1st World Youth Congress Page 3 Bulletin 8 - Saturday 22 August 2009


The Pairs Final, session 1

by Kees Tammens

Yesterday afternoon the Final of the main pairs’ event got underway and we did not have to wait at all before the first fireworks could be seen. They had an Italian flavour:

Board: 1. Dlr: North/None
 ♠ J 10
Q 9 8 7 2
K 9 6 4
♣ 7 2

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

WestNorthEastSouth
PaparoVan LeeuwenFranchiBuijtenhek
 Pass1♣1
1♠22♠3
4Pass4♠Pass
4NTPass5Dble
5Pass6♣Dble
RedbleAll pass   

“In pard we trust,” is the motto of the NS pair, which basically is very good to see. However, every rule has its exceptions…EW +1380 and all the matchpoints. Please note the quiet 1st round overcall by South.

WestNorthEastSouth
GogomanWuSchulzHollands
 Pass1♣1
1♠3Pass4
4♠All pass   

The 1 overcall might well have worked out much better, as was shown at another table. West might have made a little more noise here, we think…EW +480 but just 15 matchpoints. Frank Visser, at yet another table, might have guided his opponents to slam when he took the bull by the horns immediately but he failed:

WestNorthEastSouth
SiderovStuurmanStephensVisser
  Pass 1♣5
5♠All pass   

1♣ showed 2+. As Visser said: “My idea was to bid 5 over the EW 4♠ so I might as well bid it immediately”. This caught Siderov in two minds: as 1♣ might as well have been a doubleton, he could not judge the potential of his hand. When Visser finally let go 5♠, NS were booked for the same good score as above: 37 mp. You would rarely let the opponents play a vulnerable game if you have a fit somewhere yourself:

Board: 3. Dlr: South/EW
 ♠ A K Q 5 4
6 3
10 9 8 2
♣ 9 5

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

WestNorthEastSouth
KoikeStuurmanMiuraVisser
    2♣
Pass2♠33♠
44♠PassPass
DbleAll pass   

2♣ was either strong or a weak two in ndiamonds. All players judged well on this board. Four Hearts makes easily. Against 4♠, East leads the A and then plays his spade. Declarer cashes a second top spade and then plays the topdiamonds. West ruffs the K and the defence next cash their remaining tricks so declarer is down three for -500 and earns a lot of the mp again, 33 in fact. A vulnerable save v. 3NT does not occur that often:

Board: 4. Dlr: West/All
 ♠ A K J 7 3 2
Q 10 4
K 10 8 7
♣ -

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

WestNorthEastSouth
Verbeek DrijverMichielsenStuurman
1♣1♠1NTPass
3NT4!DbleAll pass

Well, we, your reporters, feel we really are too old for this… EW give away a trick in defence but that does not make any difference as +1400 was already worth all the matchpoints. On the next board, we saw the week’s most familiar theme again:

Board: 5. Dlr: North/NS
 ♠ J 8 6 5
K 10 2
Q 8 7 6
♣ J 9

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

WestNorthEastSouth
MansoorStuurmanHussainVisser
  PassPass1
1♠22♠2NT
Pass44♠Pass
PassDbleAll Pass  

2NT was a general try and South’s pass over 4♠ was forcing. North leads a heart to South’s Ace and back comes a low diamond away from the Ace. Declarer’s King thus scores an unexpected trick (another Ace gone to bed, as they say) and it also offers him the possibility of a little cross-ruff. The end comes with down two, NS +300 and a very good score of 44 mp as 4 will probably go down on this layout. A slight defensive error gave declarer a chance he fully exploited on this one:

Board: 8. Dlr: West/None
 ♠ J 6 3
K J 10 6
J 9 6 5
♣ 3 2

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

WestNorthEastSouth
VisserDrijverStuurmanMolenaar
1♣ Pass1Pass
1Pass1♠Pass
1NTPass3NTAll Pass

The suits bid by EW do not have any relationship to the suits actually present in the bidder’s hand. 1♣ is 2+, 1 is relay, 1 shows a balanced 15-17 NT and 1♠ asks for anything interesting. All bids are alerted but Molenaar missed the alert of 1 as came to light in his defence. North leads a diamond to the King and the ♣9 runs to South’s King. A heart shift is mandatory now but here, South returns a spade to the eight, Jack and King. Declarer crossed in diamonds and led the ♣10, losing to the Queen this time. South now returns another spade to declarer’s ten. In the endgame, declarer finesses the J through North and when South, under some pressure, discards a spade, dummy’s fourth spade is promoted to trick 11. EW +460 was worth 52 mp. The TD later changed the score into a weighted score when it turned out that it was all too likely that Molenaar had indeed missed the apparently unclear alert. The dreaded board 13 struck again in this session too:

Board: 13. Dlr: North/All
 ♠ A
A Q 10 8 5
K
♣ A K J 9 6 4

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

WestNorthEastSouth
FournierGundogduLallErcan
 1♣Pass1♠
Pass2Pass2♠
Pass3Pass4
Pass4NTPass5♣
Pass6All pass  

As 1♣ was 2+, the club fit got under pressure so the best slam denomination was missed. On a diamond lead, declarer of course had to go one down for only 9 mp, not the score you would expect in a Junior event, where (too) high contracts are very common... A disappointing result thus was obtained by the young Americans who did not bid slam.

WestNorthEastSouth
DobrescuKaplanNistorShunta
 1♣Pass1
DbleRedblePassPass
1♠2Pass2♠
Pass3♣Pass3NT
All pass    

NS play Strong Club, which explains the bidding, at least partially. On the actual diamond layout, NS have a stopper in the suit but this does not yet matter as West leads a spade, East unblocking the Queen under dummy’s Ace. Next comes a heart to the…nine, so West wins a surprise Jack and cashes the A. When he continues the suit, declarer has the entries to test the clubs but when they don’t break, he can just take his nine tricks for an exact average score of 26 mp. Two boards later, Kopecky is one of the declarers to show their skill in 4♠:

Board: 15. Dlr: South/NS
  ♠ A J 10
J 3 2
10 8 7 6 4
♣ K 2

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

WestNorthEastSouth
KopeckyZmudaMacuraKrysa
   Pass
1♠Pass2♣*Pass
3♣Pass4♠All pass

* gf

Declarer won the diamond lead and crossed in hearts to lead a trump. North won the Ace and persisted with diamonds, so declarer ruffed and cashed the ♠K and another top heart before playing the ♣A. On the low club that came next, South went in with his ten but Kopecky ducked, thus bringing down the King from poor Justyna. When the hearts next broke 3-3, the 13th heart took care of the remaining club loser so the game was made for a very healthy +420 to EW and 41 mp.

Another two boards later, it was slam time again, or was it?

Board: 17. Dlr: North/None
 ♠ Q J 10 7 6 4 3
A Q 7 4
-
♣ Q J

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

WestNorthEastSouth
VaxAndreaAllonKilani
 1♠34
55Pass6♠
All pass    

Kilani rightly deduced from his partner’s bidding and his own spade holding that Andrea would have some useful red suit controls. So he simply bid slam at his next turn. Well done, +980 and 32 mp.

WestNorthEastSouth
SiderovHudsonStephensMarriott
 13Dble
44♠PassPass
5PassPassDble
All pass    

1 was Canapé-style, 10-15 hcp so spades was North’s longer suit. Assuming North’s pass over 5 was forcing, then what would have been South’s problem? Down three, +500 to NS which was enough to beat all those who missed slam but still scored only 8 mp. In the closing stages of the session, you can expect players to be tired and thus, you might see more bad decisions than earlier in the day. Take for example board 19:

Board: 19. Dlr: South/EW
 ♠ A 3
Q 10 6 5 4 3
9 8
♣ A 8 7

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

WestNorthEastSouth
OrtegaDamtyHantosErez
   1♠
Pass1NTPass2♣
Pass3Pass3NT
All pass    

At teams, South would definitely raise to 4 but pairs is a different game. East led a club to the Jack, King and Ace and declarer unblocked dummy’s top hearts, getting the bad news. With the A badly placed as well, declarer was only too happy to find out that this suit was blocked for the defence. Spade to the Ace and a spade to the Queen and King, getting more bad news. West returned a club which East ducked, so declarer won the trick and could only exit with a low diamond. East cashed his clubs but when declarer blocked the diamonds by playing the King, dummy got the last two heart tricks for down two. This was worth only 13 mp. If you play 2 over 1 game forcing and the 1NT response not forcing, you will end up in 1NT on this same deal. On the actual layout, you would have great trouble in finding your tricks:

WestNorthEastSouth
SigridVan LeeuwenJamillaBuytenhek
   1♠
Pass 1NT All Pass  

Once Sigrid Spangenberg decides not to bid 2 (you would not leave the opponents to play 1NT at matchpoints, would you), NS can no longer end up in 2 (or even 4), the best spots to be in. East leads a club to the Jack, King and Ace, the hearts are unblocked and the ♠A is followed by a spade to the Queen and King. So far the same line as above. Sigrid, however, shifts to a low diamond to the ten and King. Declarer exits in diamonds but Sigrid can overtake the 3rd diamond and cash her tricks in the suit before locking declarer in dummy with a spade. East thus gets two more club tricks and even 1NT has gone down one. This was worth just 22 mp for EW and 30 to NS as many NS pairs came far too high...

Board: 24. Dlr: West/None
 ♠ A 8
A Q J
A 9 8 5 4
♣ A 7 4

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

WestNorthEastSouth
GardinerEdgttonEtcheparebordaHoward
Pass11Pass
Pass1NTPass2♣
2DbleAll pass  

Well, 2♣ is a fine contract to defend for EW as NS are in the wrong strain. Due to the club distribution, an abundance of tricks is available in NT as well. Another question would be: “What happened to the spades?” It seems from here that 2♠ makes easily enough. Two Diamonds was not a success. It went two down for -300 and just 2 mp. The only NS pair to do better than +300 were Kaplan-Shunta but they had a misunderstanding:

WestNorthEastSouth
MichielsenKaplanVerbeekShunts
Pass1♣ Dble 1
1♠ 3NT All Pass  

Strong Club, the double showing majors and now, 1 is a maximum negative, 5-7 hcp.

This explains North’s jump to 3NT. After East’s spade lead, Kaplan looks at dummy’s cards with amazement. He had just explained to East that 1 showed 5-7 hcp and now, this is all he gets. “Of course, I bid on the 5-7 assumption,” he says to Tim. The layout is cruel for EW, however. The spade lead already cost a trick and a tempo, and now declarer can easily establish his clubs and thus the defence can get no more than two spades, a club and the K. Nine tricks and all the matchpoints. “These things happen in a pairs’event, once a session on average”, Tim Verbeek says after writing down a complete bottom in his personal scoresheet. He clearly did not like it at all, as the pair were doing quite well at that point. This was the last board of the session:

Board: 26. Dlr: East/All
 ♠ A K Q 4
A 10 5
9 7
♣ 10 9 6 3

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

WestNorthEastSouth
MansoorGogomanHussainSchulz
  1Pass
1♠Pass2Pass
4All pass   

If you play to ruff spades in East, you will probably make 4. About 15 pairs did so, we assume, as they scored 39 mp for their efforts.

On this same board, Michielsen-Verbeek did much better:

EW, playing Precision, reach 4 after North, Verbeek, overcalled 1♠ on his strong four-card suit. This leads declarer completely astray in the play, as we shall see. North leads the ♠A on which South plays the ten (!) and continues the ♠K, ruffed in dummy. Rather than running the ♠J, which would have worked as the suit is actually 4-3, declarer proceeds to cash the A and ruff a diamond. Only now, trumps are being attacked. North ducks the first round but wins the second round and simply returns a trump. Declarer next finesses the ♣J but when South wins her Queen, she produces a surprising 3rd spade to North’s ♠Q, so the contract is one down and NS score 39 MP.



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