36th World Team Championships, Monte Carlo, Monaco Monday, 3 November 2003

World Youth Teams Championship 2003

The recent World Youth Team Championship was held in Paris, at the French Bridge Federation headquarters. The holders, USA2, lost an epic semi-final to Italy by just half an IMP after being over 60 IMPs behind going into the last 16-board segment. Italy met Denmark in the final, the Danes having defeated Poland in their semi-final. The Italians led throughout the final and were never in any danger of losing. They took the gold medals, Denmark the silver, and USA2 the bronze after they beat Poland in the third-place play-off.

These are a few of the more interesting deals from the championship. How to Read the Cards Properly. Here is a board from the Round 9 of the Round Robin where declarer easily can make a mistake and go down.

Board 4. All Vul. Dealer West.
  ª Q 6 2
© A K 9 4
¨ J 10 4 3
§ A 7
ª J 9 8 7
© 8 7 6 3
¨ Q 9 6
§ 10 9
Bridge deal ª A 10 5 4 3
© J
¨ K 8
§ K Q J 8 6
  ª K
© Q 10 5 2
¨ A 7 5 2
§ 5 4 3 2

West North East South
Chitngamak. Ellestad Vichayapai. Jorstad
Pass 1NT 2ª 2NT
Pass 3§ Pass 3NT
Pass 4© All Pass  

Olav Ellestad opened 1NT 14-16 HCP and Vichayapaibunnag's overcall 2ª showed spades and a minor. 2NT was a relay for 3§ and 3NT promised four hearts and a spade stopper (well, it happened before that the bare king won a trick).

In 4© you seem to have a loser in every suit except trumps but the declarer must play very carefully not to be shortened in trumps. East led §K to the ace and Ellestad let East win trick two with ªA. East cashed a club trick then declarer ruffed the club continuation. Ellestad played ace and king of trumps to find these were split four-one. Now East's distribution was clear like an open book: 5-1-2-5. Ellestad played East to have one of the high cards in diamonds and led ¨10 which ran to the queen. Note the importance of keeping the queen of spades in hand, because if declarer had won ªQ earlier West now could switch to a spade and force a ruff in dummy.

A Successful Operation

After a week of very serious bridge, it is perhaps understandable that a few of the players in the
Swiss Pairs are taking things in a slightly more light-hearted manner than usual. Not that they do not want to win, just that the way in which to achieve that goal may involve a little more imagination than usual. The irregular Norwegian pairing of Gunnar Harr and Olav Ellestad tried a little operation during the first match of the competition, their victims being first-time partnership Michael Wilkinson (Australia) and Gareth Birdsall (England).

Board 8. None Vul. Dealer West.
  ª J 4
© 8 7
¨ A K Q J 4
§ K J 9 7
ª A 10 9 8 6
© Q 10 4
¨ 10 8 2
§ 8 5
Bridge deal ª 7 5 3
© J 6 3
¨ 9 7 5
§ 10 6 3 2
  ª K Q 2
© A K 9 5 2
¨ 6 3
§ A Q 4

West North East South
Ellestad Birdsall Harr Wilkinson
Pass 1¨ Dble Rdbl
1© Pass Pass Dble
1ª Pass Pass 3NT
All Pass      

Non-vulnerable, and facing a passed partner, Gunnar Harr decided to create a little diversion with one of the weaker take-out doubles we have seen this week. When Wilkinson redoubled, Ellestad decided to join in with a psychic bid of his own - perhaps he could get himself doubled in 1ª, which looked to have good chances, if he could get his opponents started with the doubling.

Sure enough, Wilkinson had an obvious double of 1© but, when Ellestad ran to his real suit, he did not fancy doubling that and made a rather heavy jump to the no trump game. Ellestad thought a little about doubling the final contract but wisely decided that if someone was a little light for his bid it was more likely to be his partner than anyone else so passed. Twelve tricks were easy, of course, and the Norwegians had carried out a most successful
operation as their opponents missed the laydown slam.

A Touch of Inspiration

Canada defeated China Hong Kong in Round 11 but Henry Wong outplayed his counterpart on this deal when he found a way home in a 4ª contract that failed at the other table.

Board 14. None Vul. Dealer East.
  ª 9 6 3
© K 9 5 3
¨ K 8 3 2
§ K 3
ª 7 5 2
© 8
¨ A Q 10 7 6 5
§ A J 7
Bridge deal ª K Q 10 8 4
© A Q J 2
¨ 4
§ 9 6 4
  ª A J
© 10 7 6 4
¨ J 9
§ Q 10 8 5 2

Wong was East and received the lead of a low club, which he ran to Vincent Demuy's king. Demuy returned a club to dummy's jack and Wong led a heart to the queen then ruffed a heart. A spade to the king lost to the ace and Gavin Wolpert gave his partner a club ruff. Demuy exited safely with his last spade and Wong got that right, rising with the queen to drop the jack. Now he ran the rest of the trumps and North was squeezed in the red suits. Naturally, having got this far,Wong got the ending right for a fine +420 and 10 IMPs to China Hong Kong.

I am not sure that this is the best theoretical line, but who can argue with success? When you're hot, you're hot!

Trump Promotion

Norway defeated Egypt by 17-13 VPs in the Friday morning vugraph match but it seemed at one point as though they were headed for a much more substantial win. This deal helped in the Egyptian fightback.

Board 15. N/S Vul. Dealer South.
  ª Q 2
© K J 6 3
¨ Q 9 4 3
§ 7 4 2
ª A 9 3
© 9 5 4
¨ A K J 8
§ A 8 3
Bridge deal ª 10 7 6
© A Q 10 8
¨ 10 7 6
§ 10 9 5
  ª K J 8 5 4
© 7 2
¨ 5 2
§ K Q J 6

West North East South
Yousry Ellestad Rabie Jorstad
1NT Pass Pass 2¨
Dble Rdbl Pass 2ª
Pass Pass Dble All Pass

Ronny Jorstad's 2¨ bid showed a single-suiter and Olav Ellestad's redouble asked him to show which it was. The final double was a little sporting given Ahmed Rabie's trump holding but it proved to be a well-timed action as the play unfolded.

Ahmed Yousry kicked off with a top diamond and switched at trick two to a heart for the king and ace. Rabie returned the §10 for the jack and ace and Yousry played a second heart to jack and queen. Now Rabie accurately switched back to diamonds, leading the ten, and Yousry won and played a third round to establish the possible trump promotion. Declarer made the small psychological error of finessing the ¨9 successfully to pitch his fourth club. The queen is slightly better because it is that little bit easier for East to ruff a winner on the fourth round than a loser, should he not be alive to the trump promotion possibilities.

Now declarer played the ¨Q himself, hoping that this would make it harder for the defence to appreciate that a promotion was the right thing to play for. Sure enough, Rabie discarded a club instead of ruffing with the ª10 as required. Now a trump play would hold the contract to down only one, but declarer lost his way and played a club instead. Only now did he play a spade to the queen and another one back to his king.When Yousry won the ªA it was clear to play a club and when Rabie ruffed in with the ten the ª9 was promoted for the second undertrick for –500.

Nice Defence

In Round 4, France defeated the champions, USA2, by 20-10 VPs. This nice defence from Olivier Bessis and Godefroy de Tessieres helped them on their way.

Board 2. N/S Vul. Dealer East.
  ª K J 9 3
© K 6
¨ J 9 7 6
§ K J 4
ª A 8 6 4
© 10 8
¨ K Q
§ A 10 9 6 3
Bridge deal ª Q 10
© A Q 7 5 4
¨ A 10 8
§ 8 5 2
  ª 7 5 2
© J 9 3 2
¨ 5 4 3 2
© Q 7

Joel Wooldridge declared 3NT as East on the lead of the seven of spades, ducked to the king. Bessis returned a spade to the queen and Wooldridge led a club to the ten and jack. Now Bessis found the only card in his hand to create a problem for declaer, the ©6. Of course, had Wooldridge put in his queen, everything would have been easy, but a different layout of the clubs and hearts could have turned this into the losing play. At the table he played low and de Tessieres won the jack. He wasted no time in shooting a third spade through dummy's holding and declarer won the ace and continued with ace and another club. When Bessis held both the long spade and long club the contract had to fail by a trick for -50. Around the room, 3NT normally succeeded.

Page 3

  Return to top of page
<<Previous Next>>
1 - 2 - 3 - 4
To Bulletins Page