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Our Kiwis in Singapore Day 1

         Orchard Road, Singapore.

Welcome to the first report on our four teams at the Asia Pacific Bridge Federation Championships for 2019, which are taking place at the York Hotel in Singapore.

Firstly, just a brief run-down of the format. Different numbers of teams mean different formats for the four teams. Our Seniors (Bridge Masters) have the toughest with 16 teams taking part. They are playing a double round-robin of 15 matches, basically four matches per day for 7 days.

Our Open Team (Bridge Blacks) and our first ever Mixed Team (Mixed Blacks) are playing a double round-robin of 11 matches (12 teams..though only 11 teams in the Mixed event) ) with two or three matches per day. Our Women (Bridge Ferns) play a triple round robin of 9 matches (10 teams…3 matches per day). All matches are of 14 boards with all playing the same boards.

Singapore 19   Bridge Masters at Opening Ceremony.jpg

Alan Grant, John Skipper, Denis Humphries,
Brian Mace, David Dolbel and npc Allan Morris

Day 1 saw the Bridge Masters have the most action:

Open

Indonesia

24-13

13.23

6th

Australia

24-57

24-13

7th

       
       
       

 

Women

India

49-4

18.98

1st

Australia

17-22

  8.42

3rd

       
       

 

Seniors

Australia B

30-42

6.52

9th

China HK B

36-10

16.38

7th

Chinese Taipei B

15-23

7.56

8th

       

 

Mixed

Thailand

15-27

6.52

8th

Japan

23-37

6.04

9th

 

So, our best start came from the Bridge Ferns. These two boards contributed big time in their first up win over India.

The key on Board 25 was to reach 4Heart-small not 4Spade-small. Below is how Jane Lennon and Jane Skipper did it:

Board 25
North Deals
E-W Vul
J 10 9 7
K 4
K 6 4 3
J 5 3
3
Q J 8 7 5
10 9 8
K Q 10 7
 
N
W   E
S
 
A K Q 5 4 2
10 9 2
A Q J
2
 
8 6
A 6 3
7 5 2
A 9 8 6 4
West North East South
Jane Skipper   Jane Lennon  
  Pass 1  Pass
1 NT Pass 2  Pass
2  Pass 4  All pass

 

 1NT showed 6-12 hcp i.e. less than game force. 2Club-small was either natural or 17+ any shape. 2Heart-small showed minimum point-count and 5+ hearts. Jane Lennon bid the cold heart game. This convention is called Gazilli, a popular convention in Europe allied to 2 over 1 Game Force.

Meanwhile, the Indian East simply rebid 4Spade-small after 1NT and could not avoid 4 losers with trumps misbehaving. That was 12 imps to New Zealand who gained 13 on Board 18 in rather unusual circumstances:

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

 

After the Indian East opened 1Diamond-small, Rebecca Johnston (South) bid 2Diamond-small (spades and another, Michaels style). West bid a non-forcing 2Heart-small with Steph Jacob (North) competing with 3Spade-small. East doubled with Steph asking her screenmate (East) what the double meant. East seemed confused by the question (had she meant to double?) but was happy enough to defend 3Spade-smallx which became the final contract. 

Heart-smallA was a helpful lead which Steph ruffed. She played Club-smallA and a second club, guessing correctly. She had enough entries to her hand to play trumps twice getting home for just one trump, one diamond and one club loser.

This went very nicely with -50 from 2Heart-small by Jane Lennon in the other room.

Two slam swings went against the Bridge Masters in their first match against Australia B. In one, there were more failures in 6NT than success stories. Unfortunately, Brian Mace failed while his Australian counterpart succeeded though the other was a straight case of grand v small slam:

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

 Try it with your favourite partner. It is somewhat easier if North's opening 1Club-small does show the suit with the key to grand being South's singleton diamond ( the queen is actually superfluous). The big trick is NOT to bid 7NT as there are only 12 tricks in that contract. Unfortunately, Australia bid grand, the right one,  one level higher than New Zealand...13 imps to Australia.

One significant slam which cost two of our teams was the following:

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

 No slam was bid in our Ladies or Seniors' match. The Board cost 13 imps in our Mixed match when only Japan bid and made      6Club-small. Both pairs bid this slam in our Open match against Australia but Australia gained 16 imps when they alone made it. If clubs break 2-2, there are no problems but on a 3-1 break, a declarer has two lines to make, a rather anti-percentage one of dropping the doubleton Spade-smallQ or rather better after, say, a trump lead of ruffing three hearts high in the West hand and eventually discarding the potential spade loser (in reality, there was not one) on the Diamond-smallK. Try it. Best to return first to the East hand with a diamond to avoid the possibility of suffering a diamond ruff later. Had trumps broken, North would likely have played a second one when in with the Diamond-smallA.

So, we hope for better news from Day 2. There's plenty of time for our teams to catch up.

DAY 2 WEDNESDAY BBO SCHEDULE

NZ Time          1.00pm    BRIDGE FERNS V Singapore

                        4.30pm    BRIDGE MASTERS V Thailand

Richard Solomon

 

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