1st World Youth Congress Page 2 Bulletin 5 - Wednesday 19 August 2009


The Quarterfinals, first half

by Jos Jacobs and Marjo Chorus

For the first half of the quarterfinals, we chose USA Blue v. Greecoura and Netherlands Red v. Noname as our two matches to watch closely. So far, the Americans have been doing very well, so one would expect them to take a big lead early on. As early as board 2, the Americans sprinted away:

Board: 2. Dlr: East/NS
 ♠ Q J 5 2
5 4
Q J 9 8 3
♣ A 9

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

Open Room

WestNorthEastSouth
DoxiadisLallKontomitrosFournier
  1♠Pass
2♣Pass2♠Pass
3♣All pass   

Well, this is a decent enough contract, even more so as EW are not vulnerable. Ten tricks, Greecoura +130.

Closed Room
WestNorthEastSouth
FayDarkadakisChiuRoussos
  1♠2
3♣Pass3NTAll pass

For USA Blue, Chiu boldly bid 3NT, leaving his opponents in the dark. Dummy’s Q was a welcome asset when South led the J but on a diamond lead, it would have been a different story. This hand is a fine example of the young Americans’ approach, we think: bid what you think you can make and leave the hard work (finding the killing diamond lead, for example) to your opponents. Eleven tricks, +460 to USA Blue and their first 8 IMPs. In the other match, the unnamed (?) local heroes took the lead:

Closed Room

WestNorthEastSouth
MolenaarImamogluVerbeekSofu
  1♠Pass
2♣Pass2Pass
3♣Pass4♣Pass
5♣All pass   

On a diamond lead and continuation, Molenaar is an entry short to both establish the spades and enjoy them too. One down, Noname +50.

Open Room

WestNorthEastSouth
OzerDrijverSerdarMichielsen
  1♠Pass
3♣Pass3NTAll pass

After Ozer’s invitational 3♣, Serdar, like Chiu in our other match, makes the practical bid of 3NT. Michielsen could not possibly find the diamond lead either, so she too led the J. When dummy’s Queen held the trick, Serdar quickly had 11 tricks. Noname +460 and 11 IMPs a very useful start indeed. Bidding aggressively apparently is the issue in these matches; doubled and undoubled undertricks, preferably vulnerable, can be seen everywhere. Even +800 need not be a winning score…so the players at the table could not possibly have had any correct idea about the running score in their match. Maybe, talented young players should be trained to play rubber bridge for money; too shaded overcalls and sub-standard pre-empts will disappear very quickly, we would think. Look at board 5, for example:

Board: 5. Dlr: North/NS
 ♠ K 7 6 5 3 2
9 8 5
-
♣ A Q 9 8

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

West can make 6 but neither table comes anywhere near:

Open Room

WestNorthEastSouth
OzerDrijverSerdarMichielsen
 2Pass2♠
DbleAll pass   

A nice Multi in shape but a shaky suit. Marion Michielsen gets the unpleasant job of trying to restrict the number of undertricks. She ruffs the opening lead of the A and plays a heart. A diamond comes back, ruffed again and another heart, ruffed by East to prevent West from being sort of endplayed. ♠A and another spade now makes it an easy down three. Noname +800.

Closed Room

WestNorthEastSouth
MolenaarImamogluVerbeekSofu
 Pass1Pass
1NT2♠PassPass
DbleAll pass   

North has the good sense to pass as dealer but he cannot resist temptation at his second attempt, even less so as 1NT was explained as game-forcing. Molenaar doubles for take-out and Verbeek is happy to sit, so no slam here either. East is on lead here and produces the ♣J into declarer’s tenace. Declarer wins the ♣Q, cashes the ♣A and exits in clubs on which East discards a very clear Q. The defence can now play diamonds every time so declarer loses four trump tricks and three hearts for down three and…a flat board. Ouff! In the other match, there also was no slam, though the Americans came close to it, and no swing. Neither EW pair even bothered to defend 1♠, of course.

Open Room

WestNorthEastSouth
DoxiadisLallKontomitrosFournier
 1♠PassPass
DblePass2NTPass
3NTAll pass   

Closed Room
WestNorthEastSouth
FayDarkadakisChiuRoussos
 PassPassPass
11♠2♠Pass
4♠Pass5All pass

On the next board, however, there was a swing when the American approach failed, for a change:

Board: 6. Dlr: East/EW
 ♠ Q 4 3 2
J 9 6 5 3 2
6 3
♣ 9

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

Open Room
WestNorthEastSouth
DoxiadisLallKontomitrosFournier
  Pass1♣
Pass1Pass2
Pass2Pass2NT
Pass3Pass3NT
All pass    

This type of North hand does not look very suitable for a Strong Club system. You have to sign-off first and then show your suit, so you easily get far too high… On a club lead, declarer went 250 down.

Closed Room

WestNorthEastSouth
FayDarkadakisChiuRoussos
  Pass1
All pass    

The Greeks follow exactly the opposite approach. This time, it worked well as eight tricks were easy. Greecoura another +90 and 8 IMPs back to take over the lead: 10-8 to them at this point.

Board: 8. Dlr: West/None
  ♠ K 8 7
K Q J 7 4
9 6 5 4
♣ 7

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

Closed Room
WestNorthEastSouth
MolenaarImamogluVerbeekSofu
11Dble2
DblePass3Dble
PassPassRedblePass
3♠Pass3NTAll pass

This was an interesting auction. East’s double showed four spades and West’s double showed three. South’s double discouraged a heart lead. After all, EW get just enough room to investigate if 3NT was a possibility and thus, that’s the place where it all ends for them. Nine tricks, NL Red +400.

Open Room

WestNorthEastSouth
OzerDrijverSerdarMichielsen
11Dble3
PassPassDblePass
4Pass5All pass

After Michielsen’s jump to 3, EW no longer dare to bid 3NT. With the clubs 4-1, their alternative game contract proved one too high at the table, though double-dummy, you might just make it. NL Red another +100 and 11 IMPs back. And the Dutch strike again, one board later:

Board: 9. Dlr: North/EW
 ♠ K J 9 3 2
7 6
8 4 3
♣ 10 9 2

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

Closed Room
WestNorthEastSouth
MolenaarImamogluVerbeekSofu
 Pass11♠
4♣4♠4NTPass
5♣Pass6All pass

Molenaar’s 4♣ fitbid did the job for the Dutch. Verbeek now has every reason to launch RKC and the excellent slam is duly reached: NL Red +1430.

Open Room

WestNorthEastSouth
OzerDrijverSerdarMichielsen
 Pass11♠
24♠DbleAll pass

When Ozer just bid 2 rather than 4♣, Serdar had far less info available when Drijver raised the pre-empt. So 4♠ doubled is the final contract. It cost the Dutch -800 but they gained 12 IMPs in the process to take the lead for the first time in the match: 24-19. In the other match, a variety of pre-empts:

Open Room

WestNorthEastSouth
DoxiadisLallKontomitrosFournier
 Pass11♠
2♣4♠DbleAll pass

Doxiadi’s slow approach does not work at all. Greecoura +800.

Closed Room

WestNorthEastSouth
FayDarkadakisChiuRoussos
 Pass11♠
2♠4♠5Pass
Pass5♠DbleAll pass

Darkadakis bids one more for the road when his opponents are willing to stop in 5. Roussos thus went down five for -1100, the extra undertrick being worth 7 IMPs to USA Blue who thus regain the lead: 16-10. The next board is a partscore swing to USA Blue and then, the slow approach is beaten again by the fast approach:
Board: 11. Dlr: South/None
 ♠ A K Q J 6 2
J 10
K J 8
♣ 6 2

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

Open Room
WestNorthEastSouth
DoxiadisLallKontomitrosFournier
   Pass
Pass1♠3♣Dble
Pass4♠All pass  

What’s the problem? USA Blue +450.

Closed Room

WestNorthEastSouth
FayDarkadakisChiuRoussos
   Pass
Pass1♠3♣3
Pass3♠All pass  

Well, you might be content with bidding just 3♠. Or would you? Greecoura +200 but 6 more IMPs to USA Blue whose lead goes up to 27-10. The halftime score in their match was 30-11.

On the pre-last board of the segment, the Dutch increase their lead:

Board: 13. Dlr: North/All
 ♠ J 8 5
K 8 4 2
A Q
♣ Q 5 3 2

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

Closed Room
WestNorthEastSouth
MolenaarImamogluVerbeekSofu
 1♣1♠Pass
2Pass2NTPass
3NTAll pass   

2 by West showed diamonds. The contract is far too high but when South led the J, there suddenly was an extra heart stopper as well as an extra trick. Declarer won the Ace and ducked a diamond to North’s Queen. Hearts came back, dummy winning the Queen and next, the ♣10 was successfully run. After cashing four club tricks, declarer crossed to the ♠A and led another low diamond to ensure his 8th trick. One down, Noname +100. Fireworks in the Open Room:

Open Room

WestNorthEastSouth
OzerDrijverSerdarMichielsen
 1♣1♠Pass
2Pass2NTPass
3NTPassPassDble
All pass    

Seeing the suits behaving badly, Marion Michielsen doubled the final contract. She too led the J, covered all round. At this table too, declarer ducked a diamond to North but Drijver now found the logical return (in view of the double) of the ♠8. Declarer next led a diamond off dummy, felling North’s Ace but the defenders could simply cash out for down two. NL Red +500 and a very useful 9 IMPs to lead 35-26 at halftime.



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