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World Championships in Wuhan. Day 3

Although position-wise, the Bridge Blacks (and the Bridge Masters) stayed just where they started the day, our Open Team ended their run of five poor losses with two wins and a small loss. Meanwhile it was pretty much the same at the end of the day for the Bridge Ferns with a poor result against Chinese Taipei sandwiched between satisfactory scores against USA 2 and Pakistan. It was always going to be a hard day for the Mixed Blacks against leaders England and highly placed Russia and Latvia. They need to regroup after their losses: only one top 5 team awaits them on Day 4.

 

                Open (Bridge Blacks)                                                         Women (Bridge Ferns)

Match

Opponents

imps

NZ Vps

NZ Position

 

Match

Opponents

imps

NZ vs

NZ pos.

7

Guadeloupe

47-2

18.66

22nd

 

7

USA2

31-33

7.39

14th

8

China

13-21

7.71

22nd

 

8

Chinese Taipei

21-53

2.97

16th

9.

Canada

46-32

13.25

22nd

 

9.

Pakistan

48-15

17.17

13th

 

        Seniors (Bridge Masters)                                          Mixed (Mixed Blacks)

Match

Opponents

imps

NZ Vps

NZ Position

 

Match

Opponents

imps

NZ vps

NZ pos.

7.

Italy

22-47

4.08

24th

 

7.

Russia

19-41

4.62

14th

8.

Denmark

18-41

4.44

24th

 

8.

England

20-34

6.25

14th

9.

Sweden

9-28

5.20

24th

 

9.

Latvia

26-70

1.45

17th

 

We will concentrate today on the Bridge Blacks. Our first offering is actually from Match 5 and features a nice piece of deceptive declarer play by GeO Tislevoll, necessary not to bring home a swing but to save one as the same unlikely contract was made at the other table.

Round 5 Open

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

As East, GeO was in 4Spade-small on the lead of the Diamond-small9. With two heart losers along with a trump and the Club-smallA, he seemed to have a hard task to make 10 tricks. In the bidding, he had shown to hold both black suits.

However, at trick 1, he made an important play of the Diamond-smallJ from dummy which was covered by North and won, naturally in the East hand. The Diamond-smallJ was a no cost play which was to pay dividends.

At trick 2, he led a club honour won by South who found the contract -killing switch of a heart. GeO played low from dummy and the also deceptiveHeart-small10 under the jack. To North, it looked very much that GeO was 5125 rather than the actual red suit holding. So, out came a second diamond from North to give his partner a diamond ruff. However, away went the Heart-small8 from GeO's hand and after ruffing the Club-small7 in dummy, he made 10 tricks out of 9. 

GeO, bridge.jpg    Singapore Whibley Brown.jpg    Denis Humphries.png
 A little deception brings rewards for GeO   Michael Whibley and Matt Brown...        only temporarily lost, we hope, is
                                                                     "grand" bidders                                     Denis Humphries. Read on...

The big win over Guadeloupe was expected but under the circumstances so important, practically and psychologically. A 7-1 heart break prevented a big win over China as Michael Cornell’s aggressive but otherwise making 6Diamond-small slam had to fail when the defender on lead got his ruff: 13 out rather than in: a loss by 8 instead of a win by 18. However, there was some good news in the final match of the day against Canada.

Whibley- Brown had the pleasure of bidding (and making!) grand-slam on two successive boards and collecting a match-winning 29 imps in the process. Both were bid despite strong opposition interference:

Round 9

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

 

Despite the interference, Matt asked for key-cards with diamonds as trumps. The response showed 0 or 3 and he decided to gamble that a vulnerable 4Heart-small bidder would hold the ace of his long suit. Therefore, he could jump to grand on the basis of his partner holding the other three. (The Club-smallK was to be a bonus as the clubs would all disappear on the run of his spades.) South’s 7Heart-small rather confirmed that Matt’s assumption was correct and only succeeded in turning +2140 into +2210.

Rather like in football where we salute the scorer of a hattrick rather than a defender who cleared the ball off the team goal- line, we salute the grand bidder and tend to forget the other pair who also created the swing. At the other table, Michael Ware, South, either bid 5Heart-small directly or got raised by the somewhat uninspiring North hand. This contract was doubled for the obvious 3 down to create the 16-imp swing.

So, with 2210 in your bag, you move to Board 5:

Round 9

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

2NT was obviously for the minors and was described as “weak but constructive”. 4Diamond-small and 5Club-small were both cue-bids with 5NT being key card. Michael was now always going to grand but did bid 7Club-small just in case his partner had long hearts rather than spade support. North’s double sounded “Lightner style” looking for an unusual lead… not a minor. Hence, South led a heart rather than either minor (not that it mattered). This time hearts broke 8-1 rather than a spoiling 9-0 and Michael soon claimed the 26hcp doubled grand slam. That was 13 imps in as the Canadians stopped in small slam.

Bangladesh, cellar-dwellers Morocco and 10th place Australia await the Bridge Blacks on Day 4 and hopefully some progress up the table with 4 countries only two vps ahead of New Zealand. We wish them and our other teams well.

Richard Solomon
p.s.

 Losing One's Way

That heading could sum up our Seniors' Team so far in this competition but it also summed up the situation one member of their team found themselves in yesterday.

Denis Humphries set off from his hotel to meet his bridge partner,David Dolbel. He took the metro, all good so far. He got off at the right station and then became directionally challenged. He started walking in what he thought was the right direction.

He came upon another metro station. He thought this was not quite right but he could find his way from there. The problem was he back at the station he started the day. We hope Dave Dolbel is not still waiting....

As Joni Mitchell put it in her song "Circle Game"...

" We can only look behind from where we came.
  We go round, round, round round in the circle game."
Here's hoping our Seniors do go up rather than keep going round.

 

 



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