Linda Lee — My personal bridge blog

Round of 16 World Sports Mind Games Open (corrected) and Board 19 of the second stanza

When I first wrote this I thought the Round of 16 was a two day event but I now realize that it is all over, although I bet some of the teams including the USA Open team wish otherwise.  Here are the final results.

Italy vs India

135       69

Poland  vs USA

127          100

Brazil vs China
124         134

Norway vs Turkey

145            84
Israel vs Romania

102        170

England vs Bulgaria

143            98

Netherlands vs Estonia

99                      89

Germany vs Belgium

210              89

The teams in bold are the teams I predicted to win  and the score in bold are for the team that won.  The only match that went against my expectations is the match between Israel and Romania where Israel had dominated the round robin in their division and Romania squeaked in on a tie breaker.

As expected some of the matches were quite close.  I am off to Vancouver early tomorrow morning on my way to New Zealand and will not be blogging for a few days, although I will check the results.

For results, team lineups, scorecard and more try this link.

Results Swan Games

Board 19 in the second stanza was an interesting board and a look at the strength and weakness of one of the USA pairs,  I had noticed that Hamman and Compton were not doing as well as American supporters would hope.  We all know that this is not an experienced partnership but a temporary move to fill in a gap after the untimely death of Paul Soloway.

I have temporarily rotated the hand.  East-West Vulnerable

  ♠ A85  
  ♥ J  
  ◊ J964  
  ♣ A7542  
  ♠ K763  
  ♥ K84  
  ◊ AKQ32  
  ♣ 10  
Jassem Compton Martens Hamman
pass 1◊ dbl 2NT*
pass 3♠ pass 4♣
pass 4NT pass 5♥
Dbl 6◊ all pass  

You are in the quarterfinals of the world championships in a close fought match.  You are in a slam which has become a much better one after the double of 5♥.  The opening lead is the ♥Q and Jassem wins the ♥A and returns the trump five.  What is your plan?


This is a pretty aggressive slam and I am going to need some more luck.  I have five trump tricks, a club, a heart and two spades for 9 tricks.  I need three more.  I am obviously going to need to make some ruffs.  To start with I am going to need spades 4-2.  For transport I am going to have to ruff one or two clubs back to my hand.  The good news is that the takeout doubler is likely to have at least three clubs and three spades.  After all he made a takeout double without a lot of points so he has reasonable shape.

I cash the ♥K and throw a spade from dummy and ruff a heart.  Now I play the top spades ending in hand.  I ruff a spade high.  If I am very lucky the spades are 3-3 and I can claim.  If not I am going to need to get back to hand twice on club ruffs, once to get to hand to ruff the last spade and once to get home to draw the remaining trump.

All this said I must win the first trump in hand.  Is there a better approach?    Let’s look at Compton’s idea.  One other approach is to try to set up clubs.  On the auction they are fairly likely to break.  How about a kind of dummy reversal?    You will also need either a 2-2 trump break or the ten of diamonds singleton.  You win the diamond in hand, cash the  ♥K throwing a spade and play club,ruffing, to reach this position.

  ♠ A8  
  ◊ J96  
  ♣ 754  
  ♠ K763  
  ♥ 8  
  ◊ KQ3  
  ♣ —  

You cross to dummy on a trump and ruff a club with a trump honour.  You cross again on the ♠A and ruff the penultimate club with another honour.   If trump were 2-2 your work is done if clubs have split.  If trumps were 3-1 and the 10 was singleton you ruff a heart to dummy to draw the last trump.

You can also play the hand on a cross-ruff.

Which one did you chose?  Which way is best?  It doesn’t really matter they all work!  But Compton played some in between line and it didn’t work.  Here is what he did.  He won the diamond return in dummy playing the ◊J.  Martens played the ◊10.  Winning the diamond is dummy was a fatal error.  The hand can no longer be made without both a 4-3 club break and a 2-2 diamond break (or a 3-3 spade break).  He loses the chance to make it when as was the case diamonds are 3-1 and the 10 is singleton.  You can try it and see.

  ♠ K763  
  ♥ K84  
  ◊ AKQ32  
Jassem ♣ 10 Martens
♠ 92   ♠ QJ104
♥ A9762   ♥ Q1053
◊ 875   ◊ 10
♣ J86 Hamman ♣ KQ93
  ♠ A85  
  ♥ J  
  ◊ J964  
  ♣ A7542  

This is a very complex hand and you are under a lot of pressure.  But if you want to win this event you have to make these hands.  Most imps at this level are won or lost on bidding.  But every so often they are lost on play or defence.  This was one of those times.  The other table was in 5◊.   As a result the US lost 10 imps, making the slam would have been worth 11 imps.  That is a 21 imps swing.  The USA lost to Poland by 27 imps.

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[…] Linda Lee created an interesting post today on Round of 16 World Sports Mind Games Open at the halfway point and Board 19Here’s a short outlineItaly vs India 135 69 Poland vs USA 127 […]

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