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September 24,  2019

Bermuda Bowl: 4:50 am in Bs As, looking what match to watch by chance I entered to USA1-England and got surprised by the result, USA1 was in full recovery adding 76 IMPs vs the 13 IMPs added by England. Now the match that had started the day with USA 1 trailing England by 63 IMPs, was: USA 1 158 – England 160.

In an instant I remembered an article that I read in 2018: NICKELL Wins USBC By Bridgewinners, saying:

Team NICKELL held a 107-64 lead over LALL to start the final day of the USBC, and it extended its lead in the fifth segment. LALL stunned NICKELL with a 60-6 sixth segment and won the seventh 57-24 to lead by 31 with one segment to play.

In classic NICKELL fashion, however, NICKELL staged a comeback, winning the final set 66-24. 

And they did it again!!!

These were some of the boards that made the difference:

Board 1 (QF, 5/6)

Both tables arrived to the 4Spade Suit contract, in one of them Forrester (East) was the declarer  and Rodwell doubled the contract.

Meckstroth led theHeart Suit5, Rodwell won the first trick with his ace and returned the Diamond Suit5. Forrester contributed the Diamond Suit8, Meckstroth covered with his Diamond Suit9 and left his hand with a small trump. The declarer won in his hand with the Spade Suit9, and ruffed a diamond in dummy with the Spade SuitA. Cashed the Spade SuitK and continued with the club suit2.

Rodwell played the club suit5, Forrester chose to play theclub suit10 from his hand and could no longer win the contract. South won the trick with his club suitJ, and played another club to his partner’s club suit9, ace. Rodwell’s club suitK sealed the contract fate, one down and 11 IMPs for USA1, when Weinstein managed to make 10 tricks, playing the club suit2, to hisclub suit8 (after North’s club suit5) when he played club for the first time.

Board 3 (QF, 5/6)

Meckwell chose to play the spade game. Declarer lose two clubs and the trump king. At the other table Malinowski chose to play 3NT.

Levin led the club suitK, and after winning the trick and watching his partner’s club suit5, switched to a diamond. Malinowski won with his queen, and continued with the club suitJ winning the trick. Almost locked in his hand he decided to play the Spade Suit6, Levin played his small spade, and Weinstein won the trick with his Spade SuitJ to continue with a diamond to dummy’s ace.

The declarer left dummy with a spade, West played low and Malinowski chose to play the queen, now Levin appeared with his king and played another diamond. When he regained the hand with the club king he had a diamond trick for one down. 10 IMPs more for USA1.

Board 4 (QF, 5/6)

Robson opened his hand with 1Diamond Suit, Rodwell doubled, Forrester showed 5 or more spades, South doubled. After Robson’s jump to 5club suit, his partner decided not to correct and Rodwell doubled. Declarer only could make 7 tricks for -1100.

At the other table, Weinstein open his hand with 3Diamond Suit and  N/S ended playing 4Heart Suit. Levin found the Spade SuitA killing lead, after winning the first trick he continued with the Spade Suit9 spade (showing hisDiamond SuitJ?).

Weinstein ruffed and played a small diamond to his partner’s valet and was able to ruff another spade for one down. And 15 IMPs for USA 1.

Board 10 (QF, 5/6)

USA 1 was declarer in both tables and was down in both tables giving 12 IMPs to England.

Board 14 (QF, 5/6)

At both tables East opened with 4Spade Suit, and the lead decided the fate of the contract. Bakhshi after listening the 4Spade Suit opening bid decided to led the Heart SuitA, enabling declarer king and helping declarer to make 11 tricks.

At the other table Meckstroth led the club suit5. Forrester won with dummy’s ace, and played a small heart to his king, ace. At the end declarer had to lose two more hearts and the trump ace for one down, and 11 IMPs more for USA 1.

The set ended USA 1 76 – England 13.

As I finished to write this article, USA 1 ended the job winning the last set USA 1 25 to England 2 and getting his ticket for the semi finals…

It’s a kind of magic …

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