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August 24, 2019 In the third round of the U 26 Open Category Australia faced Croatia.
At one of the tables AUSTRALIA: Matthew SMITH (Australia)  Jamie THOMPSON (Australia) sitting N/S faced CROATIA: Matko FERENCA (Croatia)Viktor LESKOVAR (Croatia) sitting E/W. At the other AUSTRALIA: Renee COOPER (Australia)Andrew SPOONER (Australia); faced CROATIA: Emanuel EVACIC (Croatia)Ivan BILUSIC (Croatia) Board 17 produced the first significant swing, when Smith-Thompson managed to stop before slam, after Smith invitation while at the other table the Croatians arrived to the impossible slam.

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Board 17
N/S=Evacic-Bilusic E/W=Cooper-Spooner
After Thompson (AUS) 1opening bid, and Smith 2response, North continued with a slam interest call showing his club void, Smith continued telling his partner about his diamond honour but Ferenca’s (CRO) double helped North to pass. After East’s Pass, Smith (AUS) 4ended the bidding. Declarer made 11 tricks, although exactly the same that in the other table he received 11 IMPs as reward. Board 21 generated the next 9 IMPs swing of the match.

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N/S=Evacic-Bilusic E/W=Cooper-Spooner
After Thompson’s 1NT opening bid, Leskovar (CRO) showed his long clubs with 3that ended the bidding. Finally he was 4 down. At the other table the bidding had the same start, but Spooner (AUS), after the player from Croatia pass, said 3which closed the bidding, with no problems the declarer made 9 tricks and added 9 IMPs for his team. Croatia added 6 IMPs in the board 22 and lost five of them in the next board, but recuperated 2 IMPs in the last board of the match:

The match ended Australia: 25 – Croatia: 8

At the end of the round Australia was leading the RR, these were the three first positions:
Final Rankings
Rank Team VPs
2 NATT 41.80

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