12th World Bridge Championships Page 6 Bulletin 12 - Wednesday 21 June  2006


Championship Stories

Last Chance Saloon - by Barry Rigal

Board 28. Dealer West. N/S Vul.
 ♠ 8
A J 9 7 4
K J 9 4
♣ Q J 7

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

WestNorthEastSouth
1♠Dble3♣Pass
3Pass3♠Pass
4♠All Pass   

This deal produced a few swings - none more significant than in Steiner-China, of course ,where the 10 IMPs gained by Steiner won them the match.

But consider what happened to Nickell here in their quarter-final match against Meltzer; they misdefended 4♠ declared by East. In the other room Rodwell played 4♠ as West on the auction shown and went down after winning the trump lead, drawing a second trump and leading a heart to the ace. Helness won his A and shifted to a club - curtains.

Maybe declarer can give himself a slightly better chance by winning the ♠A and, without drawing a second trump, immediately leading the 8 from dummy and letting it run! It would take an astute defender (which Helness is, of course) to work out declarer's devious plan. If he exits with a red suit, declarer can take the ruffing finesse to pitch dummy's third club and emerge with 10 tricks. Would North have fallen for it? We'll never know!

A Dubious Preempt - by Judge Roy Bean

The Law on the West side of Rio Couesnom (Olivier Beauvillain)

With Bridgemate in use the scoring table has a live report of any strange results and as TDs we are asked to see if they are correct. During the qualifying rounds of the Pairs Championship I had to check one such entry, Three Clubs doubled by South, down eight, -2000.

Board 8. Dealer West. None Vul.
 ♠ A 10 3 2
Q J 10 6
A Q 8 5
♣ 4

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

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

WestNorthEastSouth
2♠*DblePass3♣
PassPassDbleAll Pass

West's opening bid promised spades and a minor and when North doubled for takeout East was content to play a waiting game.

Poor South! He had to pick a three-card suit so he chose the lowest. North didn't introduce a red suit as that would have shown a strong hand and when East doubled everyone passed. (I think North should redouble as an SOS.) Declarer, playing in a suit in which his opponents are almost cold for a slam took only one trick. Amazingly it was not a bottom, as one pair played in 3NT redoubled, down 5, 2200.

(One pair bid to Six Clubs, North leading the ace of diamonds. After that my finessing friend tells me that only a trump switch defeats the contract - but it went two down, giving the East/West pair the mirror image of this result, 2/286 matchpoints.)

Trump Reduction and Endplay

On this deal from the fourth qualifying session of the Open Pairs, when Paul Hackett invited game, England's Tony Waterlow accepted the invitation - he could have held a flat 11-count with only four spades - after which Hackett drove to the small slam. There was some work to do in the play, however.

Board 22. Dealer East. E/W Vul.
 ♠ A 10 6 4
A K 8 7 6
-
♣ J 8 4 3

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

WestNorthEastSouth
HackettWaterlow
  Pass1♠
2♠(i)3(ii)Pass4♠
Pass5DblePass
PassRdblPass5♠
Pass6♠All Pass  

(i) Hearts and a minor
(ii) Constructive spade raise

West led the king of diamonds, ruffed in dummy, and Waterlow played ace and king of hearts, throwing a club from hand, then ruffed a heart, ruffed a diamond, came back to the ace of clubs, and ruffed the last diamond. He continued by ruffing a heart, crossing to the ace of spades, and ruffing the last heart. Having reduced his trump holding to king-jack doubleton, Waterlow exited with the club loser and the defence had to lead into the trump tenace at trick twelve to assure the slam. Not surprisingly, bidding and making 6♠ was worth a lot of matchpoints to Hackett and Waterlow.

100,000th Board Played Yesterday - by Herman De Wael

There had been 94,336 boards played until Monday evening, so the 22nd board at table P2 would be the 100,000th board. It was board 4 of the fifth session of the Women's Pairs. Brian had promised not to publish any more stories about his wife, so Nevena had to sneak into the Daily Bulletin in some other way. They produced the shortest auction possible:

Board 4. Dealer West. All Vul.
 ♠ J 9 4
J 8 6
K 10 3
♣ Q 9 6 4

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

WestNorthEastSouth
FordSchwartzSeniorArami
 1NTAll Pass    

Jeanine Ford then proceeded to make seven tricks. The opening club lead went to declarer's king, followed by the ♠A and a spade to South's queen. Now the Q was ducked, and a second diamond to the ace collected the king. A third spade went to North's jack and the 10 was returned to South, who cashed two more diamonds (West discarding losing hearts). A club to dummy gave declarer seven tricks.

Perhaps there are uninteresting deals after all.

Carefully Does It - by by Mark Horton

On this deal from the Round of 16 in the McConnell a grand slam was available to the East/West pairs, but I wonder how many of them explored the situation as thoughtfully as Germany's Daniela von Arnim.

Board 20. Dealer West. All Vul.
 ♠ 9 2
8 6 5 4
J 2
♣ Q 10 7 6 3

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

WestNorthEastSouth
von ArnimAuken
1♣*Pass1Pass
1NT*Pass2♠Pass
2NT*Pass3♣*Pass
3Pass5♣*Pass
7♣Pass7All Pass

1NT Relay
2NT Relay
3♣ 11+ in principle

When Sabine Auken jumped to Five Clubs, it was clear she was void in that suit and hence likely to be 4-5-4-0. Looking deeply into the position, West resisted the temptation to simply jump to Seven Hearts. If partner's hand was, for example, ♠ AQ65 109863 KJ105 ♣ she would surely have bid the same way, and now it would be essential to play the grand slam in diamonds. By jumping to Seven Clubs West gave East the chance to choose the final denomination. Lest you think it was easy to bid a grand slam on this deal I will add that it was missed 50% of the time in the McConnell.



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