37th World Team Championships Page 2 Bulletin 9 - Monday 31 October 2005

USA2 v Brazil (Bermuda Bowl)

by Mark Horton

Entering the next-to-last round of the Bermuda Bowl qualifying, Brazil was tied for seventh with India, but a number of teams were very close to them. The South Americans needed a good showing against a tough USA2 team to assure themselves of a spot in the top eight.

Brazil started with a 4-IMP swing on the first board, but USA2 got half of it back on a well-played deal by Geoff Hampson.

Board 2. Dealer East. N/S Vul.
 ♠ A 9 5 2
7 5 4
Q 9 3
♣ K 7 3

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

In the Closed Room, Brad Moss opened 2♠ with the East hand and played it there, going one off for Minus 50.

Marcelo B.GrecoPedro B. Hampson
All Pass    

1NT was 14-16, and the double was for take-out.

Marcelo Branco started with the ♠8 to the nine, ten and king. Hampson played a low diamond from hand, and Branco went up with the king, returning the suit to the nine, jack and ace. Hampson was told the 2 overcall might also have contained a minor suit, and he used that information to find the correct line of play. Hampson played the ♣A, a club to the king and a third round to his ten. He could then cash the ♣Q and discard the blocking Q from dummy. A well-done Plus 110 and 2 IMPs to USA2. The Americans went ahead on Board 4 when the auction dissuaded Pedro Branco from leading his best suit against 3NT.

Board 4. Dealer West. All Vul.
 ♠ A K 3
J 8 4
Q 10 7 5
♣ A 6 5

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

GitelmanChagasMossVillas Boas
All Pass    

Gabriel Chagas had to lose three tricks after Moss led adiamond.

Marcelo B.GrecoPedro B. Hampson
Pass3NTAll Pass  

Had Pedro Branco started with a diamond, the contract would have been defeated. After a diamond to the ace, a diamond back to the jack, Pedro could clear the suit and wait for his club trick to cash the setting tricks. Pedro was less inclined to lead the suit, however, after Eric Greco showed diamond values over Hampson’s 3♣. The spade opening lead conceded all the timing to Greco, and he finished with an overtrick for a 12-IMP gain and a 14-4 lead for USA2.

Brazil got 4 IMPs back when Greco at one table went four down in 3, while Chagas managed to go down only two in the same contract. The South Americans went ahead on the following deal.

Board 9. Dealer North. E/W Vul.
 ♠ J 10 5 4
A 6 5
K J 10 9 2
♣ J

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

GitelmanChagasMossVillas Boas
All Pass    

Moss started with the Q, continuing with the king when Chagas ducked. Chagas played low from hand again, and Moss could have scuttled the contract by switching to a low club, but that is a play one would make only if looking at all the hands and maybe not even then. Moss naturally continued hearts, and he covered the ♣J when Chagas played it at trick four. Chagas won with the ♣A in dummy and took the right view in diamonds, playing low to the nine then back to the ace. He cashed the ♣Q and ♣10 and claimed with five diamonds, three clubs and one heart.

On a double-dummy basis, had Moss switched to a club at trick three, it would have disrupted communication between the North and South hands and, on the run of declarer’s diamonds, Moss would have been able to discard clubs without fear of giving declarer extra tricks (assuming the ♣A had not been cashed). Chagas erred by playing the ♣J from hand at trick four had Moss refused to cover, the contract would have failed. It’s all easy looking at 52 cards, but the successful line of play after winning the A (which can be done at trick one, by the way) is to play the J to dummy’s ace, running the 8 if not covered. Then three more rounds of diamonds put East under enormous pressure. He can never discard a club without conceding the ninth trick, so he would have to come down to the singleton ♠A, one heart and three clubs. Now declarer can play the ♣J, letting it ride, exiting with a spade. East can cash a heart but must play into the ♣A Q at the end.

Marcelo B.GrecoPedro B. Hampson
Pass3NTAll Pass  

Pedro Branco’s 2 showed the majors. Branco started with the K, continuing with the queen when Greco ducked. A third round of hearts cleared the suit but, when Greco played the ♣J from hand, Branco did not cover. Greco also guessed diamonds, but his trick limit was eight (Greco had to cash the ♣A before running all the diamonds or he would not get it). That was 10 IMPs to Brazil.

Board 13. Dealer North. All Vul.
 ♠ J 10 5
A 9 7
A 8 7 4 2
♣ A 10

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

This board put the Americans in front for good.

Marcelo B.GrecoPedro B. Hampson
 1NTAll Pass  

1NT was ostensibly 14-16. Pedro started with a low heart to Greco’s nine, and he tried the ♠J, hoping to convince the defenders to look elsewhere for tricks. Marcelo won the ♠Q and played the Q. Greco ducked smoothly and again when Marcelo played the jack, but Marcelo read the position and reverted to spades. On the run of the spades, Greco did not hold onto all his diamonds, so he finished two down and Minus 200, but his team mates had him covered.

GitelmanChagasMossVillas Boas
2NTPass3NTAll Pass

Chagas started with a low diamond, taken by Gitelman with the ten. He played a club from hand, and Chagas rose with the ace to continue with a second low diamond. When spades broke Gitelman had nine tricks for Plus 600 and a 9-IMP gain.

The next board produced another swing for USA2.

Board 14. Dealer East. None Vul.
 ♠ 9 7
K J 10 9 8 6 2
♣ 10 6

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

GitelmanChagasMossVillas Boas
5All Pass   

Chagas could have sunk this contract by leading his suit, but he started with the ♠9. Gitelman took full advantage, winning the ♠A in hand and playing three rounds of clubs, pitching his singleton diamond. Chagas ruffed, but it was with a natural trick. The only other loser for Gitelman was the trump ace Plus 450.

Marcelo B.GrecoPedro B. Hampson
6DbleAll Pass  

Curiously, the enthusiasm of both Brancos Pedro for his aggressive raise to 3 and Marcelo for his leap to slam did not cost the team, although it might have. Greco could have assured two down by leading his suit, but perhaps it sounded as though Marcelo was void. Greco also began with the ♠9, and Marcelo followed the same route to 11 tricks. Minus 100 or Minus 50 was the same 11-IMP loss. Two down, of course, would have been a 13-IMP loss.

Near the end of the match, USA2 added another swing when Moss and Gitelman bid a pushy slam that happened to make. The final score was 49-30 (19-11) for the Americans, putting Brazil briefly in danger of not qualifying for the quarter-final round. They assured themselves of a spot, however, by crushing China in the final match of the day.

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