APBF Captains Log 12 June

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APBF Captains Log 12 June

Wednesday 12 June

A fair day only for the Australian teams.  The open team played the top three teams.  Japan won comfortably in the end after being behind with four boards to go as their captain asserted his presence at the table.  After a small loss to China Taipei the team playing well to defeat China by 9 IMPs.  After two tough days they now play against the five teams that finished below them in the first round robin so are aiming to climb up the ladder.  The women’s team recorded their first blitz playing Thailand, lost a close match to Korea and then won a wild match against the Philippines: the two teams turned over 60 IMPs in the first six boards!  The seniors’ team did not have a good day, losing two matches in a row.  It seems that all players enjoyed the team dinner the previous night too much.  While they still remain first, they now play the next five placed teams plus the Australia – Lusk team, which slipped another place to tenth.

The final round featured not one but two deals with nine-card suits.  The first posed an interesting bidding and play problem.  You hold

AT5 K AKQJT8732 –

What do you open, as dealer when you’re vulnerable and the opponents are not?  Opinions vary about freak hands like these.  Some argue that if you fail to open 2C (or whatever your strong opening is) you’ll never be able to show your playing strength.  Others counter that, especially at this vulnerability, a GF opening will just encourage the opponents to intervene and they might take a sacrifice that makes as you have so little defence.  On the other hand, opening 2C will make it difficult for the opponents to make any constructive bids, and you’re less likely to be doubled.

The open team’s David Beauchamp was a 2C bidder.  His LHO overcalled 3C, Ian Thomson passed and RHO raised to 5C.  Now David bid 5D which LHO thought about but passed, so there he played.  At the other table the Chinese opponent opened 1D.  Now Ian Robinson overcalled 2C which Andy Braithwaite raised to 3C.  The Chinese opener now doubled (?!) and when he eventually bid 5D was doubled by Ian.  At both tables the opening lead was the CA.  How do you play the hand?

J843 J9762 5 K86

AT5 K AKQJT8732 –

(Answer below.)

How good is your slam bidding?  Could you and your favourite partner count 13 tricks on this deal?

AKQ43 T9 AK3 T95

9 AK5 QT94 AKQJ7

In the women’s, eight of the ten pairs bid the grand, while the other two pairs played in the small slam.  In the open field it was eight and four, with both tables in the Australia-Chinese Taipei match playing at the six level.  In the seniors’ only eight pairs bid the grand while one played in game.

The pairs who opened the North cards 1NT typically had an easier time.  Candice Ginsberg and Barbara Travis arrived comfortably after Barbara was able to show 16-17 with five spades, and Candice asked for keycards in spades after Barbara showed a diamond control.

Many of the pairs that opened 1S found the action harder.  What do you rebid as North after 1S-2C-?  Even if 2NT or 3NT shows a balanced hand of this strength they are unappealing with a small doubleton heart: you could easily wrongside the contract.  So Avi Kanetkar tried 2D for the seniors’ team – an action I have a lot of sympathy for as you’re bidding where you live – but this resulted in confusion.  The Korean opponents of the women’s team had no problems.  They bid 1S-2C-3NT-7NT?!

Back to the play in 5D.  Both declarers ruffed the opening lead and then played lots of trumps.  David Beauchamp kept one trump in hand, the Chinese declarer none.  Both now exited with the HK.  However, they had squeezed dummy and so ended up losing three tricks each.  Michael Cornell (New Zealand) showed one way to make 11 tricks.  He played only six rounds of trumps, keeping two in hand.  When he exited with the HK LHO, who held K2 AQ84 4 AQ9742, could only delay the endplay.  He won the HA and played the HQ.  Michael ruffed this and cashed the SA, knowing the spades were not 3-3.  LHO desperately played the SK under the ace to avoid the endplay but now the SJ and ST helped deliver an eleventh trick.  It’s easy to see afterwards that a diamond lead was necessary – and it was easier for Robert Krochmalik to find that lead against 6D in the seniors’ match.

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