Tournament Focus: Winter 2010

Brighton Summer Meeting - Swiss Teams

by Simon Cope

The showpiece of the Brighton Summer Meeting took place on the final weekend of the congress. Ninety seven teams battled it out for the right to qualify for the A final, the B final, or as in my case the illustrious Swiss Teams. There were several exciting deals, and here are just a few of them:

Session 4, Board 10

We sat down to play against Scottish Internationals Iain Sime and Fiona McQuaker and I picked up this appetising collection as East:

SA 7 5   HA 6   D10 9 4   CQ J 9 5 2

6CAll Pass
1. Denies 3 cards in hearts, as we play support doubles.
2. Takeout. Extra values and normally short in diamonds.
3. Forcing to game asking for stopper in diamonds.

This was the full deal:

Dealer East
Both Vuln
SQ 8 6 4 2
H10 5
DK 8 6
C8 7 3
SK J 3
HK 9 8 3 2
CA K 6 4
HandSA 7 5
HA 6
D10 9 4
CQ J 9 5 2
S10 9
HQ J 7 4
DA Q J 7 5 3

My partner, Alex Hydes, demonstrated excellent judgement. His hand got better and better as the auction went on — when I showed 5 clubs, Ax of hearts (he knew I had to have the A as I had cue bid the suit and he held the K) and an opening bid, he correctly surmised that we were playing with a 30 point pack as his singleton diamond was pulling its full weight. When he bid Roman Keycard Blackwood, and I showed two keycards with the Queen of trumps, he bid 6C. South led DA and then switched to the C10. I won in dummy with the Ace, played a heart to the Ace, ruffed a diamond, HK and ruffed a heart high, ruffed my last diamond, ruffed another heart high, played a club to the King, a spade to the Ace, drew North's last trump throwing a spade away from dummy and crossed to the SK to cash my now established 13th heart. Note that South could have beaten the slam but he had to lead the S10 at trick one. It destroys the entry to the long heart, as when he gets in with a diamond he can play another spade.

Session 4, Board 7

Now for a defensive problem. Try this hand after the unopposed auction from the opponents:

Dealer South
Both Vuln
SA K 9 6 5
HA 8 2
DA J 4
CK 2
HandSQ 3
HQ J 6
D9 6 5 3
CQ 6 5 3
Pass3NTAll Pass

Partner leads the D2 round to declarer's 10. Declarer now played the CJ from his hand, partner contributing the 8 (standard carding) and low from the dummy. After some thought, David Gold produced a low club allowing declarer’s Jack to hold the trick. Now declarer played CA and then the CJ throwing a low heart from dummy, on which partner discarded a discouraging low heart. Gold won the CQ and returned a diamond to partner's Queen and dummy's Ace. Declarer now tried a low spade towards the Jx in his hand. Gold, however, was up to the task. He rose with the SQ, and played the HQ, and this destroyed declarer's entries and left him to drift two down. Well defended!

Session 3, Board 16

To complete the set, we now move on with a play problem. With West as dealer and E/W vulnerable against not, the auction proceeded as follows:

Dealer West
EW Vuln
SK 8 4 3
DK 9 6 5 4 3 2
SJ 10 5
H9 2
CA Q 9 7 5 4 2
HandSQ 7 6 2
HA Q J 8
DA Q 7
C8 6
SA 9
HK 10 7 6 5 3
DJ 8
CK J 3
3C2Pass3NTAll Pass
1. This hand will be opened 3C at some tables, but was passed playing a highly disciplined preemptive style.
2. 3C was natural and forcing to game.

South led the H6, playing 4th/2nd leads. You play low from the dummy, North contributes the 4, and you win with the 8. Now you play the C8, South plays low, and you play low from the dummy (postponing the guesswork of how to play the club suit and gaining when North started with a singleton King). North wins with the C10, and switches to the D5. You play low, and South wins with the Jack. He returns the D8, you pitch a spade from dummy and win North’s King with your Ace. Now you play a low spade from your hand, and North wins with the SK. He returns a spade, and south wins with the Ace, and plays the CJ. What do you think now? You know that North started with the SK and the DK, and South has overcalled your strong NT with 2H. If North has the CK, South would not have very much for his bidding. However, if you play South for the CK you are playing North to have held two singletons. So, what do you do? After much deliberation, I decided to play the CQ and was rewarded when North showed out. I reasoned that South was more likely to have the CK to make up his quota of HCP, and also that North may well have 4-1-7-1 shape given the information I had to that point.

Another excellent Brighton Congress drew to a close, and congratulations to the winners from the teams weekend:

A Final: Alexander Allfrey, Andrew Robson, Tony Forrester, Peter Crouch
B Final: Simon Gillis, Eric Saelensminde, Odin Svendsen, Geir Brekka
Brighton Bowl: Christine Duckworth, Agnes Wesseling, Niels Van Der Gaast, Marek Malysa