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The Bowl at Lyon

The Battle for Bronze

So, to the play-off for bronze, 5 sets of 16 boards over two days.  The first set was relatively flat with the Bridge Blacks scoring the largest swing, 8 imps, when their opponents went down a total of 5 tricks at both tables.

After Board 12, we led by 10 imps thanks partly to the following when the Bulgarians stayed in 3Heart-small:

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

 

In 4Heart-small, GeO. East, won the trump lead in hand and played a spade to the king when South played low. Next came the diamond honours, JQKA, followed by a second round of trumps. GeO drew the last trump to finesse successfully the Diamond-small9 and thus came to 10 comfortable tricks and 7 imps to the Bridge Blacks.

Alas, 17 dribbled out on the last 4 boards, though both North-South pairs must have been amazed they did not lose imps on Board 14

Board 14East Deals
None Vul
J 7 4
A
K Q J 4 3
A K Q 2
A 9 5
8 5 2
10 8 2
10 6 4 3
 
N
W   E
S
 
8 6 2
J 9 7 6 4
A 9 6
8 5
 
K Q 10 3
K Q 10 3
7 5
J 9 7

 

I can only presume that both South players opened 1Club-small, rebid 1NT and the North players moved too quickly to 6NT. There was just no way to avoid two aces, or Diamond-smallA and a heart.

Bulgaria ended the first set 29-22 ahead.

Set 2. Bulgaria 51 New Zealand 9

No joy here. There were four double figure swings, with two missed slams, a 3NT made at just one table and this ugly board when it looks like the Bulgarian East opened with a  club pre-empt driving GeO (North) to where he did not want to be:

Board 22
East Deals
E-W Vul
A 10
Q J 8 7
A 10 6 2
A Q 2
Q 9 8 4
A K 10 9
K Q 9
6 5
 
N
W   E
S
 
J 6
5 2
7 4 3
K 10 9 8 4 3
 
K 7 5 3 2
6 4 3
J 8 5
J 7

 

West doubled 3NT and there was nowhere to run. He went 3 down on an initial heart lead for 12 imps out when 3Club-small at the other table failed by a trick.

Set 3. Bulgaria 35 New Zealand 26.

Some signs of a fight- back with Whibley- Brown bidding two excellent slams for 23 imps in. Any making slam is an “excellent” one…and this was Board 1:

Board 1
North Deals
None Vul
Q 10 8 5 3
J 7
K Q 9 8 7 4
J 9 2
K Q 10 7 6 3
Q 10 6
10
 
N
W   E
S
 
K 6 4
9 4
K 9 8 4 3
J 3 2
 
A 7
A J 8 5 2
A 5 2
A 6 5

 

In 6Club-small, it was just a case of one of the black suits behaving. The club break was annoying but the spade break was fine..10 imps in.

The club break was much nicer on Board 10:

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

 

If East started with a pre-empt, and Michael Whibley, North jumped to 4Spade-small, then Matt Brown did very well to move on to 6Spade-small where clubs needed to break 3-2 or West have a singleton honour.

That was 13 imps in but the Bridge Blacks conceded single- figure imps on 9 of the 16 boards with only 3 imps in apart from the slams.

Thus, New Zealand ended the day 57-115 behind with just 32 boards left to pull out something special if they are to get the bronze medal position.

In the final, the scoring guru was at work. The first set was a 33-33 draw. USA 2 won the second set by 10, the same margin by which France won the third. So, after 48 of 128 boards, it’s all square.

China lead England by 42 imps in the Women’s final while USA 2 is 14 imps ahead of Italy in the Seniors’ final.

Richard Solomon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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