Linda Lee — My personal bridge blog

The last of the round robin Women Denmark vs France

I decided to spend my last session in the round robin with the women.  I have played this event and I have some feel for what it is like (hard) and the quality of the bridge (good but with some weaker teams).  It is fun to play, I liked most of my opponents and most of my team-mates.  I think it is fun to watch because I can identify with the problems that the players have.  I used to think more strange things happen in the women’s events but lots of them happen in the open too.

Going into the seventeenth and final round Group F was up for grabs.  Here is the leader board and you will see what I mean.

  1. Finland 304
  2. France 299
  3. China 298.5
  4. Russia 294
  5. Denmark 287
  6. Spain 281

As you can see this was a very important match for both teams.  The first board provided an interesting defensive problem for Hugon.  She held 

♠ J4  
♥ KQJ942  
◊ AQ84  
♣ 6


West North East South
  1◊ PASS 2♣
2♥ dbl* 3♥ 4♣
4♥ 5♣ all pass  

Hugon led the ♥K and saw this dummy.


♠ A1098  
♥ 5  
◊ J109765  
♣ AQ

Partner followed with the ♥6 and declarer won the ace.  Declarer ruffed a heart and cashed the ♣A partnering following with the ♣4 and declarer with the ♣3.  Declarer now played the ◊J, partner followed with the ◊2, declarer with the ◊3 and Hugon won the ◊Q.  What now?

There is exactly one diamond left the ◊K.  I think part would have covered the diamond with king and one.  In that case declarer has the ◊K left.  That gives you two possible winners.  If your side has a slow spade trick and you don’t cash your ◊A then there is the danger (as on the hand) that declarer can set up a slow spade winner by losing a spade trick to partner and ultimately throw a diamond on dummy’s fourth spade.  On the other hand you can’t cash you ◊A because it sets up the whole suit for declarer while dummy still has an entry.  The only approach is to lead a small diamond for partner to trump.  Are there dangers with this approach?   What if partner has a slow club trick like the jack fourth.  But declarer wouldn’t have played on diamonds if she had the top spades so you will defeat the hand anyway.  I can’t think of a position where this play allows the contract to make when it might go down other than that one.  Maybe you can. 

The whole hand is

North-South Vulnerable Dealer North

  ♠ A1098  
  ♥ 5  
  ◊ J109765  
Hugon ♣ AQ Dauvergne
♠ J4   ♠ Q765
♥ KQJ942   ♥ 10763
◊ AQ84   ◊ 2
♣ 6 Rahelt ♣ 9542
  ♠ K32  
  ♥ A8  
  ◊ K3  
  ♣ KJ10873  

In the closed room North South were allowed to play 3NT which was no challenge at all for a push.

Board 2 was the first swing when the French bid a slim vulnerable game.  Do you want to be in this game?  Here is the hand.

North-South Vulnerable

  ♠ QJ  
  ♥ KQ103  
  ◊ Q975  
Binderkran ♣ K108 Bekkouche
♠ K8632   ♠ 10754
♥ A7   ♥ J9
◊ 102   ◊ A83
♣ A954 Thuillez ♣ Q763
  ♠ A9  
  ♥ 86542  
  ◊ KJ64  
  ♣ J2  



West North East South
    pass pass
1♠ dbl 3♠ 4♥
all pass      

It’s a vulnerable game so generally I am in favour of them.  I would start with the assumption that the ♠K is more likely to be offside (no guarantee here).  You have three losers for sure if you guess clubs and you can’t really try both the spade finesse and try to develop an extra club trick but there might be an end play.  And there is always a chance you will get a little help from the defence (as here) when Thuillez got a spade lead.  Now all that was needed was to guess clubs and have nothing bad happen in trumps or diamonds.  10 imps to France. 

Things were pretty quiet now until board 8 when the Danes in the closed room made 3♥ which failed in the open room.  Hugon had an accident.  She was in a position to claim when she called for an inappropriate trump from dummy.  On BBO when I make a mistake like that I explain after the hand that I mispulled.  Maybe she did.  In any case it was 5 imps away.

On board 12 the Danes pushed the French into 5♣ with some aggressive preemptive bidding.  This was one club too many and 6 imps for Denmark when the Danes in the closed room stayed safely at the four-level.  Going into Board 13 with all the to’s and fro’s it was a tie score.  Board 13 was an interesting play hand in 3NT and that was the Danish contract in the Open Road.  In the closed room the French arrived in a rather strange contract.  Looking at the French convention card

Hugon-Dauvergen convention card

I see that an opening 2♥ bid vulnerable shows 5 hearts and 4 in a minor and 4-10.  That seems a little extreme to me. ( I like to play it 5-5 and vulnerable probably a bit stronger than that.)  This caused a problem for Hugon who had

♠ AJ82  
♥ 2  
◊ QJ3  
♣ KQ432

She bid 3♣ pass or correct and took her lumps in the 4-3 diamond fit which has the virtue of being cold on the lie of the cards.  3NT was not cold but the defence was tricky and declarer emerged with nine tricks for 10 imps

Board 15 was a huge swing.  Denmark was leading France 25-15.  What do you open this hand?  You are not vulnerable against vulnerable in second chair.

♠ AK108763  
♥ QJ52  
◊ —  
♣ 64

I like 4♠ but I suppose some purist will argue with that.  Hugon also liked it and the auction was short and sweet in the Open Room.   The Danes teamed up to find the perfect defence to let her make it and it all seemed sort of logical.  Here is the whole hand.

  ♠ Q4  
  ♥ K87  
  ◊ Q865  
Hugon ♣ AKQ10 Dauvergne
♠ AK108763   ♠ 52
♥ QJ52   ♥ 6
◊ —   ◊ A10432
♣ 64 Rahelt ♣ J8532
  ♠ J9  
  ♥ A10943  
  ◊ KJ97  
  ♣ 97  

Can you come up with a logical defence that allows the hand to make?  …………………………………………………………….

Farholt started with a high club.  Rahel followed with the ♣7 and Hugon with the ♣6.  Not quite sure of the count, Farhold switched to a heart (which I admit is unlikely to be right).  At this point Rahelt must switch to a club to defeat the contract (since the defenders have set up the ruffing finesse in hearts but she returned a trump.  Is that logical enough?  4♠ making.

Meanwhile in the Closed Room the auction went more slowly. 

West North East South
1♠ dbl 2♠ dbl
4♠ pass pass dbl
all pass      

As a result East-West got doubled.  (Should have opened 4♠.)  This time Jeannin-na for the French found the spade shift at trick 2 and this was diabolical for declarer who went down the regulation.  14 big imps for France who took back the lead 29-25.

On the very last board Hugon underbid her hand a lot and the French stopped in 2♣ get to game on a hand that was cold for slam.  Yes cold without a ruff on the opening lead.  That was 10 imps for the Danes for 10 imps. 

The final score was Denmark 35 – France 29 giving the Danes the bragging rights (and 16 VP).  Both teams had enough to make the top 5 and the quarterfinals.

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