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Bay Area High School Bridge Championship
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On April 29, 2018 at the Burlingame Bridge Center, high school students from seventeen local schools gathered to play in the fourth Bay Area High School Bridge Championship.

Nine teams from six different schools started in a round robin of eight rounds of three boards in the morning, and four teams advanced to a twelve board semi-final after lunch, followed by a twelve board final. At the end of the morning session, Palo Alto High School came out on top in the round robin, having scored 133.23 vp's out of 160 possible. Gunn High School finished second, scoring 119.70 vp's. Monta Vista High School placed third with 110.72 vp's, and Lynbrook High School followed close behind with 104.50 vp's, taking the last spot in the semi-finals.

Palo Alto chose to face Monta Vista in the semi-finals. Cornelius Duffie from Palo Alto ended up in the following 5 contract: 

On a K lead, how do you play?

West
North
Q1094
Q1073
AQ986
East
South
A62
J86
A2
KJ1052
W
N
E
S
 
P
1
2
X
3
P
P
X
P
3N
P
5
P
P
P
D
5 South
NS: 0 EW: 0
K
4
4
A
3
1
0
2
3
9
5
1
2
0
A
3
2
6
1
3
0
6
4
K
7
3
4
0
J
8
Q
7
1
5
0
5

Declarer won the diamond in hand pitching a spade, ruffed a diamond, and pulled 3 rounds of trump ending in dummy after seeing West show out on the first round. 

How do you continue?

North
Q109
Q1073
8
South
A62
J86
105
W
N
E
S
P
1
2
X
3
P
P
X
P
3NT
P
5
P
P
P

Declarer chose to play East for Hx, hoping to pitch a spade on the long heart and to endplay East into breaking the spade suit. He led the 3 to the 4, J and K, and West returned the 3 to the T, K and A. The contract was now cold - declarer played a heart to the T and A, East played back the spade, and declarer claimed.

This was the full hand: 

West
J83
K952
KQ8763
North
Q1094
Q1073
AQ986
East
K75
A4
J10954
743
South
A62
J86
A2
KJ1052
W
N
E
S
 
P
1
2
X
3
P
P
X
P
3N
P
5
P
P
P
D
5 South
NS: 0 EW: 0

The contract goes set if East manages to fly with the A on the first round of the suit so that the defense never has to break spades, but once East ducks there is nothing that the defense can do. West does a little better by exiting a heart at trick 7 after getting in with the K as declarer would then have to guess hearts, which they would get right. East does no better by refusing to put in the K, as they will be endplayed into leading spades anyway when thrown back in with the heart on the next round. 

5 making was worth 12 imps, and Palo Alto HS went on to win the match 49-25. 

Meanwhile, Lynbrook and Gunn faced off in the other semi-final match. 

Lynbrook arrived in 4 by South in an uncontested auction on the following hand. Play along with declarer Michael Hu on the Q lead. 

West
North
A75
Q85
A954
Q84
East
South
K2
A10962
86
AJ32
W
N
E
S
4
P
P
P
D
4 South
NS: 0 EW: 0
Q
A
2
6
1
1
0
4
6
J
5
3
2
0
A
10
8
7
3
3
0
2
7
Q
9
0
3
1
10
4
3
8
0
3
2
7
5
K
2
3
4
2
3
3
5
K
1
5
2
Q
K
A
J
3
6
2
11 tricks claimed
N/S +450
8

Declarer won the A and accurately decided to try to ruff a club in dummy. He led a club to the J, played the A, and led a low . West incorrectly ruffed with the 7. The defense continued two rounds of diamonds, declarer ruffing. Declarer ruffed his last club, West pitching a . Next he pulled trump, leading the Q. As icing on the cake, his Q smothered the J, and he picked up the trump suit for making 5. That overtrick proved extremely important in the comparison...

The twelve board match was incredibly close. After comparing scores with their teammates, both teams believed they had won the match by one! Pandemonium ensued, and the teams frenziedly cross-checked their scores until they found the board with the score difference. One pair thought a contract had gone down one while the other remembered the contract going down two, resulting in a two imp score discrepancy that was enough to swing the match. After painstakingly going through the hand trick by trick with director Will Watson, the players determined that the contract had, in fact, gone down two, giving Lynbrook the narrow win and the second spot in the finals. 

Palo Alto and Lynbrook faced off in a twelve board final. 

In the following deal, Palo Alto got to 4, again played by Cornelius. 

West
North
J8732
AKJ
82
AJ4
East
South
K6
Q7632
QJ3
K72
W
N
E
S
P
P
1
2
2
P
4
P
P
P
D
4 South
NS: 0 EW: 0
10
2
K
3
2
0
1
4
K
5
2
3
1
1
6
Q
3
10
0
1
2
4
A
8
2
1
2
2
K
10
3
5
1
3
2
7
9
Q
3
3
4
2
6
9
J
4
1
5
2
8
A
J
5
2
5
3
6
Q
6
8
3
6
3
K
8
4
5
3
7
3
2
9
J
7
1
8
3
10 tricks claimed
N/S +620
11

West led the T to East's K, and East switched to the 4. Declarer jumped the first hurdle by guessing spades correctly, going up with the K. Declarer decided to initially play for 3-3 spades, leading a spade to West's queen. West returned the 4 to the A, 8, and 2. Declarer pulled a second round of trump with the K, noting the 3-2 heart break. He ruffed a spade high, seeing West show out and pitch a club. He then played a heart to the J, East showing out, and led a diamond off the board to East's A. East returned a to declarer's Q, West showed out, and dummy pitched a spade. 

The hand came down to how to play the club suit. Should you play for Qx offside or take the finesse? Declarer now had a complete count on the hand: East was known to be 4261 and West was known to be 2326. Declarer could cash the K and take the marked club finesse for making 4. 

This was the full hand: 

West
Q5
954
105
Q109863
North
J8732
AKJ
82
AJ4
East
A1094
108
AK9764
5
South
K6
Q7632
QJ3
K72
W
N
E
S
P
P
1
2
2
P
4
P
P
P
D
4 South
NS: 0 EW: 0

I declared a nice crossruff hand on the second to last board, and the play went similarly at the other table (played by Michael Zheng). 

West
863
K62
652
10953
North
AJ74
AJ106
AKQJ4
East
KQ
Q97
10987
AK74
South
10952
843
3
QJ862
W
N
E
S
P
P
1
P
1
P
4
P
4
P
P
P
D
4 South
NS: 0 EW: 0
10
4
7
2
1
1
0
A
7
3
2
1
2
0
K
8
3
5
1
3
0
Q
9
4
6
1
4
0
A
7
8
2
1
5
0
6
9
2
5
3
6
0
6
3
7
4
1
7
0
10
Q
5
K
3
8
0
8
5
J
K
1
9
0
J
10
9
9
3
10
0
J
3
A
A
1
11
0
11 tricks claimed
N/S +650
11

Palo Alto prevailed against Lynbrook, winning their third consecutive high school championship 43-17.

While Palo Alto and Lynbrook vied for the championship, Gunn and Monta Vista competed for 3rd place, Monta Vista winning by a narrow 4 imps over 12 boards.

Pairs Championship

While the semifinals and finals of the teams event were played, players from the eliminated teams joined players from schools with an insufficient number of players to form a full team in the championship pairs event. Thirteen pairs participated.

Brent Xiao and Calix Tang finished with an impressive 72.22%, over 17% above the 2nd place finishers.

In addition, in the morning during the teams round robin, a "warmup" pairs event took place, won by Jonathan Yue (Leland HS) and Calix Tang (Homestead HS).

Results

Team Championship Results:

  1. Palo Alto HS (Cornelius Duffie, Stella Wan, Jonathon Youngquist, and Sarah Youngquist)
  2. Lynbrook HS (Michael Hu, Alex Zheng, David Zheng, and Michael Zheng)
  3. Monta Vista HS (Sarah Cai, Aman Desai, Sophie Lian, and Jasmine Wang)
  4. Gunn HS (Kevin Huang, Lucas Huang, Johnny Shi, and Michael Xu)

 

Pairs Championship Results:

  1. Brent Xiao (Mission San Jose HS) and Calix Tang (Homestead HS)
  2. Claire Duffie (Palo Alto HS) and Helen Chang (Cupertino HS)
  3. Ben Smentek (Monta Vista HS) and Ricky Schober (Monta Vista HS)
  4. Nathan Huang (Los Altos HS) and Natalie Huang (Los Altos HS)

Newcomer Pair award: Lucy Huang (Monta Vista HS) and Richard Liu (Monta Vista HS)

The team championship winner received a large trophy for their school, individual replicas for each player, and gift cards. The runners up also received individual trophies and gift cards, and both the third and fourth place finishers received gift cards. Pairs winners also received trophies and gift cards.

Acknowledgements

First place prizes were awarded in memory of Belle Bestor, a life-long bridge player who inspired her children to become Life Masters.

The High School Championship was sponsored by Silicon Valley Youth Bridge (SiVY), with support from Peninsula Youth Bridge (PYB).Like all SiVY activities, the championship is made possible by the efforts of many volunteers and the financial contributions of many donors.

Special appreciation is due to volunteer tournament director Will Watson, as well as to Patti Frederick, who allowed us to use the space at the Bayshore Bridge Center rent-free, and to Jeanie Kwong of Peninsula Youth Bridge, who put together a fabulous lunch for players and volunteers alike. Thanks go to authors Larry Cohen for donations of bridge books, as well as Master Point Press for deep discounts, and the ACBL.

If you would like to volunteer or to donate to SiVY or PYB, please go to siliconvalleyyouthbridge.org or center4bridge.com/peninsulayouthbridge and click on "Volunteer" or "Donate."

For full results and more pictures: http://siliconvalleyyouthbridge.org/programs/HSchampionship/2018/results.html

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