12th World Bridge Championships Page 4 Bulletin 2 - Sunday 11 June  2006

Session 1 - Qualifying Mixed Pairs

By Brian Senior

With several hundred pairs to choose from, it was a matter of luck as much as anything whether we would choose the tables at which something newsworthy happens. Of course, the beauty of matchpointed pairs is that every board is equally important, so that there is rarely a completely dull deal. I started by watching a few deals featuring the top Israeli pair. Migry Zur-Campanile and Michael Barel, then went to watch the same deals at the table featuring French pair Alain and Anne-Frederique Levy.

Board 7. Dealer South. All Vul.
 ♠ K 7 4 2
A K Q 9 6 4
Q 5
♣ K

♠ Q 10 6 5
10 8 7 5
Bridge deal
♠ J 9 8
J 3 2
A K 10 9
 ♠ A 3
J 8 7 6 3 2
♣ Q 10 8 5 3

Pass3All Pass  

Pass3All Pass

Two identical auctions saw the North players declare 3, a contract which is easily beaten double dummy but not so easily in real life.

Iman Assassa of Germany led a top diamond then switched to the two of clubs. Michael Fernolend thought about that for a while then went up with the ace and switched to a spade. Too late! Barel won in hand and cashed the top hearts then played the Q to East’s king. He won the spade return in dummy and threw his remaining spades on the ♣Q and J; +140. Argentina’s Ammarita Rosetta also cashed the ace of diamonds and switched to a club, the six. Alejandro Bianchedi ducked that so the bare king won. Alain Levy cashed three rounds of hearts then played the Q to the king. He played the jack on the diamond return and that was ruffed. Levy threw a spade and had one more spade to lose at the end; also +140.After cashing a diamond, East needs to find the spade switch to prevent declarer from establishing both minor-suit winners in time to get rid of both spade losers. A spade at trick two and a second round when the defence is next on lead means one down.

Board 8. Dealer West. None Vul.
 ♠ Q 9 7 4 3
A 7 5
A 10
♣ A K 3

♠ J 8 6
K 10 6 4 3
Bridge deal
♠ 10 5
9 8
K J 9 8 6 4
 ♠ A K 2
Q J 2
Q 7 5 3
♣ 9 8 2

All Pass    

All Pass    

Fernolend did not have an opening bid in his methods so it was left to Barel to open the North hand. Migry Zur-Campanile responded 3NT, normally 3-3-(4-3), and Barel judged to play there. With the same number of tricks available in spades and in no trump, that is the key to a decent matchpoint score. Alas, declarer established an eleventh trick then had a physical slip-up and pulled a wrong card, holding her to ten tricks; +430 These morning starts!

Bianchedi did have an opening bid available and used it, 2 promising five hearts plus a four-card or longer minor. Levy overcalled 2NT and was raised to game. Rosetta led the nine of hearts to dummy’s queen, ducked. Levy cashed all the spades then ducked a club, won the diamond return and cashed his winners, then led the 10 at trick twelve and West had to concede the last trick to dummy’s Q; +460 and a good score for North/South.

Board 9. Dealer North. E/W Vul.
 ♠ A J 9 8
A J 9 3
J 10 2
♣ 8 3

♠ 7 4 3
10 5 4
A 4 3
Bridge deal
♠ K Q 10 2
Q 7
Q 9 8 6
 ♠ 6 5
K 8 6 2
K 7 5
♣ A 10 6 2

Pass2All Pass  

 All Pass    

Barel opened the borderline North hand and was soon putting down dummy in 2. Alfredo Versace led a spade, ducked to the ten, and Chantal Haemmerli switched to a low club. Declarer ducked that to Versace’s nine and back came a second spade. Zur-Campanile won dummy’s ace and played the jack of diamonds, which was covered all around. Now Versace switched back to clubs, the queen forcing the ace. Knowing the trump position, it is possible to get home from here by playing the suit, but declarer did not have that information available to her and instead ruffed a club, ruffed a spade, played a diamond to the ten, and led dummy’s last spade. When West followed to the spade, declarer tried throwing away her last diamond, but East did likewise and a diamond over-ruff meant that the contract was one down for –50.

The North hand would be passed by the majority of French players, I suspect, and that was Levy’s choice. Nobody else had anything to say either.@1st line of hand:Board 10. Dealer East. All Vul.

 ♠ K 6 5 4 2
9 8 7 6 4
♣ 9 2

♠ Q J 10 9 7
A K J 5
Bridge deal
♠ -
Q J 5 3
Q 10 8 4 3 2
 ♠ A 8 3
10 2
9 6
♣ K 8 6 5 4 3

4Pass5All Pass

3NTAll Pass   

I shall be interested to see how many pairs got to the cold grand slam. Seven Diamonds is cold if the trumps break two-one or the club is onside, yet getting to 6 is clearly not a trivial task and will no doubt have scored well.Versace’s 2♣ opening was his side’s second-strongest opening, not quite game-forcing. Two Diamonds was a relay and 2♠ showed at least eight or nine playing tricks with a spade suit, forcing for one round. When Haemmerli showed her diamond suit, Versace raised, but Haemmerli’s only outside control was a shortage in her partner’s main suit, so that she had no convenient cuebid. Haemmerli just raised herself to game and chalked up an inadequate +640.

The Czech Republic’s Milos Bahnik opened with a strong 1♣ and rebid 2♠, forcing, over the negative response. When Anna Krausova showed her diamonds, Bahnik had to make a committal decision whether to bypass 3NT in search of a diamond slam, or settle for the highest scoring game with what was an essentially balanced hand. He elected to go quietly, and 3NT ended the auction. Again, West was discouraged by her spade shortage facing known strength. Bahnik won the heart lead, cashed the second heart and ran the diamonds. He cashed the queen and jack of hearts then led the queen of clubs to tempt a cover. When Anne-Frederique played low, Bahnik thought for a while, but then got it right by playing the jack, so had twelve tricks for +690.

Board 11. Dealer South. None Vul.
 ♠ K J 9 7
A 10 7 4
♣ 10 9 4 3

♠ 10 8 3 2
A 8 4 2
Q 6
Bridge deal
♠ 6
K Q 10 7 5
K 9 8
 ♠ A Q 5 4
J 9 6
J 5 3 2
♣ Q 2

4All Pass   

(i) Drury

D. FraserAlainS. FraserAnne-Frederique
2Pass4All Pass

Bryan Maksymetz did not open the West hand. When Sara Sivelind opened 1 he used Drury then respected his partner’s weak rebid, so that the fair game had been reached. However, Barel had a normal enough balancing double and now Sivelind took the opportunity to introduce her club suit to help partner to judge – it was clear that North/South would find a satisfactory spade fit. Maksymetz had both a fourth trump and a good club holding so jumped to game. Zur-Campanile led a trump, which Sivelind won in hand. She started with the king of clubs and a second club to the queen and ace. Now she drew trumps and played a diamond to the queen and ace. There was only one trump left in dummy and two minor-suit losers to be ruffed, so Sivelind had to concede a spade and a diamond; ten tricks for +420.

Canada’s Douglas Fraser opened 1NT, 11-14, and Sandra Fraser used Stayman then raised the 2 response to game. Levy found the costly lead of the ten of clubs, which ran to the jack. Fraser played a heart to dummy then a diamond to the queen and ace. He won the diamond return with the king, drew trumps and gave up a spade. Anne-Frederique won the ♠A and played the jack of diamonds. Fraser ruffed, ruffed a spade and picked up the clubs with a third-round finesse against the nine; 11 tricks for an excellent +450.

Board 12. Dealer West. N/S Vul.
 ♠ Q 9 5
K 5 4
10 8 4 3
♣ 10 8 5

♠ A K 8 4 2
A J 9
Bridge deal
♠ J 6
Q 10 8 7
Q 9 7 6
 ♠ 10 7 3
6 3 2
A J 5 2
♣ K 9 6

3Pass4All Pass

D. FraserAlainS. FraserAnne-Frederique
2NTPass3NTAll Pass

The Frasers got to 3NT and Anne-Frederique led a low diamond to dummy’s bare king. When Sandra took the club finesse, Anne-Frederique won the king and switched to a heart for the jack and king. Alain switched back to diamonds but declarer could simply cover and had a second diamond stopper; nine tricks for +400.

Maksymetz rebid 2♣, which could have been various hands, then showed a strong hand with his 3 bid over the 2 relay. Sivelind raised to game, hoping to find him with a four-card suit, but the four-three fit played very nicely. Barel led a club to the king and Zur-Campanile cashed the ace of diamonds then reverted to clubs, Maksymetz winning dummy’s ace. He cashed the queen of diamonds, ruffed a diamond, played three rounds of spades, ruffing, then cashed the jack of clubs and ruffed the last diamond. There was just the heart king to lose; +420 and a lot of matchpoints for East/West.

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