Auken v. Tissot
This morning, we reported about the MAYBACH-VOLINA semifinal, easily won by the Germans. Here is the report about the decisive first half of the other semifinal, AUKEN (Denmark) v. TISSOT (France).
For the first half, it would be Jens and Sabine Auken NS v. Sylvie Willard and Alain Levy EW in the Open Room. In the Closed Room it would be Gerard Tissot and Benedicte Cronier nee Pigeaud v. Peter and Dorthe Schaltz.
On Vugraph, tradition and technology have it that the Open Room starts with boards 15 and 16 to enable immediate comparisons once they finally reach board 1. We will do the same, as we want to show to you the proceedings and the corresponding emotions in the Vugraph theatre as they actually were.
On the first board you have to be a good guesser or get some help.
Both Easts were in 4© after North showed a weak hand with long spades. There is no 100% way to make the hand; you have to guess at least one queen correctly. The snag is that when you try to endplay South with her last trump, she should be able to count the hand and find out that EW hold a combined 4-4 fit in diamonds as well, in which case a ruff and discard does not help.
Sylvie Willard was left to two guesses which she both handled the unlucky way. Dorthe Schaltz got the help described above and thus made her contract before she was put to the ultimate guess. The scores of 420 and 50 gave Auken the first 10 IMP's of the match. If the outcome of the first board ever was an omen for things to come, it was this time. Many more swings to Auken were to follow.
In fact, on board 16 Auken picked up a partscore swing to increase their lead to 16-0. Then:
The contract was made at both tables. The curious thing is that neither NS pair had any trouble in reaching 4©. Many pairs play 4© in response to 2¨ as convertible, but the Aukens don't, very much to their advantage. Mind you, in the other semifinal both EW pairs ended up in 5¨!
The first swing of the match, if counted from board 1, was board 4, and a huge swing it was, which should have gone the other way except if you have complete trust in your opponents.
In the Closed Room, the French NS had not even come near to slam and had registered 680 in 4ª. In the Open Room, Jens Auken had other ideas:
Poor Sylvie Willard (like poor Anna Gladiator in the other semifinal) was on lead. Many people have been taught to try and find a safe lead against a grand slam; a trump is considered the safest. Quite a number of years ago, when the Caransa Tournament in Amsterdam was known all over Europe, Jaap Kokkes, a still going stro