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Our Kiwis in Singapore Day 3

BRIDGE BLACKS v SINGAPORE. 4.30PM NZ time Friday. on BBO.

Day 3 proved to be generally a good day for our 4 teams. A small loss, a bye and a crushing victory over bottom placed India saw our Mixed Blacks climb to 9th in the 11-team competition. The Bridge Ferns continued their climb with a small loss and then three wins, also destroying India in the last round of the day. They are one match in to the second of three round robins and are comfortably in 4th place, but still 27vps behind table topping China.

The Bridge Blacks suffered a small loss but followed up with two narrow but good wins to rise to 3rd place, 14 and 16vps respectively behind Singapore and Australia.

The Bridge Masters would have been a little disappointed with two small losses at the end of the day after starting with a fine win over runaway leaders, China. They are currently 6th, 9 vps behind second placed Japan.

           Women                                                                                  Seniors

Japan

29-33

8.72

7th

 

China

37-26

13.23

4th

 

 

China Hong Kong

36-32

8.28

6th

 

Singapore B

33-18

14.19

3rd

 

 

Indonesia

40-12

16.72

6th

 

Korea

27-37

7.03

3rd

 

 

India

95-21

20.00

4th

 

China Hong Kong A

28-45

5.36

6th

 

 

         Open                                                                                     Mixed

China Hong Kong

19-24

8.42

4th

 

China

30-43

6.28

11th

 

 

Japan

33-23

12.97

4th

 

Bye

 

12.00

9th

 

 

China

36-24

13.48

3rd

 

India

63-3

20.00

9th

 

 

 

That loss to the Bridge Masters was the first of the event for China. The Bridge Masters continued on to beat Singapore though the victory margin could have a lot greater. What’s your choice of lead to 6Heart-small after the following sequence?

            West              North            East                South

                                                            4Heart-small                Pass

            4NT                Pass                5Diamond-small                 Pass

            6Heart-small                   All Pass

You, South, hold, Spade-small QT98             Heart-small Q9              Diamond-small 763             Club-small Q754

And while you have your thinking caps on, plan the play in 6Spade-small as West after the lead of Heart-smallK:

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

 

Back to the Bridge Masters. Board 13 in the same match proved an interesting competitive battle. It looks as though if East can show the major suits that East-West will bid on to 5Spade-small which would be one or two down depending on how trumps are played:

Board 13
North Deals
Both Vul
9
A J
A K Q J 7 6 5 2
7 6
K J 7 2
Q 6
9
Q J 10 9 5 3
 
N
W   E
S
 
A 8 5 4 3
K 10 7 5 4 3
10
4
 
Q 10 6
9 8 2
8 4 3
A K 8 2

 

However, Tom Jacob, North, was allowed to play the board in 5Diamond-small, a contract which did not trouble him..+600 while it seems Alan Grant-John Skipper pushed their opponents one level higher and kept the right  card (Heart-smallK) at trick 13 to beat this doubled contract by one trick…13 imps to New Zealand.

In our Open match against Japan, this board cost 7 imps when Ware – Tislevoll conceded 100 (no double) in 6Diamond-small while Michael Whibley was doubled but sniffed out the Spade-smallQ to be just one down in 5Spade-small.

It was flat in the Bridge Ferns match, 5Spade-smallx down one with Jane Skipper doing the hard work in finding the Spade-smallQ.  Our Mixed Blacks had their bye in this match.

Back, though, to the lead against 6Diamond-small. If you led anything but a diamond, our Bridge Masters would have gained 13 imps…

 

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

Unfortunately for the Bridge Masters, South did lead a diamond meaning 13 imps went in the out tray. Some hands are about science. Others, like this one, are less technical. Blame East for having two diamonds rather than three little spades or an extra club!

A Little Bit of Luck

It does help…and successful teams will get some along the way. Picture Jane Skipper when she declared the following as West in 5Diamond-smallx. The lead was Spade-smallA…and this is what she saw:

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

 

One’s thoughts as declarer must be ranging around a certain -200 with it getting worse if she failed to find Club-smallQ. However, at trick 2, North cashed the Heart-smallA and then played another heart. Declarer just could not go wrong….

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

 

North’s best exit at trick 2 is either a risky low heart or else a high trump. However, since presumably the bidding and certainly the defence indicated South had 8 spades and then 2 diamonds, the chances of North having the Club-smallQ were strong. That was 12 imps to the Bridge Ferns when their opponents stayed accurately in part-score. As you can see, accuracy does not always win matches!

Open Successes

The following was really well bid by Michael Whibley and Matthew Brown. They bid to 7Club-small on the following cards: (Dealer East. Nil Vul.)

                        West                          East 

                        Spade-small Q3                          Spade-small AKT

                        Heart-small AKQJ8                    Heart-small3

                        Diamond-small A3                           Diamond-small 98754

                        Club-small AQ86                       Club-smallKT97

 

                     Michael                            Matthew

                                                                 Pass

                       2Club-small                                    2Diamond-small   waiting

                       2NT   22-23 balanced       3Spade-small   both minors

                       4Club-small  natural                       4Diamond-small  no shortage  (a small lie! see below)

                       4Heart-small  cue                           4NT   Keycard

                       5Diamond-small 0/ 3                            5Heart-small  asking for Heart-smallQ and grand slam try

                       7Club-small                                    Pass

Matthew denied a shortage because if he had bid 4Heart-small to show his shortage, Michael, with neither top spade would have to sign off in 5Club-small. So, the lie was to enable him to key-card after the expected 4Heart-smallcue.

 

There was no problem in the play. They were the only Open pair to reach grand. Their Japanese opponents languished in 3NT.

I am sure Ashley Bach and Michael Cornell would have bid very quickly to 4Heart-small on the following East-West cards as their China Hong Kong opponents “dived” in 4Spade-small:

Board 23
South Deals
Both Vul
10 7 6 4
Q 4 2
Q 8 7 4
K 9
A Q
K J 7 5 3
9 5 3
Q 6 3
 
N
W   E
S
 
J 8
10 9 8 6
K 6
A J 10 8 4
 
K 9 5 3 2
A
A J 10 2
7 5 2

 

It should not be too hard for the defence to collect 4 red suit winners against 4Heart-small. However, the China Hong Kong declarer in 4Spade-small found 5 losers -500 while at the other table, Michael Ware, South, played carefully to make 3Spade-small (with all black honours badly placed, it was only fair the diamond finesse should work!) and gain 12 imps for the Bridge Blacks.

Singapore Ashley Michael against China HK.jpg
 At the start of the match against China Hong Kong. It would be Ashley and Michael who would have
been smiling after the above board.

Finally, a slam that needs to be played correctly. The slam was bid by Whibley-Brown and made by Michael Whibley (West).

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

 

If you win, draw trumps and rely on the diamond finesse, you have a 50% chance of making your slam since there will be a club loser, too. Much better is a dummy reversal (well, does it have the same name when dummy has more trumps than declarer?!)

Win Heart-smallA and ruff a heart. Back with a club to the king and ruff another heart and now Spade-smallA and Spade-smallJ to the king when Spade-small9 appears and ruff the fourth heart with Spade-smallQ. Now a diamond to the ace and draw the last trump before taking the diamond finesse which you now do not mind losing.

Our opponents neither bid nor made the slam.

Let’s hope for more such swings on Day 4.

Richard Solomon

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