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New Zealand's Youth players completed a clean sweep of events during Youth Week at the Australian National Congress in Canberra. Following on success in both the Youth Pairs and Youth Teams events, the New Zealand Youth Team won a 48 board Test Match against Australia by 101 imps to 87 recovering from a 20 imp deficit in the first of the three stanzas.

Youth Test winners canberra 17 Stern Cornell trophy.JPG

New Zealand's Youth squad in Canberra. Rear: Jeremy Fraser-Hoskin, Nik Mitchell, Brad Johnston, Matt Hughes.

Front: Jacob Kalma, Matthew Brown, Feitong Chen. Also pictured is Sydney's David Stern, one of the two players along with Michael Cornell,who donated and presented the Stern-Cornell Trophy to the winners. (Missing from the squad is Andi Boughey who played in the Women's Team where her team reached the semi-final stage.)

For New Zealand, Brad Johnston, Nik Mitchell and Feitong Chen played throughout while Feitong played with both Matt Hughes and Matthew Brown during the match. In the second stanza, Feitong Chen showed extremely good judgement on the following board earning 12 imps for New Zealand.

Board 24
West Deals
None Vul
10 9 7
10 5 2
10 7
K Q J 4 3
A K 5 4
4 3
6 5
A 10 9 6 5
W   E
Q 8 3
A K 9 6
K Q 8 4 3 2
J 6 2
Q J 8 7
A J 9
8 7 2
West North East South
Matthew Brown   Feitong Chen  
1  Pass 1  Pass
1  Pass 2  Pass
3  Pass 3  Pass
4  All pass    

 The Australian East-West pair reached 3NT, a contract which had to fail on a heart lead and in fact failed by three tricks.

Feitong was worried how the no-trump game would play with his club void making communications quite difficult. Thus, after bidding 2Heart-small, 4th suit game forcing, he followed up with 3Spade-small offering the moysian fit as an option which Matthew Brown accepted. Matthew received a trump lead, won in hand. He lost a diamond to South's ace, won the trump return, drew trumps and set up the diamond suit, losing just a heart and a diamond.

New Zealand won the second stanza by 28 imps to lead by 8 imps with 16 boards to play. 10 of the last 16 boards were either flat or one imp swings. The following board could have been crucial and was going to be a double figure swing to one side, depending on whether Feitong Chen made his 6Heart-small contract.

Board 13
North Deals
Both Vul
A Q 10
8 6 4
6 5
9 8 7 6 2
Q J 10 8 4 3 2
A K J 3
W   E
8 3 2
K Q 10 9 7 3 2
A 7
K 9 7 6 5 4
J 5
K 9
10 5 4
West North East South
Matthew Brown   Feitong Chen  
  Pass 1  Pass
2  Pass 4  Pass
4 NT Pass 5  Pass
6  All pass    

 5Spade-small showed two key cards and the Heart-smallQ. South led a spade to North's ace. A lot depended on North's return. A trump exit would give the contract no chance as declarer would have to take the diamond finesse which fails. A spade return allows the contract to make as the Heart-smallJ is doubleton and declarer can discard a diamond and a spade on high clubs. Howver, a minor suit return (in practice a diamond) gives declarer options. He can win, ruff a spade and play for doubleton Heart-smallJ (and make) or win, cash Club-smallQ, play a trump to dummy and hope the clubs break 4-4. Unfortunately for New Zealand, Feitong took the latter line and failed when clubs broke 5-3. The Australians bid and made 5Diamond-small giving 12 imps to Australia.

However, the other boards went New Zealand's way. They won the set 27-21 and the match by 14imps.

Richard Solomon

In other Canberra results so far, the team of Carol Richardson- Andi Boughey and Jenna and Christine Gibbons reached the semi-final of the Women's Teams. Michael Whibley and his Australian partner came second in the Open Swiss Pairs. In the Life Masters Teams, the team of Feitong Chen, Matt Hughes, Brad Johnston, Nik Mitchell, Jeremy Fraser-Hoskin and Jacob Kalma finished third.





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