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January 2019

Our Timber Trophy is the world’s only Double Elimination Knockout Pairs and is run almost exactly as per the EBU Spring Foursomes, with pairs not eliminated until they have lost two matches. Our No 1 seeds, Whoopsie and Da Linkwent, remained undefeated till the final, where, with 80 members spectating and with the lead changing hands many times, they very narrowly defeated the No 3 seeds, Grumpy and Wolfie, after the first 24 boards by 51% to 49%, thereby retaining their undefeated status for three years running.


I had watched Whoopsie declare this board from his earlier Undefeated Pool Semi-final match against Cheffy69 (East) and Astrid (West):


  A Q 5 4 2  
  Q 8 3 2    
  J 6 5 2  
West   East
K Q J 6 4 3 2    A 10 5
9 8 7   K
J 9   A 10 7 6 5 4
10   K Q 4
  9 8 7   
  J 10 6 3   
  A 9 8 7 3   


Dealer West – Game All

3S No 4S No
No 4NT No 5C
No No Dbl No
No No    

The auction at most tables saw North passing out 4S, which usually made. North’s re-opening had already won the board as 5CX-2, achieved at two tables, would bring in 77% for NS, but could Ed do even better?

West led SK, ruffed in dummy. D2 was led from table, East rising with DA dropping DK and D9 from West. East led D6, declarer discarded a spade and took DJ with DQ in dummy.

At this point, declarer made the first key play of CJ from dummy to cater for the actual precise club distribution in addition to any 2-2 break. East covered and declarer took, pinning West’s C10.

Declarer ruffed his last spade in dummy and led dummy’s last trump, taken by East with CK. East returned SA, ruffed by declarer, who now took out East’s last trump. We were here:

  A Q 5 4  
West   East
Q 6   
9 8 7   K
  10 7 5 4
  J 10 6 3   

As declarer led HJ, I predicted that he would rise with HA and drop the singleton King offside, but that didn’t stop the gasps from some of the other spectators when Ed actually did so. The play so far had shown West to have a 7=3=2=1 shape together with 7 HCP. If she had also held HK, she would very likely have felt too strong to open 3S. The doubled contract made for an outright Top!

31 players from 8 countries at 7 tables
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