes up against you, is that you have got to try to cash your tricks before they cash theirs. With this in mind the normal advice is to cash an ace. This gives you a chance to look at dummy and plan how you are going to take five tricks.

One should always consider the drawbacks of a convention. The biggest weakness is that you wrong side the 3NT contract, and for this reason some people prefer to play 3s as a gambling 3NT opener. However that loses the vital natural preempt, and is also easier for opponents to come in over. Other people prefer to use 3NT as a preempt in four of a minor (not necessarily solid), freeing up four of a minor as a South African Texas bid showing a good major suit preempt. Or some people use it as showing a good preempt in a major. There are many possibilities. There are even people who use it to show 25-26 balanced, although most people would open 2c with this.

Finally, a little story from my days at the University Bridge Club. There was a time when the standard was lowering, and it seemed that you could get a good score whatever you did. With this in mind, Giles and I played a system where if you were first or second to bid, you had to open 3NT or 4 of a major. On the first hand, I opened 3NT, and a good score resulted from it. On the second hand, one of the opponents opened 3NT! My partner doubled, and everybody passed. Dummy commented "We usually play the Gambling 3NT opener, but I guess he's just doing the same as you." We cashed the first twelve tricks, declarer having a gambling 3NT opener. It was the best result for our system all evening!


1. Pass. You have no reason to believe that 3NT is going more off than four of a minor, and they probably have game on.

2. 4c. You should make four of a minor, whilst 3NT rates to be one down.

3. 4NT. You can count eleven tricks. Ask partner if he has the twelfth.

4. 4d. A strange hand. You want partner to have clubs or else a singleton club for slam. If he bids 5 of a minor, raise him. Otherwise bid 5d and let him convert to clubs if that is his suit.

5. Weak hands which will go a lot off in 3NT depend a lot on vulnerability. At favourable vulnerability one can often pass and hope that seven or eight off is not a bad score. On this hand you might be a little more inventive. Try inviting slam with 4NT - partner probably won't be accepting this one anyway!


Addendum by JM

So how do you respond to a gambling 3NT holding AKQx QJxx 10 AKQx? The scientific way, is to bid 4d, asking for a singleton as suggested above. If partner bids 4h you bid 6d; otherwise you try to sign off in 4NT. Unfortunately, you will need quite detailed agreements to sign off in 5NT as I don't think 3NT-4d-5d-5NT is to play. Thus you may end up in 5d and run the risk of a heart ruff if partner is say Jx xxx AKQJxxx x. It would be possible to have agreements which avoid this problem, but it's probably not worth worrying about. Perhaps we should just pass 3NT? Or perhaps we should just gamble with 6d or 6NT or even 7d, and hope they don't find a heart lead?

The following hand came up in the 1955 England-USA World championship match.

N-S vul
S 9873
H AK932
D 7
C 842
Dealer N
S AQ62
H QJ85
D 10
W         E
S K104
H 6
C 95
S J5
H 1074
D 9643
C J1063

The Americans bid 3NT-6NT. The East hand does not qualify as a modern pure 3NT opener because of the sK, but imagine that West held that card. Meredith, as South, had an unenviable guess and eventually led sJ.

What do we make of West's raise to 6NT? Clearly when East holds a stiff heart a simple 6d is better. Indeed, it is hard to construct a hand for West where 6d would not be a better contract unless both are very good. But suppose West is known to have the mechanism for enquiring for singletons; doesn't this rather imply that a direct 6NT would deny an AK off the top and so South should try a passive lead? This is bluff, double-bluff and gambling territory.

At the other table, Konstam opened 1d and Schapiro responded 2h. Again the final contract was 6NT, but this time played by West. Unfortunately, North held the only heart combination for one without Barden-like powers (see page 3) to find the killing lead.

So, finally, suppose you hold Jx AK10xx 9xx J10x and the auction goes 3NT on your right, 6NT on your left. You know what to lead, but don't double, whatever you do!! LHO will then remove to 7d and partner will have to be on form ...

Results round-up

The County (Barden, Jagger, Kendrick, Mestel, Warren, Wightwick, Woodruff, Young) have again qualified for the Tollemache final, coming second in their group.

The latest results from the ECL: Norfork 5-7, 6-6 (win), 12-0. Herts: 6-6 (loss), 7-5, 0-12.

Fourteen teams have entered the County Knockout. There are three first round results so far: WOODRUFF beat LARLHAM, KNIGHTS beat JACOBSBERG, LAST beat SHAW.

Cambs and Hunts Open Swiss Teams: VPs
1 E. Howard, S. Dempster, V. Milman, N. Stelmashenko 100
2 G. Woodruff, S. Siklos, M. Atherton, A. Johannsson 99
3 R. Hair, S. Prince, A. Greenstein, Y. Dias 91
4 D. McFarlane, A. Brodie, P. Burrows, D. Kendrick 87
5 D. Harrison, A. Harrison, S. Parker, E. Manning 85

This year we were up to 31 teams, with the scores being out of a maximum of 140. Mr and Mrs Lockett, M. O'Reilly, J. Ede won the Ascendor's prize.

County Multiple Teams: VPs
1 C. Larlham, R. Midgley, D. Nicholson, F. Warren 106
2 J. Caldwell, J. Jacobsberg, A. Curtin, J. Turner 80
3 O. Hodgson, J. Hodgson, J. Bissett, R. Bissett 72
4 G. Gittins, D. Carmichael, E. Howard, E. Campbell 68
5 A. Gerloch, S. Oram, K. Jackson, C. Fuller 65
6 N. Stelmashenko, V. Milman, G. Woodruff, J. Young 62
7 M. Jude, B. Penfold, P. Beavan, S. Hollingworth 54
8 E. Lancaster, S. Lancaster, P. Jones, B. Day 53

The Joe Ward trophy, for the leading team with no Regional Master or higher ranked player was awarded to Oliver Hodgson's team.

Other Results:

Cambridge C (Woodruff, Wightwick, Johannsson, Deacon) got to the final of last year's National Inter-Club Knockout, but were beaten by a team led by Collings. Giles Woodruff was also involved in the Silver Plate semifinal with Ashment, Young, Shaw, Johannsson, Siklos, but they lost to Draper, who went on to win the competition.

As far as we are aware, the best county result in the Hubert Phillips Bowl was Stelmashenko, Milman, Schechter and Woodruff, who progressed to the last 32 before going out to a Hertfordshire team.

Congratulations to David Kendrick, who came second in the Camrose trial with Brian Senior. They have been selected to play in the England Camrose team. Congratulations also to G. Hazel, J. Green, C. Ashment, L. Zivan, K.W. Fung and I. Greig, who make up the whole England U25 team for the Channel Trophy. Ashment/Zivan, along with Zalin/Birdsall, have also been selected for the Hero tournament in January.

Gareth Roberts narrowly failed to retain the Great Northern Swiss Pairs, coming third with John Young. Woodruff/Shaw (no stopping this Woodruff chap!) were 3rd in the A final at the EBU Autumn Congress, whilst Ashment/Jagger won the B final. Young partnered Fegarty, whilst Jagger took on Lamford, and won the National Men's Teams.

Around the Clubs:

Cambridge Club: T. Pal, H. Kaku, W. Tunstall-Pedoe, I. Watson won the May Pamplin Swiss Teams.

Dates for your diary:

7th March ECL v Essex (Trumpington)
21st March ECL v Suffolk (Trumpington)
16th May Swiss Teams Club Challenge (Harston)
20th June Jubilee Pairs (Fenstanton)

(The last two dates are provisional).