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World Championships in Wuhan. Day 1

Warm Up and Action.

"Warming Up" is something all four of our teams did on arrival in Wuhan, a huge city in the centre of China. Our chef de mission, Kris Wooles, described the temperature as "hot and sticky, 37 degrees, feels like 43." At least bridge is played indoors in air-conditioning! 

So, acclimatising involves some practice matches, using one's limited Mandarin at the local supermarket, a touch of sightseeing and checking out the local eateries:

Wuhan  eating out.jpg
Some of our Women along with a couple of infiltrators from the Senior team
escape the heat in the best possible way: Glenis and Barry Palmer, Linda Cartner,
Kris Wooles, Shirley Newton, Neil Stuckey and Jenny Wilkinson

Thus, down to the bridge with 23 x 16 board matches to come for each team over 8 days, three per day except for two on the last day. A good start is great if you can get it. Here are the New Zealand results:

Open (Bridge Blacks)                                                Women (Bridge Ferns)

Match

Opponents

imps

NZ Vps

NZ Position

 

Match

Opponents

imps

Nz vps

Nz pos.

1.

Indonesia

36-29

12.03

9th

 

1.

Japan

31-17

13.75

7th

2.

Sweden

24-64

1.21

19th

 

2.

China HK

41-13

12.03

5th

3.

USA 1

15-52

2.28

22nd

 

3.

Tunisia

42-22

15.0

4th

 

Seniors (Bridge Masters)                                                      Mixed (Mixed Blacks)

Match

Opponents

imps

NZ Vps

NZ Position

 

Match

Opponents

imps

Nz vps

Nz pos.

1.

Ireland

24-50

3.91

20th

 

1.

Italy

29-45

3.82

18th

2.

Poland

35-66

3.12

21st

 

2.

Barbados

63-40

15.56

12th

3.

USA 1

11-64

0.57

24th

 

3.

Indonesia

26-22

11.2

11th

 

It does, of course, help which countries you draw. Sweden and USA were never going to be easy opponents for The Bridge Blacks and proved very tough as some of you may have witnessed in the Vu Graph match against Sweden.

Meanwhile, the Bridge Masters also ended the day against a very strong USA side and finished the day at the bottom of the table.

The Mixed Blacks had a 2-1 win ratio though pride of place must go to our Bridge Ferns with three wins and 4th position at the end of the day. They only dropped 72 imps in three matches while scored 113.

Leading Issues

A couple for you here:

Bridge Ferns v Japan

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

 

Natural bidding other than 4Club-small and 4Heart-small Minorwood asks, the responses showing 1 or 4 key cards and then Club-smallQ and 2 outside kings. Your lead?

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

 

Are your eyes open or shut? Either way, select a card. You doubled it. You must know what to lead?

In their first match against Japan, Linda Cartner and Glenis Palmer powered to 6Club-small, five levels higher than their opponents who got stuck in 1NT:

Bridge Ferns v Japan

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

 Lead Spade-smallQ

4Club-small was minorwood with 4Diamond-small showing 1 or 4 key cards. 4Heart-small asked for the Club-smallQ with Linda “pretending” she held it with her extra length….4NT also showing two outside kings.

This was not a board for South to show 10 cards in the majors or else a correct guess for that Club-smallQ would be easy. With all the aces, Glenis pushed on to slam leaving Linda with the job of finding the Club-smallQ… except that the opening lead (why would you lead from QJ9 when you could lead from QJT? Because West had bid the “safer” suit first.) enabled Linda to discard both her small diamonds, one on the Heart-smallK and the other with a finesse of the Spade-smallJ.

It was “grand” time for Jenna and Christine Gibbons in Round 2 against China Hong Kong.

Board 20
West Deals
Both Vul
A K Q
A Q 7
A Q 9 7 5
K 10
10 5
K 10 8 6
8 3
Q J 8 7 6
 
N
W   E
S
 
J 8 3 2
9 5 4 3 2
4
5 3 2
 
9 7 6 4
J
K J 10 6 2
A 9 4
West North East South
  Christine Gibbons   Jenna Gibbons
Pass 1  Pass 2 
Pass 3  Pass 3 NT
Pass 4  Pass 5 
Pass 5  Pass 6 
Pass 7  All pass  

 

1Club-small was Precision style, with 2Diamond-small a natural positive. 3NT denied a major control though when Jenna cue-bid her Club-smallA, it was all the way for Christine. The best grand slams are those you can claim at trick 1 with 13 imps in the “in” bucket when their opponents stayed in small slam.

Wuhan Jenna Christine.jpg
    empty plates for Jenna and Christine Gibbons, though plenty of goodies especially for Christine
    on deal above.

How did you manage on the lead to 5Heart-smallx? For just about all, you were very soon writing the score down for 5Heart-smallx making… no overs! Diamond-smallK seems obvious, doesn’t it

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

 

One of South’s spades disappeared in lightening fashion and a club towards dummy saw -850 for East-West. For the Bridge Blacks, this was a nice 12 imps in when Ware-Tislevoll rather wisely bid to 6Diamond-smallx which failed by one trick while Matt Brown was the happy 5Heart-smallx declarer in the other room. The Bridge Ferns gained 12 imps when their opponents bid on to 6Heart-smallx which for the defence survived the Diamond-smallK lead.

No fun for our Seniors… no doubles and a flat 5Heart-small making. It was also flat for the Mixed Blacks with 5Heart-smallx and making at both tables.

Here’s hoping for some good Kiwi results on Day 2.

Richard Solomon

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