Linda Lee — My personal bridge blog

The final round: Sweden versus France Part 2

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After half the boards had been played Sweden had the lead and if they could hold they would make the top six.  Board 13 provided an opportunity for a swing. 


Board 13     Dealer: North

Vul: Both





















When you look at all the hands you can see that 6 will make.  Is it a slam you want to be in?  You need to pick up the club suit for one loser missing four to the AQ.  With X-ray vision you can make the hand almost all the time losing only to AQX(X) offside.  But without peaking it seems to be 50% assuming you just play for the Q onside assuming there are no helpful clues from the bidding or defence.  I believe the Hideous Hog said something about a finesse never being only 50%.  There is also a small chance of a diamond ruff.  In balance I don’t mind if I get there or I don’t until I do the scoring up at least.  Neither pair reached the slam although both did decide to play in the club game rather than 3NT.   This was the auction in the Open Room with no opposition bidding.

North South 
Fredin Fallenius
pass 1
1 1NT*
3 3
3NT 5
all pass  

Fallenius’ 1NT bid showed clubs.  After Fredin showed support Fallenius showed his good spades and when Fredin suggested 3NT. Fallenius decided that Fredin, a passed hand was unlikely to have enough for slam.  Suppose Fredin held the Q instead of the major jacks the slam would have been excellent.  And maybe it wouldn’t hurt to make one more try after 3NT.  But then again he was probably following the excellent rule ” don’t play partner for a perfect hand.”  The French auction was essentially the same (excluding system variations) up to 3 but here Volcker just bid what he thought he could make, 5

So having seen one possible slam swing pass on by, on the next board East-West had a slam opportunity and this time we can give Fredin, one of the defenders, all the credit for winning 14 imps.  He found the right time to make a very off-center bid, a pysch really and he caught Chemla in his web.


Board 14   Dealer: East

Vul: None





















Chemla Fredin Levy Fallenius
    1 pass
1  2! DBL  2
3  pass 4  pass
5 pass 6 all pass

Fredin found a great time for his 2 bid.    After Fallenius showed a good club raise,  Chemla showed his hearts and subsequently asked Levy about a club control (5).  Levy bid the slam.  Fredin’s unusual bid would would not have been enough in and of itself.  On a non-club lead declarer can make the hand by setting up hearts and throwing clubs on the top diamonds.  Having bid clubs Fredin now led the 6.   Would anybody have been able to figure out what was happening?  

If I were Chemla I could drive myself crazy with this logic.  Fredin knew about the club control in dummy so it was reasonable to underled his CA.  But he must also have known that I would likely rise on the K.  So maybe he doesn’t have the A.  But then Fredin knew that I knew that he knew … so maybe he would try to double cross me and underlead the ace.  And so on.  Fallenius’ strong raise also suggested that Fredin might not have a normal 2 bid.  But who could blame Chemla for rising on the ♣K and going down.  In the Closed Room Volcker the South hand made a slightly unusual overcall of 1 but that did not prevent Upmark and Cullin from getting to the spade slam and this time when the 6 was led by Mari there was no reason to do anything but duck it.  This was 14 imps for Fredin and now Sweden have vaulted into a 27 imp lead.

France pick up a non-vulnerable game swing when they got to a game that might have been defeated but wasn’t.  But in the end Sweden prevailed and won the match 49 to 28, enough to ensure their place in the top six teams.


Ulf NilssonJuly 8th, 2010 at 5:20 am

Fredin is known for unorthodox leads. One time Chemla was a vugraph commentator when Fredin played. Fredin led the K from KQJx and Chemla said “I never thought I would see Fredin make the same lead as me on a deal!”.

So on this deal he was pretty ‘cooked’ from the start and allegedly even said at the table something like “Ah! Underleading the ace…”

LindaJuly 8th, 2010 at 7:35 am

It was a spectacular swing created by a great player.

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