2013 CROCKFORDS CUP FINAL
Down to the Wire
by Tom Townsend
ONE HUNDRED and thirty-one teams But pass worked fine. Faced with a guess for throughout with the South hand and watched
entered the 2013 Crockfords Cup, the the ™Q for his contract, David Bakhshi Erichsen make 1NT plus two. This held Irens
English open teams-of-four championship. (North) understandably placed West with this to 19 VPs in the last match, not enough as the
Four rounds of knockout matches reduced defensive asset to justify his decision to defend Anglo-Irish Hackett syndicate swept home
the field to a very strong looking last sixteen. rather than sacrifice. One down. Not as expen- with 22 VP to take home the cup on a split-tie.
The fifth round, even with the longer 48- sive a view as it might have been, as this is how My last deal comes from the first match of
board matches, produced some shock the action unfolded at the other table: the final weekend:
qualifiers for the eight-team final weekend.
Christine Duckworth (Jane Moore, Gillian West North East South
Fawcett, Brian Callaghan and Ian Payn) 1´ 3t 4t1 Game All. Dealer North.
eliminated Jason Hackett’s strong team. 5® Pass Pass 5t1 ´ Q8
David Jones (Trevor Ward, Andrew Pass 5´ 6® Dble ™ Q8764
Thompson, Rob Lawy, Patrick Jourdain, 6t Dble All Pass t J 10 9 4
Tony Ratcliff) defeated Anita Sinclair’s all- 1 Cue-bids agreeing spades ® K 10
international London outfit by a single IMP. ´ AJ763 ´ K 10 9 4
Malcolm Oliver (Mike Leese, John Collin, The key to the auction was my partner Espen ™ K3 N ™ J95
Erichsen’s 5® bid on the way to 5t. With t A S t K65
Steve Wood) took out Janet de Botton’s cos-
® A9832 ® 654
mopolitan squad. The final match drawn by the double fit established, we had no
the EBU computer was a delight for every- thoughts of defending below the seven-level.
™ A 10 2
one else involved: Alexander Allfrey vs Nick The double of 6® with nothing in that suit
Irens. Allfrey had pipped Irens on the last was a definite mistake, and South may still ® QJ7
deal to win the 2012 Crockfords but 2013 was be asking himself why he led a spade, not the
different. Irens beat the holders to join Brian ™A. It wasn’t too hard to ruff, cross to the
Senior, Chris Jagger, Paul Hackett, Peter tA and pick up North’s trumps to make the West North East South
Hawkes and the others in the final. doubled slam. Pass Pass Pass
It was Hawkes’s largely Berkshire team So Hawkes lost 23-7 VP to Irens to make a 1® Pass 1´ Pass
which led with two matches to go, but their close three-way finish with Hackett who had 4´ All Pass
remaining matches were against closest pur- beaten Jagger 17-13 VP. The boards were
suers, Irens and Hackett. This explosive deal generally forgettable but this deal was critical: Anticipating a more balanced hand in
severely dented their chances: dummy (because West had not made a
splinter raise) Dublin’s Tom Hanlon for
Game All. Dealer North. Hackett chanced his arm with the ™2 lead.
N/S Game. Dealer North. ´ 10 9 6 4 East played low from dummy and the ™Q
´ AQ853 ™ 7 won the first trick. Hanlon won the heart
™ K72 t QJ74 return and exited with a diamond. Declarer
t Q 10 7 4 ® AJ87
still had hopes of making his contract by
® 8 ´ AQ ´ K732
drawing trumps, eliminating the red suits
´ 10 2 ´ Void ™ AQJ N ™ 10 6 5
W E and endplaying a defender with his singleton
™ 98 N ™ Q43 t 10 9 8 2 S t K653
W E or doubleton club honour to give a ruff-and-
t A93 S t KJ8652 ® 9632 ® KQ
´ J85 discard. But it was much too late in the day
® A Q J 10 9 2 ® K753
´ KJ9764 ™ K98432 to catch Paul Hackett, North, napping. The
™ A J 10 6 5 t A ®K was dumped under the ace and that was
t Void ® 10 5 4 one down.
® 64 The final result was:
1. (on tie-break) Paul Hackett, Tom
In Hackett vs Hawkes South’s weak 2™ opener Hanlon, Peter Lester, Hugh McGann, Ian
When East pre-empted with a vigorous 4t went for 400 (four off undoubled) and 500 Panto 133 VPs.
over 1´, Zia Mahmood (South for Irens) (two off doubled) for 3 IMPs to Hackett. Jones 2. Nick Irens, Espen Erichsen, Tom Town-
simply jumped to 6´ to give West a problem. also collected 400 the hard way against Zia send, Zia Mahmood, David Bakhshi 133
Saving in 7t looks normal. Dummy is Mahmood’s pre-empt. Could Irens collect a VPs.
bound to be void in one of the minors, West big penalty at the other table to clinch the 3 . Peter Hawkes, Tim Rees, Ian Reissmann,
is looking at nothing in the majors and can’t trophy? John Howard, Mike Perkins, Andy
expect much help from partner in defence. No, Patrick Jourdain soberly passed Bowles 117 VPs. r
18 English Bridge August 2013 www.ebu.co.uk