Poland (Group A) and Australia (Group B) are basking at the top of the group standings in the World Open Team Olympiad round-robin. Poland's performance, racking up 87 of a possible 100 Victory Points, is especially notable. Two of the teams they played Indonesia and Germany certainly must be considered seasoned performers. Australia definitely had a less impressive set of opponents French Polynesia, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria and Cyprus. Sweden got off to a perfect start in Group A of the Women's Team Olympiad, scoring blitzes against both Hong Kong and Hungary. Defending champion Austria were atop the Group B standings with 46 VPs after defeating Turkey and Thailand. Only a point behind were the United States, victors over Finland and Australia.
By Alan Truscott
The second round saw an old rivalry featured on vugraph: host Greece against Turkey. The second deal brought a round of applause for Nafiz Zorlu, who reached a shaky 4 contract.
|Board 2. North/South Game. Dealer East.|
|A J 8 5 3|
|A Q 6|
|A 6 2|
|K Q||9 7 6 2|
|9||K 10 8 7 5|
|10 7 4 2||J 6|
|K J 10 5 4 3||9 8|
|J 4 3 2|
|A 9 8 5 3|
East was happy to have maneuvered South into 4, but he was less happy with the result. When the dummy appeared, the commentators predicted that, even with a helpful club lead, South would finish down one.
Some years ago, Andrew Robson offered the following Bols Tip: If an opponent makes a preemptive bid and then leads his suit, he tends to have a singleton trump. Whether Zorlu knew this is not clear, but he played as if he did. After the opening lead of the 10, a reasonable choice once East had raised clubs, South was able to win with the queen. He then crossed to the Q and made the key play of leading a low heart.
East had to play low and the jack won. Now South crossed to the K and led a low spade. West won and played the K, won with dummy's ace. South already had five tricks, and was able to bring his total to seven by scoring the A and J. Now a spade ruff reduced East to three trumps, and when the A was led he had to ruff and lead into dummy's ace-queen of trumps.
Zorlu had earned his applause, and his team gained 13 imps.
Note that it would not have helped the defense for West to play a third diamond after winning his spade trick. South would have discarded from dummy, allowing a ruff, but the ending would have been similar.
It would have been rather better to lead a spade at the fourth trick, with the chance of two spade ruffs in the closed hand with a less advantageous spade position.