Jan. 29/2020
Tables: 8 (399 section), 7 (Open Section)

The last week of the Club’s stratified section trial wrapped up this week. Survey sheets were distributed to obtain the players’ game preferences and feedback. No doubt it will be quite interesting when those results are presented at next week’s AGM meeting.

399 section:

Several boards featured card distributions that were positively wicked and the declarers struggled to eke out even partial contracts. (There were an alarming number of down 3 and down 4 disasters). Nevertheless, it was positively raining slam attempts in the 399 section. Of the 13 slams attempted, 10 were successful (a 77% success rate). Board #9 was definitely a “happy place” for North-South pairs as 6 of them managed various slam flavours with those cards.


North – South #1East – West #1
Ronda Vaillancourt – Lila PaddockMargaret-Ann Fraser – Sandra McGregor

Open Section:

Perhaps it was premature to congratulate the Open Section on their slam bidding abilities. Of the 5 slams that were attempted today, only 1 was successful (a 20% success rate – Ouch!). Sadly, the individual hand details have been lost, as the hand records of the 399 section overwrote all the information from the Open section. The ACBL software definitely seems user–unfriendly! Board #23 must have offered an instructive display of how to play (or maybe how NOT to play) a 3NT contract, as the results ranged from making to down 3.


North – South #1East – West #1
Ernie Berndt – Eric BrownGuy Dagenais – Bob Provencher

Jan. 22/2020 (Junior Fund)
Tables: 8 (399 section), 7.5 (Open Section)

The Club’s stratified section trial continues. Due to the individual hand recorders not
working properly, none of the results in either section could be recorded electronically and David was obliged to manually input the results of all t he boards at the end of the afternoon. Thank you very much for your hard work, David. Sadly, though the results were captured, neither the bids nor hand records were recorded and so reviewing the individual hands on the ACBL site will always remain a bit of a mystery.

399 section:

It would be interesting to talk to the players about Board #16. While some passed it
out, other East-West pairs managed to successfully extract a 3NT contract. Perhaps a stark display of the “glass-half-full” versus the “glass-half-empty” type of hand evaluation? Apparently, Board #18 was a delightful spot for the North-South pairs as 3 slam contracts were bid and made. No other slam attempts fared as well.

North – SouthEast – West
#1 Garry Irving – Bob Bouchard#1 Audrey Copeland – Mike Nagrodski

Open section:

Due to the odd number of tables in play and to avoid a lengthy sit-out, a Howell
movement was again used in the Open Section. Unfortunately, since the electronic recorders were misbehaving, several of the pairs appeared uncertain where to go at the end of each round or what boards should be played. Thankfully, Leanne and Wayne were there to shepherd the lost lambs to their proper locations and the play continued smoothly. While the best result that could be extracted from many hands appeared to be a partial score, Board #21 was definitely the exception. Everything from a +710 to a +2210 was seen there; I’m sure there must be some stories to tell.

#1 John Shepley – Lee Teperman
#2 Carol Sulpher – David Sulpher

Jan. 15/2020 (STaC)
Tables: 8 (399 section), 5.5 (Open Section)

January 15 saw the second week of the Club’s trial of stratified sections. To add extra spice to the afternoon, both sections were playing STaC boards and those boards definitely lived up to their challenging reputation. We’re often told that the STaC hands are not the creation of some diabolical computer program, but simply selected hands. Perhaps so…. but during this afternoon’s play, extreme distributions and voids occurring with unnatural frequency were the order of the day. (The South hands saw 3 natural voids over the 27 board Open session – definitely against the odds.)

399 section:

The difference in bidding skill and playing experience between the 2 sections was
particularly apparent in the declaration of slam contracts. On the 399 side, of the 6 slams attempted, only 1 was successful (a 17% success rate). While on the Open side, of the 5 slams attempted, 4 were successful (a 80% success rate). Perhaps we should ask Wayne to review slam bidding techniques and play in his Chalk Talk sessions!


North – SouthEast – West
#1 Anna McCallum – Gwen Latendresse#1 George Caldwell – Suzanne Caldwell

Open Section:

Due to the number of tables in play (and to avoid a 4 board sit-out), a Howell movement was used in the Open Section. With the pairs switching between the North-South chairs and the East-West ones, the Open players experienced the STaC boards differently than the 399 section had done. Nevertheless, the play at some of the tables would have been quite interesting to observe. At Board #18, though all pairs reached the same 3NT contract, the results ranged from “making” to +1 to +2. Obviously, initial lead and style of play produced quite different results. However, when you compare what the computer considers a “Par” result with the scores recorded by the human players, it’s apparent that we all have much to learn.

#1 Phillippa Baran – Dan Baran
#2 Bob Provencher – Guy Dagenais


Tables: 9.5 (399 section), 8 (Open Section)

January, 2020 saw the start of the Club’s 4 week trial of splitting the players into 2 stratified sections. One section contains the 399 point and under players; the other everyone else. At the end of the 4 weeks, a survey will be held to determine if the Club wishes to continue with these stratified sections or whether we’ll return to our previous unstratified arrangement.

399 section:

The points seemed be very evenly spread today as many boards were played only
in partial contracts. Only 4 slam contracts were attempted and of those only the pair of Mary McCann and Ruth Grant successfully brought the slam contract home. Well done, Ladies! Board #18 saw some lively bidding as contracts of every possible variety were attempted. Sadly, several of the efforts appeared to be more enthusiastic than wise.

North – SouthEast – West
#1 Garry Irving – Bob Bouchard#1 Anne Fuisz – Bernadette Culhane

Open Section:

Strangely enough, the Open section seemed to duplicate the results of the 399
group. Partial contracts, or the ever-popular 3NT contracts, were predominantly the order of the day. Of the 6 slam contracts attempted, only 2 were successful. Obviously, bidding a slam was a poor bet today! Board #23 takes the day’s prize for the widest swings in the results; everything from a +200 to a -950. Wouldn’t it have been fun to kibitz at that table?

North – SouthEast – West
#1 Wayne Perrin – Paul Kilger#1 William Enright – Bob Troutman

Tables: 15

Between Christmas preparations and Snowbirds leaving for the sunny South, the usual number of players at the Club shrank considerably, as there were only 14 tables in play to-day. 

Though all players commented on some of the strange distributions in the hands, the points seemed be very evenly spread as not a single pair managed to score a slam contract. 

Board #20 must have seen some really lively bidding, as there were some wild swings in the results. Everything from 4S doubled +1 (990) by the North-South to a successful 5D contract (600) by the East-West pair. It would certainly have been fun to kibitz on that table.

Without a doubt, the prize(?) for the oddest board of the day had to go to Board #28, where, while the N-S pairs could make a 2S contract, the E-W pairs could successfully eke a 1S contract with the same cards.  Definitely unusual! 

Congratulations to the December 18 winners:

North – South
1: Arthur Ham – Phyllis Brennan
2: Paul Kilger – Pat Kilger
3: Carol Sulpher – David Sulpher

East – West
1: Guy Dagenais – Bob Provencher
2: John Shepley – Lee Teperman
3: Rick Duncan – Leanne Cheliak

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