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They slammed us and they Dinked us
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Playing in the Open Teams in Tromsø, the format is two days of qualifying followed by three days of knockouts--two half day matches followed by two full day matches. The qualifying was Swiss Teams scored at imps in 10-board matches which were then victory pointed. Two matches were played, then a lunch break then three more each day.

On July 4th, the first day of the Open Teams, my pep talk to the team was, "As we celebrate the Yanks' victory over the British in the Revolutionary War, I'd like to recall these words from the Battle of Bunker Hill, "Gentlemen, you are all marksmen. You can take a squirrel from the tallest tree. Don't fire till you see the whites of their eyes."

Texan and the Yanks had a pretty good first day, getting to play on the BBO vugraph when we got to 7th place after a blitz in round 3. We fought Round 4 to a 1-imp loss and were in 9th. We were blitzed in turn on Round 5 to end the day in 28th out of 102 teams. We were 1/3 of the 20 VPs per match from 16th place, the last qualifying place for the finals. We had a director's ruling pending that would ultimately restore one of those victory points, but in the mean time we drew Cayne for Round 6, the first match of day two. 

Cayne, also had a good first day. They beat Monaco, the reigning 2nd place team in the world (pictured below) and also beat Sayilkan, (who would become our nemesis in the Board-A-Match teams two days later) ending the day with four out of five wins in 27th place. 

Cayne's Eric Rodwell and Jeff Meckstroth in Tromsø

On Sunday, most of Tromsø shuts down so, instead of convening at the Four Roses Café, Texan and the Yanks headed to the canteen next to the playing area. My pep talk was, "In the Bible, Cain killed Abel. There is no predestination. We are able. And we can kill Cayne."

The lineup for the match in the closed room was Sam Dinkin, North and Cenk Tunçok, South, and Jeff Meckstroth East and Eric Rodwell West. In the open room, Jimmy Cayne sat North, Michael Seamon sat South, Adam Grossack sat East and Zachary Grossack sat West. 

Board 21. 

West
A84
K1073
KQ3
965
North
9752
86
742
QJ87
East
63
AQ52
A98
A1042
South
KQJ10
J94
J1065
K3
W
N
E
S
P
1NT
P
3NT
P
P
P
D
3NT East
NS: 0 EW: 0

After the K lead, Jeff played a couple of rounds of hearts and claimed 9 tricks. -400.

In the open room, the auction probably went P-1N(14+-17-)-P-2; P-2-P-4; P-P-P (but the bridgemate shows west declaring). This took a tenth trick with a spade ruff. +420. First blood to Texan and the Yanks, win one imp.

(If you don't mind another spoiler besides the article title, you can look at the match scorecard.)

 

Board 22. 

West
AJ4
QJ9
AQ2
9876
North
1075
K1076
9753
32
East
Q832
A42
K10
QJ54
South
K96
853
J864
AK10
W
N
E
S
1
P
3NT
P
P
P
D
3NT West
NS: 0 EW: 0

In both rooms the auction got to 3N in the first round of bidding. In the closed room, it was 1 (Precision)-3N, and in the open room it was 1-3N.

In both rooms, north led the 4th best 6 and declarer took 9 tricks: 3, 3, three more in the black suits. Any other suit lead can hold declarer to 8 tricks because declarer can only force two tricks. -600 / +600 push. 

 

Board 23.

West
103
42
Q75
KQ10965
North
AKQ972
97
AK42
J
East
J64
AKQ85
103
A74
South
85
J1063
J986
832
W
N
E
S
P
P
1
2
P
P
2
P
P
3
P
P
P
D
3 West
NS: 0 EW: 0

I led the K and cashed out for making 3. At the time, I thought reiterating spades after showing 17+ in the first round, vulnerable vs. not, gave Cenk enough information to compete at the three level. A third bid is called for, however. The North hand is a very good 4-loser two-suiter and has control of both suits so I can try again with a 3 bid and Cenk would pass this for +110. Something similar happened in the open room to get to 3 making 3 and -110 and -110 gave +6 and Cayne the lead at 6-1.

Board 24.

West
Q73
AQ84
K85
QJ5
North
K86
92
AJ32
10986
East
952
K5
1064
AK742
South
AJ104
J10763
Q97
3
W
N
E
S
1NT
P
3NT
P
P
P
D
3NT West
NS: 0 EW: 0

Another 1N-3N hand at both tables. Both Norths led the 10. South has a challenging discard problem on the run of the suit. To help Cenk, I signalled my diamond guard by playing the 6 on the second round of which was readable as suit preference with my lowest of three remaining clubs; I would lead low originally instead of the 10 without the 9 and the 8 or the 9 and the 7 (which was in dummy). Cenk chose to part with the suit hoping declarer only had three hearts retaining a potential for another diamond trick for the defense. A misdefense also occurred at the other table for making 3. -400 and +400 for another push board.

 

Board 25.

West
Q93
8653
105
QJ72
North
AKJ
AQJ72
43
864
East
108765
4
962
AK103
South
42
K109
AKQJ87
95
W
N
E
S
 
1
1
2
P
2N
P
3
P
3
P
3
P
3N
P
4
P
4
P
P
P
D
4 South
NS: 0 EW: 0

Off the two top clubs, both tables stayed out of slam. From my perspective, Cenk is likely to have a club control. However, Jeff's red vs. white overcall suggests if we need a major-suit finesse, it's off side. So I took a pessimistic view with my minimum which might not have a major-suit fit. (Not knowing we have a major suit fit is a side effect of knowing too much in other auctions with relay). A club was led at both tables, once from the east and once from the west and the defense at both tables took two tricks.

Eric chose well not to double 2. This would give us two extra steps to explore so we'd know we had an 8-card fit which we would have missed without Cenk having a slam try. And if Jeff led a , the double would give us two extra tricks.

+450 / -450 and another push board.

Board 26.

West
KQ107
6
A107
AKJ85
North
98543
QJ8
J
10962
East
AJ
K9732
K83
Q74
South
62
A1054
Q96542
3
W
N
E
S
1
3
X
P
3NT
P
P
P
D
3NT East
NS: 0 EW: 0

Eric took a pessimistic view of the hand due to the likely misfit, Jeff's likely waste in hearts and the likely missing black suit cards being off side. He made a negative double followed by passing Jeff's 3NT. 

In the open room, the Grossacks were more optimistic. The auction in the other room was something to the effect of 1-2; 3-3; 3-4; 4-6; P. The singleton J was led making the play intuitive. Declarer with AT7 and K83 will get this suit right for three tricks, if attempted, without the diamond lead. Single-dummy, the slam is not bad needing the A on side, a stiff diamond honor in the north or perhaps trying to draw a round of trump, then 3 rounds of spades pitching a diamond followed by 3 rounds of diamonds ruffing. The latter line will fail on the defense ruffing a diamond, but perhaps the jack dropping will cause declarer to abandon the line. Zach was not tested and made 12 tricks. 

-660 and +1430 for +12 for Texan and the Yanks who now lead 13-6. 

As Eric Rodwell later said to Lynn Baker and Karen McCallum, "They slammed us...."

Zachary Grossack

 

 

Board 27.

West
AK64
104
QJ52
864
North
J93
AQ9875
A98
5
East
1085
K62
K7
AK972
South
Q72
J3
10643
QJ103
W
N
E
S
P
P
2
3
P
P
P
D
3 East
NS: 0 EW: 0

On this hand, I opened a Fantunes-style 3rd-seat 2. They play it 0-14, 5+, but we play it 3-14 to comply with ACBL director instructions to not be destructive. With our opening 5/7 of 8 counts first and second seat, the 3-14 range third seat functions as a 0-11 would for pairs that play 11+ openings 1st seat.

Despite the bad trump break, we couldn't get more than 4 tricks for the defense. -110. We "Dinked" Meckwell, but they survived it.

At the other table, the auction was likely P-1-1-3N; P-P-P. This went down 2 for -100. 

5 imps for Cayne and Texan and the Yanks lead 13-11.

Sam Dinkin

 

Board 28.

West
10763
QJ6
KQJ6
K8
North
842
753
A974
A74
East
AKJ5
AK1098
Q1062
South
Q9
42
108532
J953
W
N
E
S
1
P
1
P
1NT
P
2
P
2
P
6
P
P
P
D
6 West
NS: 0 EW: 0

On lead against a slam holding two aces, I chose the shorter suit. I led the A and continued . Declarer now has 5, 2, a ruff and 4 if trumps and clubs behave. If spades are breaking badly with the singleton queen, a ruffing finesse in diamonds is an alternative.

Eric finessed the and failed a trick, -50. This time Meckwell "slammed" themselves.

In the open room, the auction ended at 4 in the East. Hearts is a superior strain as this can stand a bad break in either major and 6 can sometimes be made without taking 4 tricks by taking the ruffing finesse in diamonds. Chances can be combined by testing spades for Qx before the diamond ruffing finesse. A low club was led from South and declarer made 6. +480

Our lucky result allowed a win preventing an own goal at the Grossacks' table missing 6 from costing much. Through an accident of fate, we were the brothers' keeper.

+530 was worth 11 for Texan and the Yanks who were up 24-11.

Adam Grossack

 

Board 29.

West
82
KQ5
108
K98432
North
J10
9632
QJ2
AQJ10
East
KQ97543
J1087
6
6
South
A6
A4
AK97543
75
W
N
E
S
1NT
3
6
P
P
P
D
6 South
NS: 0 EW: 0

Cenk showed he could blast at least as well as Jeff. With the finesse working, Cenk made 6, claiming quickly after drawing trump. +1370. With the weak NT and the 6 making, we slammed and Dinked them on the same hand.

In the open room, it likely went 1-3-3N which took all 13 tricks. Zach tried a low lead. Then on the run of the suit, Zach likely gave up his unlikely 82 spade guard. This permitted Michael to execute a double squeeze around hearts. If Zach gives up his guard to keep his spades and clubs, Michael can pitch a from the dummy leaving the JT as a threat against East and squeeze east in the majors by playing two clubs. -720.

Neither the thoughtful squeeze nor the fast claim mattered to the imp score. +12 to Texan and the Yanks and a 36-11 lead.

Cenk Tunçok (left) from his semi-final match in the Mixed Teams with Karen McCallum and the Full House team.

Board 30.

West
7
A108
AKJ1092
J86
North
AK5
63
5
Q1095432
East
Q86432
KJ7
43
K7
South
J109
Q9542
Q876
A
W
N
E
S
2
P
3
P
3NT
P
P
P
D
3NT East
NS: 0 EW: 0
.

Cenk's lead gave Jeff two obvious hand entries for finesses and a quick claim of 9 tricks. Deep finesse says that if Jeff guesses well, he can always make the hand. -400

The Grossacks stopped in 3 on their 22 HCP due to uncharacteristic pessimism and scored +110. 10 imps to Cayne.

A late comeback for Cayne was not enough to overcome the able Texan and the Yanks for a final score of 36-21. 

Eric Rodwell later said to Lynn Baker and Kate McCallum, "They slammed us and they Dinked us." 

As it says in Genesis, "Anyone who kills Cain will suffer vengeance seven times over." We suffered four straight losses to finish below average and the hubris resurfaced the next day in our formerly known as 100% stanza with a nemesis to swiftly follow.

We saw Jimmy Cayne (who also got eliminated) at dinner and smiling, he gave Cenk a good-natured ribbing.

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