Linda Lee — My personal bridge blog

Can She Do It

Did you ever see one of those commercials for the Olympics or another long-term sporting event where the hero goes into training to watch all those events.  I feel a bit like that but my participation is a bit more active.  I am going to try this morning to watch, blog and comment on the Bermuda Bowl match between the Netherlands and Chinese Taipei.  The rankings after 6 rounds are:

1 Norway 126
2 Bulgaria 121
3 Netherlands 116
4 China Long Zhu Open 115
5 Argentina 113
6 Italy 110
7 USA 2 106
8 Germany 104
9 Chinese Taipei 101

Sitting North is Hsin-Lung YANG (Chinese Taipei)  and South is Chi Hua CHEN (Chinese Taipei).  West is Ton BAKKEREN (Netherlands) and East is Huub BERTENS (Netherlands)

One thing that can be said for this match is that it has never been boring.  Imps were exchanged on the boards but two with five of them being swings of nine or more imps.  At times the Netherlands looked like they had decided to give Chinese Taipei a chance but in the end they provide far too strong and ended up taking Chinese Taipei minus with a score of 25 VP (the maximum) to 4 VP. 

This is the story of how you can go minus on what was really not that swingy a set of board.  The first board looked like it had to be a flat board to us in the Closed Room. 

Board 1 Dealer North. None Vulnerable.

  ♠ Q92
♥ QJ754
♦ Q954
♣ 10
♠ A72
♥ K82
♦ A6
♣ A8642
Bridge deal ♠ 10543
♥ A
♦ 832 
♣ KQJ53
  ♠ KJ8
♥ 10963
♦ KJ107
♣ 97

You would expect at most tables where East-West was playing strong notrump that West would open 1NT in fourth chair and East would Stayman but eventually bid 3NT.  That was the auction in the Closed Room.  But in the Open Room things would take a different turn.  East opened 2♣ (Precision) and West rather liked his hand.  East showed five clubs and four spades and nothing could prevent West from bidding the no play club slam.  West does have quite a nice hand and I would venture to say that East does not really have an opening bid.  But maybe there should have been someway for East to find out that West didn’t have any spade honors.  The word hanged comes to mind.  But I do not lay blame on for this one on any particular player.

The adrenaline (testastone?) was clearly flowing a few boards later.   It is interesting to see how the minor disaster on Board 3 unfolded.

Board 3 Dealer North. East-West Vulnerable.

  ♠ Q9653
♥ 63
♦ AQJ8
♣ Q10
♠ 10
♥ Q10982
♦ K652
♣ AK6
Bridge deal ♠ AK874
♥ 5
♦ 109 
♣ 87432
  ♠ J2
♥ AKJ75
♦ 743
♣ J95


South, Muller made a nice aggressive preempt at favorable by opening 2♥ which was passed around to East who balanced for better or worse 2♠.  What should West do?  There is no obvious answer.  Nothing much is very good.  But 3NT seems overboard.  Luckily nobody doubled by this was still 9 imps to the Netherlands.  And so it went board after board with most of the blows going the way of the Netherlands.

It wasn’t always great bridge but it was always interesting and exciting and it demonstrated why the Netherlands could generate action, make the right decisions and be on the top of the leader board.

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