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Our Kiwis in Singapore. New Zealand v Australia Test Matches

                         Honours Even.

Honours were even when the two South Pacific nations played each other in 64 board test matches yesterday. The Bridge Blacks fought back from a 40 imp deficit in the first of the four 16 board segments, winning the next two segments by 68 imps for an eventual 19 imp victory.

The most exciting match involved The Bridge Ferns who trailed by 11 imps at the half-way point and who won the third high-scoring set set by 84 imps to 50. However, in the final set, Australia built up a huge lead only for the Bridge Ferns to outscore their opponents 27-3 on the last 6 boards, including a vital part-score swing on the last board to win by just 2 imps.

There was, though, no such drama for our Bridge Masters or Mixed Blacks. Our Seniors lost all 4 sets and never recovered from a 42 imp deficit on the first while the Mixed Blacks conceded 73 imps down after 48 boards.

Open

New Zealand           116                 Australia                   97

Women

New Zealand           161                 Australia                   159

Seniors

New Zealand           101                 Australia A               193

Mixed

New Zealand           58                   Australia                   131

A nice little defensive problem for you. Your left-hand opponent14-16 1NT. Your partner bids 3Spade-small and right-hand opponent’s 3NT ends the auction:

     
Board 28
West Deals
N-S Vul
 
N
W   E
S
 
A 7
Q 9 5
Q 9 4
Q 9 8 7 5
 
5 2
10 8 7 4 3
J 10 7 2
K 3
West North East South
    dummy you
1 NT 3  3 NT All pass

 

Partner leads Spade-smallK which is ducked by declarer and follows with a second spade, all following. Next comes Club-smallQ.

Do you:

A. Cover with your king

B. Hesitate

C.  play low

A clue: do not select B!

Bridge Ferns Fight Back

The first 10 boards of the final set were disastrous for the Bridge Ferns. They lost imps on 9 of them and were down in the set 46-1 and in grave danger of losing the match. They had to outscore their opponents by 23 imps on the last 6 boards to win the Test.

Board 27 started the fight-back:

Board 27
South Deals
None Vul
10 6 2
10 6 3
J 9 6 4
J 10 2
3
K J 5
K Q 8 3
A 9 6 5 4
 
N
W   E
S
 
Q 9 8
A Q 9 4
A 10 7 2
Q 7
 
A K J 7 5 4
8 7 2
5
K 8 3

 

Jane Lennon (East) played in 4Heart-small after South’s opening 2Spade-small had promised a 6-card suit. South cashed her top spade and switched to a diamond to the jack and Jane’s ace. Jane ruffed a spade and tried a low club to her queen and South’s king. South returned a club to dummy’s ace. Jane played a second diamond to her 10 with South ruffing.

South again exited a club…and when North followed to the third club, Jane ruffed and knew South’s exact shape….6 spades, 3 clubs, 1 diamond and hence 3 hearts. Thus, she was able to draw trumps and make her contract via 3 diamond tricks, 3 trumps, a ruff in each hand and two club tricks. The same contract failed at the other table..10 imps to the Bridge Ferns.

Two boards later, the North-South pairs had the chance of a makeable slam:

Board 29
North Deals
Both Vul
A K Q 5
10
A Q 6 5
A J 10 2
9 6 4
Q 7
K 10 8 4
K 7 5 3
 
N
W   E
S
 
2
K J 9 8 5 3
J 9 7 2
8 6
 
J 10 8 7 3
A 6 4 2
3
Q 9 4

 

Jenny Wilkinson- Shirley Newton did well to bid 6Spade-small with the singleton in each hand being pretty important. They played it from the slightly safer North seat (a diamond lead from West makes it a little harder) and Jenny made all 13 tricks. The Australians stayed in game and that was 13 more imps in.

 So, 10+13 makes 23, what the Bridge Ferns needed. However, on the next board, Australia gained 3 imps to lead the match 159-157. Board 31 was a flat part-score. All down then to the last board:

Board 32
West Deals
E-W Vul
10 2
A J
K J 10 2
J 8 6 4 3
9 6 5 3
Q 8 7 2
Q 8 5
A K
 
N
W   E
S
 
K J 8 7 4
9 6 3
4
Q 10 7 2
 
A Q
K 10 5 4
A 9 7 6 3
9 5

 

It looks like North-South can make 1NT  or a diamond part-score without too much stress. In fact, one would think that if you knew that the Australians were declaring the board at both tables, they would not lose their 2 imp lead.

West              North             East                South

Jane Skipper                  Jane Lennon         

1Club-small                   Pass                1Heart-small               Pass

2Spade-small                  Pass                Pass                x

Pass                3Club-small                   All Pass

It proved to be a good time, eventually, to open a very uninspiring 11 count. 1Heart-small showed 4+ spades with 2Spade-small 11-13 with 4 spades. 2NT from North asking their partner to choose a minor would have been a match-winning bid from North following the balancing double from South. There were 4 trump losers and a fatal misguess of the diamond position…1 down and 50 to the Bridge Ferns.

West              North             East                South
                   
Jenny Wilkinson                     Shirley Newton
Pass                 Pass            Pass                1Diamond-small (4+ hearts)
Pass                 2Club-small             Pass                 Pass 
x                       Pass           2Spade-small                  All Pass

At the other table, Jenny and Shirley did not compete over 2Spade-small. There were 2 trump, 3 heart and a diamond loser… one down….100 to the Bridge Ferns…4 imps in and breathing space (well, a 2 imp victory!) to the Bridge Ferns.

             The Kiwis Altogether

Singapore Squad.jpg

Did you cover the Club-smallQ?

If you did, you were helping the declarer, though Matt Brown was not yet home in his 3NT contract:

Board 28
West Deals
N-S Vul
K Q J 9 8 6 3
K J
K 6 5
4
10 4
A 6 2
A 8 3
A J 10 6 2
 
N
W   E
S
 
A 7
Q 9 5
Q 9 4
Q 9 8 7 5
 
5 2
10 8 7 4 3
J 10 7 2
K 3
West North East South
Matthew Brown   Michael Whibley  
1 NT 3  3 NT All pass

 

The last set in the Open match was not so dramatic but might have been more tense had Matt Brown not made 3NT.

South did cover the Club-smallQ which certainly helped Matt… but he still only had 8 tricks (5 clubs and 3 aces). Time to run the clubs….and watch, North especially. The defence only had one trick at this point. If North was to have any hope of defeating the contract, he would have to keep three spades along with an outside entry. After 2 rounds of spades and 5 rounds of clubs, 6 cards would remain. Therefore, North had to retain 3 spades, Kx of one red suit and bare the king of the other.

North elected to throw Heart-smallJ and Matt picked the end position to drop North’s king and make his ninth trick with Heart-smallQ.

Just as important was Ashley Bach’s duck with the Club-smallK at the other table. West played North for the singleton king… and down went the contract… eventually 4 down and 12 imps to the Bridge Blacks to help them on the way to their 19- imp win.

I hope you have enjoyed these reports from Singapore. Don’t forget to follow the progress of our four teams (three with slightly different personnel) in the World Championship Bermuda Bowl/ Venice Cup competitions from China in September. We’ll be reporting once more on this website.

             After the Bridge is over......

Singapore Mixed team social 2.JPG 
  Time for The Mixed Blacks to relax: Clair Miao, Annette and Stephen Henry, Kate Davies and their
   npc, Stephen Blackstock.

Richard Solomon

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