Our first objective has been achieved: we have made it out of the Swiss and into the ten team Round Robin. In our last three matches we beat Norway 43-27 (14.18 VPs) but then lost to Belgium 19-36 (5.61 VPs) and Bulgaria 42-51 (7.45 VPs). We go into Round Robin in 6th place with a carry forward of 9 VPs. A dramatic last day saw joint favourites France finish 11th and thus fail to qualify. Poland had led for most of the event but took their foot off the pedal and were overtaken by Norway. Belgium started the day in 11th place but had three good wins and climbed to third. Ireland got a swing on the last board and moved past Hungary and England into fourth place.
The nice thing about a Round Robin is that we now know who we are playing for each of the nine matches. We start the day with Ireland (whom we narrowly beat in the Swiss) and then face Poland (who beat us) and Hungary (against whom we drew).
I have been asked about the bidding sequence I mentioned yesterday. The deal was played against Ireland and the hands were:
K Q 8 6 4 3 A J
K 8 3 A Q
Q 10 6 A 8 7 4
9 A K J 4 2
And the full sequence was:
1S - 2C
2S - 3D
3NT - 7S
In 13 Senior matches, only one pair languished in game. Thirteen pairs were in 7S, eight (including Ireland) were in 6S and four were in 6NT. Against the 21 spade slams (including against David Price), six Norths led the D5. What's surprising about that? Well, North held K-5 doubleton! The only three declarers who went down in 7S had had the D5 lead. I was told at dinner that night that it is a fairly standard expert lead when the DA is known to be in dummy. I can't wait to try it out. Who says these blogs can't be educational?
The EBU doesn't pay for the travel and accommodation costs for the Senior team, nor for the NPC. I would like to thank Roger O'Shea and Pharon Independent Financial Advisers for their support. They also supply the smart shirts worn by the seniors - that's their logo you can see on our shirts in the team photo.