Générale Open Pairs
Final / Session One
Amid the confusion and chaos that enveloped the first session of the Société Générale Open Pairs Championship final some spectacular bridge was played.
On a good day you will make 7§ on the E/W cards but on this particular day in August even 6§ was likely to fail and indeed only one pair was successful in that contract. Six spades is obviously a decent spot at pairs and it must be some sort of miracle that we were privileged to be on the spot to see the board played on the only occasion that 6ª was made. Well, maybe not that big as it happened on vugraph!
Having doubled 5© Bob Hamman led the queen of that suit and declarer won and cashed the ªA. When Zia produced the ª10 declarer took a time out before playing to the next trick. He was clearly weighing up the amount of bidding his opponent's had done against the possibility of Zia having played the ten from ªJ10x.
Eventually he crossed to hand by cashing the ace of diamonds and ruffing a diamond and ran the ª9.
Not surprisingly Kierznowski got a lot of applause. He also collected all but 2.1 of the 70 matchpoints available.
Next up were a couple of newly crowned World Champions.
In pairs play you tend to bid at every opportunity but perhaps overcalling the weak 2ª opening was tempting fate. Versace was sucked into the auction and N/S had an easy alternative to trying to make 4ª, a contract that failed slightly more often than it made.
South led the ¨K and followed it with the ªA. When North played the ªJ a knowledgeable member of the audience explained it showed interest in diamonds and moments later South had reverted to that suit, selecting the ¨2. North ruffed and played the ©4. That was the end of the story. Two down cost -500 and the Swedes had 50.01/70.
After a few quiet hands we saw something much more exciting.
Once Sidney Lazard had splintered in support of clubs it was inevitable that the grand slam in clubs would be reached.
After the heart lead declarer was able to ruff a couple of hearts in dummy whilst drawing trumps and he reached the following ending:
It did not take Bart Bramley long to work out which squeeze was going to operate and he cashed the ªA.
North parted with the ©K because it was still possible South had the ©10 and in any case it is never a good idea to let your opponents take trick 13 with the ¨7! Making 7§ scored 62/70. The Polish pair earned a measure of revenge on the next deal.
One club was Polish and the choice for East between 1NT and double is perhaps a matter of taste. With such soft values double looks the sounder action. Eric Kokish ventured that he would not have passed on the West hand - 2§ is one possibility, asking partner to bid a major, but since that would end up costing at least -100 Lazard did well to keep quiet.
He led the ª3 for the queen and king and East switched to the ©5. Declarer put up the ©Q and played a club to the nine. East won and not being sure of the heart distribution played back the ª10.
If West had won this and gone back to hearts, his side would have collected most of the matchpoints but when he played low declarer scored dummy's ªJ and claimed eight tricks for 61.2/70.
When Barry Rigal queried how one might convey the nature of the West hand to partner after the 2NT opening bid Bobby Wolff opined that the scientific bid of 6¨ would do the job nicely! The Hackett twins probably wished they could have heard him!
Justin alerted his brother's bids, explaining the second one as '1-4-4-4 I think'. South led the ©J and that held declarer to ten tricks. 51.4/70 for the Chinese pair.
Open Pairs F1,
Ladies Pairs F1, F2
Senior Pairs F1, F2
IMP Pairs F1, F2
Société Générale Open
The IBPA Annual Awards
When a Negative can be Positive
Squeeze Time in the Zonal Pairs
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