Linda Lee — My personal bridge blog

Women? Bridge?

Very little of the women’s side of the European Championship was shown on Vugraph.  That is not unusual and seems to happen at a lot of events.  Is that because it is too scary?  I thought I would have a look at the England-Netherlands 25th round match in the European Team Championship.  The first three boards produced double digit swings which I am going to review.

On the first board Netherlands was on the wrong side of the swing.  Consider how you would bid these two hands.  North is dealer with nobody vulnerable




♠ AJ  









Most methods will get you to slam.  It seems to me that 6NT from the north hand is the best since you still have some chances if diamonds don’t break evenly.  The logical contracts are 6, 6and 6NT.  But you might get to a grand.   In th Open Room the auction did propel North-South to the no-play grand in diamonds.  This was their auction:


Pasman Simons
2NT 3
3 4
4S 4NT
5 5 
6 7


Apparently over the 5 enquiry 6 showed the Q but no extras and denies the K.  It is possible (although unlikely) that they have 13 tricks but I have no idea how you can work it out from the information available.   This is too wild a leap for me. Senior and Dhondy in the other room subsided sensibly in 6 to win 14 imps.  Of course frequent readers will know that I am not a big fan of bidding grand slams unless you are certain that you have an excellent play for it (80% plus) because just getting to the right small slam will often win a lot of imps. 

Dealer:  East

Vul: N-S






















East opened 1 and Simons doubled.  Maybe she has a hand too good for 4 but this approach never seems to work out for me.  I am not going to argue with anybody who wants to double though.   West bid 3 preemptive and this was passed back to South who now bid 4.  West loved this vulnerability and bid 4  and South doubled.  North removed the double to 5  which South corrected to 5.   Brown took insurance by bidding 5  which went down one doubled.  Here was the auction in the Closed Room.  You decide if you like Dhondy’s bidding or not.


Zwol Senior Verbeek Dhondy
    1NT 4
 4S pass  pass  pass? 

I think there is an argument for doubling now.  The point is to tell partner that you have a 4 bid with high cards and bid it to make.  Now partner can decide whether to defend or to bid on.  Dhondy passed and it was 11 imps to  Netherlands.

In the third board of the match both declarers were in the same contract.  The difference was that the English defenders never bid while the Dutch defender gave away the show with her opening bid.


Dealer: S

Vul: E-W 











♠ 932  




♠ J10765  




In the Open Room taking advantage of the vulnerability Simons opened 2 showing spades and a minor (usually 5-5 or 6-5 the way I play it anyway).  This did not prevent East-West from getting to 4.  Simons led the J and Brown was taking no finesses with this auction.  She rose on the A played trump and eventually made 4.  But in the Closed Room where Dhondy passed and led the innocent 2 there was nothing to make Verbeek suspicious.  She finessed.   Senior returned the J and Dhondy got her club ruff with a stiff trump and when she returned the J Verbeek had to decide if she was stiff-stiff in which case she could rise and play clubs discarding her spades or whether in fact she was underleading the K.   Perhaps there was evidence that the K was offside.  Senior returned the J asking for a spade but Dhondy being 1-1 in the rounded suits seemed even more unlikely to her. So Verbeek finessed and went down one.   13 imps to England.  Which just shows that sometimes you win imps by not bidding.

The match was high scoring but in the end England prevailed 51 to 32.  I found the bridge entertaining and I would like to tell the authorities, go ahead show more of the best of women’s bridge.  We can take it.

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