Tuesday, 31 July 2012

U20 World Championships - part 7

So we have just qualified for the quarter finals of the World Championships, and in the end it was quite close.

Our team scored 15-15 and 15-15 with Singapore and Japan, but as it turned out even two huge wins would not have been enough to come in 4th place as the other results didn't go our way.

It was worth noting that Italy (who we beat 24-6) and China (who we beat 16-14) were just behind us in joint 8th/9th, so both of those results were crucial.

This was one bright spot from the final match against Japan:

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

You bid to 6H after South has opened 1D and North has raised pre-emptively to 3D.

What now?

As usual the thing to look out for when you have a huge fit and shortages is an end-play. The Japanese declarer started well by ruffing clubs and diamonds and drawing trumps (1-1) leaving himself with just the spade suit to sort out.

He eventually tried a spade off the dummy and Chris (sitting north) played the ten — what now?

Thinking that South had short spades, something like 2-1-5-5 shape, he ducked hoping that the king would fall on the next round. Freddie now overtook the ten and played another and Chris claimed one off, having started with K109x in spades.

Rather than try and sneak a spade to the 8 declarer should have played ace and another putting up the queen, which gains when North has the king or when South has it doubleton. Nevertheless a good shot by declarer and goes to show the high standard of this event — as this was from the team that was bottom!!!

Tomorrow we face Poland who as European Gold Medallists are favourites for the event, but their bidding is notoriously unstable, and while they play the cards well so do my team. Alex as ever found a way to see the bright side of things when he pointed out that the advantage of beating Poland in the quarter finals rather than the final would be that we don't have to hear the Polish National anthem at the closing ceremony!

We shall see....

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