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New Zealand Youth Squad Trial for Australian Test by Tracey Lewis

To ensure fairness of selection for the test in Canberra in January 2018, a weekend of competing against each other was held over 16-17th December at the Auckland Bridge Club.

On the Saturday, the six pairs played 72 boards and  on the Sunday 48. The format was similar to the Inter-Provincial trials with Patrick Carter directing. Thanks to Douglas Russell and Christine Wilson who spent time observing the players over the weekend and providing feedback on individual performance.

It proved to be a good testing of partnerships and partnership agreements, not to mention endurance and mental stamina! The top 3 pairs from the trial will play in Canberra in the test match against the Australian youth if they are available to play the full week.

Finishing in the top 3 places were;

Andi Boughey and Matt Brown

Vincent He and Zachary Yan

Jeremy Fraser-Hoskin and Jacob Kalma.

Vincent and Zachary are the newest members of the Squad and have already proven themselves worthy of selection.

Here are two interesting deals from the 120 played. Firstly, sound defence from Andi Boughey:

Board 17
North Deals
None Vul
A 8 5 3
A J 10 2
Q
K J 7 4
Q 9 6 4
8 7 4
9 4
10 9 5 2
 
N
W   E
S
 
10 7
Q 5 3
A K J 6 5 2
Q 6
 
K J 2
K 9 6
10 8 7 3
A 8 3
West North East South
  1  1  2 NT
Pass 3 NT All pass  

 

Matt Brown (West) led the Diamond-small9, his partner’s suit, against South’s 3NT contract. Despite missing all the top four top diamonds, South proclaimed to have a diamond hold. Andi believed him…and ducked the opening lead. A successful heart finesse through Andi would have brought the declarer 10 tricks with the Club-smallQ falling doubleton. However, South tried the spade finesse (low to the jack) and found there was no “safe” defensive hand as Matthew still had a diamond to lead to his partner…. Down two.

Meanwhile,on the following board, of the three North-South pairs, only Andi and Matthew competed over  their opponent’s 4Spade-small opening, a necessary action required as the following demonstrates.

Board 22
East Deals
E-W Vul
6 5 4
A Q 8 7 5
K J 9 5
3
A 3
10 4
10 6 4 3
A K 7 6 5
 
N
W   E
S
 
K Q J 10 9 8 7 2
K 6
8
10 2
 
J 9 3 2
A Q 7 2
Q J 9 8 4
West North East South
Vincent He Andi Boughey Zachary Yan Matt Brown
    4  4 NT
Pass 5  Pass 6 
Pass 6  All pass  

 

4NT was take-out of 4Spade-small and perhaps anticipating a stronger hand for that action, Andi’s 5Spade-small forced to slam. The heart finesse failed but 11 imps went to Andi and Matt as the other two North-South’s defended 4Spade-small for 10/11 tricks. Even doubled down two, 6Diamond-small is an excellent sacrifice.

The Chair of the International Committee, Derek Evennett, visited the players on the Sunday to discuss the possibility of a New Zealand Youth Team playing in China in August 2018.

A big thank you to Patrick Carter who gave up his weekend for the Youth Squad and who dealt the boards for the event. Thanks to the Auckland/Northland Regional committee who agreed to cover the costs of the food, beverages and sundries.Finally, thanks to the Foundation who are very supportive of Youth bridge and covered the costs of the flights to and from Auckland for the weekend.

Youth trial december 2017 auckland.jpg

From left; Eddy Tan and Yiwei Qi (potential future squad members), Zachary Yan, Vincent He, Mathew Hughes, Tegan Bennik (potential future squad member), Jacob Kalma, Andi Boughey, Mathew Brown (captain), Nikolas Mitchell, Bradley Johnston, Jeremy Fraser- Hoskin and Chairman of the International Committee Derek Evennett.

 

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