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USA1 Round of 16, Day 2

Detailed results for: USA1 and USA2

Four of the six USA1 Round of 16 matches made for boring kibitzing: #3 FIREMAN's, #6 DWYER's, and #8 MELTZER's opponents conceded with one or two sets to play. #10 WOLD went into the final stanza ahead by 36 IMPs and was never threatened. Fortunately for viewers, the lack of action in those matches was more than made up for with the drama of the other two encounters.

#12 ROBINSON led #5 ROSENTHAL by 24 with 15 boards to play, and it added to its lead early in the segment. From there, though, the tide turned sharply, and ROSENTHAL wound up winning by 29.

The #4 FLEISHER vs. #13 HARRIS contest was even closer: FLEISHER led by 10 going into the last set. HARRIS took the lead when a Grue-Moss slam failed, but FLEISHER took it back, thanks to this defense by Pepsi:

Harris
105
K7
KQ982
KQ98
Pepsi
KQ432
QJ3
64
AJ3
Morgan
A97
A1084
AJ753
4
Rosenberg
J86
9652
10
107652
W
N
E
S
2
P
2
2
3
P
3
P
3NT
P
P
P
D
22
3NT East
NS: 0 EW: 0
6
5
Q
7
1
1
0
3
9
J
10
3
2
0
8
8
2
A
2
2
1
3
10
K
4
0
2
2
2
6
A
7
2
2
3
J
6
Q
J
0
2
4
9
3
5
5
0
2
5
8
3
7
2
0
2
6
K
A
4
10
1
3
6
8 tricks claimed
E/W -100
9

At the other table, Moss declared 3NT as West. He ducked two rounds of spades, won the third, and ran diamonds. Barron, North, was squeezed in three suits. He released a spade on the last diamond, so it was safe to set up a club for the ninth trick. After a similar start at Pepsi's table, he discarded a heart at the squeeze trick. Declarer didn't know the position, and he hoped the A was with South rather than play North to have been dealt "everything": down one.

HARRIS struck right back, gaining 23 IMPs over the next three boards, going ahead by 11 with five boards left. Board 27 was a slam:

Moss
Q9
932
108765
J87
Barron
A3
AKQJ64
K432
10
Grue
8542
1087
Q9
AQ32
Lo
KJ1076
5
AJ
K9654
W
N
E
S
 
1
P
2
P
3
P
3
P
3N
P
5N
P
6
P
6N
P
P
P
D
27
6NT South
NS: 0 EW: 0
6
2
Q
A
3
1
0
J
7
3
9
3
2
0
5
3
A
7
1
3
0
K
8
4
2
1
4
0
Q
10
5
9
1
5
0
K
5
6
8
1
6
0
J
2
6
10
1
7
0
6
3
7
7
1
8
0
4
8
9
8
1
9
0
A
4
10
9
1
10
0
3
2
J
Q
0
10
1
5
4
Q
K
0
10
2
10 tricks claimed
N/S -100
12

In the other room, Pepsi declared 6 as North on a trump lead. He drew trumps and played AK. When the queen appeared, he had 13 tricks.

Here, Ai-Tai Lo reached 6NT. The diamond lead gave him his 11th trick. As he cashed his hearts and diamonds, he needed to read the position. He could have made his contract by dropping West's Q or keeping two clubs and leading a club toward his hand, but he tried finessing East for the Q. The defense had the last three tricks: down two, 15 IMPs to FLEISHER, back in the lead by 4.

The match came down to the last board:

Moss
J75
AJ987
Q2
754
Barron
KQ3
K103
765
AK86
Grue
A10
642
J43
Q10932
Lo
98642
Q5
AK1098
J
W
N
E
S
 
P
P
1
1N
P
2
P
2
P
3
P
4
P
P
P
D
30
4 North
NS: 0 EW: 0
2
J
7
6
3
1
0
2
5
K
A
2
1
1
2
5
A
3
0
1
2
9
10
4
Q
3
2
2
4
7
Q
10
1
3
2
A
3
8
4
1
4
2
K
6
9
7
1
5
2
K
9
10
5
1
6
2
11 tricks claimed
N/S +450
8

Both tables reached 4. Rosenberg-Pepsi got there after a Polish 2 opening by South and a raise to game. The club lead gave nothing away. Rosenberg led a heart toward his hand, but the Q lost to the A, and with the A offside and a late diamond loser, he failed by a trick.

In the other room, Lo passed with the South cards, Moss opened 1, and North overcalled 1NT, then played 4 after a transfer sequence. Leading partner's suit would have beaten 4, but Grue led the 2. This club lead did cost a trick, as the stiff J scored at trick one. Declarer led a spade to the king and ace, but now if the defense took its A, declarer would have three pitches for South's diamonds, and if they didn't, both hearts would go away: +420, 10 IMPs to HARRIS, who upset FLEISHER by the thin margin of 4 IMPs.

Tomorrow begins the Round of 8, the first "full" phase of the tournament, since no teams have byes beyond this point. The matchups are:

#1 NICKELL vs. #8 MELTZER

#2 DIAMOND vs. #7 WOLD

#3 FIREMAN vs. #6 DWYER

#4 HARRIS vs. #5 ROSENTHAL

The losing teams enter the USA2 competition, in its eight-team "Round of 32" stage. USA2 Round-Robin survivors SIMSON and DINKIN and the six eliminees from the USA1 Round of 16 begin knockout matches to determine the second USA team in the 2017 Bermuda Bowl. From this point on, all matches will be 120 boards, played over the course of two days. Those matchups are:

#9 MILLER vs. #16 SIMSON

#10 MAHAFFEY vs. #15 DINKIN

#11 JACOBS vs. #14 IVATURY

#12 ROBINSON vs. #13 FLEISHER

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