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World Championships in Wuhan. Day 7

Down to the Wire for the Bridge Blacks

Three Kiwi teams are now playing for respectability. Even the Seniors’ run of victories came to a dramatic end with a huge loss to USA 2. However, our Open Team are still alive with 8th place a possibility with just two rounds left. To even believe that they could be in that position when after 6 rounds, they had just recorded their fifth successive loss, speaks volumes for the belief and ability the team has. Since that 35 imp loss to lowly Chile in Round 6, they have recorded 12 wins and 3 single digit losses, a superb effort. Yesterday, they scored 45.5vps, an average of just over 15 vps a match. 

                     Open (Bridge Blacks)                             Women (Bridge Ferns)

Match

Opponents

imps

NZ Vps

NZ Position

 

Match

Opponents

imps

NZ vps

NZ pos.

19.

China HK

24-6

14.6

10th

 

19.

Poland

15-27

6.72

16th

2.

Singapore

46-33

13.52

10th

 

20.

Sweden

25-63

2.15

17th

3.

Argentina

48-13

17.45

10th

 

21.

Scotland

27-33

8.24

16th

 

Seniors (Bridge Masters)                                                   Mixed (Mixed Blacks)

Match

Opponents

imps

NZ Vps

NZ Position

 

Match

Opponents

imps

NZ vps

NZ pos.

19.

China

46-28

14.78

21st

 

19.

USA 1

33-27

11.76

19th

20.

USA2

4-86

0.00

22nd

 

20.

Egypt

22-27

8.52

19th

21.

Indonesia

27-39

6.72

22nd

 

21.

China

16-38

4.62

21st

 

Same Doubled Contract: Same Result but 5 imps out!

This freak happening occurred in Round 16. It is not usually a good idea to play the same doubled contract at both tables where your side is declarer each time.

Round 16

Board 30
East Deals
None Vul
K J 8 7
8
K 8 4 2
J 7 5 2
10 4 3
Q 10 9 7 3
9 3
9 4 3
 
N
W   E
S
 
A Q 5 2
6 5
A Q J 6
K 10 6
 
9 6
A K J 4 2
10 7 5
A Q 8
West North East South
Matt Brown   Michael Whibley  
    1 NT Pass
2  Pass 2  Pass
Pass Dbl All pass  

 

Matt Brown made a normal transfer to hearts. Despite the 1NT opening being 15-17, North had a normal looking take-out double…and there matters rested. Michael could not quite bring this one home with accurate defence scoring 6 tricks..one down -100, no disaster….but:

                        West              North            East                South

                                                Cornell                                   Bach

                                                                        1NT                2Heart-small

                        Pass                Pass                x                      All Pass

West was also going nowhere after their partner’s take-out double. With dummy’s kings waste-paper in front of East’s honours and West’s trump winners, Ashley was in trouble but the defence slipped a trick and let him off for just one down, -100…or 5 imps out!

The same happened in three other Open matches , once where both contracts were 2 down for a disastrous -600 against the declaring side  while in another East made an overtrick but South failed by two tricks for a 7 imp swing. In the third, North failed by a trick while East made their contract for a 9 imp swing. Thus, in comparison, the NZ v USA result was quite tame!

The Bridge Blacks recorded three double figure swings in their win over Singapore. This difficult 3NT was one of them:

Round 20

Board 20
West Deals
Both Vul
5
A K Q 4
A K 6
K Q 8 5 4
A Q 7 6 3 2
J 9 3
8
A 10 2
 
N
W   E
S
 
9 4
10 8 6 5
Q 10 9 7 2
J 9
 
K J 10 8
7 2
J 5 4 3
7 6 3
West North East South
  Michael Whibley   Matt Brown
1  Dbl Pass 2 
Pass 2  Pass 2 NT
Pass 3 NT All pass  

 

The opening lead was the Spade-small6 to the Spade-small9 and Matt's Spade-small10. The Singapore East-West were playing Precision and were very active in the bidding throughout the match. Matt decided that the spade break was 6-2 as there had been no spade raise from East. He had three heart, two diamond and one spade trick and therefore needed three in clubs.

He led a club to the king and, most importantly, with no further entry to hand, led Club-smallQ. He had to keep East off lead (spade continuation). West could not attack spades without giving Matt two further tricks in the suit. Thus, Matt could force out the Club-small10 and therefore make his contract.

At the other table, against the same contract, Ashley Bach led a passive heart. South could not get to hand to play a club…and the contract failed by one trick.

The “self splinter”

The Bridge Blacks earnt two double figure swings against Argentina though Whibley-Brown had to bid slam just to tie the following board.

Round 21

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

 

The North hand seems so soft that it seems unlikely that a slam would be bid opposite a 1 level opening. Not so! Matt’s 4Club-small was a splinter in support of his own spade suit. With a useful-looking Spade-smallQ, Michael gave his partner a 4Heart-small cue-bid. That was all Matt needed to drive to slam.

The best way (75%) and least stressful way to make 6Spade-small (who knows what to play if you led A and then a small diamond!) is via a double diamond finesse, played twice from the North hand. The appearance of East’s king on the first round ensured the slam’s success.

So, with two rounds to go, these are the key positions involving New Zealand:

6th                   Poland                       254.77

7th                   Israel                          253.63

8th                   England                     253.42

9th                   Italy                            251.19

10th                 New Zealand             242.44

11th                 Australia                     227.98

First up for the Bridge Blacks are 9th placed Italy to be followed by 5th placed Netherlands. It will not be easy.

All for an imp

Wuhan Mixed Team.jpeg
The Mixed Blacks: Kate Davies, John Patterson, Jane Lennon, Annette and Stephen Henry and Alan Grant

Finally, some accurate bidding from both pairs at one table in the Mixed Blacks match against Egypt:

Round 20

Board 27
South Deals
None Vul
Q J 3 2
3
J 7
A K J 9 8 2
K 7
A Q J 10 8 7 2
K 10 9 5
 
N
W   E
S
 
A 8 5
K 9 6 5 4
Q 6
7 6 4
 
10 9 6 4
A 8 4 3 2
Q 10 5 3
West North East South
Jane Lennon   Alan Grant  
      Pass
1  2  3  4 
5  Dbl 5  6 
6  7  Dbl All pass

 

3Diamond-small showed 7-9 hcp with 4 card heart support. Jane Lennon’s 5Club-small was Exclusion Key Card Blackwood (“excluding Club-smallA in the response) with the reply showing 2 key cards without the Heart-smallQ. The Egyptians judged correctly that 6Heart-small was making, with their sacrifice saving a poor result for their side. At the other table, 5Heart-small made an overtrick for 480 but the sacrifice cost 500, just one imp to the Bridge Masters… an imp earnt the hard way.

Richard Solomon

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