The Channel Trophy is a yearly encounter between the youth teams of France, Belgium, England and the Netherlands (four countries situated geographical around the Channel).

KeesTammens
KeesTammens

It started with a tournament for juniors in 1985. In 1996 also the U-20 teams came in and from 2007 the girls-juniors got their Channel Trophy. At 14-15-16 December 2018 president Didier Cuisinier of bridge club Lille welcomed the participating teams in a great venue, high above the police station in Lille, for the 34-th edition of this special youth event.

Three days in a row the very kind ladies and gentlemen, all members of bridge club Lille, took with great enthusiasm care of the boys and girls as well as their coaches. Fréderic Lacroix, youth official of FFB, did a smooth job as the technical organiser on site. To be brief and accurate: France came, looked and won in all three categories.

Congratulations! to the French juniors, girls and schools teams with their excellent performances.

Julien Bernard (Fr) found an excellent defence to defeat a 4-game contract.

Dealer North. Neither Vul

A K Q J 3

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

Julien as West led his singleton 2 and declarer took A. A followed by K and Q to dispose of the two clubs from South. An interesting moment; diamond from dummy to K, or J and see what happens?

Julien Bernard
Julien Bernard

The latter being the winning move: East ruffs with 10 and South over ruffs with J and plays A and Q for a loss of one trump trick and two diamonds. In real life declarer played a diamond to K; West won A and crossed to Q in East who played K. Declarer ruffed with 9 and west rightfully discarded an diamond. A and Q for K in West who produced his last spade and saw East upper cutting with 10 and so promoting 8 in West for down one.

Sam Bahbout (Belgium) already made his appearance in the Belgian Open team and surprised everybody with a spectacular play:

Dealer South All Vul

K 5 4 3
J 8
K 7 5
A 10 5 3



 


A Q J 7
A 10 6 5
8 4
K Q 4
West North East South
1NT
2 Dbl Pass 2
Pass 4 End

West led K and declarer Sam took A, cashed A where West contributed 10. How do you proceed as declarer?

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

In the third thick, Sam played a heart for Q in west. Q followed, covered with K and A. East returned 10 , West over took with J and played a heart. Declarer ruffed in dummy with K. A small spade form North, East 6 and a diabolical successful finesse with 7 for ten tricks.

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