Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Ostend Open, Seven

Two tough matches to start with and we got 14 against Bulgaria and 12 against Italy. It's critical we score well tomorrow in our matches against Latvia, Switzerland and France.

You hold (against Italy):

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

It goes pass pass to you and you open 1H, next hand doubles and partner raises pre-emptively to 3H. The opponents bid 3S raised to 4S which is the final contract. It's your lead. David Gold earned 13 imps for England by leading the DK reasoning that a heart lead was unlikely to generate enough to beat the contract. Partner held S x x H 10 x x x D Q 10 x x C K x x so if declarer won the diamond a ruff was coming and if he ducked there were two diamond losers. Well worked out and 13 imps to England.

Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Ostend Open, Six

Today was the end of the first round robin and the open team qualified for the final stage. We start tomorrow in the final round robin keeping our scores against all the other qualfiers from, our group and playing the 9 qualifiers from the other group starting with Bulgaria then Italy. We start in 11th place and will need to move up to 7th to qualify for the Bermuda Bowl to be held next year.

Ostend Women, Six

Moving day it turned out to be -

We started with a narrow loss to Portugal 14-16 but followed it up with 23 & 25 v Finland and Hungary respectively.

We were in second overnight — the Netherlands still had a useful lead. First match today we played old adversaries the French who were hot on our tails. Sadly by the end of the match we were hot on theirs — they beat us 10-20. Next up were more old adversaries — this time the Italians — but this time we did come out on top, winning 19-11

The top 5 looks like this with one match to play today...
2 FRANCE 307
5 SWEDEN 298

Ostend Seniors, Three

The third day saw England playing three top teams and apart from a close match with France lost 20:10 to Sweden and Netherlands. Today there are two difficult matches, and then the competition eases. However, at 18th we are a long way from a qualifying place.

Against the Netherlands you hold an 0-6-6-1 with three Aces and the KQ of diamonds. The bidding reaches 6C, so do you double or bid 6D? England doubled and found the opposition with a diamond void in one hand and a hear void in the other. The Netherlands bid 6D only one off; huge swing.

England also missed a grand slam bid at the other table in the match v France, so not a lucky day!

Peter Baxter

Monday, 28 June 2010

Ostend Open, Five

Today, the penultimate day of qualifying was good for us as we took 22, 22 and 24 to all but guarantee a qualifying position. Tomorrow we end with two tough matches against Israel and Poland who are almost certain to qualify.

Ostend Seniors, Two

The second day of the Seniors championship saw them record two good wins against Israel and their old adversary Turkey before just losing to Sweden.

This enabled them to move up the field from their poor position on the first day.

Italy seem to be establishing an unassailable lead.

Peter Baxter

Sunday, 27 June 2010

Ostend Women, Five

We have had a good day today 43 out of a possible 50 - we beat Lebanon 25-4 and came back from a very bad start v Switzerland to record an 18-12 win.

In the overall ranking list we are back up to 6th but it is worth noting that positions 2-6 are covered by only 5 VPs. We are, however, quite well placed having played 4 of the other 6 in the top 7.

The Netherlands are the clear leaders - we play them on the last day, hopefully we will be in a position for that match to still be meaningful.

We have another three matches tomorrow where we are playing teams from the lower half of the ranking list - let's hope it is moving day, to coin a golfing phrase!

Ostend Open, Four

Not a great day with a heavy loss against Netherlands followed by a narrow loss against Luxembourg. We are still qualifying but we need some VP's tomorrow.

On the good side the Seniors after a poor start on Day 1 have perked up by winning the first two matches today.

Best image of the day was a large crane on the beach lifting people up and down in a large basket. When the basket had reached it's highest point you could see that on the bottom it said "Benji fun"

Saturday, 26 June 2010

Ostend Seniors, One

The England Seniors joined the European Championships in Ostend today, hoping to add the European Championship to go with their World Championship in Brazil.

The opening two match's against the Czech Republic and Austria did not go well with losses of 20:10 and 18:12 leaving the team next to bottom overall.

Tomorrow they play Israel, Turkey and Denmark not an easy day.

Peter Baxter

Ostend Open, Three

First of all an answer to the bidding question. At the table McIntosh bid 4C (normal in my view) and that went all pass and down 4. In the other room South bid 4D and it went pass pass and North went to put the bidding cards away but Justin was having none of that and doubled. The contract was not a success and went for 800. If you bid 3NT hoping to escape you might get lucky and have it passed out but probably not and that will result in a big penalty when you eventually come to rest. The advantage of bidding 4C is that you have a chance to move it to 4D if the double seems swift and confident.

Yesterday started with a narrow loss against Romania but then a chunky win against San Marino revived spirits. San Marino have been a bit hit and miss with some good wins and some big losses.

In the final match against Sweden the pairs in one room sat the wrong way. This could have been spotted by either pair concerned, either coach, either captain or the BBO operators but wasn't. Naturally the regulations don't cover this and the decision was a replay today which has just started and England are down after 10 boards of it. It maybe that a replay happened just because there is the time for this as today is only a one match day but also because it was on BBO. At all tables not on BBO there are large signs showing how the players sit and they are hard to miss. On BBO these are not visible from the table and the operators are also supposed to check.

It's not the only event for which the regulations are deficient. In an early match between Netherlands and Russia, two strong teams there were some fines meted out for slow play and there is now discussion as to whether this fine is carried forward to the second stage if either or both teams qualify.

Tomorrow sees England have a tough match vs Netherlands followed by an eaiser one and the bye then the last two days of qualifying have what looks like a relatively easy day but on the final day we end by playing Israle and Poland which is a tough finish.

Jeremy Dhondy

Ostend Women, Four

Only one match today, against Germany. A dramatic last two boards saw us go from 18-12 to 15-15 and finally 16-14 in our favour.

We are still well placed with tomorrow's matches against two of the teams nearer the foot of the table than the top; both teams, however, have given good accounts of themselves versus strong opposition and so nothing should be taken for granted.

Friday, 25 June 2010

Ostend Women, Three

After two matches we are now up to 5th courtesy of beating Greece 18-12 and Belgium 25-5. We are only 6VPs behind the leaders.

About to start Match 3 v Ireland, who incidentally have just beaten a strong fancied German team 19-11.

Thursday, 24 June 2010

Ostend Women, Two

Day two was not good for us - we did not have a good match against Russia and came out losing 8-22. The afternoon match v Belarus was a very tight affair that once again we came out on the wrong side of - although this time it was only 14-16. The early evening match against Croatia gave us a chance to steady the ship and this we managed with a 21-9 win.

We are currently lying 11th out of 28 but there is a lot to play for. Tomorrow we play Greece, then the home nation, Belgium and finally Ireland. A good day will see us right back in the hunt.

Ostend Open, Two

Day 2 was a significantly tougher day, with matches against three potential qualifiers. We ended Day 1 2nd in our group. So far on Day 2 so good. It's been quiet which means that Townsend-Gold can play a match or two without a brass band rehearsing in the next room. We won the first match against Spain 19-11. If you want to try for the team decide what action you would take on:

S 975
H 43
D Q1043
C 10965

You are vulnerable in 4th seat and it goes 3H — Dbl — Pass to you. Answer next blog (no cheating and looking it up on BBO).

The second match was against the fancied Russian team and we managed a narrow 4 IMP win including bringing home a grand slam on a finesse (no law against being lucky). Last match of the day is against Denmark just started. Ostend is basking in sunshine and it is not too hot to play bridge.

If you have nothing to do pop over.

Jeremy Dhondy

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Ostend Women, One

Hopefully you will have read about the Open team's first day and know that they have started well. The English Ladies have also begun in fine form. Their lot is a 28 team Round Robin which means 27 x 20-board matches. Our goal is obviously to get a medal; failing that, to finish in the top 6 to earn a place in the next Venice Cup.

We had a tough start against a competent Norwegian team — we managed to win that one 18-12. A nice homeland tussle against the Welsh followed — we dispatched them 20-10. We finished with another tough one — the Polish — we managed to sneak a 17-13 win against them.

All in all a very satisfactory start that leaves us lying third at the end of the first day.

Ostend Open, One

The Open series started today (Wed 23rd). There are so many countries that the field is divided into two groups. We will play every other team in our group and then the top 9 out of 19 qualify for the second and final round robin together with the top 9 in the other group. We will carry forward our entire score against all other qualifiers. Our first two matches were against teams from the lower half of our group. We beat Monaco 25-5 in our first match. We played them first in Pau in 2008 also but then lost 8-22. We then played Estonia in the second match winning 25-5 again to head our group at this early stage.

Jeremy Dhondy

European Championships 2010

The European Championships kick off in Ostend on Wednesday so good luck to all our teams. We'll keep you up to date with progress here throughout the event and you can also view a lot of the matches on Bridge Base.