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Bowling Along 6 - Trampoline Thursday
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After 3 straight losses on Wednesday, we needed to turn things around today. Our match against India started well and continued well - through the first 10 boards we were up 22-0 from 7 small swings. Then we got a couple of big hands wrong and dropped 24 IMPs in the next 2 boards.

Board 11 generated big swings around the room. This is the auction when we were EW:

West
J
J
J105
AKQ98542
North
Q7532
A10972
Q7
J
East
AK109864
Q
K62
107
South
K86543
A9843
63
W
N
E
S
2
5
P
P
X
P
5
X
P
P
P
D
11
5X South
NS: 0 EW: 0

There was some heavy duty thinking on the NE side of the screen over 5. When South doubled, presumably Lightner style, North had an easy 5 bid. East had seen a lot of bidding and expressed his point of view with an X. South had no trouble scoring +650. In the other room, our NS also got doubled in hearts - but 6 of them.

Oh for board-a-match. We had 9 swings in to 3 out, but lost the match 31-34 (9.09 VPs)

Our guys played well against Chinese Taipei in match 14, and had a little rub of the green to help push us along.

Board 18 showed the value of positivity:

West
A10954
K9742
K87
North
AKJ9862
Q8
AQJ10
East
QJ86
Q753
A6
632
South
K732
104
J1053
954
D
18

Both tables started 1 X.

When we were EW, David Beauchamp accepted his partner's invite (via 2NT). North bid 5, as he surely suspected he might have to when he doubled. Matthew Thomson doubled with enthusiasm and collected 500.

When we were NS, the Chinese Taipei West rejected his partner's invite (via a surprising 3 fit-showing jump). Our North was undeterred and bid 4. Now when East bid 4, Pete Hollandsdoubled, mostly to shut Juzz up. Only a few tables matched that.

As an example of the rub of the green, we scored another 12-IMP swing 2 boards later when we right-sided 3NT - in the sense that the successful lead was clear from one hand but not the other.

We ran out 64-8 winners (19.69 VPs).

Match 15 was on Vugraph against our zonal friends and rivals New Zealand. A lot of players, captains, coaches, supporters, operators, officials, and media can be found hanging around the Vugraph cabins just before a match. It's like a Formula One starting grid just before the race. Without the cool cars. Thomas Bessisknows what's on the line for us, saying"ah, ze grudge match"as he stylishly wanders past on his way to his cabin.

The Kiwis started like a train. The 430 km/h Shanghai maglev kind of train, not the local rattler kind. A dynamic lead from world champ (bridge player and guy)Ash Bach ripped up our 3NT on board 1. Then Whibbers and Matty B bid a good but light slam on board 2 that was routinely missed around the room.

At that point I turned off everything electronic I could find and went to my room to play mindless games for a while. Then the guys started the fight back, clipping an optimistic 5 for 300 (and 6 IMPs) then beating a poor slam.

West
A1086
J8654
Q4
Q4
North
9743
732
AJ92
A10
East
KQJ52
KQ9
3
8763
South
A10
K108765
KJ952
W
N
E
S
1
2NT
3
4
P
5NT
P
6
P
P
P
D
6
6 North
NS: 0 EW: 0

Matthew Thomson's 4 bid fired up Beauchy's engine and we were shortly in the cold 6. The Kiwi North just went 5 and that was a handy 11 IMPs and the lead.

I checked in to the good news at about board 10 and watched us run out winners 52-30 (15.38 VPs)

Tattoo status: Well, we needed a good day, and this one got us back into 8th after starting the day 16 VPs behind. There are still a lot of contenders for the quarterfinal spots but looking behind you is a trap. Technically, even winning the qualliesis possible and why not aim for that?

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