Linda Lee — My personal bridge blog

US Women’s Team Trials – The First Final

With two teams to pick for Brazil, the final that starts today is not the end of the road.  All of the four teams in the semifinals keep playing.  I like this system; it is similar to one used in curling.  The winner of today’s final goes to Brazil while the loser plays the winner of today’s second match, a playoff between what are now the three and four team.  It really a kind of double elimination among the final four teams.  The teams I thought would win did go through to today’s final.  Mancuso has been in good form all week and Baker (Dinkin) was the number one seed.  North of yesterday’s matches were fairly close all day which made it fun for the spectators if not the players.

Daily Bulletin

I did my first day as a Vugraph commentator on BBO.  It was a lot of fun especially the first session.  I got to chat with David Bird, a friend and author and Kit Woolsey, who I don’t know personally but who I respect a great deal.  There were a lot of jokes and some interesting bridge comments.  Here was one of the jokes.  We were talking about whether or not to discuss an inflammatory deal with a poor result.  I was arguing that it needed time to age and I wouldn’t discuss it for a while.  Anyway, I said that if it had happened to Ray and I, we wouldn’t be sleeping in the same beds that night.  David immediately responded; “Yes, and both beds would be labelled “I am right””.

There are many interesting hands to discuss but I will only pick a few.  This is a hand that Ray and I discussed after.  Here is your hand  sitting West, white on red


The auction starts 1-pass-1NT (forcing one round) and you overcall 2

This is passed around to South (Palmer) who bids 2.  Do you bid again?  I confess I would it looks like I have about eight tricks.  But Ray argues that I should be seeing the flashing “Warning Will Robinson, Danger!” lights.   He argues that North could have a trap pass.  Yeah, I suppose but is it really that likely.  Why can’t North have some wishy washy 13 count.  Anyway not this time.  North was 5-5 and 3 gets doubled.  The auction was identical at both tables for a push.  This is the whole deal.

West East
A72 1084
64 K8753
A Q543
AQ95432 7

Board 28 was interesting.

West East
AKQ104 J7
10852 AQJ93
Q76 AJ
10 KQJ3

The auction started off this way

North-South Vulnerable

West (Baker) North(Bjerkan) East(McCallum) South(Weinstein)
1 dbl rbl 2

Is there any way that East-West can penalize this?  On a trump lead North-South will take four tricks which adds up to 1100 and a lot of imps.  If you play that redoubles tend to be penalty oriented (as I do)  and show no real fit. then there is an argument that you should be fairly trigger happy with opponents at this vulnerability and West who has a  minimum hand, some trump and some shape might take a piece of this.  If that were the case at this vulnerability McCallum might well pass.  This is of course a fantasy.

The real question is can East-West now get to slam.  A slam that is made better by the knowledge that the heart king is almost certainly onside.  North has to hold all the high cards in fact.  At our table after 2 was passed to her McCallum continued with 3 announcing her good suit and super hand.  Now it was up to Baker.  While she did have an official minimum in my mind this hand has grown.  You have a source of tricks, lots of trump for partner, and a singleton.  I would have cuebid 4.  After that East will not stop short of slam.  But you can hardly fault Baker for bidding a simple 4.

In the other room Pollack with the East handed ended the auction quickly when she bid 3NT over South’s 2 bid in a similar auction.  I like McCallum’s action a lot better.

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