This year’s Benjamin, the Grand Masters Invitational Individual, was won by Iain Sime with Tim McKay in second place.
The Harrison (Scottish and Life Masters) went to Iain Taylor from Mike Smith; the Shenkin (Masters) was won by Ann Gray (Dundee) from Junior international Abigail Wilson; Fairlie (up to District Master) by Gillan Godfrey Glasgow) from Mary Volume.
On this deal everybody played in a spade partscore. West led the obvious queen of diamonds, getting an encouraging signal from partner. When the queen scored he continued with the jack and a third diamond, ruffed by South. Alex Adamson crossed to the ace of heart to lead a club, ducked to West. At this point a trump switch is required. Declarer wins in dummy and leads a second club, and East must be awake enough to rise with the king – only he can play the second trump that holds declarer to eight tricks.
Everybody in the Benjamin made nine tricks: either West did not switch to trump, or East failed to rise with the king to lead the second trump. The Pairs double of 3S netted -730, but that was not the worst East-West score. At one table where West doubled 2S for takeout North passed, and East, unsure what the double meant, left it in. This was unwise with no semblance of a trump trick: the overtrick meant -870.
Some sound advice for those playing in an unfamiliar partnership: when in doubt, a bid is forcing; when in doubt, a double is takeout.