Linda Lee — My personal bridge blog

Close But No …

Whoever you were rooting for the final 16 boards of the two senior matches were very exciting.  Ray and I decided to watch the USA 2 versus Poland final in our room.  This allowed us to watch both sides of the match.  Ray watched the Closed Room and I watched the action in the Open Room and we kept each other informed of events.  Meanwhile we tracked the rest of the results on the handy in-room television station which displayed the current set.

Let me say that things have picked up around here in the last little while.  Last night we went to a very good and relatively inexpensive restaurant and met up with a lot of German players and Mike Yuen.  Joan Eaton had recommended the place called Sunday’s.  Beside an extensive salad bar they brought slabs of yummy cooked meat to your table and cut you pieces to order.  It was all a lot of fun.  Then today Ray was interviewed for the pre-game Vugraph show.  He did very well and I even got a mention.  Not about the fact that I had put up with him for 37 years.

The last round started with the USA holding  slim 2 imp lead.  This was not to survive the first board.  It seemed to me that Mike Passell had that extra bit of adrenalin going that you some times have in this situation.  In tennis I imagine that in a similar situation you put too much power in your swing and hit the ball out of bounds.  Mike perhaps, did something similar.  In fourth chair the auction had started 1♣ on his left and 1♦ on his right.  His opponents Apolinary Kowalski  and Jacek Romanski were playing Red Polish Club.  Their Convention Card.  Kowalski opened 1♣ which showed a balanced hand outside their notrump range (either 12-14 or 18+) or any strong hand.  Romanski bid 1♦ showing 0-7 HCP or various other stronger hands. 

I am sure that Passell and Sutherlin, his partner had a defense planned and maybe it said be aggressive with overcalls over 1♣-1♦.  Anyway the auction started that way and it was Passell’s turn.  Do you bid on the West hand into that auction.

Board 17. Dealer North. Nobody Vulnerable.

♠ 5
♥ K 6 4 3 2
♦  K 9 7
♣ A Q 10 6


Passell decided to overcall 1♥,  despite the anemic heart spots.   This was the whole hand.


Board 17.

♠ K J 6 3
♥ A Q 9 8 5
♦  A J 2
♣ K
♠ 5
♥ K 6 4 3 2
♦ K 9 7 
♣ A Q 10 6
Bridge deal Sutherlin
♠ Q 9 8 7 2
♥ —
♦ Q 10 6 4
♣ 9 7 3 2
♠ A 10 4
♥ J 10 7
♦ 8 5 3
♣ J 8 5 4


The bidding proceeded

Passell Kowalski Sutherlin Romanski
  1♣ pass 1♥
1♥ pass pass dbl
pass pass 1♠ pass
pass dbl all pass  


Even later in the deal, down 3 was possible but it is not always the easiest thing to defend these strange contracts and the defense slipped a bit to let Sutherlin out for -300.  But unfotunately for USA nothing really makes North-South on the lie of the cards and at the other table North-South went down 3 in 4♥.  Poland now lead 217-209.

The next board was a total disaster for Passell-Sutherlin.  It was perhaps set up but the use of a version of a Muidenberg two bid where 2 of a major shows 5 of that major and a minor  They play it in a similar way to the the way I like to play it although perhaps their bid can be a bit stronger.  Two of the major shows 6 – 11 HCP and at least 5/5 in that major and one of the minors.  Sutherlin passed and Romanski opened 2♠.  Passell held

Board 18. Dealer East. North-South Vulnerable.

♠ A Q J 6 5
♥ K J 10 4
♦ K
♣ K 10 6

I know he is not vulnerable and he does have 17 HCP but the spades look a lot better on defense than on offense.  This whole hand looks like it could be a misfit and he has only seven cards in the offsuits presuming that South has spades.  Besides the stiff diamond king is not likely to be that valuable as declarer.  Anyway he doubled and by the time the auction drew to a close he was in 3♥ doubled.

East held a terrible hand and this went down 5 at least (there was some confusion and it did appear it might have been down 6.)  As you might guess nothing split.  A the other table 3NT was very awkward with the misfit and bad splits and ended up down 1.  15 imps to Poland.

♠ 9 3 2
♥ 8 6 2
♦ 10 7 6
♣ 9 8 5 4

And despite 14l more boards to come that was really the end of the match. 

The France-China Venice Cup match was also quite exciting with China having taken the lead with a big fifth session.   They started the sixth session 30 imps apart and the match ended with France having made up only 6 imps of the deficit.  France would have been my pick to win the event and both of these teams could easily have been the winner.  So China will go on to face USA1 tomorrow and France will have to fight it out for a bronze.

We are trying to get hold of a copy of Ray’s interview and if we can we will find a way to post it somewhere.


MichaelSeptember 10th, 2009 at 11:33 am

The Restaurant name is South’s Place. They send a car for you if you make a reservation.

Ross TaylorSeptember 10th, 2009 at 12:56 pm

Exciting stuff – we’ve all made worse bids than Passel’s here, but at the same time, the danger is always lurking and the results speak for themselves. A fine line between focused aggression, and being loose I guess.

LindaSeptember 10th, 2009 at 1:33 pm

One of the things that was clear in this championships was that preemption of various sorts usually worked. 2 level bids that showed two suiters were particularly effective. Perhaps the only preempts that didn’t work well were suicide weak 2’s. The problem with bidding hands with one or two high cards seemed to be that the opponents found their spot anyway and the bid was a roadmap for declarer. (On two hands teams won game swings on hands where declarer had to pick up Qxxx and after the preempt played correctly for the non preemptor to have Qxx). As I think of it this is discussion is worth its own blog!

Luise LeeSeptember 10th, 2009 at 1:43 pm

Wow, you mean you’re actually leaving the hotel for dinner?

Have you been mugged yet?

… just kidding 🙂

Anyway, good to see you are enjoying the bridge. I’m excited to see the results of the final events.

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