Orlando, Monday, 24th September 2018

Source: http://championships.worldbridge.org/orlandows18-files/bulletins/Bul_04.pdf

At the end of the Swiss qualifying for the knockout phase of the Open Teams, Team CONNECTOR, with players from Poland and Lithuania, were on top, about 5 victory points ahead of second.

Brent Manley
Brent Manley

For the opening match in the KO, CONNECTOR chose the team that had qualified 56th out of 64 teams that made it to the knockouts. The foursome, calling themselves JJMaxRod, features Americans Jim and Judy Fox plus two players from Argentina: Maximo Crusizio and Rodrigo Garcia Da Rosa.

Connector is composed of Oleg Bestrzynski, Piotr Nawrocki, Piotr Wiankowski and captain Cezary Serek, all of Poland. The rest of the team is Boguslaw Gierulski and Jerzy Skrzypczak, of Lithuania.

Halfway through the 14-board first session, CONNECTOR was leading 15-6, but over the next three boards, JJMaxRod outscored the top qualifiers 31-0 to take the lead. The set ended with JJMaxRod ahead 39-17. Two boards contributed to the charge by the underdogs. This was the first:

Board 8 Dealer West. None Vul

K 7 6 3 2
Q 3
Q 5 2
8 3 2
J 8 5
A K 8 7 4
A 6 3
9 4
A
10 5
K J 10 8 4
A K J 10 5
Q 10 9 4
J 9 6 2
9 7
Q 7 6
West North East South
Jim Fox Gierulski Judy Fox Skrzypczak
1 Pass 2 Pass
3 Pass 4NT Pass
5 Pass Pass Pass

Skrzypczak started with the 10, taken by Judy perforce with the ace. She cashed the A and K, ruffing the third round as the queen appeared. From there she played the A and a diamond to the 10 and was soon claiming all the tricks for plus 440. At the other table:

West North East South
Nawrocki Da Rosa Wiankowski Crusizio
1 Pass 2 Pass
2 Pass 3 Pass
3 Pass 3 Pass
3NT Pass Pass Pass

Da Rosa started with the 2, taken by Wiankowski with the ace, South unblocking the 10. Apparently attempting to combine his chances in the minor suits, Wiankowski cashed the K, then played a diamond to the ace. When the queen did not fall, he ran the 9 to South’s queen. The defenders then had four spade tricks to go with the two minor-suit queens for two down and minus 100. That was 11 IMPs to JJMaxRod. Two boards later, there was more bad news for CONNECTOR.

Board 10 Dealer East. All Vul


K 7 6 3 2
K Q j 4
9 5 4 2
A K J 10 8 7 6 2
9
10 7
7 3
9 4
Q J 8
9 6 3 2
Q J 10 6
Q 5 3
A 10 5 4
A 8 5
A K 8
West North East South
Jim Fox Gierulski Judy Fox Skrzypczak
Pass 1NT
Dbl1 32 Pass 3NT
Pass Pass Pass

1- Dbl Alerted but not explained,according to theVugraph operator.

2- 3 Invitational transfer to hearts

The deal would have worked out much better had Skrzypczak accepted the transfer (11 tricks are relatively easy). It appears 3NT was meant as a kind of super-accept in hearts that was misunderstood by North. Jim Fox started with the A, switching at trick two to a low diamond.

Skrzypczak won in hand, played a heart to West’s 9 and dummy’s king, hoping to establish hearts without letting East in. That was not possible,so one down was inevitable for Skrzypczak. It was bad enough that N/S went minus 100 on a deal that should have produced plus 1430. The result at the other table made it worse.

West North East South
Nawrocki Da Rosa Wiankowski Crusizio
Pass 1
4 4NT Pass 5NT
Pass 6 Pass Pass
Pass

Nawrocki led the K, ruffed in dummy, and Crusizio called for a low club at trick two, inserting the 8 when Wiankowski followed with the 6. Crusizio continued with a spade ruff, a diamond to his ace and a third spade ruff, East mistakenly pitching a diamond rather than over-ruffing.

A low heart from dummy went to the jack and declarer’s Ace. The A and K followed and Crusizio then played diamonds until Wiankowski ruffed with the master trump and exited with a heart to declarer’s 10.That was plus 1370 for JJMaxRod and a 16-IMP swing. The CONNECTOR story does have a happy ending for them. They won the match 92-85.

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