Perhaps the balance of power is shifting. It wasn't long ago that Europe and North America dominated the world bridge scene. But this time three of the eight semifinalists are from the Far East Chinese Taipei and Indonesia in the Open and China in the Women's.
Not only that, but it's possible for all three to reach the finals Indochina and Chinese Taipei will not play each other. The pairings for the Open semifinals are:
Another unusual happening TWO North American teams have advanced to the Women's semifinals. Both the United States and Canada triumphed yesterday. This is the first time this has happened in a Women's eventalthough last year's Bermuda Bowl final featured the United States and Canada in the final. Today's pairings in the Women's semifinals:
That's right Venice Cup champion Germany is NOT among the Women's semifinalists. Germany fell well short, losing to Canada, 140-112.5
Austria, the defending Olympiad Women's champion, defeated Great Britain, 134-108.
In the Open, defending champion France triumphed over Russia, 203-128; Denmark eliminated Italy, 161-139; Indonesia quelled Iceland, 180-115, and, in the closest match of the day, Chinese Taipei stopped Poland, 132-122.
In the other Women's matches, China advanced with a 151-86 victory, and the United States overcame the Netherlands, 151-101.
This hand occurred in the quarterfinal match between Russia and France.
|Board 23. Game All. Dealer South.|
|Q J 7|
|10 8 2|
|A 10 7 6 5 2|
|K 9 6||Q J 10 8 7 4 3|
|K 6 3||9 8 5 2|
|K 7 3||Q|
|K 9 4 3||8|
|A 10 4|
|A J 9 6 5 4|
Alexandre Petrounine made this contract on the Q opening lead. He won and drove out West's trump king. Then it was a simple matter to set up the diamonds with one loss to take care of dummy's heart losers. But the French pair got carried away in their enthusiasm at the other table.
Jouri Khiouppenen led a club. Declarer won and cashed the A. Next he led the J and if West covered Levy would have made his slam. After thinking about it for a minute or so, Khiouppenen played low, severely disrupting declarer's communications. After much thought, he decided he had to play for the heart finesse. Therefore he cashed the A and ruffed a spade, then took the heart hook. Down one 200 to Russia and 14 IMPs to Russia. That cut the French lead to 18. France got 8 of these IMPs back on the next deal when Russia was beaten in game contracts at both tables.