Linda Lee — My personal bridge blog

Stanza 1 of the Quarterfinals of the WSMG

Since they are started this match at a civilized time for this continent (10PM EST) I am going to live blog it.  Looking at the schedule I have picked the USA against Poland as the match to watch.  Readers may recall that I have actually (sorry !) picked Poland as the winners but I think this will be a thriller and the USA could easily win.

It’s 9:53 PM and I am going to get my seat warmed up and just check out the Meckwell convention card.

 meckwell convention card

As I am watching  the Poles quickly and efficiently bid to 6♠ Jim (Flash) Gordon on BBO made the somewhat unpleasant comment that he heard Canada had cut off relations with Trinidad-Tobago. Hmmm.  Did they really win imps on that hand?  I have to check out the other table.

  ♠ Q65  
  ♥ AKQ92  
  ◊ K982  
Gierlski ♣ 2 Skrzypczak
♠ 98   ♠ 43
♥ J6   ♥ 874
◊ 10753   ◊ QJ4
♣ AQ1086 Nickell ♣ K7543
  ♠ AKJ1072  
  ♥ 1053  
  ◊ A6  
  ♣ J9  



Freeman Nickell
1♥ 1♠
2◊ 3♣
3♠ 4♠
all pass  

I guess it itsn’t all that easy to get to slam in standard.  The fourth suit forcing auction is awkward.  I suppose Nickell might have tried 4◊.  No really huge mistake but 11 imps.

Board 2 Meckwell white on red pushed the Poles as much as they could but the Poles took the push to 5♠ which they made for a push.

The running scores are on Running scores on Swan but they must be delayed since there are no scores up right now and we are on board 3, 3NT which Poland are now playing for overtricks.

Two quite dull pushes and Board 4 looks like one too.  While they play 4♠ in each room I think I will check the other matches.  Interesting that a lot of teams are not getting to the slam on board 1.  I better relook at the auction the Poles had and see how they reached it (so did China).  Well Chagas and Villas-Boa are bidding Board 1 right now let’s see how they do. 

Chaga Villas-Boa
1♥ 1NT* (spades)
3♠ 4◊
4♥ 4♠

Chagas thought a long time and passed.  Was South worried about a club control?  Should North make another try? 

For the record here is the Poles auction

Martens Jassem
1♥ 1♠
2◊ 3♠
4♣ 4◊
4♠ 4NT
5◊ 5♥
6♠ all pass

I assume they must play 3♠ as forcing.  It saved some room making it easy for Martens to cue bid clubs and give Jassem the confidence to push for slam.  I can see from the running score which is now up for Board 1 that this has been a swing board in a lot of matches.

Ray just came in and reported that the Denmark Women’s team had a remarkable result to beat 4♠ on Board 4.  It was made at both tables in this match.   It is an opening lead problem but I will leave it to Ray to report it since it was such a shining result for the ladies.

Only an overtrick has changed hands as we come to Board 5.  On Board 7 it appears that Meckwell have a decent score they are in 3♥ which is going to make right on.

Back to Board 6 in the closed room and both tables have ended in a notrump partscore in notrump but in different directions.  Well it looks like an imp.  Down 1 at this table for US +100 and making 2NT in the other table for +120 Poles.  Taking the score to 12-1.

On Board 7 the Poles did get to 4♥  when Freeman-Nickell were more active in the auction.  This is going down for a swing for the US – down 2.  9 imps at the US.  Here is the hand

  ♠ AJ3  
  ♥ K104  
  ◊ 1092  
Meckstroth ♣ J982 Rodwell
♠ 9864   ♠ K
♥ 765   ♥ Q9832
◊ QJ8   ◊ AK764
♣ A54 Jassem ♣ K7
  ♠ Q10752  
  ♥ AJ  
  ◊ 43  
  ♣ Q1063  


Meckstroth Martens Rodwell Jassem
pass pass 1♥ 1♠
2♥ pass 2♠  
3♥ all pass    

On a diamond lead Meckstroth drew trump and claimed.  In the other room here was the auction

Gierlski Freeman Skrzypczak Nickell
pass pass 1♥ 1♠
2♥ 2♠ 3◊ pass
4♥ all pass    

In the competitive auction Skrzypczak used 3◊ as a game try and Gierlski liked his diamonds.  NIckell started a spade and the punch worked quite well to get two down.

Back with Meckwell in the Open Room there is some excitement they are defending 1NT doubled.  Nobody Vulnerable.

  ♠ Q975  
  ♥ K106  
  ◊ AK9  
Meckstroth ♣ Q103 Rodwell
♠ 108   ♠ AKJ4
♥ AJ93   ♥ Q42
◊ QJ64   ◊ 73
♣ 974 Jassem ♣ A865
  ♠ 632  
  ♥ 875  
  ◊ 10852  
  ♣ KJ2  

Martens opened 1NT (11-14) NV and Rodwell doubled.  This went down 2 for 300.  At the other table where they were playing strong notrump played in a heart part-score making three.  4 imps for the Americans.  The score after 8 boards in 13-12 for the USA.

I am looking at Board 9 and I like Freeman’s bid.  He has

  ♠ J875  
  ♥ 8  
  ◊ 102  
  ♣ J98652

He is at favourable vulnerability and Nickell opens 1♣ in third.  Gierlski overcalls 1♠ he bid 4♣ and they end up saving in 5♣ doubled down 1.   Same result at both tables but on the lie of the cards you can’t make 4♠.  This does seem to be the usual result.

Board 10 and Board 11 are both possible slams.  Martens and Jassem fail to bid either of them.  Freeman and Nickell missed the first one and our bidding the second now.  Let’s see how they do.

  ♠ Q4  
  ♥ 872  
  ◊ Q872  
Gierlski ♣ A943 Skrzypczak
♠ J87   ♠ 10963
♥ AJ965   ♥ KQ1043
◊ 1063   ◊ K
♣ K8 Nickell ♣ 752
  ♠ AK52  
  ♥ —  
  ◊ AJ954  
  ♣ QJ106  



Gierlski Freeman Skrzypczak Nickell
♥1 2◊ 3◊ 3♥
dbl 4♣ pass ?

Nickell is thinking about what to do and chose 5♣, this is a strange bid with both spade honours.  Freeman pretty well has to bid 5◊ unless 5♣  has a meaning I don’t understand.  And here they play it in the diamond game for a push.  Ray came in with a highlight from his match.  One table the Danish ladies got to the slam and the Dutch ladies stopped in a partscore!

At the end of eleven boards the USA is leading Poland by 1 imp 12 VP – 13VP.   But Board 12 is a big swing though.

All vulnerable

  ♠ 72  
  ♥ AQJ852  
  ◊ 2  
Gierlski ♣ AJ75 Skrzypczak
♠ J954   ♠ A3
♥ 3   ♥ 964
◊ KJ6   ◊ AQ87543
♣ KQ642 Nickell ♣ 9
  ♠ KQ1086  
  ♥ K107  
  ◊ 109  
  ♣ 1083  



Gierlski Freeman Skrzypczak Nickell
  1♥ 3◊ 3♥
4♣ 4♥ dbl all pass

The play in four hearts went pretty quickly 790. Meckwell took the save in 5◊ down 1.  12 imps for the US.

Board 13 looks like a possible minus position for Meckwell.  3NT is cold on the lie of the cards.Woops.  The Poles bid the game at the other table.  Not often you see Meckwell miss 3NT.  There is only 24 HCP but that doesn’t usually stop the dynamic duo.

Here is the hand.

All vulnerable

  ♠ AJ43  
  ♥ J75  
  ◊ 976  
Meckstroth ♣ 1095 Rodwell
♠ 1072   ♠ K8
♥ Q62   ♥ A3
◊ Q43   ◊ KJ1085
♣ A742 Jassem ♣ KQ83
  ♠ Q965  
  ♥ K10984  
  ◊ A2  
  ♣ J6  



Gierlski Freeman Skrzypczak Nickell
  pass 1◊ 1♥
1NT pass 3NT all pass

Ray tells me this is the same auction that the Danish ladies also got to game.  And Meckwell?

Meckstroth Martens Rodwell Jassem
  pass 1NT all pass

They play 15-17 notrump here.  Jeff’s pass seems normal. 10 imps to China.  The score was 25-22 for the USA going into the fourteenth and last board.

The last board was a small swing.  Poland played in 1NTmaking 2 for +120 but Meckwell reached 2NT. 7 tricks was no problem but on a passive defence Rodwell couldn’t find an eighth. 5 more to Poland who finish up 27-25 in a hard fought match.  If I had to make a prediction it would be that this match is going to be close right to the end.  These are two very good teams fighting it out.

Leave a comment

Your comment