Tuesday, 17 September 2019

World Championships Updates - England Mixed Team captain's reports - Day 2 (Paul Barden)

Day Two, Monday 16th September

Our morning match was against Morocco, who played very poorly. At the table I was watching, the man reacted by berating his partner in French, rather improperly extending his remarks into the next board. But never mind, we have enough French between us to get the gist, which was doing us no harm. We won 82-1, and they were lucky to get one.

Next we played Italy, another team we've finished just above in the Europeans. We won two game swings by making more effective opening leads against 3NT contracts, and had a big lead when this board came up near the end: here. After opening 1NT you play in 6H from the short side on a club lead. You win and run S9 to the Q, and a diamond comes back. It's easy to see what works, but what's the percentage line? I'll leave that as an exercise for the interested reader, but the chosen line wasn't the working one, and some IMPs went away. We still won 44-19, and with USA1 losing to China, took the lead in the event.

Our third match was against India, who were in the bottom quarter of the table. They took an inspired view to bid five over five on an early board, making game while we took a small penalty, and we struggled to win IMPs. But then they missed a vulnerable game which could have been defeated on a bad lie, but wasn't, and we scraped a 23-all draw.

We're in the lead overnight. That doesn't mean very much so early in the event, but it's still the best position to be in.


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