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2012 Camrose Trophy, Oxford

Penelope's Hand by Ana Roth




 The Camrose Trophy or "The Camrose" is an annual bridge competition among open teams representing the home nations of Great Britain and Ireland: England (EBU), Northern Ireland (NIBU), Republic of Ireland (CBAI), Scotland (SBU) and Wales (WBU). As such it is the open teams-of-four component of the "Home Internationals" organized by Bridge Great Britain.


 Lord Camrose, owner of The Daily Telegraph, donated the trophy in 1936 and it was first contested in 1937. The original trophy has been lost and replaced. Because of World War II the series was interrupted mid-way in 1939 and not resumed until 1946, yet the Camrose is the world's most-played international bridge series. Wales won the 68th Camrose and its first, March 2011 in Llandrindod Wells, Powys (Wales).


 The Camrose is played in two weekend rounds, the first of this year Camrose Trophy round took place the 6-8 January weekend in Oxford, I kibbed in BBO the match where Ireland defeated England, 43-41. I entitled one of this match hands:


 Penelope's Hand.


 In the Greek Mithology Penelope is the wife of the king of Ithaca, Odysseus (Ulysses in Roman mythology) and daughter of Icarius and his wife Periboea. She only has one son by Odysseus, Telemakhos, who was born just before Odysseus was called to fight in the Trojan War. She waits twenty years for the final return of her husband, during which she has a hard time snubbing marriage proposals from 108 odious suitors. Although her name has traditionally been associated with marital faithfulness, his name inspired a song also called Penelope; lyrics by Joan Manuel Serrat and Music by Augusto Alguero, both from Barcelona, Spain:


 Penelope, with her brown leather pocketbook, Dressed in her finest Sunday look, With high-heel shoes over her stockings. Penelope is sitting on a station bench while she waits for any train to come by...; In the town they say that one day a traveling man stopped her clock on an afternoon in the springtime. “Fare you well, my love, don’t cry for me, for I’ll be back...Think of me, I’ll come back for you!”

 So Penelope waits...and waits..and Greece, in Spain...and this weekend, Penelope waited in Oxford.


 N/S: Allfrey-Robson (England)  E/W: Glynn-Keaveney (Ireland)


 Dealer: South, All Vul 


J 10 9 8 4
K 10 2
A 5 4
Q 3 

7 6 3
A Q J 6 3
A K 7 5

A K Q 5 2
9 7
K Q 10 2
10 8


8 5 4
J 8 7 6 3
J 9 6 4 2












1 1 Pass Pass


 After Glynn, opened 1, and after Allfrey decided to mention his spades, Keaveney, decided to wait for his partner's double, but as Penelope in our two previous stories, he must be still waiting...


 Keaveney leaded the 9, and the defense made 8 tricks...3 down...300...


 In the other table, things were very different:













1 Pass 1NT1 Pass
2NT2 Pass 33 Pass
3 Pass 3NT Pass
4 Pass 44 Pass
4 Fin    

1 spades

2 spade support

3 asking

4 Last train


  After Walsh decided to Pass, over Forrester's 1, E/W developed a bidding sequence that included a last train slam invitation, not accepted by Forrester, who like Penelope, chose to stay, watching the last train leaving the station.


 Walsh leaded the J and declarer won the trick with the A, watching South pitch the 3. He continued with the 7 to his Q, covered by North´s K. Walsh returned the 8, West won the trick with K, played the last heart from dummy to his A and continued with a diamond. Walsh won with his A and left his hand playing the 9.


 Declarer won the trick with the Q, played K and Q, pitching two little clubs from his hand, and a club to his A. Now he played his J and another  heart, North ruffed with his 4, overruffed with dumm'y's 5...and at the end North made his 10.


 10 tricks, 620...and 8 IMPs for England.