Great Britain, Russia, the Netherlands, the United States and Norway still have an outside chance to qualify in Group B, but their chances aren't good. Italy is far ahead, exactly a full match ahead of runnerup Iceland, with Israel only 2.5 Victory Points behind. But Chinese Taipei are the team everyone will be chasing in today's final three matches of the 35-match round-robin. Chinese Taipei has a 19.1 VP lead on their closest pursuers Great Britain and Russia. The situation in Group A is much more exciting. Indonesia have taken over first place after earning 93 out of 100 possible VPs yesterday. Defending champion France now is second, followed by Poland. All three are in excellent position to qualify. But that is not true of fourth-place New Zealand. Denmark are only 3 VPs back, and Spain and Sweden are within easy hailing distance.
China and the United States topped their groups in the 21-match round-robin. Actually the Americans and Austria finished with the same Victory Point total, but the tie was broken according to the Conditions of Contest, which is by IMP quotient IMPs won in all matches divided by IMPs lost in all matches. America won the tie break, 1.70 to 1.66. China finished strong with three victories. The other Group A qualifiers, in order of finish, are Germany, Netherlands and Great Britain. In Group B, the other qualifiers are Canada and Israel.
Here are Tuesday's matches (home team listed first the home team will have seating rights for the first 16 and the last 16 boards):
|Board 5. North/South Game. Dealer North.|
|Q 10 9 2|
|A K Q 2|
|A 5 3 2|
|7 5||J 6 4 3|
|J 10 9 8||6 5 4|
|K Q 10 7 6 4||9|
|8||J 7 5 4 2|
|A K 8|
|A K Q 10 6 3|
Denmark got all the way to 7. Lotte Skaanning-Norris opened 1 and Bettina Kalkerup responded 2. Wang Wen Fei made a weak jump overcall of 3 and Norris doubled, ostensibly for takeout. Kalkerup assumed that this established a game force so bid a quiet 4 and Norris cuebid 4. Kalkerup asked for aces and kings then bid 7.
The lead was K and you could tell that Kalkerup was not happy with the dummy. She rose with the ace and breathed a little more easily when it was not ruffed. Taking the pre-empt into account, she ran the 9 next. Now a spade to hand and the A revealed the bad split. Kalkerup cashed her other top spade then played three rounds of hearts, pitching her diamond, ruffed the fourth heart and played a spade to the queen. Her last three cards were the K Q 1O and the lead was in dummy. +2140 and 17 huge IMPs to Denmark.