37th World Team Championships Page 8 Bulletin 9 - Monday 31 October 2005

Tournament Stories

Elegant Play, Inelegant Contract - By Barry Rigal

Sam Lev and Billy Eisenberg are an interesting mix of partnership styles. Eisenberg is the consummate scientist. Lev well, caveman nouveau would perhaps summarize his approach to bidding.

On today's exhibit (Round 15 Board 1) Sam reached 4♠ after Billy had produced a three-card spade raise to lead Sam into temptation.

Board 1. Dealer North. None Vul.
 ♠ Q J 6 3 2
K 10 9 8 2
♣ Q 3

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

4♠All Pass   

The 9 went to the jack, queen and ace. Lev played a spade to the king and ran the ♠8 to North's jack. The 10 went to the queen, followed by a diamond (North discarded a club) to the king. Lev then cashed the ♣A, felling the queen, and played a club to his jack. North ruffed and played the 9 to Lev's jack. Lev then cashed the ♠A and played a spade to North. His heart return then squeezed South in the minors in the process.

Had North discarded a heart instead of a club on the second round of diamonds, Lev would not have made the game.

System Failure - by Maureen Dennison

When player deviates from the system, she or he is often unduly penalised for even a minor infraction. It happened on this board.

Board 6. Dealer East. E/W Vul.
 ♠ J 7 4 2
A 2
A 10 6 4
♣ A J 8

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

North opened 1NT and South transferred to spades. North liked her ace-heavy hand and good fit so bid 3, promising a five-card suit plus spades. Only a little lie! South passed, of course. Sitting West was Wietske van Zwol. She quite liked this turn of events. North did her best, leading spades when possible. Around trick nine, a third round of spades was played and West ruffed. She turned to South and said, "Finally your partner has given me my ruff!".

Wbridge5 Wins It All

The first champion to be crowned at this tournament is not human. A team of four Wbridge5 robots defeated four-time reigning champion Jack 136-67 in the final of the World Computer-Bridge Championship. Wbridge5 was created in France, Jack in the Netherlands.

The two programs reached the final by finishing first (Jack) and second in the six-team round-robin. At the halfway point of the 64-board final, Jack was in the lead 45-44, but Wbridge5 was too strong in the second half, winning the third set 41-4 and the fourth 50-19 to cruise to victory. This deal, from the final set, was icing on the cake for Wbridge5.

Board 11. Dealer South. None Vul.
 ♠ K Q 10 2
A K Q J 10 5
A 10
♣ Q

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

Open Room

PassDbleAll Pass  

This contract could not be beaten. Jack took one heart and one diamond but Wbridge5 took Plus 550.

Closed Room

PassPassDbleAll Pass

Jack started with the ♠A, and the contract could have been defeated had East switched to a club and West returned a spade for East to ruff. West played the ♠3 under the ace, but East apparently did not read it as suit preference for clubs. On the diamond continuation, North won with the ace, pulled the enemy trumps, cashed the spades, then entered dummy with the 5 to the nine to cash the long spade for a club discard. The defense got only a diamond from there and North/South were Plus 650. Combined with the 550 at the other table, that was 15 IMPs to Wbridge5. A new champion was crowned.

Nice Lead

South Africa and India had been moving steadily up the Bermuda Bowl rankings over the last few rounds. When they met in Round 20, India had moved into a qualifying place while South Africa was just outside the top eight, still well in touch.

This match saw India almost confirm their quarter-final participation while killing off the hopes of their opponents. This early board played a part in that outcome.

Board 5. Dealer North. N/S Vul.
 ♠ 8 7 6
J 3 2
J 7 5 4
♣ K 9 4

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

4♠ All Pass   

Four Spades is a decent contract, having some hope of making even with the ♣K offside, unlike 3NT on a diamond lead. As the cards lie, it seems that declarer willalways succeed if he gets the spades right, but Sunit Choksi threw a spanner in the works by leading the jack of hearts.

Glen Holman won the king of hearts and tried the effect of running the nine of spades. He was pleased to see that hold the trick and continued with the ♠Q to K.R. Venkataraman's ace. South switched to ace and another diamond to dummy's king. Declarer crossed to the ace of hearts, cashed the ♠K, and played a heart to the nine. When that lost to the ten, Venkataraman had a diamond to cash for down one embarrassing when the clubfinesse was working all along, and worth 10 IMPs to India. It is easy to say that declarer should have been suspicious of the lead jack from J1032 is not that attractive a lead, particularly in a suit bid by dummy but tiredness is beginning to creep in for many players after a week of hard bridge.

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