Monday, 11 June 2018

European Chamionships 2018, Ostend, Women's Teams, Day One

Where's the Garlic Bread?

As the reigning European champions, we began the 2018 campaign with high hopes.   Indeed, after a few boards, it was lookng like business as usual!

Board 2. Dealer East. N-S Vulnerable.
♠ Q J 9
9 4
K 7 3 2
♣ 6 5 4 2
♠ K 8 4 3
K Q 3
A 5 4
♣ T 9 3
Bridge deal ♠ T 7
6 5
Q J T 9 8 6
♣ Q 8 7
♠ A 6 5 2
A J T 8 7 2
♣ A K J

In our first match, Catherine Draper, noting the favourable vulnerability, opened 3D on the East cards.  This presented the Greek South with quite a problem.  She chose to make a take-out double, Gillian Fawcett passed and North, with no particularly attractive call, converted to penalties by passing as well.  The defence was slightly too active and Catherine emerged with 8 tricks for an enterprisng -100.   At the other table, the Greek East passed and Sally Brock was able to open 1H.   Fiona Brown responded 1NT and when Sally reversed into 2S, Fiona admitted to her doubleton in hearts by giving preference.   Sally raised to 4H and chalked up 620 for 11 IMPs to England.  We were off to a flyer!

Indeed, we ended up with a comfortable 15 - 5 victory.  Our next assignment was Estonia but luck eluded us as we suffered a heavy loss.   This was followed by a narrow defeat at the hands of the Serbians in our third and final Sunday encounter, leaving us in a lowly 18th place on 25.52 VPs out of 60, with Poland leading the way, boasting the handsome total of 47.33.

On Monday, we will meet some familiar adversaries; Spain, Italy, Germany and the Netherlands.  So we must rise to the challenge but there is still a long way to go and no need to panic.

Accordingly, at the end of play on Sunday we headed off into town to lick our wounds over dinner.   Although we enjoyed the food, much in keeping with our luck at the bridge table, we are still waiting for the garlic bread - just not our day!

Derek Patterson,

n.p.c. England Women

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