6th World Junior Bridge Teams Championship
Editor: M. Horton Co-Editor: R. Lee
Web Editor: Th. Matziaris
No.: 3 Wednesday, 6 August 1997
Qualifying Round 5
Qualifying Round 6
Qualifying Round 7
Match of the Day Canada Red v USA2|
Danish Dynamite Defense by Grand Danois
Sometimes it just doesn't feel right by Stefan Back
Norway Undismayed by Jon Sveidal
As the round robin approaches the halfway mark Denmark maintained their position at the head of the table. Perhaps they were fortified by yesterday morning's breakfast which included "Danish" pastries.
Whatever, they recovered from their first defeat of the Championships in Round 5 when they went down to Russia, going on to record wins over Brazil and Australia.
They lead by 10.5VP from China, who in turn are 3.1VP ahead of Russia. USA 2 are currently occupying the final qualifying spot, but they are closely pursued by Canada Red and Norway.
The teams behind them are already in danger of losing touch. The defeat of Canada Red in Round 5 at the hands of USA 2 means that no team is undefeated.
Chinese Taipei had reason to celebrate as they scored their first win against Argentina which helped to lift them out of the bottom spot.
|Match of the day|
|Canada Red vs USA2|
When these teams clashed in Round 5, Canada was the only remaining unbeaten team, and USA 2 was determined to see their streak end. Who would get the better of this grudge match between old rivals?
In the closed room Jeff Blond, an aggressive bidder, overcalled Eric Greco's 1 opening bid on a 4-card suit. This effectively kept North/South out of their spade fit. Chris Willenken made a negative double and David Levy closed the auction with a bid of 1NT. The opening lead was the 6 and Levy scrambled 6 tricks for down one. In the open room, the auction took a different turn when Joel Wooldridge, who was never shy on the other boards, chose not to overcall 1 as had his counterpart. As a result, North/South arrived in two spades. Although the spades did not break, the rest of the hand lay favourably and Sutherland cashed his winners and played the hand on cross-ruff lines for 9 tricks and first blood to Canada, who now led 3-0.
The auction at both tables were virtually identical, as both pairs arrived in six spades after an exclusion Blackwood auction.
Discovering the spade fit, both East's decided to simplify the auction. In the closed room 5NT showed 2 keycards without the trump queen so East settled for 6. In the open room, South doubled 5, possibly to test the Americans' system memory. There did appear to be some confusion when Carmichael signed off over Wooldridge's 5 bid but Wooldridge pressed on, sure that Carmichael would not have jumped to Blackwood without at least 2 controls.
At both tables the opening lead was a club, a much more impressive selection from the North hand, although the auction had made a diamond unattractive. Now the only way to make the hand is to guess the offside trump queen which was not done at either table. Both declarers won the opening lead and finessed the spade (Carmichael cashed the trump ace first), ending up down one. An alternative is to cash the top two spades and then run hearts. This works whenever the trump queen is doubleton or when three trumps to the queen are with the long hearts. Quick analysis suggests that these lines are actually relatively equal but the latter has the advantage of working on this particular lie of the cards. However, neither declarer can be faulted for the line chosen. No score, Canada Red still leading by 3. Both sides bid a straightforward game on board 19.
In the closed room, David Levy opened 1 in third chair, a bid that on a flat10 count may not be to everyone's taste. South doubled and West jumped to 4. Willenken refused to be shut out of the auction and made an ill advised bid of 5. The problem is that it was not at all clear that 4 would make. 5 went down 2 for 500. Meanwhile in the open room, East passed and South opened the bidding with 1. West overcalled 1 and Roberts, who was not so enamored with his hand as Willenken, bid only 2. The auction now quickly proceeded to 4 after Wooldridge who was completely unwilling to miss anything that might resemble a game, especially vulnerable, made a game try with 3. This was off four top tricks and with the J offside went down 2 for -200 and a useful pickup of 12 IMPs to Canada Red, who were now leading by 15 IMPs.
At both tables the final contract was 5 which went down one after the lead of a heart. Both East/West's cashed the top two hearts and waited for their diamond trick, for no swing. It seems very difficult to avoid some sort of game after partner opens and the South hand holds ace, ace, king and a fit. In some other matches pairs did seem to be able to avoid it, but both these teams have an aggressive style. Also of note is the risky 2 bid made by Wooldridge. Certainly, North/South would have been much better to simply stop and start doubling. However, it did ensure the important heart lead. No swing.
Board 22 was uneventful. Both pairs arrived in the normal contract of 3NT and the American declarer made an uptrick to get the Americans on the scoreboard with 1 IMP. Canada Red leading 15 to 1.
Board 23 was the turning point of the match. In the closed room, Greco started with 1 and Willenken started things off slowly with 1, and setting up a game force over his partner's 2 response. When he established that his partner had 2 keycards and the Q., Greco chose to bid the grand, perhaps assuming that Willenken could set up clubs or take the spade finesse if needed and certainly expressing confidence in his dummy play. Although this was not an odds-on grand slam, Willenken was to show that this confidence was justified by playing the hand properly. Winning the heart lead, he took a successful spade finesse, threw a heart on the spade, drew one round of trump and made 13 tricks on a cross-ruff.
In the open room, Wooldridge's aggressive style paid off. He overcalled the 1 opening bid with 1, Roberts made a negative double and Carmichael jumped to 3, stealing the club bid from South who passed. Wooldridge corrected to 3 and Roberts finally showed his strong hand and slam interest by bidding 4. South cuebid his club ace and North made one move towards grand slam with 5, but South signed off with 6. Did the East/West bidding keep them out of the grand? We'll never know. Certainly it made the hand easier to play, marking the spade finesse, and the club length advertised on the right made the cross-ruff line very attractive. Sutherland had no trouble making seven following a similar line to Greco. This however was a win of 13 IMPs for USA 2 as they pulled to within one. Canada Red 15 USA 2, 14.
Both tables scored 450 in a heart game on the next board for no swing, but Carmichael and Wooldridge had a harder time of it when the Canadians competed to 4, forcing USA 2 to bid to 5 which made. The next two boards were part-score hands which were duplicated at both tables but the Canadians won an IMP on board 24 when Sutherland made an uptrick in 2. Canada Red 16, USA 2 14.
In the closed room, East, David Levy opened in fouth chair with 1 and showed his 5-4 by bidding 2 over 1NT. When his partner gave him preference back to spades, he made one move towards game with 2NT but Blond, looking at what seemed to be a non-fitting 7 count passed, and they played in part-score. In the open room, Wooldridge opened an off-centre 3 bid holding an outside ace and now holding fitting club cards Carmichael shot 3NT.
Looking at all four hands it appears that 3NT will likely go down on a small diamond lead. However, it seems natural to lead the Q which makes the defense a good deal more difficult. Roberts made a good start by rising on the A and continuing with the 8 which Carmichael had to duck. With two diamonds in, the defence must now shift to a heart to set up a heart trick for their fifth winner before the A is knocked out. However, Roberts continued a third diamond which Sutherland won, and cleared the suit. Now when Carmichael forced out the A, Roberts shifted to a heart putting him to the test. East must now decide whether to take the heart finesse or spade finesse for his ninth trick. However, he chose to believe the defensive signalling which indicated that a spade finesse was the right line and correctly rose with the heart ace, later taking the spade finesse to make his contract and win 6 IMPs since Blond had made +180 in 1NT. USA 2 had taken the lead by 4. USA 2 20, Canada Red 16.
On board 28 both sides made part-scores for no swing and on hand 29 both sides bid to a reasonable 4 contract which failed when the clubs lay badly. The next swing occurred on hand 30; this time Roberts/Sutherland failed to get to a game, on an apparent bidding misunderstanding. 6 more IMPs to USA 2 who now led by 10. Board 31 was another flat board with both sides bidding and making a heart part-score. The final hand of the match however, was another big swing.
On VuGraph, Joel Wooldridge proved that he might bid a bit too aggressively sometimes, but that he sure knows how to play the dummy and his opponents too when necessary. Wooldridge passed in first chair and Carmichael opened in third with 1. When Sutherland overcalled 1, Wooldridge decided to pass hoping for a penalty, but Carmichael reopened with 2. Wooldridge made a try with 2NT but when Carmichael signed off in 3 pressed on to game anyway with 3NT, obviously feeling that his quality diamond fit was of great value and hating to miss a vulnerable game.
A club would obviously have worked out better but Roberts led the J after some thought and Wooldridge won the A. Next he passed the Q, the J dropping on his right. So far, so good. He now had 8 tricks but the diamond suit was blocked. He continued with the 10, which was covered by Roberts as Sutherland signalled in hearts. Wooldridge's best line seemed to be to clear the diamonds, cash the K and take the heart finesse. This was going to lead to many down. Instead, he made the surprise play of leading a club from dummy. When Sutherland quite naturally ducked, Wooldridge put up the queen and the club suit was blocked. Now Roberts shifted to a heart. Wooldridge took the finesse but now when it lost, Sutherland could do no better than to return a spade. Wooldridge now cashed out for down 1 and minus 100. A triumph for Joel's playing flair, if not his bidding accuracy.
However, the main action was actually to take place in the Open Room. Levy, East, started things off in third chair with a conventional 2 bid showing hearts and a minor. Greco overcalled 2 and Blond doubled for penalty. Greco with his good hearts decided to try his chances in 2NT, which also got doubled. Blond, West, lead the 10 to Greco's jack. South now guessed clubs, the J holding the trick. He continued with a small spade towards dummy, Blond rising with the K. Blond now had to find the diamond shift for the maximum tricks. However, he continued hearts to Levy's ace and Levy cleared hearts. Greco now gave up the K and a shift to the Q would still have beaten the hand one trick. Alas for the Canadian supporters, Blond did not find it and Greco came home with his contract, +490 and 9 IMPs for USA 2.
So ended Canada's unbeaten run, but both teams had shown us some tough bridge, and will hope to meet each other again in the playoffs. Final score: USA 2 29 Canada Red 16
by Grand Danois
After their impressive start the Danish team apparently ran into a little trouble Wednesday. However, the Danish supporters can be assured that their Dynamite Team will resume their strong performance again and qualify for the finals. In board 22 from the match against Brazil in round 6 the younger brother, Morten Lund Madsen, had a brilliant defence:
In the closed room North chose to lead a diamond against the same contract, so West had an easy task, but Morten found the heart lead (1st hurdle) thereby giving nothing away. Declarer won in dummy, and after the diamond ace he continued with the queen. Morten ducked (2nd hurdle).
Declarer now shifted to the
10 from dummy.
Morten ducked again (3rd hurdle). A second club went to the queen, and
declarer took the heart shift in hand and tried a spade to the queen
succesfully, but Morten had unblocked the jack (4th hurdle). Finally
declarer tried the
A, and Morten
fulfilled his brillancy unblocking the king (5th hurdle). This defence left
declarer with no chance for an endplay. One off.
Can you make 3NT double dummy against best defence? It looks like
declarer can do better by playing the diamond queen at trick 2. North still has
to duck and duck the eventual shift to the
10 as well, but
if declarer instead tries a club to the nine North must play the queen (and
later duck the
10). This way I think the contract is always beatable. Do you agree?
it just doesn't feel right|
by Stefan Back
Very often, there are auctions you dislike, especially when they come from
your opponents. You listen, you would like to penalize them, but finally you
don't have the guts to do so. How often have we used the excuse: 'And after all:
We're playing teams!', only to find out that five minutes later we hate
ourselves a little more as they went down undoubled in absurd numbers. On the
other hand, there are occasions when we are more courageous and take our
chances. And all of a sudden, here we go, sensing that something just doesn't
feel right with the bidding and knowing that successful doubling feels so good!
West, a passed hand, invited East to game, and then, when refused, thought
he could make 3NT anyway. Thakral didn't think so!
He looked at his promising hearts, looked at all his aces and doubled. Unfortunately you do not only have to double contracts, you also have to beat them, so what do You lead? Thakral, quite naturally, went for the J and must have been very disappointed to see the third queen of hearts in dummy:
by Jon Sveidal
Despite a slow start at this championship, the Norwegians never lose their courage. And the defence against Israel on the board below, was courageous, to say the least.
Boye Brogeland (later referred to as BB for obvious reasons to those of you who have seen his blonde appeal at work) lead his king of diamonds, which declarer won with dummy's ace. Saur Power discouraged with the jack. A small spade to the seven and nine was followed by the queen of clubs.
The Norwegians are notorious underleaders of aces, and since declarer did not want to risk two club losers when there was only one, he played the king. The ace was won by Power, and the nine of diamonds was covered by the queen and ruffed with the king. BB now returned a heart that declarer took with his king to lead another spade. BB won the ace by force, but his return was even more forceful and courageous! A small club to the powerful nine enabled Saur to draw dummy's last trump with the queen of spades, and to cash a diamond trick before BB ensured a three trick defeat by means of the jack of clubs.
At the other table the opponents were left to play a club partial without much competition, and scored 130 for a 5 IMPs gain for Norway. A nice contribution to a very solid win for Norway Unlimited.
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