Thursday, 26 July 2012

U20 World Championships - part 2

Today we kicked off our campaign with highs and lows. Our opening gambit was to lose 14-14 (in victory points) to Canada. "Don't worry" said Shivam brightly, "we lost the first match in both Beijing and Phliadelphia and we went on to win the round robin by miles".

I pointed that unlike in Philadelphia and Beijing we were actually playing teams that could play bridge in the first match. The Canadians, while very pleasant, were still beginners, and their first effort was to sit down to play with a mobile phone in their pocket. Unluckily for them their table was one of the ones randomly drawn to be searched. That meant they started the match by losing 2VPs though sadly those weren't deposited in our direction. Subsequently initial scoring up revealed we had lost 17-13, but we had called the director and an adjustment in our favour resulted in 16-14, which became a 14-14 draw. (The opponents were initially going to appeal but subsequently backed down, thus maintaining my 100% appeals record in European and World Championships)

We then resumed battle with Italy and actually had some fortune in the slam zone. On the second board Italy bid a no play grand slam on a deal where the auction had tempoed out well for them to reach a small slam. At the other table Shivam and Alex had found it difficult to get beyond game after a 1H opening by the opponents, and were pleased to discover that was 13 in. The set continued in a similar vein at both tables and we ended with a solid 24-6. For the first time I can remember Alex and Shivam managed to right side a contract using their transfer responses to 1C, which resulted in a 4S contract being played the right way round. In the other room Freddie had led from xxx in a side suit through KQ10, Chris ducked with AJxx, and when Freddie got in with the ace of trumps another diamond wrapped up 2 tricks for the defence and a 4th round promoted a trump into the setting trick.

Match 3 saw us face Latvia who were a bit of an unknown quantity having started off by beating Israel and then losing heavily to China. This time we murdered them at both tables and a bit of overkill resulted in a win by 65imps (over 16 boards) and 25 VPs in the bag.

I have watched all three pairs for one set today and although I rarely understand anything they are doing, it does seem to be working. These two back to back hands amused me:

On board 11 Alex and Shivam played in 5DX, when the opponents were in with the ace of trumps they tried a "deceptive spade switch" from Kxx through AQ109x in dummy. ...

S J x
H A J x
D K J 9 8 7
C x x x
S A Q 10 9 x
H x
D Q 10 x x x
C x x

Alex ran this to his jack at something close to the speed of light and chalked up an overtrick.

Team-mates had made a painless +140 so 13 to the good guys.

On the very next hand the opponents doubled them again this time in 4S:

S Q J 10 x x
H J x x
C A K Q 10 x
S K 9 8 x x
H x x x
D 10 x
C J x x

The auction had seen the opponents bid up to 4H, so Alex was disappointed to find 3 hearts facing 3. The defence led two rounds of hearts then the strong hand switched to his singleton club. When he won the ace of trumps he attempted to cash the ace of diamonds, at which point Alex perked up a bit and claimed +790.

Chris and Freddie had done well on this board as well, Chris had led his singleton club (this time the void diamond was in dummy) and when in with the ace of trumps underled his ace of hearts to get a ruff to beat the contract, then cashed the hearts for two down and +500, and a gratifying 15 imps to the good. (Mind you 6D was pretty cold, but I'll take what I can get)

Tomorrow we face Poland, USA 1 and the well fed USA 2 team, all of whom are something of an unknown quantity.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you Maichael for your reports.
    It's nice to have some insights on the matches.
    Having had the privilege to coach Chris for the past few years, I am following this whole thing with unprecedented excitement.
    I would have never thought that I'd be happy to see Italy lose 24-6!!
    If they keep doing so well, hopefully we'll have some chances to watch them on BBO.

    Keep going guys!!