The Channel Trophy is a tournament with four countries (England, Belgium, France and the Netherlands) situated more or less along the Channel, which divides Great Britain and the main land of Europe. The venue switches yearly between these four countries. Great memories rise to the surface; the third edition in December 1990 was my first Channel Trophy as coach of the Dutch juniors.

KeesTammens
KeesTammens

Some years later the Youngsters joined and again a decade after that the Girls entered. So eventually there are now in every edition three Channel Trophy’s at stake. Belgium (in the beautiful town of Leuven) hosted the 30th birthday of this small but ever so fine event. Grateful to BBO some interesting boards drew my attention. Join these problems and give your solutions.

A) Dealer North Neither Vul

West North East South
2NT Pass 3*
Pass 3** Pass 4
Pass Pass Pass
  • 3 Puppet Stayman
  • 3 5 cards

What do you lead as East from 10 5 2 K 9 8 Q 6 K 9 6 4 2 ?

B) As West you pick up a nice collection: A 7 5 4 A K J 9 3 A K Q 2

West North East South
Pass 2 Pass
2NT Pass 3 Pass
?

To your surprise partner opens 2(4+and 4+, 5-11 HCP). You relay with 2NT and 3shows 54, What is your next bid?

C) Dealer North E/W Vul

J 9 7 5
A 8 6 4
7 4
J 10 6
A 10 6
K 9 5 2
A K 6
K Q

You face a play problem in 4by South after the lead of 5 for A in East. Which line of play do you choose as declarer?

Solutions:

A)

A 6
A Q 7 5 4
A J 5
A Q 8
Q 8 7 3
J 2
K 10 9 8 7
7 5
10 5 2
K 9 8
Q 6
K 9 6 4 2
K J 9 4
10 6 3
4 3 2
J 10 3

East, Dutch youngster Dieter Goudzwaard, found the imaginative lead of Q. Declarer took A (one time ducking could be a right move), played a spade to K and a heart for Q and K in East. The diamond return for K, a diamond ruff and waiting for K as the setting trick. +11 imps to the Dutch Youngsters when at the other table South with his fourtriplethree raised 2NT directly to 3NT which was easy (even 460) after a small club lead for J and a heart to Q.

B)

Q 8 6
10 6
Q J 10 9 7 4
8 5
A 7 5 4
A K J 8
3
A K Q 2
K J 9 3
Q 7 5 3 2

10 6 4 3
10 2
8 4
A K 8 6 5 2
J 9 7
West North East South
Pass 2 Pass
2NT Pass 3 Pass
6

West, Michel Schols, produced a practical 6. He was sure that even opposite a minimum and 54 slam must have some play. Of course declarer, Ricardo Westerbeek, produced the safety-play, eliminating trumps, diamonds and clubs before touching spades, assuring twelve tricks even with Q1082 in South.

At the other table after two passes South surprised his partner with a weak 2-opening bid that took away much bidding space and East-west rested in 4.

C)

J 9 7 5
A 8 6 4
7 4
J 10 6
K Q 8 4
Q 7
Q 10
8 5 4 3 2
3 2
J 10 3
J 9 8 5 3 2
A 7
A 10 6
K 9 5 2
A K 6
K Q 9

Declaring 4 first of all you had to drop carefully a club honour under A. East continues – in real live he did (if East shifts to a spade there is no story) – clubs for Q. Draw two times trumps and play A, K and ruff a diamond in dummy. Cash J and run J. If East ruffs J the same endplay follows.

Congratulations to the French Girls as well as the French Youngsters and the Dutch juniors for the victory in the Channel Trophy-2017. The rendez vous for the 31-st Channel Trophy will take place in France.