Linda Lee — My personal bridge blog

Is 88 imps in 12 boards a lot in university bridge?

I thought it would be interesting to check out the action from Poland at the World University Games.  The 4th World University Bridge Championships were held in Lodz Poland September 3-8 with teams from 21 teams from 15 countries participating.  Awesome!  Going into the last round the the Netherlands A team was well ahead and could not be caught.  Poland A and Norway A were battling it out for second spot. 


USA A was leading the North American teams in fifth spot with USA B and Canada well down the track.  In the final round Poland A had what should be on paper a fairly easy match against Netherlands B while Norway A was playing Austria which looked to be the tougher match.


Each match of the round robin was only 12 boards but in the final match, between Poland A and Netherlands B, the final score was 45-15 for Poland A.  That is 60 imps on 12 boards.  But if you are impressed by that, the highest scoring match of the last set 88 imps switched hands in 12 boards in the Czech Republic versus Chinese Taipei match and several other matches had 80 imps changing hands.  These were not swingy boards either.


The first board in the Poland – Netherlands match was fairly flat but the second board brought the first big swing when the Dutch team got to 6♠.  Here North had to decide which of his two aces to lead but in fact it didn’t matter since they both cashed. 


Do you like the opening bid chosen by Kalita of Poland in first chair.  He held:







and with all not vulnerable he created some action when he opened 3.  West, Hop, bid 4 and the Polish North upped the ante with 5.  Now I take you to the East hand.  Helmich found a bid that would never have occurred to me.







and he chose to bid 6!  (in chess notation they give bids like that an exclamation mark).  I think this is a complete shot and likely to be a losing one.  His partner held:







In the closed room without the 3◊ bid the auction smoothly proceeded to 4. 


I found sixth board of the match quite interesting.  Are you one of those players who likes to switch around the meaning of 1♠ and 1NT?  This convention cost Netherlands B 10 imps.  Partner opens 1 and your hand is


You (West)







One thing seems likely if you are going to play the hand in notrump it is probably better from partner’s side. 


Partner (East) holds:






Played from the West hand a club lead is a killer with the ♣K over the ♣Q.  Played from the East hand you are going to have to have a lot of bad luck not to make the hand.


Poland A went on to win this match handily and take second place with Norway A in third.  I hope they show some of the various junior team matches on BBO from Beijing.  At this level I expect the matches to be interesting and exciting even on deals that might be flat in the Open Teams.


The North American teams did not have a great tournament.  USA A had the best result, a fifth place finish.

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