Linda Lee — My personal bridge blog

Okay Justin … You Were Right


Justin Lall

Before the World Championships started I picked USA 1 and USA 2 to play each other in the semifinal. This isn’t all that brilliant because if two USA teams survive to the semis they play each other. But I picked USA 1 to win. It wasn’t that USA 2 wasn’t talented. It was just that I thought that in their first outing in the bigs they might be just a bit nervous, perhaps a bit timid, perhaps a bit overwhelmed. Ha!

They went in and beat the more experienced USA 1. Justin Lall thought they would. He was right and I was wrong and I enjoyed every minute of watching the two teams battle it out.  At the end of the fourth segment the match was very close.  USA 2 led USA 1 by 12 imps.  It was in the fifth segment that the younger team blew it open.  USA 2 outscored USA 1, 63 to 13.  The final segment was an almost tie with USA 1 picking up 2 imps.  Congratulations and good luck tomorrow.  I will enjoy watching you take on the hometown favorites the Netherlands.  Sometimes it is just fine to be wrong.

The match between the Netherlands and Italy was a squeaker.  It is the kind of matches that people will write about, a lot.  It was close from the beginning.  It was close throughout the final but in the end the Netherlands turned on the gas to beat the fine Italy team by 29 and a bit imps.  It must have been a wonderful feeling to win like that at home.  But they have more to do.   Italy’s problems in the last segment started off with two slams bid and made by the Netherlands and missed by Italy.

Instead of looking at how Italy missed the slam on Board 23 let’s look at how the Dutch pair Brink and Drijver got there.  You can decide if your system would get you thre too.  I am going to rotate the board to make them North South










♣ AK2

2NT showed 21-23 balanced.  3H was a transfer to spades. This was great for Drijvers so he superaccepted with 4 .  4 was likely a relay asking about Brink’s hand.  I don’t what the 4 response was; I could guess but I won’t.  If anybody knows I would be happy to hear from you.  After that Drijvers found out about the trump queen and but the spade slam.

I think that the South hand is worth more than 21 HCP.  The 21-23 range suits it.  But playing 20-21 I would upgrade it. AK, AK, A, K is worth more than other combinations with queens and jacks that add up to 21.

No other pair in the Bermuda Bowl, no pair in the Venus Cup got to slam.  However in the Senior Bowl both France and Poland did get there, Poland using a forcing club style auction.

So congratulations to the Netherlands.  The final is bound to be a great battle.

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