Here is a question. Who is the highest-ranked Irish player on the world list? Up to a year ago it was Tom Hanlon - but he has been replaced in the rankings by a pair rated not good enough to play for Ireland at international level. I am, of course, talking about Nick FitzGibbon and Adam Mesbur who are ranked equal 40 places ahead of Tom.
The top four players in the world are all from Monaco.
Leaving such musings behind, I see that the second last of the season's championships will be played at the Templeogue Centre over one session this coming Saturday. The last is the Egan Trophy.
Here is a curious hand from a recent club competition. Curious from the point of both bidding and defence. The doctor diagnoses a bad attack of Threenotrumpitis.
Bidding (All not vul)
NES W 2ntP3NT P PP
Players these days simply count points and 22+7 equals 3NT. Not when they cash five spade tricks. But on this occasion I saw 12 tricks made in 3NT. How? You tell me with East on lead. And just two pairs played in the unbeatable 4H and none in 5D which is also cold.
So, what is the correct opening bid? If you open 2NT you should have an honour in every suit. Otherwise you open 2C and then bid 2H over 2D which suggests a worry in some suit. Responder should get the message: hence bidding diamonds and then supporting Hearts.
♠ Q1063♠ AKJ75
♥ 832♥ 765
♦ 1092♦ 53
♣ J63♣ 852