6th World Junior Bridge Teams Championship
Editor: M. Horton Co-Editor: R. Lee
Web Editor: Th. Matziaris
No.: 9 Tuesday, 12 August 1997
Final after 64 boards
3rd Place Play-off II
Final, 1st quarter |
Final, 2nd quarter
Final, 3rd quarter
|Denmark holds centre stage|
Russia takes the bronze
After 64 boards of the final between Denmark and Norway, Denmark led 158.7-127 IMPs, including 13.7 IMPs carryover from the round robin. Denmark took a 25-IMP lead at the end of the first quarter, but Norway came storming back in the second set.
By the end of the second quarter, Norway had established the slimmest of leads: 1.3 IMPs. The third quarter saw high scoring, with 100 IMPs changing hands over 16 boards. When the smoke cleared, Denmark had re-established an 18-IMP gap. By contrast, the fourth session was much tighter, with less than 40 IMPs being scored, but again the edge went to Denmark, who ended the day's play leading by 31.7 IMPs. The last 32 boards will be played today.
In the bronze medal playoff, Russia quickly overcame Canada Red's 10-IMP carryover, and were 13 IMPs ahead after the first 16 boards. Canada Red came back at the start of the second quarter, and actually took the lead at one point. From there on, however, it was all Russia, who led by 16 IMPs at the half, 22 IMPs at the three-quarters, and 41 IMPsafter the last board was played. The final score was Russia 193 IMPs Canada Red 152.
Chinese pairs top Swiss event
Two Chinese pairs took first and second places in the 2nd WBF Junior Swiss Pairs Contest which ended last night. At the top of the table after the14 rounds of play were Li Yongchuan and Chen Jien, with 127 IMPs, while Zhang Xu and Yen Shi were 24 IMPs behind as runners-up. Both pairs were part of the China team that took 6th place in the round robin of the Teams event. In third place were Joel Wooldridge and Tom Carmichael (USA), with a score of 96 IMPs. Thirty-four pairs played in the Swiss Pairs, which took place while the semifinals and finals of the Teams Championship was being played. This tournament was open to any juniors eligible for the Teams Championship, and attracted a number of entries from local players who had not played in the teams competition.
|Final - 1st quarter|
||Denmark vs Norway
Norway had been waiting for the rematch with Denmark since Round 1 of the round robin, and now here it was with the gold medal at stake. They had more than made up the 13 IMP carryover by halfway through the set, but then Denmark came on strong to finish with a 45-19 IMPs lead.
These were some of the more interesting hands.
The play in 4 had real potential interest. Double dummy, it's easy to see the right line of eliminating the red suits, and forcing the opponents to play clubs. However it's still possible for declarer to go wrong in clubs, and play for split honours if the defenders work it right. Neither declarer was tested, and no IMPs changed hands.
Both pairs missed an easy game here on identical auctions, and without knowing more about their system agreements, it's hard to determine why. Should 2NT be played as forcing? Should West bid game even if it isn't? Perhaps one pays a price for those super-light opening bids, and it's hard to convince partner you have real values when the Great Shuffler deals them to you. Whichever, neither the Canadians nor the Russians in the other match had trouble getting to game, so it may be back to the drawing board for the Nordic pairs.
In the Open Room, Røn bid a meaty 3, and Brøndum presumably thought too much of his defence or too little of his potential offence to take the save over 4. While a heart lead would have been more painless for declarer, the K also did the job, and the Danes scored up +200.
In the Closed Room, however, Nøhr was paying no attention to adage that 'the five-level belongs to the opponents'. Perhaps he feared that 5 was making, given his general lack of defence, but in any event, 5 was very wrong on the hand, and cost his side 7 IMPs.
None of the four pairs playing North-South reached the laydown club slam on their cards, and in fact the Canadians didn't even get to game. Saur's 2 bid on what was for him a good suit created havoc, and left the Danish pair little room to investigate anything. Brøndum must have thought about going on, but took the safe way out and stayed in game. Mathisen and Kristoffersen had a better chance; perhaps North should have trusted his partner to have the heart control for his 4 cue-bid. Of course, since 6 (not 6, because of the spade ruffs) is a cheap save, perhaps they all did well to score +620.
This was the board on which Norway made up the carryover, and took the lead, albeit briefly. We can sympathize with Nøhr's problem in responding to the 1 overcall, but we do not believe that playing a a green card should have been a serious option. In North America, where the 'heavy' overcall style means that West could have much more than he actually has and still bid 1, making some of kind of response as East would be mandatory. The Norwegians holding the same cards rolled into 4 from the East side, which takes a diamond lead to beat; when Brøndum tracked the A, 11 IMPs moved across the table with it.
In this match, this board was noteworthy largely for Brogeland's lack of activity. This must surely be the strongest hand he has passed all week, and it is hard to understand why he didn't take action over 2, and even harder to fathom how 4 got away undoubled.
We must offer some small amount of sympathy, too, on this hand for David Levy, who sat South in the bronze medal match, and heard Sozonov open 1 (Polish Club) on his right. He passed for now (this we don't condone, but it will have its supporters for tactical reasons), heard West bid 1NT, and East 3NT. Trusting to partner to have a club, and no doubt dreaming of Kx in the dummy, he doubled for a club lead. Khokhlov redoubled, and chalked up the Russians' second 1000 number of the set.
Denmark picked up 5 IMPs here on what looked like a partnership miscommunication between Mathisen and Kristoffersen. We don't believe South's pass of 5 here should be played as forcing, but North must have thought so, for he surely could not have been doubling based on his own defensive values. The play could have been interesting had the defenders cashed their black aces and tapped the dummy with a spade, trying to deceive declarer into thinking that they were protecting the queen in North's hand. It is doubtful whether even this would have been a success, though, for Kristensen quickly ruffed a spade to dummy himself, and ran the 10, for an easy 11 tricks.
We are considering writing a Bols tip about not bidding grand slams unless you can count at least 14 tricks, because too often the opponents are only in game. There has been plenty of material in this week's hands, and this was another example.
After a strong no-trump, the 4 overcall endplays North into 4, and South has a real problem. If he bids again, however good his hand, and it is wrong, he will do serious damage to partnership confidence. On the other hand, he has a monster on this auction. Kristoffersen passed, as most of us would, with great reluctance. After long thought, Petrounine chose to bid on against Canada, and was rewarded for his courage when 6 turned out to be an excellent contract.
Røn and Brøndum were given more room, and it almost proved their undoing when they drove to 7 which depends on the diamond finesse. With 26 IMPs now hanging on the position of the Q, they were giving 13-1 odds on a 50% shot; not winning bridge in the long run, but successful on this occasion.
|Final - 2nd quarter|
||Denmark vs Norway
It proved to be an up and down session with first Norway and then Denmark getting on top. The Norsemen finished strongly to bring the match almost level.
All the problems on this board came in the bidding. In the Open Room, North's 2NT was presumably showing the minors. Was he afraid to double because he only had three hearts?
When East raised the ante the spotlight turned on South. He had a good hand with reasonable support for his partner's suits in terms of high cards but eight cards in the majors. He rightly rejected 3NT and took the middle ground by bidding 4. The defenders collected four tricks in the red suits via two hearts, a ruff and the ace of trumps to be +100.
In the other room, East was able to open Two Spades promising at least four of that suit and a minor with 0-10 points. That gave North-South problems and they arrived in a rather precarious contract. Of course West may have been tempted to double but his partner did not have to have much in the way of high cards and perhaps there was a better spot for North-South. Even so we suspect that some players would have been prepared to wield the axe. The contract failed by three tricks, -300, which represented 5 IMPs for Denmark.
Norway were unlucky on Board 21 as they had made 5 doubled in one room to earn three IMPs but the board had not been redealt and had to be scrapped. The boot was on the other foot on Board 26 as Denmark collected +1100 in the Open Room only to be told that the board had been fouled and would have to be redealt! Norway had a bad accident on Board 21 when they allowed Denmark to make a 3NT contract that should have been defeated. The diamond suit was distributed like this:
North led the eight of diamonds and South played low!!
This was a major swing for Denmark. In the Open Room, South picked an inspired moment to pass his partner's bid of Four Spades and East decided to defend. As you can see from the auction at the other table, bidding Five Clubs may well have resulted in West going on to Five Hearts. Declarer could only manage six tricks in 4 but -400 was a bargain compared to the 850 conceded in the other room. 10 IMPs for Denmark.
In the Closed Room, the opening bid promised at least 4-4 in the majors with 3-10 points. West produced a thin take out style bid of Two Hearts and East bravely decided to bid Five Clubs. South led his singleton diamond and when North was allowed to win the first trick with the queen he gave his partner a ruff. Declarer won the spade return and played a trump. When North went up with the ace declarer was spared a guess and the king of spades was the last trick for the defence. Two down, -300.
Now everything depended on the result from the other room. Could North bring home Four Hearts doubled? East led the five of diamonds to West's ace. He switched to the eight of clubs and when declarer played low he was doomed to go down. It looks natural to rise with the A and play a top diamond discarding the losing club. One line now is to play a top heart. East takes his ace and tries a club. You ruff and play spades.
West probably wins the second round and plays a third spade. You have to ruff high and play the eight of hearts. East covers with the ten and the annoying blockage in hearts prevents you from drawing trumps. An alternative is to play the seven of hearts at trick four. As far as we can see that will work unless East covers with the ten, a play that will lead back to the position outlined above. Of course there are several alternatives and perhaps one of them works. Maybe South saw all this and took his best chance to make the contract?! Anyway the swing went to Norway, 11 IMPs.
Both declarers made ten tricks, but the Danish pair's failure to bid game cost them 10 IMPs. Norway had picked up 23 IMPs on the last three boards of the set to take it 55-28. It looked as if the final was going to be as close as everyone expected, with the result not being decided until the final set of boards today.
|Final - 3rd quarter|
||Denmark vs Norway
Denmark led by 1.7 IMPs after 32 boards, and it was setting up to be what most people had expected, a very close match. Signs of fatigue were evident in this session, though, and the level of play began to deteriorate. By the end of the quarter, Denmark had increased the margin to 18.7 IMPs, with 48 boards left to play. These were some of the important hands from the set:
This board produced a major swing to Denmark when South in the Closed Room sat for 3NT, while his counterpart removed to 4. 3NT had no play on the obvious J lead. 4 rolled home ten tricks when the defence started with two rounds of hearts.
In the bronze medal match, Canada's Mike Roberts was sitting West, and found the killing defence against 4 played from the North hand. Winning the A at trick one, he switched to a low diamond! Sutherland won the A, and returned a diamond. Now when West won his Q, East got to make his K with a diamond ruff, and that was four tricks for the defence.
We commented earlier on an auction where Brogeland's bidding box apparently held nothing but green cards. Now it was Røn's turn to stay silent throughout on an eight-card suit! We're sure there was a rationale, and equally sure that there must exist some occasion on which this inaction is correct. This wasnot it, though, and Denmark gave up 9 IMPs.
Now it was Norway's turn for a bidding misjudgment. We are not big proponents of 50% slams, as they are often somewhat less than 50% on realistic analysis. Brogeland must have realized from his partner's failure to cue-bid either minor that slam was at best 50%, but he pushed on anyway. Røn's lead-directing double must have warned Brogeland that the critical king was offside, but by now it was too late. The Madsens took the right inference from the auction, stayed in game, and collected 11 IMPs.
This time it was Norway's turn to come to a screeching halt before they got too high. The Madsens stayed out of the auction, and Charlsen and Erichsen had all the space they wanted to find out about the heart weakness, and stop in time.
Røn and Brøndum had less room to manoeuvre, and let themselves get pushed into overvaluing their hands. It's not clear to us what Røn's 5 bid meant; it looks suspiciously like a responsibility transfer. Brøndum, in our view, had already bid his hand out when he made his fit-showing jump to 4, and has to share the blame for the bad result. The defenders had no problem finding the club lead that was necessary to pocket their 13 IMPs.
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