Join Bridge Winners
The Junior Junior: Road to the Gold Day 1
(Page of 7)

Special Thanks and Formatting

   Let me start by saying none of this story would have been possible without the generous support of the following group of people:

  • Bart Bussink
  • Marty Fleisher
  • Gillian Miniter
  • Justin Lall
  • Max Schireson
  • Cadir Lee
  • Bill Bailey
  • Joe Grue

   Without their contributions none of the story that follows would have been possible.

   The format of the championship was 2 days of Swiss (10-board matches) followed by a cut to top 8 and three days of KO. 

Prologue

   It had been about eight months since I had last played live bridge prior to the Toronto Nationals, but it was time to get back in the swing of things. I had plans with my junior partner Adam Kaplan, so we went and had a good time (and performed admirably I might add).  Afterwards we had planned to attend the St. Louis Regional in late August when I awoke to this message on August 1st:

WellHello

   Well, who am I to say no? Keep in mind the tournament did start on August 19th, so this left us little more than two weeks to book flights, hotels, make accommodations, etc. Which to those keen enough to notice is not a hell of a lot of time. But Adam Kaplan being the wizard that he is managed to book all of us (somewhat) reasonable flights that had us flying all over Europe before finally meeting in Lyon. Adam and I decided to go ahead and play the first 3.5 days of the St. Louis Regional before driving up to Chicago to catch a flight later that evening. Naturally, our flight was delayed, resulting in us having a full 45 minute layover in Heathrow. This led to the loss of Adam's bag (and it wouldn't be recovered until September 24th!)

    Somehow we all arrived alive on August 18th, the morning before play was set to begin, with just Adam's bag missing.

Meet the Team

TheTeam

 

From Left to Right:

Adam Grossack, 25, Full-Time Bridge Professional, currently residing in Somerville, MA,

Zach Grossack, 20, Full-Time Student at Tufts University in Boston studying Psychology.

Christian Jolly, 23, Part-Time Bridge Professional, Part-Time Paralegal in Henderson, KY.

Adam Kaplan, 21, Full-Time Student at Stanford getting his undergrad in Psychology and Management Sciences, while starting his engineering masters this year.

Kevin Rosenberg, 20, Full-Time Student at the University of California, Berkeley.

Anam Tebha, 25, Full-Time Bridge Professional, currently residing in Charlotte, NC.

Match One

vs. CUST ( A team of players from China)

To start things off we're going to give you a play problem. (rotated for convenience)

North
KJ76
AKJ432
A
83
South
A10532
985
QJ4
A10
W
N
E
S
1
P
1
P
3
P
3NT
P
4
P
4
P
4NT
P
5
P
6
P
P
P

You receive the 7 lead (3rd from even/Low from odd) to dummy's ace and RHO's 10 (udca). Plan the play.

Whichever spade you decide to start with, West will pitch the 3; if you continue spades West will pitch the 5 followed by the 4.

Adam Grossack played this hand and started with a spade to the Ace before getting the bad news.  He then decided to play East for heart shortness.

You can see the full play here:

West
KJ76
AKJ432
A
83
North
Q984
6
1092
QJ752
East
A10532
985
QJ4
A10
South
Q107
K87653
K964
W
N
E
S
 
1
P
1
P
3
P
3N
P
4
P
4
P
4N
P
5
P
6
P
P
P
D
8
6 East
NS: 0 EW: 0
7
A
10
4
0
0
1
6
4
A
3
2
0
2
5
7
A
6
0
0
3
K
8
2
5
0
0
4
J
Q
3
4
1
1
4
Q
A
6
3
2
1
5
10
6
7
9
2
1
6
8
10
J
2
0
1
7
12 tricks claimed
E/W +980
8

Making 6 was good for 11 IMP's when the other table stopped in 4 en route to a 33-0 shutout in the first match. (18.30/20 VP's)

Only one other team in the event bid and made 6.

Match Two

vs. NORTON

Now you get to bid. You have this auction unfurl before you before it's your call (rotated for convenience):

South
Qx
964
Q10x
A10752
W
N
E
S
1NT
X
2
X
2
3
P
?

Your call?

If you chose 3NT you're a winner!

And that happens to be exactly what Adam Grossack did at the table. He was rewarded when this was the full hand:

West
A8
KQJ85
952
KJ6
North
109632
7
J843
Q84
East
Q4
964
Q106
A10752
South
KJ75
A1032
AK7
93
W
N
E
S
1NT
X
2
X
2
3
P
3NT
P
P
P
D
11
3NT East
NS: 0 EW: 0
K
A
6
4
0
0
1
K
7
6
A
3
1
1
J
8
2
Q
2
1
2
9
2
Q
8
0
1
3
K
4
2
3
0
1
4
J
Q
A
9
2
1
5
11 tricks claimed
E/W +460
6

It appears as though the 8 discard may have given up the show as Adam managed to get clubs right, and actually ended up with two overtricks.

At the other table Kaplan and I had the uncontested auction 1nt-2;3(Super Accept)-AP, making. This was good for 12 IMPs.

Now for a multi-part problem:

South
AJ8
KQ9
AKQ
8762
W
N
E
S
P
P
1
1
X
2
?

Your call?

At one table 3NT was chosen. The other became more interesting when 2NT was chosen and the followup continued:

South
AJ8
KQ9
AKQ
8762
W
N
E
S
P
P
1
1
X
2
2NT
P
3
P
?

This was now bumped to 4 and you jump over to the other seat to play the hand.

North
32
A8642
632
K104
South
AJ8
KQ9
AKQ
8762
W
N
E
S
P
P
1
1
X
2
2NT
P
3
P
4
P
P
P

Plan the play on the J lead?

If you pull trumps they go 3-2 with your RHO pitching the 5 (udca) on the third round.

It all comes down to the club suit. My natural inclination would be a club to the 10 followed by a club to the king.

The declarer however chose to run the 8, and when that fetched the J on his left, spun a club to the ten which lost to the queen.

The full hand:

West
Q94
1073
J10987
QJ
North
AJ8
KQ9
AKQ
8762
East
K10765
J5
54
A953
South
32
A8642
632
K104
W
N
E
S
 
P
P
1
1
X
2
2N
P
3
P
4
P
P
P
D
11
4 South
NS: 0 EW: 0
J
K
4
3
1
1
0
K
5
2
3
1
2
0
9
J
A
7
3
3
0
4
10
Q
6
1
4
0
8
3
4
J
0
4
1
8
A
5
2
1
5
1
7
5
10
Q
0
5
2
9 tricks claimed
N/S -50
7

3NT fetched at the other table for 13 more IMPs for the good guys (that's us for those keeping score at home) and a 64-11 victory (20 VP) in Match 2.

Through two matches, the standings were:

Round 2 Standings

8 Comments
Getting Comments... loading...
.

Bottom Home Top