1st World Youth Congress Page 2 Bulletin 8 - Saturday 22 August 2009

The Pairs’ Final, session 3

by Jos Jacobs

Halfway the Finals, Dutch Marion Michielsen and Tim Verbeek were leading the field. They did well in the 3rd session too and thus managed to hold on to their lead. The board below shows their fine judgement, even though it brought them only an average score.

Ten EW pairs were allowed to make 3NT though it is not easy to see where their tricks should come from. If South leads a spade or switches to the suit when he first gets the lead, 3NT looks to be in deep trouble… The leaders did not show any particular interest to reach game as this was the auction at their table:

Board: 7. Dlr: South/All
 ♠ Q 6 4
7 6 4 3
J 5 4 3
♣ J 9

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

PassPassDbleAll pass

When Verbeek doubled the opening bid of 1♣ in the balancing position, Michielsen had no trouble in converting this. North redoubled for SOS and Verbeek’s next double was intended for penalties. As Michielsen held a doubleton honour in the suit, she opted to defend this contract and led the ♠J. This ran to declarer’s King and a low club went to dummy’s nine and East’s King. Two rounds of trumps followed and declarer then played a diamond from dummy to West’s Ace. Only now it was time for hearts. Verbeek correctly overtook the third round and forced declarer’s last trump with his last top heart. West’s ♣Q thus became the setting trick for a magic +200 and exactly half the available matchpoints, far less than it should have been, I think. The other two boards to draw my attention were two slam hands. Here is the first.

Board: 14. Dlr: East/None
 ♠ 10 5 4
A 7
K J 7 5 4
♣ 9 8 3

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

4NTAll pass   

The clubs are breaking 3-2 so 12 tricks are easy, provided the defence have not established a diamond trick when they are given the A. Against West’s 4NT, North was on lead so all was well. Making 12 tricks was worth about average.

6NTAll pass   

The local pair Suzer-Taskin can certainly consider themselves unlucky when South could lead diamonds without giving away a successful guess or a trick. One down was worth 3 meagre mp. whereas making the slam would have scored 49. Another unlucky slam came by two boards later:

Board: 16. Dlr: West/EW
 ♠ Q 8 5
J 10 9 7 3
♣ K 7 5 3

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

DbleAll pass   

Siderov trusted his Polish opponents to such a degree that he decided to take the save. That was down three, -500 and only 10 mp to NS. The question, however, is: can slam be made? Let’s first ask Dennis Stuurman, who was allowed to try and make 12 tricks at another table:

55♠6All pass

South led the ♠A and continued a low club away from his Queen, which ran to Dennis’ eight. Dennis went on to draw three rounds of trumps, on which North, already squeezed, discarded his remaining spades. When next he discovered that the diamond nor the clubs broke even, he had to concede one down and could consider, he too, himself desperately unlucky. When I checked the results on the board, I noticed one 1430. Before I had found out where this number came from, the culprit entered our office and started to tell us a story. As she spoke in Dutch, we could very easily understand what had happened. This had been the auction:

PassPass6All pass

Of course, West’s pass of Five Spades was forcing, so Jamilla could bid the very good slam with some confidence. South led his top spades, Jamilla ruffing the second round. She went on to play the ♣A and ruffed a club, noting the fall of the Queen. Next came the A and a diamond ruffed high for general security reasons. When South did not follow suit, the entire distribution of the hand became clear: South was all too likely to hold 7-3-1-2. Jamilla continued accordingly: A and another diamond ruffed with the Jack, heart to the nine which held (of course), the last trump drawn and dummy’s diamonds were good. So here we definitely have the best played hand of the tournament, I think and probably also an official candidate for the best played hand of the year. Even if South plays any other card at trick 2, it is possible for declarer to change the order of tricks but still execute the plays necessary to find out the distribution of the hand, and thus the necessity of the heart finesse, in time. So I can only say: Extremely well done and a super bravo to Jamilla Spangenberg!

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