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Bowling Along 2 - Sunday kind of day
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Our attitude is that there are no easy matches at the Bowl. Everybody had to beat somebody to get here.

We kicked off our tournament against Guadeloupe with a handy 43 IMP win (18.44VPs). On the famous board 6we scored 3 IMPs the hard way.

West
86
A94
76543
A72
North
1075
KQJ107
109
K85
East
QJ432
KQ82
J1063
South
AK9
86532
AJ
Q94
D

In the Open room, Peter Gill for us opened a strongish 1NT with the South cards and landed in 4 on an invitational auction. On the 8 lead Peter was able to strip spades and clear trumps before exiting in diamonds. On the J exit, Peter played for split honours (it's basically a restricted choice position) and dribbled off.

In the Closed room, after 1-4 start, Justin Mill tried a takeout X as East, left in. On the 8 lead, declarer was perhaps too much of a believer in the double. He played the same start but then pulled a club to the Q in preparation for exiting a diamond. One off when Juzzhad a ... minimum.

3rd place after one match was entertaining but meaningless.

In match 2, we squared off against Mexico, who beat Canada for the last Zone 2 spot. It was a scratchy start all round with both sides missing a biddable slam on the first board, and then we missed an okay (and making) slam on the second to drop 13.

There were a few small swings and some dribbles as Mexico took the match 19 to 16 IMPs (9.09 VPs for us) but board 27 was a disappointing hand all round for Oz.

West
A9
876
AQ
AQ9842
North
J65
AKQ1093
109
J5
East
KQ107
54
K876
K106
South
8432
J2
J5432
73
D

Against us, the Mexican West opened 1NT. Justin Mill sitting North opposite a passed partner, passed and was soon on lead against 3NT. In the other room, David Beauchamp opened 1, North naturally overcalled, and our EW landed in the good 5. However, when Gonzalo Herrera started with his 3 top hearts, Beauchy (lots of Aussies get their surname mangled into something ending in a "y" or an "o") decided to play the short heart hand for long clubs. Losing to the doubleton J didn't feel great but he had a sensible plan.

However, the Aussie Seniors had the saddest story. Their opponents managed to stop in 4. On 3 top hearts, Atef Azizdidn't care what spades South had, so long as he had 4 of them. +420 for all the matchpoints, and 7 IMPs. "We need to lie down", said our Seniors.

Australia and Argentina often seem to have a bit of a tussle at these sorts of events. In match 3, they got 9 IMPs the better of us in another low scoring match (16-25, or 7.45 VPs for us) but we stayed just ahead of them on the ladder.

Carlos Lucena pulled out the win for his side on board 14 when he opened 4 neither vul in 2nd with J10843 KQJ765 2 2. Our defense had a chance to beat the contract via spade, spade ruff but our East found it hard to believe that declarer had a 5-card spade suit for his 4 opener, although that would have been the easiest path to beating it (for the observant, yes spade, spade ruff doesn't beat 4 double dummy but it will often beat it in practice).

Tomorrow morning we start on vugraph against Brazil, with the former Argentinian Pablo Ravenna on board.

Tattoo Status: we're running 7th at this early stage. I haven't booked an inking session yet.

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