A Tribute to Kevin Hinds (RIP) by Seamus Donaghy

Kevin Hinds taught himself bridge from a book by Goren at the age of seventeen, forty five years ago. Since then he became one of the most accomplished players in City of Derry Bridge Club and also in the surrounding areas of counties Donegal, Tyrone and Derry. Although Kevin was a professional golfer at the age of twenty Bridge was his first love.

Kevin had a very successful career and won numerous cups mainly when playing with Tony McDermott or Seamus Donaghy. He was always a most affable partner but a feared opponent as both his declarer and defender play were of the highest quality.

He served as Chairman of the NIBU in 2008/09 and represented NIBU when playing against CBAI. In fact in that competition he, along with his partner James McAllister, won a very valued silver medal for being the most successful pair.

When Covid struck Kevin started the Quarantine Club on BBO and players from all over the province and beyond took part. If they had not been able to get their regular Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday “fix” many of these players would have been lost to the game.

Kevin was also very innovative and actually created his own bidding system which he laughingly called the Carlsberg System- “probably the best system in the world.” He sent the system to EBU to have it verified and got word back that it was quite legal but that one would need to be quite mad to use it. Jim Crowch and I did play it with Kevin and had quite a lot of success with it. It was a very preemptive system in which one could make a bid with almost any hand no matter how weak it was. I remember using it on one occasion against a renowned senior pair and getting a complete top by going one down doubled in 3D with seven points between us. I had opened 2NT and Kevin had bid 3D so you can imagine how odd the system was.

Kevin will certainly be very badly missed. We send our condolences to his wife Sally and his three sons Tom, Colm and Dan.

May he rest in peace.