Like an Open Book

Round No.7 saw Turkey (Tinaz) meeting Australia (Marston) in Group M. Turkey scored 25 VPs and helped the author out of his "no hand, no story"-agony with this interesting single dummy problem:

K 10 9 5 4
K 7 2
8 5 4 3
5

-
Q 6 5
A K Q 10 7 2
10 7 4 2

WEST      NORTH     EAST      SOUTH
1D

1S        2D        Dbl       4D !
All Pass

K 10 9 5 4
K 7 2
8 5 4 3
5

Q J 6 3 2                      A 8 7
A 9 3                          J 10 8 4
-                              J 9 8
Q J 8 6 3                      A K 9

-
Q 6 5
A K Q 10 7 2
10 7 4 2

Pain a: a spade return gives South a free finesse,
Pain b: a heart return gives South two heart tricks, and
Pain c:  a club return gives South a heart discard in dummy.
Whatever East tried, South was going to score ten tricks,  losing just a club, a spade and a heart!

My Dear Watson

It was back in 1939 when L.H.Watson wrote his classic about card play technique, called The Play of the Hand at Bridge. I still remember, when I started reading this book, how fascinating it was, to see how well everything is explained and what a good teaching manual it  still is after 50 years of bridge development.
Chapter 1 starts with the explanation of  The Power of the Honors and teaches the reader how carefully one should handle these cards, how they can be promoted and how they can support each other.
Anyhow, since yesterday I feel a little like Sherlock Holmes, who turns to his friend Watson and tells him about a few details he might have overlooked. This story was reported to me from the Seniors' qualifying session:

Dealer E, E-W vul.           S K Q 8 7 2
H 10 9 7 5 2
D -
C K 9 2

S A 9 5 4                    S 10 6
H 8 6 4 3                    H A
D J 5 2                      D A K 4 3
C Q J                        C A 8 7 5 4 3

S J 3
H K Q J
D Q 10 9 8 7 6
C 10 6

After the opening bid of 1C, South decided to weak jump to 2D and was rewarded for this by a passed-out negative double by East. West started with the CQ to king, ace and small. East  switched to the HA and then reverted to clubs to partner's jack. West gave his partner a heart ruff  which was followed by a club overruff and another heart ruff. East now switched to a spade taken by West's SA. When West tried a fourth round of hearts East ruffed high and what could South do? He discarded his SJ and scored four trump tricks in the end for a score of -800.

"These are the facts, but what is much more remarkable, my dear Watson, is, that South didn't score a trick with dummy's CK, he didn't score a trick with HKQJ and he didn't score a trick with SKQJ. So my friend, what do you think about the power of these high cards? Where was the synergetic effect here? Shouldn't we always consider the "power of the outstanding trumps" as they killed all these honors? I think you'll have to add a new chapter to your famous masterpiece!

But now tell me Watson, who was the murderer on this board? South, who pretended to be weak? North, who didn't protect his partner with some trumps?  East-West who crossruffed South to death? Wrong, my friend, wrong!

The murderers were South's partners at the other table, who beat 2D even five times, but:... forgot to double it!"

A Touch of Inspiration

Finally it's pairs time again! It means more action for the audience, more food for the journalists and more excitement on the small path between immortality and insanity for the players!
This deal from the Open qualification, part II, saw EBL Juniors Pazur-Miechowicz  from Poland sitting East-West, trying to improve their score in a rather unconventional way, with expectations and hopes changing from bid to bid:

All Vul, Dlr West

S A Q J 10 8
H J 9 6
D A 2

C K J 4

S 7 5                       S K 6
H Q 8 3                     H A K 10 7 5 4 2

D K 8 7 4                   D Q 3
C Q 10 8 2                   C 9 5

S 9 4 3 2
H -
D J 10 9 6 5
C A 7 6 3

West        North     East      South
Pazur                 Miechowicz
Pass        1S        2H        2S
3H          3S        3NT       Pass
Pass        Dbl       Pass      4S
Pass        Pass      4NT       Pass
Pass        Dbl       All pass

Pawel Miechowicz picked up this real nice East hand and heard his RHO open the bidding with 1S. "I need more information," he thought and started quietly with a 2H overcall. After South's 2S, partner raised him surprisingly to 3H but nevertheless the raise was very welcome. Now all of sudden an idea came to East and an inner voice said:" Pawel, go for nine tricks on a spade lead in 3 NT!" Not to let this touch of inspiration pass by, Miechowicz duly bid game.
Unfortunately, the confused opponents found their way to 4S and once again Pawel's inner voice spoke up: "Pawel, go for eight tricks in 4NT!"  Though he was wondering, if he finally would end up in 7NT and go for five tricks, Pawel decided to take his chances and defended with 4NT against 4S.
How right he was! He received a spade lead and cashed eight tricks for -500 and a huge score as many N/S-pairs were allowed  to score ten or eleven tricks in 4S. Thank God, it's pairs time again! Or have I already mentioned this?

To lose a winner, to win a loser

It's time to put the spotlight on the Seniors' event. The following deal was played by Wilhelm Gromoeller (Germany) , sitting South after a fairly natural Precision auction.

NORTH
S K Q J 3
H A 5 4
D K Q 8 2
C Q 4

WEST                  EAST
S  8                  S  9 7 6 5 4 2
H  K 9 6 2            H  Q J 10
D  A 6 4 3            D  J 5
C  10 8 5 3           C  K7

SOUTH
S A 10
H 8 7 3
D 10 9 7
C A J 9 6 2

WEST      NORTH     EAST      SOUTH
Humburg             Gromoeller (Germany)
Pass      1C (1)    Pass      1NT
Pass      2C (2)    Pass      2H
Pass      3NT       All Pass
(1) Precision
(2) Stayman.

When Gromoeller got the lead of the H2, he ducked twice and won the third with the ace. Next came the CQ to K, A and 3, followed by a small diamond to the queen. Back in hand with the SA, Gromoeller continued with the D10, and when West ducked the DK won the trick. Three more rounds of spades (South discarding the D9) revealed West's 1-4-4-4 distribution, West's disappointment in not beating the contract and West's serious problem in attempting to avoid conceding more overtricks than necessary!

On dummy's last spade, West still held HK, DA and C 10 8. He visualized that giving up the DA would not be the right move to please a partner, so he had to chose between the HK, a 99.9% winner, or the C8, a card usually in a much worse position and therefore a potential loser.

Finally the C8 left West's hand and immediately Gromoeller tabled his cards to inform the opponents that now all good cards had been converted to the status of a bunch of losers. To lose the HK winner would at least have saved the day for the DA loser!

And Gromoeller-Humburg are still claiming injustice. Why wasn't this for overtricks in a pair event, not the vital IMP in a knockout match!

Keeping up the good tradition

For those who haven't found out yet, there was one team among the last 64 that is the exception to the rule -- the European Juniors Team. They were the only accepted transnational team in the field. The team consists of : Boguslaw  "Bogie" Pazur  &  Pawel "It was impossible to win" Miechowicz from POLAND, Vadim "No visa for the transit zone" Holomeev   &  Youri "49 hours without sleep" Khiouppenen from RUSSIA, and Martin "Unbelievable" de Knijff  &  Tomas "This board felt good" Borgesson from SWEDEN.

One morning Martin discovered Dr.George Rosenkranz in the crowd and asked his uninformed captain -- me -- if I knew, what this man had invented. "The Rosenkranz Double and Redouble, of course," was my rather ignorant answer, "Nooo!" said Martin.
"...and the ROMEX trial bids," I continued innocently. Martin shook his head in disbelief and told me that our VIP. had invented the birth control pill. "Oh," replied his partner Tomas," but that is not as important as the ROMEX trials...!"

By coincidence, Poland, Russia and Sweden all have a very good tradition in high jumping. Sweden's Patrick Sjoberg is known all over the world. In the match against Team Truscott,  Borgesson kept up the good Swedish tradition.  Sitting South he
held this hand:

S  A
H  K Q 8
D  A K J 9 8 7 5 4 3
C  -

Tomas heard his partner open 1NT (14-16), doubled by his RHO to show a four-card major and a five-card minor. After some consideration, he produced the STOP-card and bid: 7D! "Is that a jump?" he asked the opponents with a chuckle.

This was the complete deal:

S K 4 2
H A 6 4 3
D Q 10
C K J 10 3

S J 10 9 7 3                  S Q 8 6 5
H J 9 7 5 2                   H 10
D -                           D 6 2
C 8 5 2                       C A Q 9 7 6 4

S A
H K Q 8
D A K J 9 8 7 5 4 3
C -

The contract was cold as ice, so the EBL Juniors scored +2140. Unfortunately a more scientific auction led to the same result in the other room, with again no 7S save by East-West. So the board was a push, but at least saw a new world record in the high jump.