Monday, March 12, 2007

Numero uno!

The long weekend in Italy went very well. First a 2-session pairs with 160 pairs. We ended 3rd with 62+%. Then the main event; the teams with 99 entries this year. Italian top dogs, Bocchi-Duboin, Lauria-Versace and Fantoni-Nunes, was missing this year because ACBL Nationals. Apart from that the field was pretty good but very uneven with many weak teams entering as well.

The format was 8 board matches, first qualification (7 matches) in 8 team groups then the field was divided into A, B, C-groups for another 6 matches, Swiss-style.

Our team (Wrang-Nilsson, Ahlesved-Gustawsson) had the highest score going into the Swiss with 156 (out of 175) and never looked back. We did lose 2 matches, against Allegra (= Lavazza) with Lanzarotti-Ferraro and against Bulgaria including Mihov and Nanev. We actually played Bulgaria the final 3 matches, winning the last 2. I've got plenty of deals to share, albeit not always with a 'point'.

Let's kick off with a declarer problem from the Q-phase. I had Ax/J8xx/KT9xx/Jx, all vul, and partner opened 1S (11-15, 5+), RHO overcalled 2H and I passed. Partner reopened with 3C and I closed precedings with 3NT.



Not so good playing 3NT with 4S a seriously superior contract. Well, no time for whining as RHO grabs the H7 lead and shifts to a low D. Decision time - what to do?

To make 3NT we need the club K onside and either black suit breaking. Since K of C needs to be with LHO then ace of D is more likely to be with East for the overcall. East might also have contemplated shifting to the queen of D in case partner has AT to beat it legitimately (this particular East I was not so sure about though).

It's important to keep focus even when in 'wrong' contracts. Going for the inferential logic, I rose with the K and made 6 when both clubs and spades behaved with East having 3-5-2-5 and Ax in diamonds. This game was missed against our teammates.

The definition of a good game at imps is 'one that makes'.


Csaba said...


(BTW, isn't 4S the "good bid" with N? partner doesn't always have a doubleton spade, but still my hands cries out for suit contracts)

Jan said...

Well done Ulf.
Again congratulations for the fine victory!
Regarding the 3NT, your partner do trust you, leaving this contract with a 6-5! "Tutto bene quel che finisce bene" we say in Italy.
I remember another 3NT with not such a lucky lay-out in the second last match against Bulgaria, the declarer had in spades and hearts:
Kxx xx
Ax Qx

Wrang led a heart and dummy played the queen which was covered by Ulf's king (he had KJ9xxx). Declarer cashed now three diamonds ending in dummy and tried a club finesse with the queen losing to Wrang's King. The defense cashed now all the remaining tricks, five hearts and three spades. Down five for 250.

Another funny board was one from Sweden Ladies' match against a team from Monza. It went: South 1C (strong) and North 1D. East Double (showing diamonds for the lead: AQxxxx) South Pass and West (who thought D was take-out) 1S with Kxxxx. All pass. Result: 6 down for 300 and a plus score for Monza who scored 400 in 3NT at the other table.
Jan-Ove Johansson

ulven said...

Thanks csaba and Jan-Ove.

Yes, there's a fine line between correct decisions and trust. But, having shown 55+ already, I sympatize with passing 3NT.

Btw, 3NT down 5 was a 3 imp loss as teammates were down 7 !! Against us they cashed a couple of diamonds first to cut the loss.



Club finesse lost. 5 hearts and 5 spades + C king.