Linda Lee — My personal bridge blog

Blogging in realtime

It is the final of the U.S. seniors and I am rooting for my friend and our author Bobby Wolff.  At the moment the score is very close with the Milner team up by 14 imps with 15 boards remaining.  The next round will be starting in 1/2 hour and I intend to Blog it live.  Obviously I can’t comment on every hand but I hope that I can give you some highlights and the excitement of watching a serious event as it happens.

Its 7pm and we are just starting.  I am in the open room watching Bobby Wolff (North) and Dan Morse(South) play Matt Granovetter (West) and Russ Ekeblad (East).  I really like watching Vugraph on BBO although I have to confess that I don’t enjoy all the commentary.  Sometimes Francine Cimon is online and her messages to me are much more insightful then the most of the online chatter from the "commentators". 

The first hand is interesting and Francine said is here.  Bobby held S10xxx HKJxx D Jxxxx C void.  All white partner opened 1S and it went 2C.  What do you bid?  Bobby made a "value" bid of 3S but Francine and I (and the commentators) like 4S with that much offense.  Well we could see 4S made I confess.  Matt had 9 points in top clubs and we were playing with a 31 point deck.  Partner had only the CJ wasted   Partner had S Axxxx H Ax D A109 CJ83 and easily made four.  Perhaps not the best start.  Yes Lev bid 4S in the closed room so a loss of 6 imps, at least it wasn’t vulnerable.  The margin is now 20. 

We skip over a dull board 37 a push.  To balance or not to balance.  You are Matt Granovetter and you are red on white on board 48.  Your hand is SAK6 Hxx D 1098643 C 109.  You pass and it goes 1C pass 1H pass 2H back to you in balancing chair.  He is still thinking.   There is an argument for 3D.  Your suit quality isn’t there but you do have six.  As Pamela Granovetter is saying "it is a little scary".  He did it; he bid 3D!  Were you there?  Bobby balanced 3H which is in danger on the right defence.  You lead the SA and partner plays the S7 playing standard carding as Dan follows with the S7.  Dummy holds:

SJ97 H AQ51 DA5 CK653

Matt is thinking again.  So far his thinking is pretty good.  He switched to the C10.  Woops they let them make 3H.  Ekeblad ducked the first club but he has to duck the second club as well to beat it and he didn’t.  5 imps back to Onstott since 3H went down in the other room.  Here are the North-South hands


S J94
H AQ52
D A5
C K653
H KJ1093
D Q2

The next board was an easy 7NT at both tables.  The most interesting thing was the opening bid.  What do you open with S2 H A7 D AKQ10853 C A85.  Lev opened 2C and Bobby opened 1D and rebid 3NT. 

1 imp on an extra overtrick and the score is 89-73 to Milner on Board 50.  Board 51 is not looking food.  Ekeblad is in 3NT after Morse opened 3D  At the other table East-West went down 2 in the same contract.  Quite interesting play on this hand by Ekeblad and he is going to make it.  Not a good trend – we need some imps our way now.  Interesting play is why I watch these matches so I am not complaining.  Here is the hand.

  S KQJ2  
  H 432  
  D –  
Granovetter C J8632 Ekeblad
S 973   A854
H AQ1096   H 5
D J54   D A96
C Q7 Morse C AK1095
  S 106  
  H K87  
  D KQ108732  
  C 4  


Dan lead the DK won by Ekeblad as North threw a club,  Russ now played a spade to dummy and Dan won and played 2 rounds of diamonds.  When Wolff threw clubs unwittingly the hand was over.  At the other table declarer played a heart to the H10 at trick 2 when Lev switched to spades and there was no chance any more. 

The next board is a push but on Board 53 Wolff and Morse are in 3NT when the other trouble made 140 in hearts.  Here is the situation with GIB saying the hand goes down on perfect defence.  Wolff (North) is the declarer after Ekeblad opened 2S and Morse overcalled 3C.

  S A52  
  H A973  
  D 10984  
Granovetter C 85 Ekeblad
S J6   S K108743
H Q52   H K84
D A752   D 63
C A1062 Morse C 74
  S Q9  
  H J106  
  D KQJ  
  C KQJ93

Bobby got the H8 lead and when he played the H10 from dummy it held.  He now played the CK and Matt won the CA.  When Matt returned the HQ Bobby played him for the HKQ (is Matt really that devious?) and ducked and then when Matt continued hearts he finessed the heart 9.

Well I don’t think he was making it anyway but he is now down 2 and a loss of 8 imps and down 37 imps with 7 boards to play.  When things are not going well then ….

Board 54 has an opportunity for the good guys.  In the closed room North South got to 6D and were down one.  You need to guess spades missing the AQ but they are not actually guessable with both offside.  Let’s see if Wolff and Morse stay out of trouble.  Morse holds S K1063 H void D AKQ643 C AKJ

Granovetter Wolff Ekeblad Morse
    Pass 1D
1H DBL pass 2H
pass 3NT pass 4H
pass 4S pass ?

He bid 5NT he was just not staying out of slam.  Bobby bid 6C to let him pick the slam.  It doesn’t much matter.  Morse bid 6H I think that is awfully aggressive but Bobby will just bid 6S I am pretty certain.  Yes they ended there.  6S is not a great slam since you need to play the aforementioned spade suit for one loser but we already know that all the slams go down.  Apparently Matt said he would have lead the offside spade A against 6D which would have let them make it.  Easy to say now.  A lost opportunity and I know it is just feeling really bad to North-South.  

It’s starting to feel like it is over.  East-West in the other room just had a poor result on Board 55 and it is going to cost another 9 imps.  46 imps now.  too many with 5 boards left.  The other table has finished and looking ahead there are no significant swing hands left for Onstott.  This match is truly over.  Well Milner did play well in the boards I saw and should be a good team in Beijing.

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