36th World Team Championships, Monte Carlo, Monaco Sunday, 9 November 2003

england v germany

Venice Cup Round 10

by Tony Gordon

A match of very few swings saw England gain a much-needed victory that left the holders Germany still hovering outside the qualifying positions.

The first big swing came on board 19 when disruptive bidding by North-South made life difficult for East-West at both tables.

Board 19. Dealer South. E/W Vul.
  ª Q 9 4 2
© Q 6 4
¨ 10 9 5 4 3
§ A
ª K
© 10 9 8 5 2
¨ K J 8
§ 10 6 4 2
Bridge deal ª A 7 6
© A K 3
¨ A Q 7 6
§ K J 9
  ª J 10 8 5 3
© J 7
¨ 2
§ Q 8 7 5 3

West North East South
Brunner Auken Goldenfield V.Arnim
Pass 1ª Dble 3ª
4© All Pass    

Sabine Auken’s light third-in-hand opening bid of 1ª caused problems for the English pair when Daniela von Arnim boosted the bidding to the three level. Michelle Brunner stretched to bid 4© and after considerable thought Rhona Goldenfield made allowances for her partner bidding under pressure and passed. After a spade lead to the king, Brunner cashed a high heart, ruffed a spade to hand and ran the ©10 to South’s jack. The §A was her only other loser, so she made eleven tricks for +650 to England.

West North East South
Weber Smith Gromann Dhondy
Pass Pass 2§* 2ª
3¨ 4ª 5¨ All Pass

Ingrid Gromann’s 2§ was either a weak two in diamonds or a strong hand and Heather Dhondy’s light overcall apparently caused confusion in the German ranks as to the meaning of Elke Weber’s 3¨ bid. Weber thought she was indicating a desire to compete to 3¨ facing a weak two in diamonds, whereas Gromann thought her partner was showing genuine diamonds and went on to 5¨ over Nicola Smith’s raise to 4ª. This contract had no play as the cards lay and declarer went one down for +100 and 13 IMPs to England.

Board 20. Dealer West. Both Vul.
  ª 7
© 8 7 6 5
¨ 10 8 5
§ 10 8 6 4 3
ª K 6 5 2
© Q 2
¨ Q 2
§ A K J 9 5
Bridge deal ª Q 9 8 4
© J 10 9 3
¨ A K J 9
§ 7
  ª A J 10 3
© A K 4
¨ 7 6 4 3
§ Q 2

West North East South
Brunner Auken Goldenfield V.Arnim
1§ Pass 1¨ Pass
1ª Pass 4©* Pass
4ª All Pass    

Goldenfield’s 4© was a club splinter in support of spades and it seems that von Arnim was systemically unable to double for a heart lead. North’s actual diamond lead gave declarer a chance as the cards lay, but she not unreasonably played four rounds of diamonds, discarding her two losing hearts, and there was no way home from that point. She went one down for +100 to Germany.

West North East South
Weber Smith Gromann Dhondy
1§ Pass 1© Dble
1ª Pass 4ª All Pass

Elke Weber, Germany
Germany were playing Walsh responses at the other table so Gromann responded 1© and that allowed Dhondy to enter the auction with a revealing takeout double. Germany still reached 4ª and Smith also led a diamond. but Weber duplicated Brunner’s line for a flat board. If declarer assumes that South has four spades and the high hearts for her double, the winning line is perhaps not too difficult to find. Declarer cashes three rounds of diamonds, discarding a heart, and then plays a low spade from dummy. If South rises with the ªA to cash a heart, she will be held to two trump tricks, and if she ducks West can win with the king, cross to dummy with a club ruff and pitch her remaining heart on the fourth diamond. Now a high heart forces South to cover, and when declarer ruffs and continues with the §K, South cannot prevent declarer making two more tricks and the contract.

Board 22. Dealer East. E/W Vul.
  ª 9 8 3
© Q 9 6
¨ J 8 2
§ A J 5 4
ª Q
© 4
¨ A 10 9 5
§ Q 10 9 8 7 3 2
Bridge deal ª A 6 4
© A K J 10 8 2
¨ K 7 3
§ K
  ª K J 10 7 5 2
© 7 5 3
¨ Q 6 4
§ 6

West North East South
Brunner Auken Goldenfield V.Arnim
    1© 2ª
Pass Pass Dble Pass
3§ Pass 4© All Pass

Von Arnim led her singleton club against 4© and Auken took her ace and switched to the ¨8. Goldenfield won in hand with the king, ruffed a spade in dummy and then ruffed a club with the ©J. Three rounds of trumps followed and the defence could win and cash a spade, but declarer’s losing diamond went away on dummy’s §Q, so England scored +620.

West North East South
Weber Smith Gromann Dhondy
    1© 2ª
Pass 3ª Pass Pass
4§ Pass 4© All Pass

Rhona Goldenfield, England
Dhondy also led her club, but Smith returned the suit at trick two and Dhondy ruffed when Gromann discarded a diamond. Her diamond switch was won in hand by declarer who continued by ruffing a spade in dummy. She then discarded her remaining spade on the §Q as Dhondy ruffed again. However, there was still a trump trick to lose, so declarer was one down for +100 and 12 IMPs to England, who now led 25-0.

Germany made their only gain of any note on board 24 where East held ª9 ©AJ964 ¨KJ93 §943. Their partner opened a weak NT first in hand and they transferred with 2¨. South now overcalled with 2ª and this was passed back to them. The English East went quietly and conceded 170; however, the German East competed with 3¨ and ended up +170 in 3© to earn her side 8 IMPs.

Very few IMPs exchanged hands thereafter, but Germany had a chance for a game swing on board 27 when von Arnim, South, found herself on lead against 3NT with ª1032 ©J64 ¨62 §AK1072 after the uncontested auction 1© – 1ª - 2ª – 2NT – 3NT. Clubs were 5-3-3-2 with her partner holding a small doubleton and a certain entry so a low club would have defeated the contract, but she began with the §A and the contract rolled home. A different auction left North on lead in the Open Room and her natural diamond lead gave declarer an easy ride, so there was no swing.

England eventually won 32-9, which gave them a 20-10 VPs victory.

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