European Pairs
Number 3 Tuesday 18 March 1997
Editors: Mark Horton, Brian Senior, Patrick Jourdain Web Editor: Panos Pavlides

Results Contents
OPEN, Qualifier, Sess 2
OPEN, Qualifier, Sess 3
SENIORS, Qualifier, Sess 2
OPEN PAIRS, 2nd Qualifying session
Tops and Bottoms (Part II) by Kees Tammens
A Class Act
Surfing the Seniors

Over the First Hurdle

For the competitors in the Open Championship the first stage on the road to the final has been completed. The medal winners of two years ago are clearly intent on a repeat performance as all three pairs made qualification look easy.

The major surprise was the failure of Chemla & Perron to survive the cut but like everyone else they can still reach the main final by taking one of the first four places in the B group.

1 Johnsen Nordby Norway 59.39%
2 Babsch Umshaus Austria 59.04%
3 Quantin Abecassis France 58.96%

Last Chance Saloon

Just as in the first session, only two pairs could break through the 60% barrier in the second of the three qualifying rounds of the Seniors Championship. With many of the leading pairs finding the going tough it was all change at the top.

1 Mulder Mulder Netherlands 58.31%
2 Cohen Renoux France 57.00%
3 Humberg Mattsson Germany 56.51%

The field is tightly bunched and any pair posting a good score in today's session will probably find it will be enough to ensure qualification for the final.

OPEN PAIRS 2nd Qualifying Session

I thought I'd picked a dull series of boards to watch first time around as I sat behind Dutch Woman international, Witske van Zwol, who was partnering Ine Gielkens, but when I then moved across to watch the same boards elsewhere I found that the two tables had different results on all but one of the boards - and that was the best of the lot!

Board 17. Love All. Dealer North.
K 10 8 3 2
A Q 10
5 4 3 2
A 5 4 K Q 10 7 3 2
J 4 6
K J 7 5 2 9 6 4
K J 10 A 9 8
J 9 8
A Q 9 7 5
8 3
Q 7 6

West North East South
v.Zwol Zawadzki Gielkens Bogusz

Pass 2 Pass
2 All Pass

Ine Gielkens opened 2, weak with spades or a game-forcing three-suiter. Witske van Zwol took the mildly cautious view to bid only 2, to play opposite the weak two, and that was enough to shut out their Polish opponents.

There was little to the play. After a club lead van Zwol drew trumps and led a diamond to the jack and queen and later a second round to the king. The inevitable four losers meant +140 for the Dutch pair.

West North East South
Willard Lobstein Cronier Zandvoort

2 2 3NT
4 Dble Pass 5
Dble All Pass

Two-suited two openings seem to be quite popular in Holland and their Dutch opponents were very much involved in the auction against the top French women's pair. 2 showed five hearts plus a four card or longer minor and Benedicte Cronier made a thin 2 overcall. Now a simple raise to 4 would have won the board as Willard would again have bid 4, a contract which we have seen must fail. But Zandvoort decided that he had too big a heart fit for a straightforward approach and tried a psychic 3NT instead. Sylvie Willard duly bid 4 and Lobstein doubled. But Zandvoort knew that he had seriously misled his partner and didn't have the nerve to stand the double. 5 doubled was two down for -300, a great result for the women.

Board 18. N/S Game. Dealer East.
10 3
9 8 4
A Q 3
A Q 10 9 7
A Q 7 4 K J 6 5
5 3 A K 7 6
J 9 6 5 8 4 2
K 5 4 J 6
9 8 2
Q J 10 2
K 10 7
8 3 2

West North East South
v.Zwol Zawadzki Gielkens Bogusz

1 Pass
1 Pass 2 All Pass

Van Zwol won the heart lead and played a diamond to the nine and queen. She won the heart continuation, drew two rounds of trumps with the ace and king and played a second diamond. Zawadzki won the ace and played a heart and declarer ruffed and led a third diamond. Bogusz switched to a club and that was that; +110.

West North East South
Willard Lobstein Cronier Zandvoort

1 Pass
1 Pass 2 Pass
Pass 3 Pass Pass
3 All Pass

Willard made an unLAWful decision and was punished for it as 3 was going at least one down and she had five losers in 3. She won the trump lead in hand and led a low club towards the jack. Lobstein went in with the queen to play a second trump and this time Willard won on table to play the second club. Lobstein made no mistake, switching to ace then queen of diamonds for a one trick set; -50.

Board 21. N/S Game. Dealer North.
8 5 2
Q 10 9 8 5
6 2
K 7 6
A Q J K 10
A 2 J 7 6 4
Q 9 8 7 5 4 A K
10 4 A Q 8 5 3
9 7 6 4 3
K 3
J 10 3
J 9 2

Both our featured pairs bid 1NT - 3NT and you might think that after a passive spade or diamond lead there was nothing to the hand.

Gielkens won the spade lead, unblocked the diamonds and crossed with a spade to run the rest of the diamonds. Poles, Macior and Czech knew what they were doing and, though Macior (North) threw a club to keep long hearts, his partner accurately held on to all three clubs and claimed the thirteenth trick; +490.

Cronier won the diamond lead, unblocked the suit and led a spade to dummy. On the run of the diamonds she pitched club, heart, club, heart and found that the missing clubs were now divided 2-2, North having pitched one on the fourth diamond and South on the fifth; +520.

Board 22. E/W Game. Dealer East.
K Q 6
J 10 2
Q 9 8 6 4
A 3
10 9 5 4 J 8 7
K 7 3 Q 8 6 4
J 3 A K 10 5 2
10 9 6 5 2
A 3 2
A 9 5
K Q J 8 7 4

North South
Macior Czech

2 2NT
3NT Pass

2 was natural and 2 an enquiry. 2NT denied a four card major but promised six clubs and two outside stoppers. Van Zwol led a spade and declarer had nowhere to go for an eleventh trick. There was no defensive slip-up so that was +430.

North South
Oosthoek E.Maas

2NT 4
4 4NT
5 (Dble) 6

Oosthoek seemed to have done something very good for his side for a moment as 3NT by North will often get a low diamond lead to give the eleventh trick. But his partner saw a possibility of slam and went past the best game. The 4 cuebid excited Maas further and he tried 4NT then settled for 6 on discovering one ace.

Willard led J for the queen and king. Now Cronier stopped to think for a while. Attempting to cash a second diamond lets the slam home as declarer can establish two diamond tricks after drawing trumps. Cronier led a small diamond at trick two, just as effective if partner had the singleton. Declarer ruffed and ran the trumps, pitching two hearts from the dummy and ruffing a diamond along the way. Eventually he had to lose the last two tricks for two down; -100.

Board 25. E/W Game. Dealer North.
A 9 7 4
A 9
Q 9 6 3
10 8 5
K Q J 10 2 6 5
10 8 6 4 K Q J 3
K 2 8 7
3 2 A Q J 7 6
8 3
7 5 2
A J 10 5 4
K 9 4

West North East South
v.Zwol Perez Gielkens Vial

Pass 1 1
1 3 Pass Pass
3 Pass 4 All Pass

It is possible that Gielkens took 3 as forcing when it was intended as such. Still, after a diamond lead to the ace 4 needed little more than the club finesse. It was wrong, of course, so van Zwol had to go one down; -100.

West North East South
Willard A.Maas Cronier v.d.Neut

1NT Pass 3
Pass Pass 3 Pass
Pass 4 All Pass

Anton Maas opened a mini-no trump and Cronier passed. Jaap van der Neut jumped to 3, strictly to play, and that came round to Cronier. She did very well now, bidding 3 on the chunky four card suit. And Willard showed due respect to her partner's protective status in not raising, either immediately or when Maas competed to 4. That contract had five inevitable losers for two down; 100 to the French pair.

Board 26. Game All. Dealer East.
Q J 5
A 9 4
K J 10 8 4 3
K 8 7 A 9
K 10 2 Q J 7 6 3
8 6 5 4 A K 9 2
Q 9 5 A 7
10 6 4 3 2
8 5
J 10 7 3
6 2

West North East South
v.Zwol Perez Gielkens Vial

1 Pass
1NT 2 3 Pass
4 All Pass

The four card major opening meant that the heart fit was not agreed immediately but 4 was the obvious final resting place and Vial led 6. Gielkens played low from dummy and won her ace then played J to North's ace. Now North had an aberration and continued a low club so dummy's nine won the trick. Gielkens lost two diamonds at the end but that was just made for +620.

West North East South
Willard A.Maas Cronier v.d.Neut

1 Pass
2 3 4 All Pass

The five card major opening was raised immediately and Cronier bid game. Van der Neut led a club to the eight and ace and Cronier led a trump to the king and ace. Maas switched to his diamond and declarer won, drew trumps, South pitching a spade, and played a club to the nine and ten. Maas played K and Cronier ruffed while South again threw a spade. North's willingness to switch to the Q but not to continue the suit, coupled with South's discards, convinced Cronier that the diamonds were 4-1. She played ace, king and ruffed a spade to eliminate South's exit cards then led a low diamond from hand at trick eleven. Van der Neut was endplayed to give the tenth trick, a fine piece of card-reading from Benedicte Cronier to bring home her game; +620.

Board 29. Game All. Dealer North.
Q J 8 6 4 3
6 3
Q 9 8 2
5 A K 9 7 2
A K 7 4 2 10 9
K 5 4 9 6 3 2
K J 4 3 6 5
Q J 8 5
A Q 10 8 7
A 10 7

West North East South
v.Zwol Kurka Gielkens Svoboda

2 Pass 2
Pass 2 Pass Pass
Dble All Pass

In case you were in any doubt, that is the way to defend against the multi - pass first time then make a takeout double once they bid your shortage. Gielkens was delighted to pass van Zwol's double and led 10. That was covered by the jack and king and van Zwol, fearful of dummy's diamonds, switched to a low club. That ran to the ten and Kurka, of the Czech Republic, played dummy's spade. Gielkens won and returned a club to the ace and declarer played a third club. Van Zwol won and, slightly oddly, cashed A before giving the club ruff. Gielkens still had two trump tricks to come but with poorer spots might have needed a third round of hearts to do a promoting job. Anyway, no problems this time; -500.

For this round we switch to a different French pair, the 1991 and 1993 champions, Michel Abecassis and Jean-Christophe Quantin.

West North East South
Maasakkers Quantin R.Maas Abecassis

Pass 2 Dble
2NT Pass 3 All Pass

The French take their weak twos a little more seriously than some of us and that North hand didn't fit Quantin's requirements. Had he known that the next hand was going to open with a spade pre-empt he would have been even more certain that his hand did not qualify. 2 showed five spades and a four card or longer minor. Abecassis doubled for takeout and Maasakkers asked for the minor.

3 was not a lot of fun for declarer. Abecassis led 8 and Maas rose with the ace and led a spade to hand then a club up. When Abecassis ducked smoothly, declarer put in the jack and lost to the queen. Back came a heart. Declarer won in dummy and played a third heart and Quantin ruffed in with the bare jack. Declarer pitched his club loser and Quantin returned a low club for him to ruff. He tried to cash K now but that was ruffed with 7 and he overruffed with the king and ruffed a heart but that was that; -300 and a big board for the French pair.

Board 30. Love All. Dealer East.
K J 9 4 3 2
A K 7 4
Q 7
10 A Q 7 6
K J 9 2 A 10 8 3
Q 9 3 8 6
A J 8 6 5 10 9 2
8 5
7 6 5 4
J 10 5 2
K 4 3

West North East South
v.Zwol Kurka Gielkens Svoboda

Pass Pass
1 Dble Rdble 1
1 1 2 Pass
Pass Dble Rdble 2
Pass Pass Dble All Pass

Gielkens led 10 which ran to declarer's queen. Kurka started very well now by leading the J from hand, pinning the bare ten. Gielkens won her queen and continued clubs. Van Zwol played a third club on which Kurka threw his heart then switched to a heart, ruffed. Declarer played a low spade from hand and Gielkens allowed dummy's eight to win. Now declarer had a chance to make an overtrick by finessing the diamond, crossing with a second diamond and playing on trumps. But he played a diamond to the ace then two more rounds of the suit and was forced with another heart. He played on trumps now but had lost control and Gielkens had the last two tricks for a sweaty one down.

Had Gielkens won the second spade there would have been no dummy entry for the diamond finesse and now declarer has to go down. Did he perhaps think he was being allowed into dummy to take a losing finesse to East's queen doubleton?

West North East South
Maasakkers Quantin R.Maas Abecassis

Pass Pass
1 1 Dble Pass
2 2 Dble All Pass

Maas's first double was negative but the second was for blood. He led a club and this was ducked to Quantin's queen. Quantin led a low spade at trick two, losing to the bare ten. He was always in trouble now. Maasakkers switched to a low heart and Maas went back to clubs. Quantin was forced and played three rounds of diamonds then was forced again. He had lost control and could not cash the established diamond. The contract was two down; -300 and something close to a flat round.

Tops and Bottoms
(Part II)
by Kees Tammens

We left the French pair with a couple of poor results on their card. However, it was not too long before normal service was resumed.

Board 28 gave Abecassis the chance to show off his declarer play. He used the old ruse of playing on a weak suit hoping his opponents would do something to his advantage elsewhere.

Board 28. N/S Game. Dealer West.
A Q 9 8 6
K J 8 5
8 3
Q 7
10 5 4 2 K J
10 6 4 Q 9 3
A J 10 6 K 5 2
8 4 10 9 8 5 2
7 3
A 7 2
Q 9 7 4
A K J 6

West North East South
Quantin Abecassis

Pass 1 Pass 2
Pass 2 Pass 3NT
All Pass

West lead was the 8, and the first trick was completed by dummy's seven, a discouraging three and the jack.

Abecassis took the losing spade finesse and East should have realised that declarer's only weak spot could be in diamonds. However, he played another club for the queen in dummy. Prospects were still gloomy and declarer decided to put up a smokescreen by playing on diamonds himself!

After winning a trick with the 10 West played a spade which was taken by the ace. Another spade forced out the 10, East throwing a club and declarer a small heart. West still did not have any notion of what was going on and when he played a heart East put up the queen and that meant ten tricks for declarer.

Have you heard about the The Law of Diminishing Greed? Quantin applied this after a very remarkable bidding sequence by the French in which they showed superior bidding judgement.

Board 3. E/W Game. Dealer South.
A 9 5
K 8 7
K Q 7 4 2
Q 8 7 4 10 5
K J 7 6 3 2 Q 10
A 3 Q 10 6 5 4
6 J 9 5 3
J 9 6 3 2
8 4
J 9 2
A 10 8

West North East South

2NT Pass 3
Dble Pass Pass Rdble
Pass 3 All Pass

Not many pairs would be able to stop in a partscore after a 2NT opening from partner when the responding hand contains seven high-card points and a five card suit. The lead directing double caused no problem whatsoever, as it enabled North/South to discover they did not have enough spades nor a second heart stopper. So they decided to stay in the lowly 3-contract.

The Q took the first trick and the next heart was taken by the A. Declarer cashed the A andK, played a club to the ace and the J for West's Q, who played another heart to shorten dummy.

Quantin had thrown a diamond on the J and realised that 4 was cold if the clubs were three-two. With six hearts and four spades already accounted for in the West hand this seemed unlikely. So when he drew the outstanding trump declarer cunningly threw a club from dummy. East had already discarded two diamonds and at this point the aforementioned Law struck. East let go of a club and Quantin took his nine tricks for an almost top score.

A Class Act

The holders, Piotr Gawrys & Kryzstof Lasocki, reported they had started badly: Only 57%. But if the details of this deal from the first session are anything to go by they should be having a good set soon:

Board 4. Game All. Dealer West.
10 8 4
Q 10 9
A K Q 4 2
J 9
A Q 6 3 K J 7 2
J 8 7 6 K 5 4
J 8 7 3
K Q 5 2 A 7 4
9 5
A 3 2
10 9 6 5
10 8 6 3

West North East South
Lasocki Gawrys

1 1 1 Pass
2 Pass 3 Pass
4 All Pass

Gawrys considered passing 2 with his very flat 11-count, but the club fit was just enough to encourage him to make a try which Lasocki accepted. South led 10 and North won with the queen, marking him with the three top honours. At this point some Norths returned a heart giving declarer an easy route to ten tricks. Against Gawrys North did better, playing a second diamond.

Gawrys ruffed this in dummy, cashed ace and jack of trumps, ruffed his last diamond, and returned to hand with the club ace to draw the last trump. South and West discarded hearts. Gawrys now crossed to dummy with a club, leaving this ending and the lead in the West hand:

Board 4. Game All. Dealer West.
Q 10 9
A 4
- 7
J 8 7 K 5 4
- -
Q 5 7
A 3
10 8

By this stage Gawrys had decided two things. The ace of hearts was probably wrong, as North had not played the suit at trick two and had already shown up with plenty for his overcall. Second, the clubs were not breaking. So he now led a heart and ducked when the nine appeared. The defence played another diamond, forcing declarer to ruff in hand and discard from the dummy. Backing his reading of the layout, Gawrys ditched the small club from dummy and followed with a low heart from hand. Bingo! South had to win and concede the last two tricks.

Note that it does not help South at trick seven to throw a diamond rather than a heart. Later, when North plays the fourth diamond, South is caught in a squeeze-without-the-count. He cannot throw a club, and when he bares the heart ace declarer ditches a club from dummy and ducks a heart.

Making 620 was a top for East/West.

Surfing the Seniors

In our never-ending search for original titles it suddenly occurred to us that following a bridge session was rather like a visit to the world-wide web. Exciting moments will be interspersed with the uninspiring.

That was very much the flavour of the boards we saw in the second session of the Seniors' event. The overnight leaders found the going much harder than on the previous day.

Board 1. Love All. Dealer North.
A K Q J 7 4 3
8 6 3
Q 8
9 8 6 2 -
9 6 A J 10 8 4 3 2
9 5 A J 7 2
J 10 7 5 4 9 3
10 5
K Q 7
K Q 10 4
A K 6 2

West North East South
Raschinski Heggem Jakobson Gjolme

1 4 Dble
Pass 4 Pass 4NT
Pass 5 Pass 5
All Pass

South was fairly confident that four hearts would go down and eleven pairs collected +500 from that contract. When North elected to continue with four spades you may decide for yourselves what South intended with his bid of 4NT.

East cashed his aces to give the Norwegians one of the many slightly below average scores they were to record. One of their few bright spots was against the same pair.

Board 2. N/S Game. Dealer East.
A 9
10 8 7 5 3
8 4
A K 6 4
K J 10 8 5 3 Q 6 4
6 2 A K
K Q 2 A 7 6 5 3
9 2 J 8 7
7 2
Q J 9 4
J 10 9
Q 10 5 3

West North East South
Raschinski Heggem Jakobson Gjolme

1 Pass
1NT Pass 2 Pass
2 All Pass

East's opening bid was part of what was loosely described as the Estonian Club and the response of 1NT promised 7-10 points. Assuming West's subsequent bid of two spades was not anti-systemic, then one feels East was worth a raise. Missing game proved to be a terrible result.

This deal was all about how you would evaluate the South hand during the auction.

Board 9. E/W Game. Dealer North.
K J 9 8 6
K 7 5 3
J 9 8
Q 4 3 A 10 5 2
10 6 A Q J
10 7 4 3 2 K 6
Q J 8 10 5 4 2
9 8 4 2
A Q 5
K 9 7 6 3

West North East South
Hobson Angervo Garthwaite Kurko

1 Pass 1NT
Pass 2 Pass 4
All Pass

It looks quite tempting to go to game, but a raise to three hearts is a more accurate approach. Even though North got the spades right and found the diamond king well placed he went two down.

Board 10. Game All. Dealer East.
J 7 2
K 9 7 6
A 8
9 6 3 2
8 4 A Q 5
10 2 5 4
J 9 6 4 3 K Q 10 5
10 8 7 4 K Q J 5
K 10 9 6 3
A Q J 8 3
7 2

West North East South
Hobson Angervo Garthwaite Kurko

1 2
Pass 4 All Pass

Two diamonds promised spades and either hearts or clubs.

Bidding game was the right move this time and North/South recovered the match points they had conceded on the previous board.

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