18th European Youth Team Championships Page 4 Bulletin 10 - Wednesday, 17 July  2002

Everybody Not So Happy!

Board 4. Dealer West. All Vul.
  ª J 5 4
© A 3
¨ A J 8 5 3
§ J 8 4
ª -
© J 9 7 5 2
¨ Q 9 6 4 2
§ K 6 5
Bridge deal ª K Q 6 3
© K Q 6
¨ -
§ A Q 10 9 7 2
  ª A 10 9 8 7 2
© 10 8 4
¨ K 10 7
§ 3

West North East South
Flynn Zielinski Carrigan Karkowicz
Pass Pass 1§ Pass
2§ Pass 5§ Pass
Pass Pass Dble All Pass

We need to make a correction to a story from yesterday's Bulletin. We received the original story from the Irish team and the auction given was as above. Perhaps the fact that East had doubled his own contract might have tipped us off to the fact that something wasn't quite right. Of course, as the text suggested, it was North who doubled the final contract. However, this was somewhat less of a gamble than we suggested as the other thing wrong with the published auction was that South had actually overcalled 1ª.

Clearly, partner's overcall affects the likely success of North's double, so our apologies to Piotr Zielinski, who had already suffered enough when he conceded a doubled overtrick without being also accused of taking a wild gamble.

Israeli 'Kids' Strike Again

As we all know, the Israeli Schools team includes the youngest pair at these Championships - and Israel are doing rather well. In Schools Round 9 Israel blitzed Ireland 25-0. The two youngsters, Lotan Fisher and Eliran Argelazi bid to an optimistic slam on this deal and brought it home for one of many big swings in their favour.

Board 4. Dealer West. All Vul.
  ª Q 8 7 4
© A J 10 9
¨ K 7 6 5
§ 10
ª 6 5 2
© 7 6 5
¨ 8
§ A J 8 6 5 3
Bridge deal ª J 10
© K 8 4 3 2
¨ Q 10 9 4
§ 4 2
  ª A K 9 3
© Q
¨ A J 3 2
§ K Q 9 7

West North East South
  Fisher   Argelazi
Pass Pass Pass 1¨
Pass 1© Pass 2NT
Pass 3§(i) Pass 3ª
Pass 4§(ii) Pass 4¨(ii)
Pass 6ª All Pass  

(i) Checkback
(ii) Cuebid

The 2NT rebid is perhaps a little agricultural but that is what Checkback is for and the Israelis had no trouble in finding the spade fit. The spade slam is not really one you would want to be in, but as my definition of a good slam is one that makes I would be the last person to argue with success.

The Irish West gave declarer a good start by cashing the ace of clubs then switching to his diamond for the queen and ace. Argelazi drew three rounds of trumps, ruffed a club, then played ¨K and a diamond to the jack. Now he ran his black winners. At the end, East was squeezed in the red suits and leading the ©Q to dummy's ace saw the fall of the king; twelve tricks and +1430.

Of course, declarer could have tested the diamonds and clubs earlier and, on discovering that he needed a second heart trick, guessed which way to take a finesse in the suit, but the squeeze looks much prettier, don't you think?

Irish Eyes Are Smiling

Ireland were one the three Schools teams from the British Isles to score zero VPs in their Monday morning match. The inexperienced Irish team may be struggling near the wrong end of the rankings, but they are enjoying these Championships and the experience gained will be of great benefit in the future. They lost again in the afternoon but put up a much better fight against the useful French side before going down by 10-20 VPs. Ireland had two big gains in the match.

Board 4. Dealer West. All Vul.
  ª A J 10 9 7
© A K Q 7 6 3
¨ J 2
§ -
ª 6 5 2
© J
¨ A Q 10 9 8 5 4
§ 9 3
Bridge deal ª K 4 3
© 10 9
¨ K 7 3
§ 10 7 5 4 2
  ª Q 8
© 8 5 4 2
¨ 6
§ A K Q J 8 6

West North East South
Flynn Faure Carrigan Ancelin
3¨ 4¨ Pass 4©
All Pass      

West North East South
Moreau Davis Raynaud O'Muircheartaigh
3¨ 4¨ Dble 4©
Pass 4NT Dble 5¨
Dble 6© All Pass  

Both Norths cuebid to show their two-suiter. The Irish East, Andrew Carrigan, passed and David Ancelin had a useful hand, perhaps a borderline slam try. He took the cautious route, being concerned by his lack of a heart honour on a deal where there were likely to be bad breaks. The two diamond losers were enough to prevent Cedric Faure from going on so 4© became the final contract; +710 after a club lead.

Francois Raynaud doubled the 4¨ cuebid and perhaps that made Cian O'Muircheartaigh's free 4© bid sound a little stronger. Whatever the reason, Emmett Davis went on with the North hand, checking for key cards then bidding the small slam; +1430 after a diamond lead and 12 IMPs to Ireland.

Incidentally, there were many tables at which slam was missed, and many where it was bid. We heard of a number at which East's decision to double 4¨ helped North/South to get to the slam. For example, the English Junior pairing of Probst/Handley-Pritchard had the agreement that a redoubled from South now guaranteed a diamond control as well as some reasonable values. The borderline hand had been provided with an easy way to express itself and a few seconds later North had jumped to 6©. While East's double may appear to be obvious, what will it actually achieve? Is it not more likely to aid the opposition that to help partner?

Board 19. Dealer South. East/West Vul.
  ª 9 8 7 5 2
© Q J 6
¨ 6
§ K 8 4 3
ª A K 3
© 10 9 5 2
¨ Q 2
§ 10 9 5 2
Bridge deal ª J 10 4
© A K 8 4
¨ K 10 7
§ A J 7
  ª Q 6
© 7 3
¨ A J 9 8 5 4 3
§ Q 6

West North East South
Flynn Faure Carrigan Ancelin
Pass Pass 1© 3¨
3© Pass 3NT All Pass

West North East South
Moreau Davis Raynaud O'Muircheartaigh
Pass Pass Dble Pass
3© All Pass    

O'Muircheartaigh opened the routine 3¨ as South and that ran around to Raynaud who doubled for take-out and Josephine Moreau responded 3©, where she played. The defence began with a diamond to the ace and a diamond ruff but there was just one club to lose from there; +170.

Raynaud was not the only player in the tournament to choose a take-out double but it does seem to be an odd choice. OK, 3NT doesn't have to succeed, but it is simply the correct bid when holding a strong no trump including a stopper in the opponents' suit. I could be sold on the idea of passing, at least I could if the vulnerability were different, but once you take a positive action there is only one possibility, surely?

Maybe this is the French style but I am convinced that it is losing bridge not to pre-empt with a hand like South's, and I would bet that most juniors (who rather like pre-empting from what I have seen) would agree with me. Ancelin passed and that gave Carrigan an opportunity to open 1© in fourth seat. Now Ancelin came in with 3¨ but it was too late. Flynn had an easy 3© bid and Carrigan tried 3NT on the way to 4©. Flynn had a useful diamond card so was happy to pass 3NT. The low diamond lead ran round to declarer's ten. Carrigan ran the ªJ then played a spade to the ace followed by a heart to his eight. Conceding a diamond established a tenth trick for +630 and 10 IMPs to Ireland.

Two to remember

By Stefan Back

Two remarkable slams bid by the German Schools team decided the match against the Dutch team in Round 10.
Dennis and the menace

Board 5. Dealer North. North/South Vul.
  ª 2
© J 9 7 5 3
¨ 8 7 6
§ K 10 8 5
ª A K 7
© A K 4 2
¨ K 9 4
§ A J 3
Bridge deal ª Q 10 9 8 6 5 4
© 10 8 6
¨ Q
§ 9 4
  ª J 3
© Q
¨ A J 10 5 3 2
§ Q 7 6 2

In the Closed Room the Netherlands had bid 3sx - 6sx and declarer went one off when South led ¨A and switched to a club. Declarer discarded a heart on the ¨K and rested his hopes on hearts being 3-3 to get rid of the club loser later on. As it wasn't to be, Germany scored +100.

At the other table Dennis Kraemer wanted to protect his ¨K:

West North East South
Kraemer   Smirnov  
  Pass 3ª Pass
6NT All Pass    

Here North led a heart to the queen and ace and declarer set the stage by playing a diamond to the queen and ace. When South, understandably, continued with ¨J (a club would have doomed the contract), Dennis was in full control. He correctly cashed ©A and rattled of all his spades to reach the following ending:

  ª -
© J
¨ -
§ K 10
ª -
© -
¨ 9
§ A J
Bridge deal ª 6
© 10
¨ -
§ 9
  ª -
© -
¨ 10
§ Q 7

When declarer led dummy's last trump, South had to let go §7 and now declarer threw the ¨9, but North was left without a good discard; Germany +990 and 14 IMPs.

Janko's 'Grand' Coup

'Showtime!' Janko Katerbau must have thought, when he undertook a bold adventure just a couple of boards later:

Board 11. Dealer South. None Vul.
  ª 6
© A K Q 10 9 7 3
¨ Q 10 4 3 2
§ -
ª K Q
© 6 5 4
¨ J 5
§ A K 9 7 3 2
Bridge deal ª A 10 7 5 3 2
© 8 2
¨ 9
§ Q 10 5 4
  ª J 9 8 4
© J
¨ A K 8 7 6
§ J 8 6

The bidding in the Open Room was short. West opened 1§, North bid 4© and East 4ª. This was passed around to North, whose 5¨ bid ended the auction.

At the other table Maria Wuermseer took her partner more seriously and raised 5¨ to six. When West decided that it was now time to bid 6ª, an exciting plan came to Janko's mind. Who would lead a spade if he bid 7¨ now? So he did and the bidding was soon over:

West North East South
  Katerbau   Wuermseer
  1§ 4© 4ª Pass
Pass 5¨ Pass 6¨
6ª 7¨ Pass Pass
Dble All Pass    

Of course, you already guessed what happened next. Poor West led a club, Janko ruffed, drew the outstanding trumps and discarded all the spades on the good hearts; Germany +1630 and another 15 IMPs that helped the German Team to outscore their opponents by 11 IMPs to win the match by 43-32 IMPs, 17-13 VPs.

Swedish Squeeze

We often see squeeze play by declarer, but much more rare is a defensive squeeze. The Swedish Schools pair of Daniel Salomonsson and Sara Sivelind came across this rare beast during Sweden's 19-11 victory over perennial rivals, Norway in Round 11.

Board 16. Dealer West. East/West Vul.
  ª J 10 5
© 5 2
¨ K 5 3 2
§ A K 6 5
ª 8 7
© K J 4
¨ A Q J 9
§ Q J 10 2
Bridge deal ª Q 6 4 2
© 9 8 6
¨ 10 7 6 4
§ 8 4
  ª A K 9 3
© A Q 10 7 3
¨ 8
§ 9 7 3

West North East South
Lindqvist Salomonsson E Eide Sivelind
1NT Pass Pass Dble
All Pass      

When Espen Lindqvist's weak no trump came around, Sara Sivelind doubled, ending the auction. Daniel Salomonsson led a top club and Sivelind discouraged with the nine. Salomonsson switched to the ªJ for the queen and king and sara went back to clubs, Salomonsson ducking declarer's jack. Lindqvist now tried to force a dummy entry to allow him to lead up to the heart honours. He led the ¨J, followed by ¨A and ¨Q. However, Salomonsson refused to cover either the jack or queen.

Lindqvist exited with a spade (a club would have been much better) and Salomonsson won the ten and cashed the ¨K. Meanwhile, Sivelind had pitched three of her small hearts on the diamonds. Salomonsson played his last spade and Sivelind won and cashed the last spade. Lindqvist had to find a discard from ©KJ and §Q10. A defensive squeeze from two 20-year olds!

The squeeze was for the third undertrick and meant +800 to Sweden. Nicely defended - note that it was essential that Sivelind kept her small club to keep communications open to her partner's hand.

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