6th World Junior Bridge Teams Championship
Editor: M. Horton Co-Editor: R. Lee
Web Editor: Th. Matziaris
No.: 6 Saturday, 9 August 1997
Qualifying Round 13
Qualifying Round 14
Qualifying Round 15
Match of the Day Canada White v Norway
Israel wins on points
Hidden Treasure by Prakash Paranjape
|Six degrees of separation|
Losses to Norway and Russia dropped Canada White out of the leading group and reduced the number of teams still realistically in contention for a qualifying spot to six.
With two matches left to play today, Russia solidified its hold on first place, and is now almost 20 VP's clear. Denmark continue to hang on to second despite losing to Japan last night. Canada Red is 3.5 VPs behind Denmark in third, and Norway a further 8.5 VPs back in fourth position. Rounding off the leaders are China and USA 2, who are both still within 7.5 VPs of the fourth place team.
Norway had a slow start to the tournament, but have gradually regained form, and seem to be hitting their stride at the right time. Russia can probably begin to plan for the playoffs on Monday, but none of the next three teams can feel safe until Round 17 is over tonight.
Today's key match-ups include China-Denmark and Canada Red-Russia, while Australia has a chance to play the spoiler as they finish up against China and Norway.
|Match of the day|
Canada W. vs Norway
With Norway 5th and Canada White 7th going into Round 13, this was a match that both teams had to win. Norway had to be the favourites; they were more experienced and had won the European team trials. However, Canada White had been playing above themselves for the entire tournament. After a rocky start, they had climbed from 14th place at the end of the first day to put themselves into position where they could make the playoffs.
Canada drew first blood when Brogeland and Saur failed to reach an easy 4 game that was bid at the other table. At both tables the auction started out in a similar fashion. When partner showed a good hand with diamond support, Mike Nadler rebid his five solid hearts which could after all play opposite a doubleton. Saur made a simple 3 bid. 7 IMPs to Canada who led 7- 0.
In the Open Room where Brogeland started his slam exploration with a cue-bid, Piafsky took the opportunity to double 4. This had two effects: it got Danny Nadler off to a club lead which held the contract tight, and it removed any need to double the final contract. In the Closed Room, however, where Mike Nadler jumped to 4 to show a minimum, Charlsen decided to double 6 for a club lead. The final result was -1210 and 6 IMPs for Canada White who now led 13- 0.
In the Closed Room, Erichsen opened 2 and played there. Would you like to be in 4 on these cards non-vulnerable? It certainly has lots of play and you will make it on a good day. Today was not a good day for the Canadians and they went down one. Oh for the 10. 6 IMPs for Norway who had now narrowed the gap to 13- 6.
Boards 4 and 5 were routine pushes, but Board 6 was not.
Do you think it is a winning action to open the South hand vulnerable, even if you have a gadget to do so? I don't, and on this hand it didn't work. In the Open Room where the South hand opened, North-South landed in 2NT which went three down. In the Closed Room where they had a more traditional auction, North-South arrived in 2 where they made 8 tricks. 5 IMPs to Canada who led by 6, 18 - 12.
In the Open Room, Saur overcalled in both spades and hearts but Brogeland never raised him on his 6 points and 4 trumps. In the Closed Room, the Canadians once again reached a game that had some play, but was missed by Norway, and once again it was a bad day for touchy games and unfortunately this one got doubled. When Nadler misguessed spades and found a poor trump break, Canada went for 800. This was a big 13 IMPs for Norway, who took the lead 25 - 18.
It seems pretty standard in this tournament to open 1NT on a suit-oriented hand with a strong 5- or even 6-card major if it is in the right range. In the Closed Room the Norwegians subsided in 2NT which was definitely not the right part-score and went down one for 50. This looked like a possible pickup for Canada White. However, Piafsky opened 1NT as well.
However, when Nadler invited with a Stayman sequence, Piafsky, who had a chance to show his 5-card heart suit, pushed on and the aggressive Canadians were once again in a game not bid by Norway. This game had good chances and could be made if Piafsky guessed the clubs.
Norway got off to a good trump lead which gave nothing away. Piafsky took a reasonable line, drawing trumps and playing up to the K, later finessing the 10. But when the J proved to be off-side he went down three. This was another 3 IMPs to Norway who now led 28-18.
7 was a very good contract and Norway had a very reasonable auction to get there. Although Saur could not be really sure that the grand would make, the only club holding that was likely to give him a problem was three little. For once the Canadians were cautious and when Nadler denied the K, Zeidenberg signed off in 6. I prefer Brogeland's auction where he showed partner that his side had all the key cards and trumps and invited Saur to show extra values or make the decision to go to the grand slam himself.
13 more IMPs to Norway who had now taken a significant 23 IMP lead, 41-18. Board 11 was a flat board with a spade part-score being made in both rooms.
In the Closed Room, Charlsen opened a somewhat off-centre 1NT. Nadler doubled showing a two suiter and when Erichsen redoubled, bid his heart suit. Norway had a confusing auction thereafter which ended up in 5 and this ignobly went one down for 100 for Canada. Piafsky started off with a more traditional 1 bid and Saur, enjoying the favourable vulnerability, bid both hearts and diamonds. This allowed Brogeland to take the 5 save over 4 but it was 9 IMPs to Canada who now trailed 41-27.
On Board 13, Norway roared ahead, scoring13 IMPs when Canada White had a bidding misunderstanding to reach a slam off two cashing aces. Canada White gained back 1 IMP on Board 14 and now trailed by 26 IMPs.
In the Closed Room, Erichsen opened 1 and when Zeidenberg overcalled 1, Charlsen raised to 2. Nadler showed his heart raise with 3, but Erichsen was able to jump to 5. It was not clear whose game it was, so Zeidenberg felt he had to press on to 5. This lost the obvious three tricks for one down.
Danny Nadler in the Open Room bid the hand nicely. He started proceedings off with 1 and when Brogeland pre-empted with 3, Nadler reopened with a clever 3NT. When Saur doubled, Nadler ran to 4 and bought the hand.
Nadler also played the hand very intelligently. The defence started off with the Q which Nadler won with the ace. He drew trumps and gave up a spade. Saur continued spades, ruffed by declarer. Ultimately when Nadler had to play diamonds, he had a pretty good count on the hand and was able to guess the doubleton K in the West hand. 2 IMPs to Canada White. Norway picked up 6 more IMPs on the last board when Canada White missed a good game reached by Norway, so the final score was a very satisfying 60-30 (22-8 VPs) for Norway who needed a big win to stay in the race for a qualifying position.
|Israel wins on points|
(Note: Three of the Martinique/Guadaloupe players come from the de Tessieres family, and will be referred to by their first names for clarity in this article.)
The Round 12 encounter between Israel and Martinique/Guadaloupe started quietly enough, but it was a set of hands where swings were there to be had. The lead changed with almost every deal, and by the end of the evening, it was like watching two weary boxers trying to summon up the energy for one more punch.
Martinique/Guadaloupe drew first blood when Katz went down in 4 on this deal. After a club lead, he played to ruff two spades in dummy, a line which did not survive the 4-1 trump break. The simplest road to the contract seems to be to ruff one spade with the A, then give up a trump, planning to concede two spades and the K, but surprisingly few declarers managed to bring home 10 tricks. Israel probably didn't expect to lose IMPs after finding the 4 save, but they were now down by 9.
The early lead did not survive the next hand, on which Soudan and Godefroy allowed 4 to make, while it was going down at the other table. Israel led by 2. Then came this deal:
The VuGraph commentators could find little fault with the Israeli auction, yet on this layout it resulted in their arriving in an inferior contract from the wrong side. After a club lead, it was imperative that declarer guess hearts to make 3NT, and when he failed to do so, Martinique/Guadaloupe picked up 12 IMPs to forge ahead by 10.
Both sides reached the normal 4 on this hand (although one pair in another match climbed all the way to slam, being fortunate to lose only 3 IMPs when game went down one at the other table). However, Godefroy found himself with a difficult defensive decision, and made a choice that did not work out well for his side. Varshavsky won the club lead, ruffed a club, and ran the 8 to East's Q. Seeking desperately for a fourth defensive trick, Soudan underled the A! At the other table, declarer led out the Q at trick two, banking on the trump finesse, and quietly went one down.
12 IMPs to Israel, who were now ahead by 2.
Now it was Martinique/Guadaloupe's turn to score a knockdown. After a pre-emptive 3 from Katz, Varshavsky attempted to muddy the waters with 3NT; perhaps this obscured the view for his own side too much, for they subsequently failed to take a potentially profitable 5 save that was found in the other room. Thibault correctly took a jaundiced view of his defensive chances, having already somewhat overstated his values, and got out for -300 by guessing the spade position. 8 IMPs to Martinique/Guadaloupe, and a 6 IMP advantage.
Surely the bell had to go soon to end the round, but there was still time for Israel to launch one more flurry. We wonder how many people feel comfortable opening a 4-loser hand at the 1-level? We are reminded of Al Roth's favourite comment: 'Well-placed if the auction continues.' Proponents of Acol 2-bids or the Namyats convention will certainly be pointing to this result.
Fortunate to get a second chance, Godefroy made a bid that can only be described as extremely invitational, without being able to persuade his partner for the second time that he had enough to use anything but a green card. Levin, in contrast, was not going to pass a hand with an ace, and Shaham simply bid game.
10 IMPs to Israel, and a 4 IMP lead.
Both teams now retired to their corners to lick their wounds, and Israel picked up another 2 IMPs when both sides went down in a tricky 4 contract before this hand came up:
The Israel Multi 2 seemed to create problems in the Closed Room, and G/M failed to reach the laydown black-suit slam. Shaham and Levin had little difficulty after Levin's initial jump response to the takeout double.
13 IMPs to Israel, a 19-IMP lead, and the first sign that they might be ahead to stay.
A part-score pickup increased the advantage to 24 IMPs, but this was cut to 8 on the following deal.
How many of us agree with 3NT at South's second turn to bid? Surely at IMPs, there is no excuse for not raising clubs; if partner doesn't have real clubs, you'll find out about it when he rebids 4. We find it equally hard to understand Varshavsky's decision to pass; partner cannot have heart length on this auction, and is therefore marked with a minor suit fit. Aymeric correctly made a move, and Thibault felt he had some catching up to do. Unfortunately, his 3NT bid had left him with little choice but to leap to slam; fortunately the grand is on a finesse, so you don't really want to bid it anyway.
Martinique/Guadaloupe scored small success on the next three hands, to pull within 1 IMP, but it was to be Israel that landed the last punch.
Again, an Israeli 2-bid caused the damage. Aymeric made a normal double, and found the auction coming back to him at the 5-level, simply having to guess whether or not to bid the slam. Given an uninterrupted auction, Katz and Varshavsky rolled into 6, which requires a spade lead to reduce it to 50%. With both the A and the Q well-positioned, declarer could hardly fail to make 12 tricks, and Israel had landed the final scoring blow.
Final result: Israel 64 Martinique/Guadaloupe 52 (18 VPs to 12).
by Prakash Paranjape
India defeated Denmark by 20-10 in the 12th round in a high-scoring match - 69-46 was the final IMP tally - and hinted that they might still have some role to play in the round robin.
Sandeep Thakral, arguably the best player on the Indian team, has not had a very good tournament so far. On this deal however, he found a brilliant defence against East's 3 contract.
Avasthi led 5 to Thakral's ace. Despite the diamond tenace in dummy, Thakral shifted to his stiff diamond which went to South's ten and dummy's queen. Winning the first trump with ace, Thakral continued his good work by playing the 8!
Avasthi ruffed and played the K. Thakral ruffed the A and now South had a diamond to cash when he got in with the K.
Two down and 200 to North-South.
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