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2013 Camrose Trophy 2nd week-end: The insurance of BJ O’Brien

Posted on 02 March 2013

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Camrose Trophy

The second and final week-end of the Camrose Trophy is running at CityNorth Hotel of Gormanstown, in Meath County. We had left the six British teams, after the first week-end in January, with the England (92) leading over Northern Ireland (87) and Ireland (85,5); so the first three teams were close. It must be remembered that N. Ireland had defeated their island’s cousins by a large 21-9, which had cost the first place to Ireland. Fourth came Wales (77), still hoping, whereas Scotland (60) and CBAI (36) looked definitively out. “CBAI” is for Contract Bridge Association of Ireland, the second team of the host country.

The first round of the second weekend, yesterday, has gone as follows:

Ireland-CBAI 16-14 (79-74 in two segments of 16 deals each)

Scotland-Wales 20-10 (84-52)

N. Ireland-England 16-14 (71-67)



England 106 105

Northern Ireland 103 73

Ireland 101,5 117

Wales 87 11

Scotland 80 -64

CBAI 50 -259


Then the Irish mastiffs are biting the English fox’s tail.


In the second round N. Ireland falls against CBAI whereas England lengthens the pace:

N. Ireland -CBAI 12-18 (55-75)

Scotland-Ireland 14-16 (45-50)

Wales-England 12-18 (60-85)


England 124 130

Ireland 117,5 122

Northern Ireland 115 53

Wales 99 -36

Scotland 94 -69

CBAI 68 -239


In the third round, last one of Saturday, England flew high

Ireland-N. Ireland – 14-16 (55-61)

CBAI-Wales – 13-17 (73-87)

England-Scotland 25- 4 (104-33)


England 149 201

Ireland 131,5 116

Northern Ireland 131 59

Wales 116 -50

Scotland 98 -140

CBAI 81 -253


And Sunday the final rush: two rounds starting from 10,00 am (11,00 CET; 5am East Coast) with the big match England – Ireland.


An interesting hand has been the 17th of the first round. Love all, Dealer North:

Camrose 2013

In only one of the six tables North opened 2; this is a bad suit to open by, but there’s nothing to say as it’s matter of pair’s style and aggressiveness.

In all other tables North passed and East opened 1♠ or 2♠; it’s preferable the latter, in my opinion, because the hand only has two defensive tricks, whereas it’s recommended to have 2,5 for the one level opening. For example, let’s substitute the ♠J by a douce and the J by the queen: now with the same ten points, but by A and AQ, there are the prescribed 2,5 defensive tricks.

All the Souths doubled East’s opening; all the Wests raised to 4♠, which become the final contract everywhere but in Ireland-CBAI, where BJ O’Brien, of the latter team, went to defend 5. He paid 500, then losing 2 IMPs, nonetheless I think he was right.

Who obeys the Total Trick Law (TT) must recognize that the defense is unlucky: there are 19 TT (ten spades and nine diamonds), but E-W makes eleven tricks, not enough for slam but enough to earn against the defense at five-level. On the other hand, who doesn’t believe in the “Law” has here the acknowledgement of his heresy; the J is worth a trick only as defending card and, as the auction went, planning to catch it in East would be insensate.

The main question however is another one: the -500 result is the worst that could be expected, as -800, that’s -4, meant that E-W had the slam. Then the -2 IMPs results(-500+450 = -50) is the fee that has to be paid as insurance against the swing, i.e. the double score result 4♠ and 5 both made.


The Contract Bridge Association of Ireland (CBAI), guest Country; all on Teams and results: open >>

Directly to results: open >>

Paul Gipson’ site: interesting articles and comments: open >>



Paolo Enrico Garrisi

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