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Turning point in the Fireman USBF team trial victory.

Congrats to the Fireman team on their recent USBF team trial victory. They played great throughout the event. However probably forgotten in the huge victory, is that they barely escaped the Round of 16 KO match vs the V. Gupta team (B. Miller, A. Kaplan, R. Smith, S. Garner). They had a small lead after the first quarter (30 boards) of 73-59. They were outscored 48-1 in the next 15 boards and 38-2 over the following 11 boards. That's 86-3 over 26 boards. They are now down 59 IMPS! Board 27 (see below) started the comeback.  John Hurd sitting South in first seat opened 1. I was doing Vugraph at the table. I didn't know whether he missorted his hand, didn't see his hand correctly, pulled the wrong card out of the bidding box, started to play canape, or just made a state of the match inspired opening bid. Something funny clearly happened. The auction proceeded with silent opponents, 1NT by partner, obligatory 2 (about time to mention the hidden 6 card suit) by Hurd, invitational 3 raise by pard. On the surface this is a 12 HCP hand, BUT it is a 6 loser hand, with hidden 6 card suit, an A in the supposed (not real) long suit, and a undisclosed singleton. A raise to 4 occurred quickly. Ten tricks were easy after the opening K lead. After the hand was over, John Hurd had a sheepish smile on his face. Something funny had happened and he escaped unharmed. At the other table, the opponents reached 5 doubled down 2, probably after vigorous competitive bidding by EW (5 is making). The ensuing 12 IMPS started the comeback. The Fireman team won 15 more IMPs over the next 3 hands to trail by only 44 IMPS at half. They then proceeded to win 10 IMPs in the 5th segment, 11 IMPs in the 6th segment, 4 IMPS in the 7th segment, to trail by 19 IMPS going into the last segment. They won the last segment 40-17 to win the match by 4 IMPS. It all started with a funny opening bid. Ask John Hurd when you see him what actually happened.

 

West
Q107
976
A53
AK84
North
J6
A543
K9762
93
East
K984
J84
QJ10765
South
A532
KQJ1082
Q10
2
W
N
E
S
1
P
1NT
P
2
P
3
P
4
P
P
P
D
4 South
NS: 0 EW: 0

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