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New Zealand in Korea...Day 8

DISAPPOINTMENT ALL ROUND

At the start of the final day of the double-robin event, the New Zealand Open Team was in third place. Good performances in their three matches against the other top teams and anything was possible. They started against China…and did not get the result they were seeking, losing 7-39 (2.66), dropping New Zealand to 5th, 19 vps behind China who now led by 4vps from Chinese Taipei.

Nothing majorly bad happened. However, would you like to be in 6Heart-small on these East-West cards?

Board 27
South Deals
None Vul
9 5
8 7 4
K J 4
10 8 6 4 2
K Q J 8 4
Q 5 2
A 5 3
A K
 
N
W   E
S
 
10 7
A K 10 6 3
Q 9 7 2
J 3
 
A 6 3 2
J 9
10 8 6
Q 9 7 5

 

Presumably after strong 2NT openers, the two West players were declarer. Brown-Whibley stayed in game, the Chinese in slam. It all came down to a favourable trump break and the location of the Diamond-smallK. The slam was unbeatable from the West seat, giving China 11 of their imps.

Our next opponents were Chinese Taipei. The score line was again depressing 12-21 (7.29). That narrow victory put the Chinese Taipei team into the lead as China only scored 3.97 off Japan. New Zealand dropped to a disappointing 6th, their lowest place in the whole event. Once again, it was a slam swing that cost New Zealand with Whibley – Brown stopping in 5Spade-small while their opponents were a level higher:

Board 12
West Deals
N-S Vul
K 8 5
K J 10 9 8 5
K 7
9 4
Q J 7 6 3
6
A J 8 3
K Q 2
 
N
W   E
S
 
A 9 4 2
A Q 7
Q 10 9 4
A 7
 
10
4 3 2
6 5 2
J 10 8 6 5 3

 

Slam is not quite as good as one of two finesses as the Spade-small10 is also missing. I suspect East, Michael Whibley, knew his partner was minimum, that they were missing a key card and that his partner held a singleton heart. His own Heart-smallQ was not a particularly useful card to hold opposite a singleton. All this may have contributed to his staying out of slam. On this day, it resulted in the loss of 11 of the 21 imps New Zealand conceded in the match.

Pride was restored in the final match against Japan with a nice score-line with which to end the event, 68-15 (19.74). China won the battle at the top scoring 16.72. New Zealand could not mathematically catch Chinese Taipei in the last round and when Indonesia thrashed India in their last match, New Zealand’s medal hopes vanished. 4th …disappointing under the circumstances but a pretty competitive effort from the New Zealand team for the whole 8 days of bridge.

Newell-Reid had a particularly good second round-robin. They were the only pair in the Open or Seniors field to bid the following slam in the match against Japan:

Board 27
South Deals
None Vul
K Q 9 7 6
K 7 4
9 8 7 5 3
J 10 8 3 2
10
Q
A K 9 8 4 2
 
N
W   E
S
 
5 4
J 8 2
K J 6 4 2
Q 5 3
 
A
A Q 9 6 5 3
A 10
J 10 7 6
West North East South
  Newell   Reid
      1 
2  Pass 2  Pass
2  Pass 3  3 
Pass 4  Pass 4 
Pass 4  Pass 4 
Pass 5  Pass 6 
All pass      

 

1Club-small was 14+ Precision style with 2Diamond-small showing either hearts or spades and clubs. East bid 2Heart-small to play if their partner had hearts and converted to clubs when his partner showed the black suits. Then, Martin and Peter took over. Martin bid his suit with 4Club-small being a cue showing some interest in slam. Peter (North) signed off but showed total club control (5Club-small) when Martin pressed on.

The opposition bidding made the play of the hand more comfortable for Martin. Three clubs could be ruffed in dummy and his losing diamond discarded on the Spade-smallK. East had to ruff the Spade-smallQ so that Martin could draw trumps in two rounds from his own hand and lose just one club.

Final Scores

1. China

376.69

8. Singapore

337.88

2. Indonesia

368.13

9. China Hong Kong

305.51

3. Chinese Taipei

367.78

10. Malaysia

289.34

4. New Zealand

364.24

11. Korea 1

280.93

5. India

358.60

12. Thailand

265.70

6. Japan

357.82

13. China Macau

241.63

7. Australia

345.30

14. Korea 2

166.12

 

 

15. Kuwait

128.33

 

So, disappointment for our Open Team but an average 13vps per match and being just 12vps behind the winners is more than respectable.

Our Ladies started the day with the aim of finishing 5th. China Hong Kong and Thailand were the two countries threatening that position and were New Zealand’s opponents for the day:

China Hong Kong   21-31 (7.03). That left New Zealand 2 vps behind China Hong and about 4.5 vps ahead of Thailand.

Thailand                 32-40 (7.56). With China Hong Kong winning well in their last match, that left New Zealand in a rather disappointing 7th place by just 0.35 vp.

1. China

344.94

7. New Zealand

222.15

2. Indonesia

284.10

8. Japan

216.08

3. Chinese Taipei

282.28

9. Korea 1

162.77

4. Australia

280.26

10. India

156.39

5. China Hong Kong

234.50

11. Singapore

147.25

6. Thailand

222.50

12. Korea 2

  86.78

 

Not only did gold, silver and bronze go to the same three countries but in both cases, Indonesia came from outside the medal places to claim silver with a big win in their last match.

The Seniors competition was also won by China, with once again an Indonesian team second though China Hong Kong broke the pattern by coming third. China also won the Junior Teams from Singapore and Chinese Taipei and indeed won all six gold medals as they also won the Youngster and Girls Teams competitions.

Today, Trans-Tasman rivalry is revived with our Open and Women’s teams both playing a 64 board test match against Australia.

Richard Solomon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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