Join Bridge Winners
Michael Seamon Junior USBC (Part 1)
(Page of 5)

More than a month has passed since the conclusion of the JUSBC and I would like to publish my thoughts. First and foremost, many thanks must be given to Joe Stokes, Jan Martel, and Mackenzie Myers for making the event as smooth as possible. Furthermore, thanks to Michael Rosenberg and the USBF training mentors who have spent countless hours honing our bridge skills (special mention to Sylvia Shi who was our mentor for the months prior to trials). Of course, thanks to the supporters and parents who can make junior bridge feasible in the first place, and obviously to fellow juniors for making the event a treat to watch and to play in.

This article will focus mainly on the U21 portion of the JUSBC, mainly XIAO (Brent Xiao, Kevin Huang, Sarah Youngquist, Cornelius Duffie, Richard Jeng).

With 6 total teams, the two day Round Robin format consisted of 22 boards against every team, 11 boards each day, with 4 teams qualifying to the KO. After the conclusion of the RR, the standings were:

1. WAN

2. STEPHANI

3. XIAO

4. XU

WAN picked XU, and thus XIAO would play STEPHANI in the semifinals.

All the knockout matches consisted of 60 boards, no carryover.

I played with Cornelius Duffie the first set, since Sarah wanted to sleep in.

The first few boards were uneventful, and the first major swing came on Board 4:

 

Duffie
10652
QJ542
A
Q104
North
A83
3
Q542
AK876
Jeng
K9
A10976
J9863
5
South
QJ74
K8
K107
J932
W
N
E
S
P
1
1
X
4
P
P
X
P
P
P
D
4
4X East
NS: 0 EW: 0
7
A
2
6
0
0
1
10
K
5
3
1
1
1
3
K
4
2
2
1
2
3
10
2
5
0
1
3
4
A
6
J
2
1
4
8
K
4
4
0
1
5
Q
8
9
9
0
1
6
Q
3
A
8
2
1
7
11 tricks claimed
E/W +990
8

1 is generally unbalanced due to weak notrumps and after my simple overcall of 1, we landed in 4X.

After winning the 7 lead in dummy, I saw an opportunity for an interesting deceptive play that is in the same vein about a post I made nearly 7 years ago on BW. I lead the T off dummy, a play that can't really obstruct the tempo of the hand, while only having upside. Upon winning the K, North shifted to a low spade, and once my K held the trick, the contract was already assured. However, I saw no reason not to continue my early plan of setting up the Q and North is truly in a pickle, having to guess between Jx or x.

+990 opposite -620 gave 9 imps to XIAO.

After a partscore swing to XIAO, Board 8 helped to add some more imps.

West
1075
J1082
AK5
A63
Huang
AK864
A5
3
QJ1054
East
Q2
KQ7643
Q64
K8
Xiao
J93
9
J109872
972
W
N
E
S
1
1
X
2
P
4
X
P
P
P
D
8
4X North
NS: 0 EW: 0

Once East declined to bid a direct 2, Brent Xiao found a great 2 bid that propelled NS to a great 4 sacrifice.

-100 and +420 gave 8 IMPs to XIAO.

A successful weak notrump auction gave a 3NT swing back to STEPHANI, while a mistimed defense in 4 a few boards later swung those imps back to XIAO.

Segment 1 ended with 21 net IMPS to XIAO.

At the start of the second segment, Cornelius sat out, and I played with Sarah Youngquist.

This set was more pedestrian, with just a few overtrick and undertrick imps being dished out. On the very first board of the segment, I pulled the wrong card to go down an extra trick vul in 1NT (another reminder not to play too fast). On another board, a misguess in diamonds gave a vulnerable 3NT swing in favor of XIAO. However, disaster soon struck with a mistimed defense in 4 reverting those imps back to STEPHANI. On the very next board, a very rosy view with Ax KQ98xx xx AKx led to a  vul 4X -4, conceding 14 imps to STEPHANI

The last board provided an opportunity for XIAO to win a few IMPs:

None vul, You are dealer.

East
K9873
J3
K82
KJ3

Do you open?

I declined to open, rightly or wrongly, noting that this hand only has 25 ZAR points.

The full hand:

Youngquist
54
A54
AQJ5
Q1096
North
A2
K9762
10643
73
Jeng
K9873
J3
K82
KJ2
South
QJ106
Q108
97
A854
W
N
E
S
P
P
1
1
1
2
P
P
X
P
2
P
P
P
D
30
2 East
NS: 0 EW: 0
8
4
K
3
1
1
0
7
2
A
6
3
2
0
4
9
3
K
2
2
1
8
9
J
3
0
2
2
4
2
K
6
2
2
3
J
Q
A
2
0
2
4
4
A
3
10
1
3
4
9
7
10
5
2
3
5
8 tricks claimed
E/W +110
8

At the other table, a  1 opening led to an unmakeable 3NT.  5 IMPs to XIAO

STEPHANI gained 11 net IMPs this set, and so XIAO led by 10 IMPs going into halftime.

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