Against Israel we lost 24-6, with several key swings on hands that could have gone the other way.
This was one bright spot that saved a few VPs:
Alex Roberts was North and reached 4 after a heavy weak two 3rd in hand and a deceptive 2NT enquiry by Shivam.
East led the queen of clubs to the ace and the queen of spades was switched to, Alex winning the king.
Without a moment's thought he banged down the ace of trumps and dropped the singleton king offside. I tried to explain to him about finessing, but he has always struggled with card combinations. Worse was that he even claimed his line was "completely obvious" and that he had counted points and that the fact that west had failed to open the bidding told him where the king of trumps was! All nonsense of course, and he's lucky I don't put him on the first plane home. If it's one thing I can't stand it's people that do something clever — especially when it works! Ah well, it's better to be lucky than good. (I've heard some people say that sarcasm doesn't come across well in print — I trust that isn't the case here)
In the second match we played China who were rather unstable and our team showed great appreciation of what to do with a double fit in both rooms:
Game all, dealer North.
In the open room Toby opened 1 as North and East overcalled 2, and Michael sitting South bid 2NT to show a limit raise or better in hearts. West bid 3 presumably for the lead (4 would have been a fit jump and a more sensible bid) and Toby bid 3 to show his second suit, always a good plan in murky auctions. East bid 4NT (which on one side of the screen was blackwood and on the other was choice of games!) and Michael knowing of the double fit bid 5. West passed and East bid 6 converted to 6 which came back to Toby. What now? Partner hasn't doubled 6 so he will have values in spades, so it seemed safer to bid on, and 6 ended the auction and was one down.
This seems a shame as we had a chance of a plus score, but when you see things from the closed room you appreciate that taking out insurance is a sound policy.
This time Alex as East overcalled 3 weak and Shiv made a fit non jump of 4 over 3. North bid 4, East 5, and eventually Alex saved in 6 over 5. South doubled and cashed his ace, and north encouraged — two easy spade tricks to take.....
That was a painless 1540 in the plus column and 16 imps to England. "Thanks for coming lads, but we won't be seeing you in the knock outs" I felt like saying as China were disposed of.
Tomorrow we have an unstable Norway, solid boring France and rather loose Argentina, and we hope to make our qualification look more likely.