Linda Lee — My personal bridge blog

The European Championships – Mixed Teams

I have been doing some commentary on the Mixed Teams taking place now at the European Championships in Poland.  I was planning to write more about it but to be honest the bridge has been … the best thing I can say is … not very good.  Mixed is sometimes like that because there are a lot of unfamiliar partnerships.  The first component was a Swiss designed to get down to 16 teams for a knockout.  I did commentary on the first half of the knockout today.  The particular match I watched was also not top caliber.  Perhaps some of the other knockouts were better.   A team named “Russia” drilled a Scottish team.  But Russia made their fair share of mistakes and just got away with them.

This was one case in point.  With everybody vulnerable  East opens 1 and you have





While slam is not out of the question I like the simple bid of 5 After all they could be making just about anything in the majors.  It is true that if partner has some club fillers six is not out of the question and partner will not raise but bridge is not about being “perfect”.  Anyway our South doubled.  West bid 2 which was a transfer to spades.  Undeterred North bid 2 natural anyway and West bid 3♣. At this point slam is very unlikely since you are probably going to have club losers.  No matter what I go back to my original plan of bidding 5D.  Our South was more cautious and bid 3 which as you note she can make easily in her own hand.  Now this should show a very strong hand with good diamond and I suppose she does have that.

North persisted with 3 (still not quite understanding the auction) and having one more chance South bid  … 4 .  Partner didn’t have much but just enough to make the diamond game.






















In the other room South did indeed bid 5D over an opening strong club bid.  When East reopened with a double West was allowed to play 5 undoubled.  So as it turned out failing to bid the diamond game in our room only cost a couple of imps.

I wasn’t trying to pick on anybody with this particular example.  By and large it is representative of what went on during the match.  One spectator was lamenting the fact that the British teams were not prepared to play against the effective and different Eastern European system.  I think what happened had nothing to do with system.  It had to do with partnerships that were less strong than you might see in other events.  Maybe Mixed is an event which shouldn’t even exist except at dinner parties.


PaulJune 20th, 2011 at 12:32 pm


The Russia team comprises the top Open and top Women pairs and must be one of the favourites for the event, despite Gromova’s bidding of the big diamond hand.

Their opponents are definitely English, not Scottish, and comprise one regular partnership and one that is less practised, although you would be hard pressed to say which is which.

West’s 2♥ bid was a natural raise. It did not show spades, so North’s bidding was reasonable.

I don’t understand the comment about British teams not being prepared to play against the Eastern Europeans. There are not a huge number of British pairs at the event, but this has more to do with the pricing than the opposition. It is a lot cheaper to come to Toronto!

Linda LeeJune 20th, 2011 at 12:43 pm

The comment about British pairs was comments from two different spectators and I disagreed with them both. I don’t think that was an issue particularly. I am not faulting the spade bid, it was the rather cautious bidding by South. The 2H bid was alerted but obviously as I look at it that showed a weak heart raise.

The point here was the “cautious” diamond bids by South. This match was representative of the three matches I saw so far. The bridge was disappointing.

My comment about mixed being a generally weak event still stands.

PaulJune 20th, 2011 at 3:54 pm

It is unsurprising that the mixed event is of variable quality.

Firstly I think the vast majority regard it is as a social event rather than a serious competition, with few of the competitors playing in their ‘serious partnership’.

Just how many of these partnerships are playing in the Open Teams/Pairs?

But the EBL and WBF love these money-spinning events 🙂

Leave a comment

Your comment