Join Bridge Winners
Bermuda Bowl QF6: USA1 vs BULGARIA
(Page of 8)

After 80 of 96 boards,USA 1 (Nickell, Katz; Levin, Weinstein; Meckstroth, Rodwell) ledBULGARIA(Damianova, Aronov;Stefanov, Nanev; Mihov, Karakolev),200-181. In the final segment, only Levin-Weinstein would be playing 2/1; the other three pairs would be playing some form of Precision Club.

Board 17 boiled down to a competitive partscore decision:

North
K10986
Q82
A1098
5
W
N
E
S
P
1
P
1
1
X
2
3
?

With both E-W pairs playing a strong club, the auction started the exact same way at both tables.

What would you bid?

North
K10986
Q82
A1098
5
W
N
E
S
P
1
P
1
1
X
2
3
?

This appears to be a classic Law of Total Tricks situation. It doesn't look like there are more than 17 total trumps, and in fact there were only 16. The Bulgarian in this position bid 3 anyway. The full deal:

West
32
AJ975
KJ7
Q107
North
K10986
Q82
A1098
5
East
QJ4
K43
Q62
AJ42
South
A75
106
543
K9863
W
N
E
S
P
1
P
1
1
X
2
3
3
P
P
P
D
17
3 North
NS: 0 EW: 0
3
6
A
2
0
0
1
7
10
Q
3
2
0
2
6
4
J
A
1
1
2
5
A
3
7
2
1
3
K
10
7
8
2
1
4
2
5
K
8
0
1
5
9
Q
4
6
1
2
5
7 tricks claimed
N/S -100
7

The poor trump quality of both major suits resulted in both contracts taking only 7 tricks. Since the Americans passed out 3 in the other room, they went +100 at both tables to win 5 IMPs and extend their lead to 24.

Both tables bid their way to a nice club slam on board 18:

West
KQ104
KQ9
Q543
109
North
A1032
J10
KJ87642
East
AJ532
8754
987
3
South
9876
J6
AK62
AQ5
W
N
E
S
 
P
1N
P
2
P
2
P
2N
P
3
P
3
X
4
P
6
P
P
P
D
18
6 North
NS: 0 EW: 0
A
6
4
2
1
1
0
J
7
A
3
3
2
0
6
Q
A
5
1
3
0
6
3
A
9
3
4
0
5
10
K
12 tricks claimed
N/S +1370
5

The Bulgarian auction is shown above. Apparently 3 was RKC for clubs and 4 showed 2 with the queen. At the other table, the Bulgarian East opened 2 showing at least 5-4 in the majors and 4-10 HCP. South doubled and West jumped to 3. North cue-bid 4, South rebid 4NT, and North bid 6. Slam made comfortably at both tables for a push.

Board 19 was a swing caused by system:

West
10962
8654
K74
54
North
J843
AQ32
53
K72
East
A7
J109
QJ10
AJ963
South
KQ5
K7
A9862
Q108
W
N
E
S
1NT
P
2
X
2
P
3NT
P
P
P
D
19
3NT South
NS: 0 EW: 0
4
2
9
10
3
1
0
Q
2
3
A
2
1
1
A
8
5
7
2
1
2
3
Q
7
K
1
2
2
3
J
A
4
3
3
2
K
4
2
9
3
4
2
7
5
A
10
1
5
2
Q
J
2
6
1
6
2
4
7
K
6
3
7
2
5
9
J
10
1
8
2
8 tricks claimed
N/S -50
10

The South hand was in range for 1NT for Levin-Weinstein and this led to a Stayman auction that was doubled for a club lead. This proved to be the killing lead, -50. In the other room, a Precision 1 opening by Bulgaria allowed N/S to investigate for a major-suit fit without bidding clubs. When N/S reached 3NT, West led a normal 2 to East's A. The defense then switched to diamonds, ducked twice. Declarer now had 9 tricks: +400 and 10 IMPs toBULGARIA, now trailing by 14.

On Board 20, playing Precision, both vulnerable, would you open a nebulous diamond with:

West
532
K6
AQJ97
1074
W
N
E
S
?

West
532
K6
AQJ97
1074
W
N
E
S
?

Rodwelldeemed it an opener and after a takeout double by LHO, quickly found himself in 4. Mihov passed and after LHO opened the bidding 1, his side competed to 3. The full hand:

West
532
K6
AQJ97
1074
North
AK87
QJ97
K62
J2
East
QJ964
102
83
AKQ5
South
10
A8543
1054
9863
W
N
E
S
P
1
1
X
2
X
3
P
3
P
P
P
D
20
3 East
NS: 0 EW: 0
4
A
6
3
0
0
1
2
7
J
10
2
0
2
2
A
6
Q
3
1
2
4
K
7
10
0
1
3
3
K
4
3
1
2
3
K
8
10
7
1
3
3
A
6
5
5
1
4
3
J
9
5
9
2
4
4
Q
8
J
8
2
4
5
A
3
4
2
2
4
6
9 tricks claimed
E/W +140
10

4 had three top losers and two finesse opportunities into the strong hand, so it was not a good contract. It was made even worse when trumps split 4-1. The Bulgarian defenders managed to set up hearts and force declarer to promote the 4th trump into a trick: down 2, -200. At the other table, the Americans also had a chance to execute the same type of defense but didn't visualize 10xx as an entry to dummy, so let the contract through: +140, and 8 more IMPs toBULGARIA, now trailing by 6.

The next board saw an interesting honor cover position (deal rotated for convenience):

West
6542
QJ76
Q2
K42
Dummy
AK7
952
A10965
J3
East
South
W
N
E
S
1
P
2
P
3NT
P
P
P
D
3NT South
NS: 0 EW: 0
6
2
10
K
3
1
0
J
2

After a strong club (16+ bal or 15+ unbal) and a positive denying a major led to 3NT, the 6 lead went to partner's 10 and declarer's K. At trick 2, declarer leads the J. Cover or duck? Does your answer change if you led a top heart at trick 1, won by the king?

West
6542
QJ76
Q2
K42
Dummy
AK7
952
A10965
J3
East
South
W
N
E
S
1
P
2
P
3NT
P
P
P
D
3NT South
NS: 0 EW: 0
6
2
10
K
3
1
0
J
2

Rodwell covered, and this proved necessary to hold an overtrick when declarer, marked with almost all the missing cards, did not hold the K. Karakolev ducked and the Americans won an extra IMP to extend their lead to 7.

Both Easts then picked up a rock-crusher:

East
KJ10
AQJ10842
A
AK
W
N
E
S
1
P
1
P
1
X
XX
P
P
1
2
P
?

Both tables opened a strong club and saw a weakness response. Meckstroth rebid just 1 and heard double (takeout of hearts), redouble (values in context), pass. He passed, LHO balanced 1, and partner pulled to 2. At the other table, Karakolev rebid 2 and heard double, 3, pass. What would you do in each situation?

East
KJ10
AQJ10842
A
AK
W
N
E
S
1
P
1
P
1
X
XX
P
P
1
2
P
?

Meckstroth kicked it into slam with a direct bid of 6; Karakolev went low with 4. When partner showed up with the Qxx and Kxx,USA 1picked up 13 IMPs to lead by 20.

On Board 23, declarer faced the following problem (rotated):

Dummy
QJ3
72
J6
AQJ953
South
A7642
AQJ54
7
102
W
N
E
S
P
1
2
2NT
P
3
3
4
P
P
P

The defense leads a top diamond (encouraged). LHO then switches to the 6, RHO plays the 8, and you win your jack. You lead a low spade from hand, LHO wins the K. He leads another top diamond, ruffed. Trumps break 2=3, and you can win the third round in either hand. How do you continue?

Dummy
QJ3
72
J6
AQJ953
South
A7642
AQJ54
7
102
W
N
E
S
P
1
2
2NT
P
3
3
4
P
P
P

Declarer chose to win the 3rd trump in dummy and take the heart finesse. Disaster! Stefanov, LHO, had found a heart shift at trick 2 with K6 doubleton. The K was also offside and declarer went down 1.

At the other table, the defense started with two top diamonds, ruffed. Again, a low spade was led to LHO's king. Obviously worried that the clubs were about to run, he shifted to the heart KING. This effectively ended the defense. 12 IMPs toBULGARIA.

Board 24 saw 1 IMP go to the Americans on a favorable opening lead caused by playing 4 from the opposite side as the other room. With 8 boards to go,USA 1led by 9 IMPs.

The next hand saw both Easts open 1NT (14-16) and decide how high to go after partner showed 5 spades and invitational values:

East
A102
Q973
J865
AK

At unfavorable vul, after opening 1NT, Karakolev heard partner transfer him to spades and rebid 2NT, presumably invitational and balanced. What call would you make?

Meckstroth heard partner bid 2 Stayman, RHO overcall 2, and over his 2 rebid, partner rebid 2, presumably showing 5 spades with invitational values. What call would you make?

East
A102
Q973
J865
AK

Over 2NT, Karakolev jumped to game in spades. Meckstroth, facing a 2 invite, reinvited with 3. Rodwell, looking at 5 bad trumps and two little diamonds, declined. At his table, with a diamond lead-director, game had no play on a diamond lead: the defense quickly cashed AK and still had two guaranteed trump winners, +140.

At the table where 4 was actually bid, declarer got a club lead, which gave hope that he could pitch a losing diamond (dummy had xxxxx AK xx Qxxx). He succeeded but the distribution was foul and the defense was able to set up a third trump trick when ruffing in on the run of winners. -100, and 6 IMPs toUSA 1, now up 15.

Board 26 saw 5 IMPs swing back toBULGARIA when the Bulgarian dealer opened a weak 2 on AKJ84 and out (5422). 2nd seat doubled with 11 HCP with a singleton heart, inducing advancer to bid 4 with a balanced 8 HCP and 5 small spades. The contract had no play as the cards lay: down 1. At the other table, dealer passed and 2nd seat was able to open 1 Precision, so 4 wasn't in the picture. They defended 3, down 1 as well, for +100 in both rooms and 5 IMPs back toBULGARIA,now down 10.

The next board was a declarer play problem in 3NT (rotated):

Dummy
32
AK932
Q1053
92
South
AK95
QJ
AK
Q8743
W
N
E
S
1
2
3
P
3NT
P
P
P

At one table, declarer had an uncontested auction to 3NT after a 2NT opening. The lead was aRusinowJ, won in hand. Declarer unblocked diamonds, and LHO discarded a heart. He then played two rounds of hearts, LHO discarding a spade on the second round, thus marking him with exactly 2 hearts and 1 diamond. How would you continue?

At the other table (auction shown), LHO showed a weak two in spades. The defense here started with 6 (attitude leads) to the king and a heart back, won in hand with the J. Like the other table, declarer unblocked the diamonds and ledthe Q, but LHO at this table pitched a spade on the second diamond, and followed to the first two rounds of hearts. How would you continue?

Dummy
32
AK932
Q1053
92
South
AK95
QJ
AK
Q8743
W
N
E
S
1
2
3
P
3NT
P
P
P

On the table where the defense led a club, Mihov overtook the second heart, cashed the third heart winner, and exited with a club, stranding his diamond winner in dummy. RHO was forced to win with his AK doubleton. He could cash one heart winner, but could not attack diamonds from his side. On the spade return, declarer was now in control, conceding one more club to establish his hand and make 9 tricks, +400.

The American declarer did not know about the fortuitous club situation, so he overtook the second heart and cashed his Q, trying to salvage undertricks. This set up plenty of diamond winners for RHO, down 1: -50, 10 IMPs toBULGARIA, tying the match with 6 boards to go.

After two pushes in game, both tables took a neither vul save in 4 over 4. The Americans had jumped directly to 4 with long hearts, so Nanev correctly guessed to endplay the long heart hand to go down 2, -300. At the other table, the Bulgarians doubled and bid 4, which may have induced declarer to play for a different layout. Whatever the reason, declarer wentdown 3, -500 and 5 IMPS toBULGARIA, in the lead by 5 with 2 boards to go.

The penultimate board was a push in 3 down 2, so it would all come down to the last board:

West
AJ106
9
Q9532
1043
North
Q8542
KQ107
1087
5
East
K3
842
AKJ4
KJ98
South
97
AJ653
6
AQ762
W
N
E
S
1
P
2
P
2
P
3
P
3
P
4
P
5
P
P
P
D
32
5 West
NS: 0 EW: 0
K
2
3
9
1
1
0
7
4
J
2
0
1
1
3
7
A
6
2
1
2
K
5
5
8
2
1
3
4
6
Q
10
0
1
4
3
5
8
Q
3
2
4
10 tricks claimed
E/W -100
6

Against Levin/Weinstein, Bulgaria stole the pot by opening the West hand with 1. (Apparently West was swinging, thinking he was behind.) The ensuing auction kept the Americans out of the auction and the Bulgarians bid to5, down 1, -100. Meckwell would need to score +70 or more to win the match (they held the tiebreak from winning the RR match). However, the Bulgarian N/S managed to find their heart fit and reach 4. There are 10 tricks on any lead by taking the club finesse and ruffing 2 clubs in dummy, so +420 actually sent 8 more IMPs toBULGARIA, which won the match by 13.

Congratulations to both teams on an exciting and close match!

30 Comments
Getting Comments... loading...
.

Bottom Home Top