The fourth Midland Individual County Correspondence Championship resulted in a new name on the PC Gibbs trophy. Phil Adams (Greater Manchester) won the event at his first attempt, the runner-up position being obtained by Keith McLaughlin (Leicestershire) who had won the two previous competitions. The fifth competition seems even stronger. Phil Adams will be defending his title, Keith McLaughlin and Alan Smith (Greater Manchester), another previous winner will be taking part.
Other competitors are Vaughan Griffiths (Northants), P C Gibbs (Warwicks), David Anderton (Staffs), Gary Allenby (Lincs), Janos Wagenbach (Notts), and Mike Alcock (Derbys).
I recently played two very tough correspondence games with Pat Carroll, in the British team correspondence championship. They were both drawn. I played for the British Correspondence Chess Association and he played for the National Correspondence Chess Club. We are both playing in the British Veterans' Correspondence Championship. He used to play for the St James club for two seasons but found postal chess more to his liking which he took up in 1986. I asked him to nominate one of his games worthy of publication and he chose one of our draws.
WHITE: P C Gibbs
BLACK: P J Carroll
6 B-Q2 Marshall used to play 6. Kt-B3 but this is adequately met by 6....P-QB4. In any case B-Q2 is far more entertaining.
8 ... Kt-QR3 Black is in dangerous waters after 8 .... QxBP; 9 Q-Q6, P-QB4; 10 BxP, Kt-Q2; 11 B-R3.
9 B-B8 Kt-K2 A quick form of suicide is 9.... KxB; 10 Q-Q8 mate.
20 QxKt QxKt 21 BxPch An alternative is 21 QxP but White wishes to activate his R.
If you were offered two pounds 10 notes for one you would of course take it. We do not however follow the same logic at the bridge table. Try your hand with this declarer problem where you can get two for the price of one.
K 10 3 2
A K J 8 3
5 4 2
A Q J 8 6 4
A J 3
North opened one heart, you bid one spade and West overcalled with two clubs. North raised to two spades, East bid three clubs and you eventually play in six spades. How do you play if West leads a) the sen of hearts or b? the king of clubs?
You appear to have two diamonds losers but with hearts 4-2 you can set up the fifth heart for a diamond discard and so make your contract. On the kings of clubs lead then do you draw trumps, two rounds, and finesse in hearts, do you play ace and king of hearts and ruff or do you play another line?
These were the full hands:
K 10 3 2
A K J 8 3
5 4 2
Q 10 8 6
K Q J 10 7 6
Q 10 6 4 2
K 9 7
9 8 4 2
If you played to finesse, or played ace and king of hearts you will go down. You have not used the nine of hearts to its full extent. After drawing trumps you should play the nine of hearts, letting it run. Now when you play the ace of hearts the 5-1 break shows up and you have the ruffing finesse of dummy'sjack and eight now against East's queen.
The lead of the seven of hearts is more likely to give you thoughts about hte possible 5-1 distribution. You rise with the ace, draw trumps and then run the nine of hearts. Again the ruffing finesse against East enables you to discard one diamond loser. Here it is a case of giving the opponents one trick in hearts to later make two more ithe suit. Did you turn our pounds 10 into pounds 20?
How do you play the following combinations?
a) West East
10 8 A J 5 4 3
for three tricks?
b) Q 9 7 3 A J 8 5 4 2
for six tricks?
and c) K9 A J 3 2
for three tricks?
Answer in Monday's Birmingham Post.
a) Lead low towards your hand and finesse the eight. It is a 50% chance that South holds the nine, so is your best chance of developing three tricks.
b) You could play for singleton king with North or singleton ten with South. If you play for singleton 10 by leading the queen at trickone then you also cater for North hlding K10x, so the queen is the card to play.
c) Lead low to the nine. This might bring the queen, if not cash the king and ace and cross your fingers the queen drops!