Sunday, 13 September 2009

England, Senior World Champions, reflection

A key to the success of the English Senior World Championship winning team was their excellent defence. Here is just one example which occured at a crucial stage of the final against Poland, just 8 boards from the end.

Final - Board 89 (of 96) Dealer N EW Vul

S K 9 8 4 3
H 2
D 8 3
C A 9 8 6 2
S A 10
H A Q 8 4 3
C K J 5 3
S Q J 7 5
H J 9
D Q 7 6 4 2
C 10 7
S 6 2
H K 10 7 6 5
D K 10 9 5
C Q 4

At this stage with eight boards to go England led by 12 imps.
In the other room England were in 4H after a 2S opening by the Polish north. This had no chance with the trumps 5-1, down 3 for 300 to Poland. In this room the Polish east got to 3NT after a 1S overcall by north. If this contract were to make the Poles would pick up 14 imps and take the lead, so it was vital to defeat it, one down would mean a loss of only 5 imps and England would still be in front by 7 imps.

Against 3NT Simpson (south) lead the S6, dummy played low and we saw the first good play when Price played low so that he didn't set up two spade winners in declarer's hand. Declarer now played DA DJ and Simpson won with his king. He exited with a spade, declarer winning it with the ace in dummy. Now declarer played a low heart to the jack and Simpson took it with the king and was on lead again. He returned the H10, pinning declarer's nine and putting the lead back in dummy. Declarer cashed dummy's ace and queen of Hearts, the tried lead the CK from dummy. Price (north) ducked this while Simpson (south) unblocked his club queen, and it was all over, the defence had control and communications, declarer could not avoid going one down. 5 imps to Poland which could so easily have been 14 on less sharp defence. In the final seven boards that followed this one, England picked up 23 imps and lost just 6, to run out match winners by 24 imps.

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