This year’s Schapiro Spring Foursomes, England’s best tournament by a mile, wasn’t held in the usual Stratford-upon-Avon venue but in the rather grim Warwick Hilton. Adding energy and enthusiasm were four or five junior teams. Don’t imagine they are treated with kid gloves, though. A well-known figure on the circuit was playing against the Under 16s (most of them look 11) when one of them, hands too small to comfortably hold the cards (according to my source!), took his time with a bid and was called to task by our man for breaking tempo and thereby giving his (ten-year-old) partner unauthorised information! Only 103 IMPs up on the kids, he called the director who was legally bound to rule the contract back to the grown-ups. No concessions here. We were knocked out of the main tournament early but went into the Punch Bowl side event. Today’s hand really illustrates the power of bidding. I don’t like too many conventional bids but occasionally they save you from yourself:
At table one I passed the 1NT opening because 2♣ from me shows both Majors and I thought I would bide my time. I wasn’t disappointed. North, faced with a transfer to Clubs, duly bid 3♣, got doubled and conceded 1100. At the other table, East doubled 1NT, South redoubled, made up two, and E/W conceded 1560 for the highly unusual score of +2,660 or +21 IMPs to us!