Join Bridge Winners
One of those you never forget
(Page of 5)

A little report from German Bridge Trophy.

German bridge trophy is usually held first week of May in Berlin. It is 3 day team tournament. This year tournament schedule was 10 qualifying rounds of 8 boards. Afterwards teams were divided in separate groups. A & B final - 8 teams, C final - 18 teams and D+ 4 teams each group. No matter how good or bad you are doing first two days, tournament structure is so that on day three you always have a chance for a prize money.

Team Marupe has been attending GBT for several years now, achieving best score this year (4th place).

Bridge can be really strange sometimes. I have won tournaments with no interesting hands to talk about. And then, occasionally, there are several hands what are unforgettable in single one of them. Let me share 3 declarer hands which are worth remembering.

Several years we had a curse. Same scenario repeated again and again from tournament to tournament. After terrible start we manage to climb back during middle stages to have a chance in the last round. Sometimes we won, sometimes we didn't, but always had a chance. I have to admit, starting a tournament with couple of wins is much more relaxing. Here is a hand from second qualifying round.

All vulnurable, first hand.

South
A762
82
K974
A64

Playing precision with 13-15NT i do not have an opening for this beauty. Playing 1 natural opening always unbalanced has it advantages and disadvantages. Sometimes we have to pass with 12 balanced. 

W
N
E
S
P
P
1
2
3
P
3
P
3NT
P
P
P

After opps preemt our 1 opening with 2/ we play transfers. For transparency of this report, i will admit, wheels had gone off, and we were not on the same page. 

I landed in 3NT with not much chances to win.

North
J
AQJ5
J1086
KJ82
South
A762
82
K974
A64

To have any way for success I had to play for favourable position. That will give me 1, 1, 3, 2 tricks from "top" , 7 total. Two more are available if K is onside or Q is onside with suit being divided 3-3 (plus a slim chance that RHO has 10/9 doubleton). Mentally ready to take finesse i let cards play themselve.

1. 9 - J - K - 2

2. Q - 6 - 3 - 5

3. 10 - 7 -4 - 6

4. 8 - A - 6 - ?

Wait, what?

K, Q, 10 and 8. My RHO was screaming that he has K right in my ear. Now the tricky question which i need to find an answer to. Who is my opponent and should i trust him? "Table feel" help in hands like these. So soon enough i commit myself to play on

I emerge victorious a little bit different way than i predicted.

position indeed was favourable. K was on my right. Q was onside. suit didn't divide tho, 109 weren't dropping either. Ohh well, there was so much i could do. As it turned out, my effort was worth 5 IMPs after my teammate did not signal K and declared played for his natural chances to go 3 down in same 3NT.

West
93
109764
A3
Q975
North
J
AQJ5
J1086
KJ82
East
KQ10854
K3
Q52
103
South
A762
82
K974
A64
D

After scores were compered we emerged victorious 22-3 and after first round win 30-8. We were on the road for a good start

We won some, we lost some, and soon enough last round of qualifying approached. We were in 5th place and had to give solid performance to qualify.

In favourable vulnerability i held:

South
K10652
J10
K3
AK52

No system restrictions this time, easy 1 opening.

W
N
E
S
1
2
2NT
P
3
P
4
P
P
P

LHO overcalls 2, partner invites with support via 2NT bid. We land in 4 after my 3 response (long or values, deny minimum).

North
AJ943
K3
64
J986
South
K10652
J10
K3
AK52

After lead 7 i face very challanging declarer problem.

North
AJ943
K3
64
J986
South
K10652
J10
K3
AK52

After overcall and lead from singleton i have a strong clue that AQ and A are on my left. 

Drawing trumps, playing to the K and back end playing LHO on my 4th trick looks like to be a good bet. There is a flaw tho. Actually two of them.

1) He can raise with A and exit .

2) Or if RHO have Q he can jump up second hand high when i am leading towards my hand, therefore killing suit and leaving me hoping of favourable position in suit.

Although i consider myself a fast thinker. I don't think i was fast enough for opponents not to suspect something. I was in considerable tank during hand evaluation. If  honors indeed are split, the longer i think the more likley RHO will find a killing defence. Majority of my time i spent on alternative lines of play. One of them particularly stuck in my head.  For RHO not to find a killing defence, i need to lead as soon as possible. If i slip by in suit via lead from table towards my hand. LHO will take an Ace, and have a heart to lead back. Not much of an end play. But now two suits are stripped, and if he indeed have Qxx in he will be end played.

Trying to reconstruct some possible layouts of the hand with all the information i have i decide to go for a bold play. I even figured out what will i tell if it fails. "Sorry guys i didn't guess hearts" :)

When the dust settled down with a little help from random number generator i have this little gem in my library.

West
7
A95
AQJ1097
Q43
North
AJ943
K3
64
J986
East
Q8
Q87642
852
107
South
K10652
J10
K3
AK52
D

1) 7 - 3 - 8 - 10

2) 2 - Q - A - Q

3) 3 - 2 - J - A

And to make things really memorable. My team mate Janis Bethers found a killing defence raising Q and clearing suit.

1) 7 - 3 - 8 - 10

2) K - Q - 4 - Q

3) J - 9 - K - 2

4) 3 - Q! - 10 - 5

These 10 IMP were majority of our 16:18 loss, but enough to qualify in 5th place.

Curse to which i gave name "Marupes best traditions" hit us hard in round 1 of finals. Loosing 4:37 to non other than eventual winners  team "K1" from Bulgaria. Putting us way behind in last place.

We did manage to recover with 3 nice wins and jump back to TOP 2, before final day on Sunday and three matches to go. 

Morning loss and performance of other teams meant that on the last round we had no chance of wining. On the last round we faced tournament leaders for the time "Just play" who managed to crawl past K1 with huge win over them. All they had to do, is win us.

Favourable vulnarability last to act i held:

South
AKQ984
J76
QJ83
W
N
E
S
1
P
4
?

I had no other option to bid rather than obvious 4. For my surprise it was enough to end auction. Why surprised you may ask. I believe it is mathematically correct to play FP in positions when we are vul vs non-vul and have bid to game level. I may be right, i may be wrong, nonetheless i had another tricky contract to win.

North
72
A74
K10982
752
South
AKQ984
J76
QJ83
W
N
E
S
1
P
4
4
P
P
P

1) A - 2 - 10 - 3

2) K - 5 - 6 - 8

3) 4 - 7 - 9 - Q

4) A - J - 2 - 3

After this defence i had only two  problems to solve. What is this Jack of spades. If it is tricky falsecard (J10, J10x) or spades are 4-1, and if they indeed are, is it possible to win?) And who has A. 

I had a lot of clues to work with.

1) most important, and always a tool = Bidding or lack of it.  There is Always information in bidding. Besides your own hand it is most valuable place to look for information. Most of my work during a hand i do is in a bidding phase. Place where hands are visualized and contracts are beaten/made. Makes leading a bit easier. To jump to 4 unfavorable 5card support isn't usually enough. Some singleton is preferred and some points expected.

2) Lead, or lack of lead. 

3) Carding. Did you notice RHO signaling diamonds with 10-6-9, or maybe he was just randomly discarding. You never know. What a beautifully game.

If J of spades was a true card. That leaves RHO to have smth like 

East
10652
xxxxx
x
1096

If J of spades was a true card, there is only one case i can win. RHO have to have singleton Ace of , otherwise LHO will grab and give his partner a ruff. 

Should i play for it being true card?

West
J
KJ963
Q543
AK4
North
72
A74
K10982
752
East
10653
Q10852
A
1096
South
AKQ984
J76
QJ83
W
N
E
S
1
P
4
4
P
P
P
D
4 South
NS: 0 EW: 0

P.S. I won contract. These 10 IMPs were most of our 12-1 win. Unfortunately, just a bit light of 3rd place. Maybe next year.

P.P.S. Results and other usefull information: http://www.german-bridge-trophy.de/

1 Comment
Getting Comments... loading...
.

Bottom Home Top