September 18, 2019
Board 15 Round 5 Bermuda Bowl (Monday 14.30), England vs Argentina
NS Vul Dealer South
England have started well in all competitions – after 5 rounds they were in the top four in all four formats. The unbeaten Open Team took on Argentina in the 5th round and in a close match they had surrendered their slender lead with two boards remaining. In the other room the Argentinian opened 1NT on the West cards and found himself declaring 4 after a Stayman- Smolen auction. The Natural 10 lead from North gave West an easy run to 12 tricks with sufficient entries to take two spade finesses and trump a spade in dummy.
Malinowski played 6 from the East cards. He’d elected to treat his hand as 5-5 (I think with his 1response) and 4confirmed as trumps and everything hinged on the lead or ?
A lead would defeat the slam. The lead had the attraction of possibly forcing declarer to a guess at trick one. Pejacsevic chose 5 and declarer now had an extra trick and an extra entry when he inserted Q at trick one. The extra trick seemed superfluous but it was to give declarer additional options in the end-game.
Malinowski ran 9 at trick two, losing to South’s Q who returned J to East’s K. Declarer opted to cash A and trump a (crossing to A and taking a second finesse is a simpler route to 12 tricks as the cards lie, but Malinowski was aware of his other options should the K not appear). South trumped the 3rd , forcing Q from dummy and now came the key play: Artur Malinowski cashed A, discarding a and played a off dummy to isolate South’s menace, setting the stage for a double squeeze.
Artur M reeled off his trumps, reaching this three-card ending:
Declarer’s final trump forced South to part with 7 and dummy’s could now be discarded having served its purpose. North, now squeezed, was forced to part with a to retain the K and declarer crossed to dummy’s A felling K & Q to set up J for his 12th trick and an 11 IMP swing. England had regained the lead in the match, remaining unbeaten as they moved from 3rd up to 2nd with many strong teams still to play.
Board 29 Round 6 Bermuda Bowl (Monday 17.30) (England-Russia)
Game All Dealer North
South’s 4bid kept his strength concealed with slam highly unlikely opposite a passed partner. The Cx8 lead went to East’s A and the Russian declarer failed to drop Q – a mandatory false-card, disguising which player held the singleton .
Forrester returned J – to show his re-entry. Robson trumped this and underled his A to Forrester’s Q and another left declarer unable to avoid the trump promotion. Trumping high, he hoped for a 2-2 trump break but was left ruing his play at trick one. In the Open Room I can only presume Jagger dropped Q as he landed the game. I saw Meckstroth do this in USA1 vs USA2 to give the defence a losing option: Lall (for USA2) cashed the K before playing the and the game could no longer be defeated.
Twelve more IMPS to England. The next board saw the Russians reach a marginal slam which was destined to fail with trumps 5-0 while Forrester-Robson wisely stopped in game. For the final board of the set you have to imagine you are Tony Forrester – a daunting prospect perhaps. If you really wish to imagine this a little further I would strongly advise you to read one of the most entertaining bridge books ever written: “Your Deal Mr Bond” by Philip King and his father Robert. Part of a series, this is a wonderful collection of three short stories. The hands are brilliant and the writing equally so – witty and clever, they raise the bar for bridge literature. And if you want to know how Tony Forrester came to be as good as he is, this book may solve the mystery.
Board 32 Round 6 Bermuda Bowl (Monday 17.30)
EW Vul Dealer West
You are East as Tony Forrester faced with this motley collection after this illuminating auction and you have to choose a lead.
1073 107642 A96 85
Forrester found A lead after relatively little thought, but he had been listening to the bidding. His partner was a passed hand, who had not doubled the 3bid and the opponents were interested in both majors (3was 5-card Stayman).
At Matchpoints the lead would be almost unthinkable, but at IMPS it hit the jackpot and another 11 IMPS. The lead was brilliant but South can take much of the blame: with a 4-3-3-3 14-count a straight 3NT bid would have undoubtedly resulted in a lead and 12 tricks. In the Open Room Jagger and Allerton found the superior 4contract. This contract might have been in jeopardy had the suit not been 3-3 but only if the defence start with three rounds of .
Here was the full deal:
England won the match 84-23 and bagged a deserved 20-0 to take them to the top of the leaderboard going into Day 3. England also lead the Mixed event and are placed second and fifth in the Ladies and the Seniors respectively. It’s been a strong start all round.
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