The qualifiers for the quarterfinals weren't determined until the very final match. Defending champion France had the best record in Group A, followed by Indonesia and Poland. The fourth qualifier was Denmark, but only by a single Victory Point! Denmark had 633 VPs, and New Zealand just missed with 632. The story was the same in Group B. Italy was a clear winner by more than a full match. Chinese Taipei was a strong second. But the battle for third and fourth was fierce. Iceland triumphed over Bulgaria, 19-11, in their last match, and that put them in third place. Russia needed a big win in their last match and they got it 25-4 over Kenya. That moved Russia past both Israel and Great Britain. Israel missed qualifying by only 1.5 VPs, and Great Britain was only 9 behind Russia.
Today's quarterfinals will be 64-board matches, with the winners moving into the 96-board semifinals that get under way tomorrow. For the first time in Olympiad history, no North American team made the quarterfinals.
The Women's quarterfinals also will be 64 boards, with the winners moving on to 96-board semifinals starting tomorrow. Today's pairings:
Dianna Gordon of the Canadian Women's team found a brilliant defensive maneuver on this deal from their Round 18 match against India.
|Board 39. Game All. Dealer South.|
|J 8 3|
|9 6 3|
|Q 6 3|
|9 8 4 2|
|6 2||A K Q 10 9 7 5 4|
|Q J 5||7|
|10 9 8 7 5||K 4|
|Q J 10||K 6|
|A K 10 8 4 2|
|A J 2|
|A 7 5 3|
Gordon led a high heart, and when Sharon Reus, North, showed an odd number of hearts, Gordon stopped for a bit of thought. She was quite sure that partner had three hearts, so declarer had only one. Finally she led a LOW club! This killed the contract. Declarer won, drew trumps and led a club, giving Gordon the lead. But she led another top heart, and declarer was forced to lead away from her K-6 and so was set one trick. The club lead was well considered. If partner had the king, fine. If declarer had three clubs, it couldn't make any difference. And if the situation was as it actually existed, it was the only play to defeat the contract.