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World Championships in Wuhan. Day 4

 Bridge Blacks Back on Track.

An excellent day for both the Bridge Blacks and Bridge Ferns. The Bridge Blacks did what they had to do against weaker opposition and then had the bragging rights over Australia while the Bridge Ferns were extremely competitive against the strong USA 1 and England teams and collected most of the vps off Trinidad. Alas, still no joy for our Bridge Masters while the Mixed Blacks could not record a win, either:

 

                    Open (Bridge Blacks)                                                            Women (Bridge Ferns)

Match

Opponents

imps

NZ Vps

NZ Position

 

Match

Opponents

imps

NZ vps

NZ pos.

10.

Bangladesh

54-14

18.09

19th

 

10.

USA 1

29-41

6.72

15th

11.

Morocco

100-2

20.0

15th

 

11.

Trinidad

67-23

18.55

14th

12.

Australia

26-21

11.48

13th

 

12.

England

20-11

12.55

14th

 

              Seniors (Bridge Masters)                                                   Mixed (Mixed Blacks)

Match

Opponents

imps

NZ Vps

NZ Position

 

Match

Opponents

imps

NZ vps

NZ pos.

10.

Chinese Taipei

16-55

2.03

24th

 

10.

Poland

21-64

1.56

20th

11.

India

32-34

9.39

24th

 

11.

Romania

37-47

7.20

20th

12.

Norway

4-36

2.97

24th

 

12.

Brazil

27-36

7.45

20th

 

Wuhan  Mixed Team   relaxing.jpg
Some tough matches for our Mixed Blacks but time to relax with the a few post-mortems.
Kate Davies and John Patterson, Jane Lennon and Alan Grant and, in more serious mode,
Annette and Stephen Henry.

Ladies first. The Bridge Ferns’ win over 3rd placed England produced just one significant swing when the English played in a 5-3 heart fit while Glenis Palmer as West played the 4Spade-small game, which was a more comfortable 4-4 fit.

Round 12

Board 31
South Deals
N-S Vul
K 5
10 5
A J 6 3
10 9 8 7 3
A 9 8 2
A J 6
K 4
A Q 6 4
 
N
W   E
S
 
Q 6 4 3
K Q 4 3 2
10 7 2
2
 
J 10 7
9 8 7
Q 9 8 5
K J 5

 

With the Spade-smallK well-placed but the Diamond-smallA badly placed for the declarer, Glenis played safely for 10 tricks. Shirley Newton, South, led a trump to the 4Heart-small game. East, the very experienced Nicola Smith, led a diamond to the king and Jenny Wilkinson’s ace. Back came a second trump.

A second diamond was played with Shirley winning to play a third trump to prevent a diamond ruff. At this point, a club to the queen and the discard of East’s losing diamond on the Club-smallA would have brought 10 tricks. However, East did not touch clubs and when in with the Spade-smallK, Jenny played a third round of diamonds to defeat the contract.

A slip by declarer, for sure, but the swing only became a possibility after the excellent trump lead and continuation.

Our Women finished the day in 14th place but only 12vps behind 4th placed Japan. With 8 to qualify and 11 matches left, there is plenty to play for. Netherlands, South Africa and table-topping China await the Bridge Ferns on Day 5.

A World Record?

Under the new victory point system, it is quite hard to win a match by 27 vps, yes, vps not imps! Yet, the Bridge Blacks achieved that this day in the match against Morocco. The vp result was 20 – minus 7! The Moroccans arrived 38 minutes late, 2 minutes short of forfeiting the match. That 2 minutes enabled our Open team to post a ton of imps in a most convincing win.

Round 11

Board 15
South Deals
N-S Vul
7 6
Q 6 5 4 2
7
10 7 6 5 2
8
A 10 8
A J 10 9 8 6 4 2
A
 
N
W   E
S
 
A K J 10 2
9 3
K 3
9 8 4 3
 
Q 9 5 4 3
K J 7
Q 5
K Q J
West North East South
Matt Brown   Michael Whibley  
      1 
2  Pass 2 NT Pass
3  Pass 3 NT Pass
4  Pass 4  Pass
4 NT Pass 5  Pass
6  All pass    

 

Really, it was a shame the above board could not have been saved for a different match as Michael and Matthew were the only pair in the Open field to bid this slam. Apart from the 3Spade-small force, the bidding was natural up to 3NT. 4Diamond-small confirmed a very strong hand and after a 4Spade-small cue-bid, Matthew checked on key cards. Two were enough for Matthew to bid and make his slam.

New Zealand picked up imps on 14 of the 16 boards, with, ironically, the only flat board being another slam (not the one above).  Job done.
The following nice declarer play occurred the previous evening in the Bridge Blacks’ win over Canada.

Round 9

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

 

After a 1Heart-small opening from South, Matt Brown, West, got to become declarer in 3NT on the Heart-small8 lead. South took their ace and switched to the Spade-smallQ. Matt was now threatened to lose two spades, two diamonds and the Heart-smallA.

Matt took the Spade-smallA and played a diamond with South taking their ace and playing a second spade. Matt won with his king and played three rounds of clubs retaining an entry to dummy in that suit to leave the following cards:

 
J 10
2
Q 9 8
K 10
K J 10
2
 
N
W   E
S
 
7 5 3
7 6
8
 
   
   
   
   

                                                                                      (South irrelevant)

He exited a spade to North, throwing Diamond-smallT from his hand. North could cash their high spade but then had to give Matt a free red suit trick… and Matt still had an entry to dummy’s long spade. It would not have helped North to exit without cashing the spade as Matt would have three red suit tricks, Spade-smallAK and 4 club tricks. Well played… for a flat board!

13th place must feel wonderful as compared with 22nd. Yet, 8th place is still 30 vps away. Israel, Norway (8th, and 7th) and Egypt await on Day 5.

Richard Solomon

Australia are just ahead of the Kiwis in terms of South Pacific rivalry. Only the Bridge Ferns are ahead of their Australian rivals who are as follows in the four competitions:

Open              9th

Women         18th

Seniors          13th

Mixed            15th  

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