Friday, 15 June 2018

European Championships 2018, Ostend, Women's Teams, Day 5

Anyone for a Picnic ?

After another testing day's bridge and bearing in mind the shortage of garlic bread in Ostend, we decided to have a team picnic.   We had started the day with a good win against Norway but this was followed by a heavy defeat at the hands of the Danes.   We sorely needed a return to form against the Russians.  A game-swing to England on the following deal helped to make the food taste just that little bit better at the end of the day!

Board 2. Dealer East. N-S Vulnerable.
  ♠ K 8 7 6 2
A K 5
T 4 2
♣ A 6
♠ 9
Q 8 4
A K 9 3
♣ K 8 5 4 2
Bridge deal ♠ J 4 3
3 2
Q 8 7 6 5
♣ Q J 3
  ♠ A Q T 5
J T 9 7 6
♣ T 9 7
After two passes and constrained by her system, the Russian West opened 1D.  Nevena Senior overcalled 1S with the North cards, East raised pre-emptively to 3D and Heather Dhondy supported with 3S.  Although this bid did not imply much strength and despite the North hand being rather mundane, Nevena was able to infer Heather's diamond shortage from the opponent's energetic actions.   Accordingly, she raised to 4S, which she was able to make with some ease.   When the hand was replayed, the Russians missed game and we opened up an early lead.   In the end, we emerged with a comfortable victory and going into round 18 we are lying in sixth place.

Leading Positions After Round 17

1   SWEDEN 237.41
2   POLAND 222.64
3   NORWAY 212.63
4   DENMARK 207.91
5   FRANCE 197.29
6   ENGLAND 196.51
7   RUSSIA 188.02
8   SCOTLAND 185.21
9   TURKEY 178.34
10   ISRAEL 176.29
11   PORTUGAL 174.66
12   ESTONIA 173.33
13   NETHERLANDS 172.73

With six rounds left to play, we are 18 VPs ahead of ninth place, making qualification for the Venice Cup reasonably likely.  On the other hand, we are some 16 VPs off a medal position and so it is important to record victories in our matches against Scotland and Finland tomorrow.  

With Sweden sitting pretty at the top, if we are to win Gold and retain our title, a very big win against them in our third match tomorrow is absolutely essential.  Nevertheless, our picnic tonight was a huge success and we are licking our lips in anticipation of tomorrow's battles!

Derek :)

P.S.  the match against the Swedes is scheduled to be on BBO, which affords a fantastic opportunity to follow the team's fortunes, blow by blow, as the play unfolds.   On the other hand, it does mean that we will have to use those lifts again!

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