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New Zealand at the Yeh Bros event, Day 1.

IT WAS NEVER GOING TO BE EASY

This year’s Yeh Bros event had plenty of strong teams taking part. After doing the necessary against one of the weaker teams present, South Africa, New Zealand came up against three strong European countries in succession, Bulgaria, France and Netherlands. The French result was pleasing though the lack of imps in and hence vps in the other two matches was not. There were 5 x 10 board matches Swiss style on Day 1, to be repeated on Day 2 after which the top 15 teams along with the Yeh Bros team qualify for the knock-out stage:

New Zealand opponent

Imp score (New Zealand first)

New Zealand Vp score

South Africa

53- 1

20.00

Bulgaria

 6 -30

  3.22

France

21-16

11.85

Netherlands

 1- 46

  0.24

PD Times

24-37

  5.72

 

Thus at the end of Day 1, New Zealand have 41.03 vps. Netherlands lead narrowly on 71.51vps from India and China though more importantly from a New Zealand perspective, 15th place Japan are on 49.10 with New Zealand in 22nd place in the 28 team field. There is still plenty to play for on Day 2 of this event.

Open team lyon .JPG
The New Zealand team, hoping for more medals.

The New Zealand team is Michael Cornell – Ashley Bach, GeO Tislevoll – Michael Ware and Michael Whibley- Matthew Brown.

This board occurred in New Zealand’s big win over South Africa. Only 15 of the 28 East-West pairs managed to find their heart fit. Many played in a making spade partial or failing spade game. Fortunately, Ashley Bach and Michael Cornell found hearts:

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

 

A typical auction might go as above, the key being that East’s 2Heart-small is always a one- round force. The 22 hcp game was really good despite the losing trump finesse. Spades 3-3 helped….average luck, therefore! South Africa failed in 4Spade-small for 11 imps to New Zealand.

What would be your approach holding the following West hand:

                West                     North                    East                        South

                                                                            1Club-small                           Pass

                1Diamond-small (shows hearts) Pass                    3Club-small                           Pass

                ?

holding, with neither side vulnerable, Spade-small 764         Heart-small AQJ63               Diamond-small K95     Club-small 83

You are in the game zone but which one? Do you bash 3NT and hope or perhaps investigate. Systemically, Michael Whibley ( East) could not have 6 clubs and 3 hearts…but he could have 2 hearts. So, Matthew bid 3Diamond-small to find out. Michael Whibley’s response was a 4th suit forcing 3Spade-small. Where to from here?

                  West                     North                    East                        South

                                                                                1Club-small                           Pass

                1Diamond-small (shows hearts)    Pass                      3Club-small                           Pass

                3Diamond-small                            Pass                      3Spade-small                           Pass

                ?

There did not seem many options left but 3NT and hope. The lead was the Spade-smallQ and Matthew hoped he could survive the spade attack. No spade honours in dummy either but something in spades almost as useful, length:

Board 18
East Deals
N-S Vul
K Q 9
8 7 5
10 7 4 3
10 7 6
7 6 4
A Q J 6 3
K 9 5
8 3
 
N
W   E
S
 
10 8 5
K
A 6 2
A K Q 5 4 2
 
A J 3 2
10 9 4 2
Q J 8
J 9

 

The defence could only take four spade tricks with their being 9 top tricks even if clubs had broken badly. A couple of pairs tried 4Heart-small, though four rounds of spades would defeat that contract. There was no swing on this board (against Bulgaria) but an interesting bidding sequence to reach the normal contract.

Some enterprising, perhaps ambitious bidding by Ashley Bach – Michael Cornell on the following board earned the victory over France:

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

 

Ashley Bach rode his good fortune when spades broke 3-3 and clubs 2-2. No overtricks! However 10 imps in when the French bid and made a spade partial. However, little went right in the final two matches of the day, even though against PD Times, a Taiwanese team which included the famous Patrick Huang, Whiibley- Brown earned New Zealand 12 imps by forcing their opponents to the 5 level, down 1. Not so, though, on Board 13:

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

 

Against PD Times, this is how New Zealand would have liked the bidding to have gone. 3Diamond-small is slightly aggressive but gets you to the excellent 9 trick game, which despite only a combined 23 high hcp, would have succeeded even if the diamond finesse had failed. As you can see, it did not and New Zealand conceded 11 imps for being in just 2Diamond-small.

Here’s hoping for some better results on Day 2.

Richard Solomon

 

 

 

 

 

 

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