6th World Junior Bridge Teams Championship
Editor: M. Horton Co-Editor: R. Lee
Web Editor: Th. Matziaris
No.: 5 Friday, 8 August 1997
Qualifying Round 9II
Qualifying Round 10
Qualifying Round 11
Qualifying Round 12
Match of the Day Canada White v Denmark|
Danish Dynamite by Tommy Sandsmark
|The Magnificient Seven|
They will be dancing in the streets of Moscow and St. Petersburg tonight as Russia went to the top of the leader board.
It was a day when the front running teams encountered mixed fortunes. It now appears that just seven teams are left in the race for the four qualifying places.
Russia's advantage over longtime leaders Denmark is just 2.4 VP. The Danes lead USA II by 4.5 VP. The last qualifying position is now occupied by Canada Red whose total of 216 VP leaves them 6 clear of fifth placed Norway.
The remaining contenders are China and Canada White. What are the chances that both Canadian teams will make the semi-final? Of the seven contenders, Russia probably have the toughest schedule on paper. However, at this stage with the finish line in sight there are no easy matches. As baseball great Yogi Berra once said, 'It ain't over till it's over.' And we don't think the we shall no anything for sure until 5:00 pm on Sunday.
|Match of the day|
Pakistan vs Argentina
This was an important match for both sides. Denmark was looking to consolidate its position at the top of the table while Canada White was hoping to continue its climb up the rankings towards one of the qualifying places. Not for the first time, the hands offered plenty of scope for swings. It was rather like watching a baseball game. Now and then someone would hit a home run or score a base hit but there were plenty of strikeouts and errors galore.
It is only fair to say that the players were not at the top of their form so be warned - some of this report is not suitable for readers of a nervous disposition!
Canada White scored first.
East started with the ace of spades and had to decide what to do when West encouraged. In retrospect it looks as if East should switch to the queen of clubs but it wasn't clear at the time and after a little thought East continued with the nine of spades. The problem with that was that everyone knew that East hadn't started with a doubleton spade. Rightly or wrongly West played a third spade so declarer disposed of his losing club.
It was clear to the armchair analysts that if declarer now set about reducing his trumps and could get a diamond to the ten past East at some point (the entry destroying play of the jack is not easy to find at the table), he could make the contract via an endplay.
He started out on the right lines by ruffing a club, but he went wrong later so East wasn't tested.
North had plenty in hand for his bid of Three Hearts, which is more than can be said for East's call of 3NT.
The defence started well when East led the queen of clubs. Declarer covered with the king and West won with the ace and fatally switched to his singleton diamond. Winning with the ace, North cashed the top hearts and then disposed of his losing spades on the diamond suit.
+590 here and +100 from the other room combined to give the Canadians a 12-0 lead.
On the next board both West players opened a multi 2 holding:
Nothing bad happened but we recall the Duke of Wellington's famous comment before the battle of Waterloo, along the lines of 'I don't know if my troops frighten the enemy but they terrify me.'
South's 1NT was 10-12, hence the reopening double. West was happy to pass and it looks as if one down is routine - two diamonds, a diamond ruff, a club and two trumps. West led the four of hearts for the king and ace and declarer played the nine of spades from dummy at trick two. West might cover that but he played low and took the ten of spades with the ace. There was now a strong chance of a base being stolen and when West exited with the queen of spades the prospect increased.
Declarer won with the king of spades and played a diamond to the queen and king. West cashed the jack of spades and fatally switched to the five of clubs. North was not going to get that one wrong and as East came under pressure he was soon able to claim eight tricks, +470.
Zeidenberg stopped the Danes crossing home plate when he found a sharp double. He knew the opponents were limited and his hearts were surely well placed.
North led the five of hearts and South won with the jack and switched to the ten of spades covered by the queen and king. North played his remaining heart, taken by the queen. South got off play with the nine of spades and when declarer won it he made the slightly mysterious play of the queen of clubs. Whatever, he went two down, -500 and the players moved on to the next innings.
Both sides scored a home run on our next deal, but Denmark had a man on first base.
Would you have doubled 4 on either of the above auctions?
As you can see its unbeatable and the Canadians conceded an overtrick and five IMPs when East failed to switch to a heart when he was in with the king of spades.
Denmark surged into the lead almost immediately thereafter.
The raison detre behind West's bid of three diamonds is unclear. Three Spades looks obvious and would surely have put them on the road to Five Clubs.
North deserves credit for his pass over the opening bid and for not giving the game away by doubling Three Diamonds.
South led the seven of diamonds and after cashing his winners North switched to a heart. Down three, -300.
Call us old-fashioned but North-South dug their own grave by bidding and supporting diamonds. There was nothing to the play and not only did Denmark have a homer, they had a couple of RBI's.
Canada recovered the lost ground when the Danes made a major defensive error.
The Canadians had been having a torrid time in the Open Room and they were swinging the bat at anything in range. On a bad day West might have produced a 2-2-3-6 load of rubbish but this time he had a decent hand but the wrong black king.
Four Hearts appears to have no chance but something strange happened.
North led his singleton club and South won and cashed the ace of diamonds before returning the five of clubs for North to ruff. Was South trying to give a suit preference signal? Sure enough, North's next card was a diamond. No problem except he had selected the king. Now the jack of diamonds was declarer's tenth trick.
Whatever you think of Colin Lee's bid of Four Diamonds, it had a lot more going for it than 3. Was East intending to bid Four Hearts if he was doubled? This inelegant contract drifted two down, -200.
When West overcalled, North's Three Diamonds was very much in the modern style, a weak jump in competition. South might have raised to Four Diamonds - after all, where were all the hearts? - but he preferred to rebid his own suit. For our money, West should now get his hearts and the strength of his hand over with a double but he tamely passed and North felt obliged to bid game.
West continued to pick the daises when he let that escape the axe.
He led a top heart and switched his attack to clubs. After taking two rounds he went back to hearts. Declarer ruffed and tried to make the contract. He cashed a top spade and crossed to dummy with a diamond to take a losing trump finesse. He ended up going three down. -300.
North-South found the trump promotion to hold declarer to nine tricks, and that gave Canada four IMPs. Both teams had been batting at around .200, so the final score was 34-31 IMPs to Denmark, 16-14VP.
At least there were no extra innings!
The Daily Bulletin is indebted to Barry Rigal for suggesting this title
While most of us were watching Japan and Colombia on Vu-Graph, the match between the leaders, Denmark, and one of the top challengers, Canada Red, was taking some exciting turns. Here are two hands as they occurred in both those matches.
In the Japan/Colombia match, they efficiently arrived at the normal 4 contract in the Closed Room. In the Open Room, the auction took a strange turn when Harada took a big push after his partner opened 1. After the defence failed to find the opening club lead, 6 appeared to have a chance. Declarer won the heart lead, and was able to discard his clubs. However, with the unfavourable spade position the hand was still doomed for down one.
This turned out to be a push when the defence started with three rounds of clubs against 4 in the Closed Room. Declarer ruffed with the 7 and led a spade to dummy getting the bad news. Declarer cashed four rounds of hearts and one round of diamonds, but East ruffed the second diamond and still had to come to a trump trick. Although it appears natural to ruff the third club, this is not the technically correct play. If declarer discards a diamond on the club, his heart winners mean that he will not need the diamond finesse so he can only be defeated by a very poor trump break, as was the case here.
In the Denmark/Canada Red match, both North/South pairs arrived in 4 without opposition bidding. The defence at each table started off the same way again with three rounds of clubs. The Danish declarer was unfortunate to go down when he took the correct line by discarding on the third club. Roberts ruffed the third club with the 7, choosing the perfect moment to have a blind spot, and not notice that the 9 was now high!
Obviously, though, he was being watched over by the Rueful Rabbit, for Roberts now demonstrated brilliantly how to make the hand from this position. He played a spade to the ace and then cashed four rounds of hearts and the A. He then led a spade towards the AK and Kristensen was forced to split. Now when Roberts led a diamond, Kristensen who was trump-tight had to ruff and was endplayed in trumps: 10 IMPs to Canada Red.
Eight-card suits are always fun and Board 7 provided some excitement across the field. In the VuGraph match, both pairs bid the hand rather sensibly to arrive in the par contract of 5 making six for a push, when hearts were not led. In fact, in the Open Room, the jump to 5 seemed quite sensible looking at four losers in the majors opposite a partner who had shown a minimum opening bid.
In the Denmark match Roberts decided to try a natural 3 over partners 2NT rebid. When Sutherland raised hearts, Roberts had to make a decision - how many clubs to bid? Showing that aggressive bidding and a little luck are the way to win, Roberts leaped to 6. Into this auction Kristensen had no chance to find the heart lead to beat the had and Canada Red scored a lucky 12 IMPs.
Canada Red won the match, upsetting the leaders 32-10 IMPs (20-10 VPs).
by Tommy Sandsmark
"We are red, we are white, we are Danish Dynamite" is a slogan that has survived since Denmark won the European Championship in soccer quite a few years ago. The Norwegian team, sure of a victory since they had beaten the Danish in the European Championship, were made to suffer in the opening match:
Declarer had no problem with this contract. In the other room things went in another direction:
The defenders took one diamond trick and two club tricks, and West trumped the next diamond. Declarer played three high trumps, and then Q to K and A. Home again on a club ruff, the rest of the trumps followed:
When the last spade followed, North was caught in a red-suit squeeze, and had to throw in the towel. This was a double score for Denmark, who at that time seemed to revenge themselves thoroughly from the dismaying defeat in the Europeans. Then came a board which to the Norwegians looked like something of an equalizer:
4 was a cue-bid and 4NT RKCB. 5 showed 0 or 3 aces. 5NT asks for queens and guarantees the Q. Since 6 showed no queens, Saur bid 7. Had Brogeland showed the Q, Saur would have bid 7NT.
Indeed 7 was an excellent contract. All you have to do is draw trumps and establish the fifth heart, and 13 tricks are there. As one could follow this board on the screen, it seemed that nobody else had bid 7 in the other matches.
However, when you think you see the light in the tunnel, beware that the light you see may be a train coming towards you. Quite right, nobody had bid the 7 . Except at the other table in the same match, where the Madsen brothers had this fine bidding sequence:
The grand slam works with the spades or the hearts 3-3 or with the QJ doubleton in either diamonds or hearts. Of course it was a big disappointment to the Norwegians that this excellent slam had also been bid at the other table, but also the Danes had every reason to be dissatisfied, as with a slam swing in on this board they would have won the match with 25 VPs instead of the 24 they only got now.
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