Linda Lee — My personal bridge blog

The agony of defeat

The Canadian open team came in to this twelfth round match feeling pretty good.  True they were in fifth place but they had beaten Slovakia and then had a bye and were ready to take on France.  France had been having a fairly tough tournament and was in ninth place fairly far behind the field.  France must have felt that this was do or die time.  They needed a big win to get back into the race.  All the pressure was on France.

So did the rest help Canada?  Did the pressure get to France?  What do you think?

It started out nice and quietly with a flat board.  Then Board 18

  ♠ K  
  ♥ Q10862  
  ◊ AQ64  
Multon ♣ K43 Zimmermann
♠ Q9732   ♠ 854
♥ KJ9   ♥ A754
◊ J985   ◊ K7
♣ 6   ♣ Q1097
  ♠ AJ106  
  ♥ 3  
  ◊ 1032  
  ♣ AJ952  

Zimmermann started the bidding with a 11-13 notrump.  Why does everyone who plays this type of notrump consistently open below the range?    It happens so frequently that I am sure most of them should acknowledge that they really play 9-13 notrump.  But would they start to open 7 or 8 then?

Multon transferred to spades and North doubled.  ZImmermann completed the transfer with 2♠ probably because he didn’t want his hand to come down on the table.   I wonder what a double here by Fergani would be?  It would be lots of fun to double them for penalty but in any case it seems like he has a lot of values (and clubs) for a pass.  I guess it is sometimes right to take just take your plus and who knows maybe partner can reopen with a double.

As it turns out the  French played in 2♠ and went 3 down.  In the closed room Jacob opened one of those Muidberg two bids.  Here 2♠ shows spades and a minor.  I play them especially because I like the name and the bid is pretty effective as well.  Bompis doubled and Lebi bid 3♠.  It does look reasonable from his hand but in fact with the split the Canadians were putting their necks on the chopping block. 

I do have some sympathy for Quantin he was vulnerable.  But what is the problem with doubling 3♠?  This is going to be a plus, a big plus and you may not make 3NT.  You can hear Luke Skywalker saying not “Use the force” but  “Take the Plus”.   3NT did go down so Canada was off to a good start winning 6 imps.

Canada had an unfortunate defence which let a game in when Board 20 came up and Lebi had a tough decision.

You hand is

♠ 2  
♥ A1043  
◊ AQ852  
♣ Q654

Both vulnerable partner opens a 12-14 notrump, do you bid or not and if so how do you plan your auction.

I don’t mind bidding Stayman and if partner doesn’t bid hearts bidding 3◊ but I know this can be wrong.  I am not really crazy about bidding Stayman and then bidding 2NT if partner denies hearts.  You are quite likely going to get too high whether he passes or bids 3NT and that’s just what happened to Lebi.  On a good day you get to the heart game and on a bad day you lose 6 imps.  Partner had a moderate hand and the cards didn’t lie all that well.

♠ KJ85  
♥ KQJ  
◊ 764  
♣ K107

We arrive at board 23.  This is the board that tells you definitively “don’t push”.  Things are just not going to work out for you today.  Here it is

Jacob   Lebi
♠ AQJ104   ♠ 97
♥ 9532   ♥ AKQ8
◊ Q   ◊ A962
♣ AQ86   ♣ J42

Do you want to be in 6♥?  Vote YES  or NO

Everyone around here keeps quoting Bob Hamman’s comments about slams.  “A good slam is one that makes”.  So….

you don’t want to be in this one.  Lebi got a diamond lead and lost the spade finesse and wasn’t clairvoyant enough to pick up the 4-1 heart break onside.  What a shame.  About 80% of the time or so they win a bunch of imps.  14 imps away.

That is the way things went.  Not that the Canadians were flawless, they got to some pretty bad spots but they also didn’t have the force on their side.

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