|Pairs Final Session 1|
We start at Board 3 with the fortunes of the Polish pair Piotr Gawrys, a former World Individual champion and Eva Harasimovicz. They were playing a Belgian pair Mady Peters and Mike Vandervorst. A problem with screens, usually more relevant in the World Individual, is that players forget who their partner is. On this occasion the Belgians had agreed to play Bergen raises but Mrs Peters momentarily assumed someone else sitting opposite:
South explained Three Diamonds as a long suit with 9/11 points and 3 as forcing. North explained 3 as four-card spade support, about 8/9 points. When Gawrys led Q declarer was able to win, draw trumps, take a diamond finesse, return with a club, and repeat the finesse for a heart discard and 12 tricks, but few matchpoints. The next board was:
After the transfer Three diamonds was natural and game-forcing and Three Hearts was Slow Arrival showing better than Four Hearts. The defence led K and later made the ace of diamonds for a normal 11 tricks. Those lucky enough to receive a spade lead would make more.
To keep the boards in order we now skip to the table where Paul Chemla and Catherine Saul-d'Ovidio were starting against the Norwegians Ivar & Siri Hove. The French pair were in third place, but they had a poor start.
East led 9 against Four Spades. This might have been a singleton so Chemla won the ace and played another. North won the second round and led a speedy ten of trumps, East playing the two and West winning the king. A glance at the diagram shows that if the defence cash three diamonds ending with West's king, then a third heart puts the game two down by promoting East's trump. West would even have been alright if he had played a heart. If North ruffs high East throws a club. However, Chemla read East' two of trumps as suggesting a club honour and a switch to that suit proved fatal.
Hove rose with the ace, drew trumps and continued clubs. When Chemla saw the third club, angry perhaps with his failure to switch a diamond, without a word folded his cards, as if to say that declarer had the rest. The board was initially scored as 4 making 11, but later, when they analysed the hand they discovered, as the hearts were not coming in, declarer could only discard two of his losing diamonds, and the scored was amended to just making "The same bottom," remarked Chemla gloomily. On the next board the French recovered their morale with a brilliant defence:
"The Five level belongs to the opponents" goes the BOLS Tip, but South bid on to Five Spades. Chemla led the king of clubs against Five Spades doubled. Saul overtook with the ace, cashed ace of diamonds, and led the two of hearts to West's ace. Chemla was very surprised by this. Was it possible that South had a concealed six card diamond suit? Eventually his faith in his partner overcame any doubts in his mind and he led a second diamond, to find partner ruffing. Well done indeed.
Back now to the Poles Their next two boards were against the Austrian pairing of Jan Fucik and Sylvia Terraneo. The round could be called the Tale of Two Sevens. The first deal presented Gawrys with a lead problem. This was the auction with South dealer and Game All.
After the transfer Three Clubs was natural and game-forcing, and Three Diamonds showed values in diamonds, and, by implication the possibility of a choice of contracts.
What would you lead from?
Gawrys led 8 and this was the full deal:
A very off-centre opening by Terraneo, but that is not the story. The heart EIGHT was covered by the nine, ten, and jack. Two rounds of clubs removed East's ace. Now Harasimovicz noted something incredibly frustrating. Her six of hearts was one pip too small to run the suit. If she cashed the ace and West unblocked the queen, then (declarer's) seven would become a stopper! Hoping that West held A she deliberately led back a LOW heart, allowing the bare king to win in dummy. However, declarer was able to run nine tricks to make the game.
Note that it does no good for Gawrys to lead the queen of hearts. This is covered by king and ace. If East continues with the ten declarer must win the jack at once. Then if West unblocks the eight, again South's seven becomes the master. But just switch the six and seven of hearts and you realise how brilliant was Gawrys' lead.
This was the other deal of the round:
One Club was prepared and the Two Club response was natural and game-forcing. South led the diamond nine, which ran to East's queen. Then the ace of clubs was knocked out. South cashed the ace of diamonds, but thinking North had the fourth diamond, now led the eight of diamonds. This promoted East's seven into a winner, providing a tenth trick.
Note that the best lead for the defence is a heart even though this is into declarer's tenace. The defence get in with the club ace to clear the hearts, and still have an entry with the diamond ace or spade.
Back again to the French . On Board 9 Paul Chemla & Catherine Saul-d'Ovidio were playing their compatriots Luc Hirchwald & Dominique Chatard. On Board 9 they placed the board rotated on the table, with Chemla just making Two Spades. (Game looked reasonable until the trumps proved to be 4-1). This was the other deal of the round:
Two Hearts, though not alerted, was we believe, fourth suit forcing. As Saul's jump to 3 was unlimited, Chemla's 3NT looked a little pessimistic, but it was only the jewel of East's singleton queen of diamonds that made the slam a good one (Six Notrumps by East is probably best). On a heart lead Chemla rose with the ace, unblocked the diamond, and played a spade. When South ducked, allowing the bare jack to win, Chemla continued with a club finesse, followed by seven red winners, and another club to claim 13 tricks.
The next round for the French was against more compatriots: Elisabeth Schaufelberger and Alain Nahmias.
Five Hearts doubled probably goes two off. Against Four Spades the defence can take two aces and one ruff to hold it to ten tricks. However, Nahmias led a heart, giving declarer the chance of a top for 11 tricks.
Sadly for Chemla he did not know about the club ruff, and in an attempt to make 12 tricks he came to a hand with just one round of trumps before leading his singleton diamond. North did not need a second chance. He rose with the ace and switched to a club, taking the ruff he could have taken earlier by leading a club. This represented a missed opportunity for Chemla rather than a bad board.
A simple slam but missed by several pairs. However, the matchpoints went to those who chose Six Notrumps rather than Six Hearts. In the auction given, Two Clubs was an artificial game force, and the response denied an ace. Saul did well to jump to Five Hearts. In some partnerships West, might then have been able to bid Five Notrumps to ask East to choose a slam and the key cards of spade king and diamond jack might prompt the winning action by East.
Now we skip to the last two boards of the championship to see an excellent defence by Sandra Penfold of Great Britain:
Giles Foster opened a 12-14 notrump on the North hand. Two Spades by Gawrys showed at least five spades and a four-card or longer minor. Two Notrumps asked for the minor.
On the auction North perhaps lead a trump, but he chose a diamond. Gawrys won with the jack and led a spade to the king and ace. A second diamond was won by the king, a spade ruffed and the queen of hearts led off the table. Penfold put on the king and led a trump. West won and ruffed another spade with dummy's last trump. He came back to hand with a heart ruff to leave this ending with West on play:
Can West make two more tricks? Gawrys led a diamond and ducked this in dummy. However, Penfold ruffed her partner's winner, cashed the top spade allowing Foster to ditch his ace of hearts and then led a heart. Gawrys threw his spade away, but Foster ruffed low and then led another diamond which Penfold ruffed with the queen of clubs to promote another trump for the defence. Two off and 200 to the Brits was not a good score for Gawrys.
The way for West for win two tricks in the diagrammed position is to cash the king of clubs and then lead a diamond to the ace. South ruffs, and can cash her top spade, but the defence cannot prevent West making his small trump. If North keeps his heart ace, South's heart lead is ruffed by West. If North disposes of his heart ace, then West discards on the heart lead and comes to a trump later. This was the last board of the championship:
Against Three Notrumps Penfold led the club queen. Harasimowicz won in dummy, cleared the other club, won a third club in hand, tested diamonds, then cashed the fourth club and the rest of the diamonds squeezing North in the majors. Twelve tricks and an excellent score for the Poles.
|Pairs 2nd Final/Consolation Session||
Pairs Final Session 2
Even Homer Nods by Marc Smith
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