European Pairs
Number 7 Saturday 22 March 1997
Editors: Mark Horton, Brian Senior, Patrick Jourdain Web Editor: Panos Pavlides

Results Contents
OPEN, Final A, Sess 3
OPEN, Final B, Sess 3
SENIORS, Final, Sess 3
OPEN PAIRS, 1st Final session
OPEN PAIRS, 3rd Final session
Choose your victim! by Gulyás Dániel
Kibitzer Saves the Day

Poland Retain the Title

After one of the most fluctuating and exciting final sessions in the history of these Championships, the new European Open Pairs Champions are Roman Kierznowski, 50, & Krzysztof Lukaszewicz, 35 of Poland.This is their first big success in seven years as partners, though in Rome they reached the "B" final. Roman is a patent officer and his partner an electronics engineer. They live near Olsztyn in the North-East of Poland. Michel Abecassis & Jean-Christophe Quantin have won this event twice before, in 1991 and 1993. Quantin was in the French Junior team which won in Plovdiv in 1988, and has won the European Mixed Pairs with Catherine Saul. Abecassis was in the French team in the Europeans held in Brighton.

Peter Fredin, 27, & Magnus Lindkvist, 38, are reigning Nordic champions, though not as partners. Lindkvist, who is Editor of the Swedish Bridge Magazine, was in the Swedish team which won the European Union championships last year. Fredin, who is a salesman of TV decoders, represented Sweden in the Junior teams of 1992 and 1994.

Fantastic Feminine First for France!

There will be dancing in the streets of Marseilles tonight following the victory of Nadine Cohen & Marie-France Renoux in the European Seniors Pairs Championship. So far as we are aware this is the first triumph by a women's pair in a European Championship other than Womens Pairs. Bien Joué!

Congratulations also go to Veronec Lungu & Forin Rometi of Romania, the winners of the B Final.

OPEN PAIRS 1st Final Session

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

West North East South
Wernle Ventin Simon Pont

1 Dble 3
3 All Pass

Josef Simon & Alexander Wernle of Austria had led the field as the finalists sat down, but they had an appalling start, and had already dropped below half-way when this round appeared. They were playing the only Spanish pair to qualify, Juan-Carlos Ventin & Juan Pont.

Simon had a minimum double in terms of points, though excellent shape. He passed 3, but the play went well for declarer. North cashed a heart and A, then switched to a diamond. Declarer ran this to the queen, then led a spade. North put up the king, but declarer had no reason not to play a second trump, and when he did so, he claimed the rest: 11 tricks, only 13.7 matchpoints for the Austrians as more than half the field had reached game.

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

West North East South
Wernle Ventin Simon Pont

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

Against North's 3 East led two top diamonds. Ventin ruffed, led a trump to the ace and a trump back. When the jack appeared he let it win. (This strikes us as an unhelpful safety play.) West led another diamond reducing declarer to one trump. He crossed to Q to lead J covered by king and ace. He then drew the last trump, tested the hearts, which did not break and then the spades. When the jack came down, he had 11 tricks. This was worth 32 matchpoints to the Austrians as several tables had either made game on the North/South cards or scored better in a major suit.

The next table we report promised good value, with the four big names in contention:

Board 11. Love All. Dealer South.
Q 5
K 3 2
A 6 5
A K Q 6 4
J 9 6 3 A 10 4
A J 8 5 10
Q 10 9 K 8 7 4 3 2
10 5 J 8 7
K 8 7 2
Q 9 7 6 4
9 3 2

West North East South
Abecassis v.Cleef Quantin Jansma

Pass 1 1 1
2 3 Pass 4
Pass 4 All Pass

South was perhaps a little ambitious, but the final contract did not look unreasonable. A diamond lead went to the queen and ace. The queen of spades was taken by East and another spade won in the dummy. Van Cleeff led a trump to the king and noted the ominous fall of the ten. However, this might have been from J10 doubleton, so declarer played another trump. Abecassis was able to win, draw a third round of trumps, and cash two spade tricks. The French scored 100 but it was a poor result (13 matchpoints) because nine declarers had gone three light in 4.

Board 12. N/S Game. Dealer West.
A 9 8 5
K 6 5
A Q 9 8 5
J 10 4 3 2 A K 9 5
J Q 10 7 6
Q 9 8 4 2 10 7
J 6 7 4 2
Q 7 6
K 4 3 2
A J 3
K 10 3

West North East South
Abecassis v.Cleef Quantin Jansma

Pass 1 Pass 1
2 2 2 3
Pass 3 4 Dble
All Pass

2 showed spades and diamonds. Quantin's tactics in bidding only 2 and then sacrificing in 4 with Q1076 in the opponents' trump suit seemed unusual to your reporter, but it certainly worked well. South led a low heart against 4 doubled and the defence could only get the obvious six tricks for 500. The room (13 tables) bid 4 and made 10 tricks for 620 to North/South. The French pair scored 32 matchpoints.

The movement is Endless Howell with one swivel table where the moving pairs change from East/West to North/South. This was the table, so your reporter stayed to see how Quantin & Abecassis fared against the next opponents, who proved to be Jean-Paul Vis & Gerard Versluis of the Netherlands, who had risen to third place at this stage. There was a moment of amusement when the Bulletin pointed out they were bidding Board 12 again, but all was soon sorted out:

Board 13. Game All. Dealer North.
8 2
Q 8 6 5 2
K J 10 8
Q J 7 6 5 4 K 10
Q 10 9 8 7 A 5
7 A J 10 9 4 3
6 Q 5 4
A 9 3
6 4 3 2
A 9 7 3 2

West North East South
Vis Quantin Vershuis Abecassis

Pass 1NT Pass
2 Pass 2 Pass
3 Pass 3 Pass
4 All Pass

1NT showed 15-17, 2 was Stayman, and 3 showed 5/5 in the majors.

The K was led against 4. Declarer assumed this was from KQ and after winning tried to sneak through 9. When this was ruffed he was taken aback, but it was always ten tricks. This was the most popular score but East/West scored 28 out of 42 matchpoints because some East/Wests had missed game, and one had gone three off in 4 when he could not cope with repeated club leads.

Board 14. Love All. Dealer East.
A 8
10 4 2
K J 3 2
10 5 4 3
K J 10 5 2 Q 9 6 4
9 8 6 5 3 A Q 7
6 A 10 7 4
7 2 J 8
7 3
Q 9 8 5
A K Q 9 6

West North East South
Vis Quantin Vershuis Abecassis

1NT Pass
2 Pass 2 All Pass

This time the 1NT was 12-14. Again West had both majors, but he was using Stayman intending to bid a non-forcing 2 over 2. Abecassis was not, perhaps, expecting the auction to finish, and there was no reason for Quantin to protect with a flat 8-count. North/South can make 8 or 9 tricks in clubs, so they could not expect much for defending 2. But things turned even worse.

South cashed two top clubs and switched to a trump. North played the ace and returned a diamond. Declarer won this, laid down the ace of hearts, observing the jack, drew the last trump and then led a heart off the dummy. When North followed small declarer ducked and claimed nine tricks when the king appeared. For this East/West scored 37 of the 42 matchpoints.

At the moment when Quantin failed to protect, declarer had whispered to him: Getting old? and perhaps he decided that the king of hearts lay with South.

OPEN PAIRS The Last Session

Going into the final session of the Open final the Swedes, Peter Fredin and Magnus Lindkvist had a narrow lead over Thomas Gotard and Andreas Holowski of Germany. Several other pairs were still very much in contention including the two French pairs, Mari/Levy and Quantin/Abecassis, both of whom had had big second sessions. It was still anybody's title.

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

West North East South
Holowski Mulder Gotard Everts

1 Pass 2NT
Pass 3 Pass 3NT
Pass 4 Pass 4
Pass 4NT Pass 5
Pass 6 Pass 6
Pass 6NT All Pass

The second-placed Germans started poorly when their Dutch opponents sailed into the top-scoring slam. 2NT agreed hearts, 3 enquired and 3NT showed 16+ balanced. A couple of cuebids were followed by RKCB and a grand slam try, which Everts declined. There were twelve top tricks but no thirteenth at any table and +990 was worth 31 matchpoints.

The leaders started badly. Lindkvist opened a 14-16 no trump and Fredin raised to 3NT. +490 was worth only 9 matchpoints to the Swedes.

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

West North East South
Holowski Mulder Gotard Everts

Pass 1
3 Pass Pass Dble
All Pass

Holowski's off-centre pre-emptive overcall kept the Dutch out of their thin 3NT, but were they going to bid it? 3 doubled lost the obvious six tricks for -300 and 19 matchpoints for the Germans.

Again the leaders did poorly. They bid:

North South
Lindkvist Fredin

2 2NT
3 Pass

2 was 11-16 with at least five clubs, 2 enquired and 2NT showed a minimum with six clubs. Lindkvist lost two spades and a diamond for +130 but only 7 matchpoints.

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

West North East South
Levy Maas Mari v.d.Neut

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

2 was Stayman and 3 showed either 4-4-1-4 or 4-4-0-5 with game values. Anton Maas had an unattractive assortment of leads, given the auction, and finally selected 6. This ran to the eight and ace and Alain Levy thought a long time before leading J and running it. Next he cashed A and saw the 5-1 break. He enquired about the opening lead and after more thought led a low spade to the nine. Bad news! Van der Neut returned a diamond to the jack and queen and Maas continued diamonds. Levy won and played a heart to dummy then a low club and van der Neut won his ace; ten tricks but +630 was worth only a single matchpoint to the French pair.

The Swedes bid 1NT - 3 (three-suiter, short diamonds) - 3NT. A heart lead went to the jack and Fredin played a spade to the king and a club up. South rocketed in with the ace and now declarer had twelve tricks; +690 and 37 matchpoints for the Swedes.

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

West North East South
Levy Maas Mari v.d.Neut

Pass 1 Dble Pass
1 Pass 1NT All Pass

Jaap van der Neut led a low heart for the eight and ten and Christian Mari led 8 to queen and ace. Maas continued K, ducked, and a third heart to the ace. Mari played king then nine of clubs and Maas won and cashed 9 (van der Neut had unblocked on the previous round) then led a low spade. Mari won the ace and led his 6 to dummy's seven. On this trick van der Neut, who had already had to discard twice, discarded a second, slow, diamond. Mari led dummy's J and ran it when Maas played small. That was eight tricks; +120 and 33 matchpoints for the French, repairing some of the damage from the previous board.

The leaders had a disaster. Their auction started identically but Peter Fredin raised 1NT to 2NT and Magnus Lindkvist went on to game. 3NT was two down for -200 and a big fat zero for the Swedes.

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

West North East South
Gierulski Quantin Henclik Abecassis

Pass Pass Pass
1NT Pass 3NT All Pass

After four boards the Poles were lying seventh, one place behind their French opponents but very much in contention, making this a crucial round for both pairs. Quantin led a spade and Gierulski tried to steal a heart trick before setting about the clubs. He won the A to lead a heart to the queen but Quantin had no reason to duck and the play to trick one had made it easy to continue spades. Declarer knocked out the club next and was one down; -50 gave the Poles 13 matchpoints out of 42.

The leaders did well. They bid 2 (natural) - 2 (enquiry) - 3NT (maximum with good clubs). North led a low diamond to the jack and ace and now Fredin was a tempo ahead of the defense. He knocked out A and the defense switched to a spade but it was too late. Fredin had time to knock out A also and had ten tricks; +430 and 37 matchpoints.

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

West North East South
Gierulski Quantin Henclik Abecassis

Pass Pass
1 2 Pass Pass
Dble 2 Dble All Pass

Jean-Christophe Quantin overcalled 2 and Henclik passed. Over the reopening double, Quantin bid his spades and was promptly doubled, ending the auction. Gierulski put in the ten on the low heart lead and Quantin ruffed then went into a long study. Finally he led A. crashing dummy's king, and continued with Q and 10, covered by the jack and ruffed high in dummy. Quantin ruffed a heart then ruffed a club with the eight but this was over-ruffed and back came a trump. He took his ace but that was it; two down for -300. With several pairs making game on the East/West cards, -300 was worth 25 matchpoints to the French.

The Swedes had another big board.

West North East South
Fredin Lindkvist

Pass Pass
1 2 Dble Pass
3 Pass 4 Pass
Pass Dble All Pass

Lindkvist made a negative double with the East hand and Fredin was soon in game. North doubled, slightly pushy, and South passed for penalties. A diamond lead allowed Fredin to pitch three of dummy's clubs on his winning diamonds then he played a fourth, losing, diamond and discarded the last club. Back came a spade to the nine and king and Fredin played a heart to the jack, ruffed his last diamond then gave up a spade. He cross-ruffed his way from here and had eleven tricks; +990 and a complete top to consolidate the Swedes' position at the top.

Choose your victim!
by Gulyás Dániel

Our post-mortem conversations with Gabor Winkler are always a bunch of cheerful stories, mostly to see if Gabor and his partner, Peter Gal, (fifth at the European Championship in Rome `95) could achieve more than 55 %. After the second round of the semi-finals Gabor spoke about bad luck on this deal:

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

North (Simon of Austria) declared 3NT, and the opening lead was a small club. North won the second round of clubs and, after the heart queen was covered, crossed to the ten of hearts, played a diamond to the queen and and finessed the diamond nine. When it held he cashed his winning diamonds and spades ending in hand and the show ended with East being throw-in with the queen of clubs to lead into the heart tenace.

My story about this hand is a bit more spicy. My partner, Jozsef Harsanyi, as South opened 1NT (10-13HCP) and after a sequence involving forcing Stayman, 3NT was reached.

World Mixed Champion, Liz McGowan attacked with the 7 (second best from a poor suit). Declarer won with the queen and ran the 9. When East discarded, declarer felt the breeze of an unbalanced distribution. King third in hearts with East being unlikely, he continued with a small heart to the queen. East won and played a small heart back to the ten. My partner now played the 10 from the dummy! Who could blame East for failing to play the queen? West won and returned a club to the king. Now came the ace and king of diamonds, after all, Vienna is only 300 km from Burghausen, where my partner lives! He crossed to hand with the K and when he cashed his winning hearts West was squeezed in spades and diamonds.

Two different victims in the same contract, but the result is one: +460 and a good score for NS.

It seems that everyone had a story to tell about this deal. Here is the one that Kees Tammens told us:

French players often make a big impression by the way they play the cards, in defence as well as when declaring. However, in the second session of the semi-final Jean Christophe Quantin missed a golden opportunity to shine. He was deslole with himself for having missed a second overtrick in 3NT. That was the bidding at his table.

West North East South

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

The opening lead was the 4, for the J, A and 10. West returned a club for the king, East playing a deceptive 5. There were some problems to consider.

First of all, their was the diamond situation. With diamonds three-three Quantin would not need the heart finesse. With diamonds four-two and clubs four-four it was better to take the heart finesse. If declarer in that case first played three rounds of diamonds he was in danger of developing a diamond winner for the defence for a possible one down when the heart king proved to be wrong.

So Quantin started with a diamond to the queen. Was the diamond jack honest or from J10 or J10x? A diamond to the king made sure of the distribution. The heart queen was covered and taken by the ace. A second heart to the ten gave declarer a comlplete count of the hand. He cashed the diamond ace, the spade ace and king and endplayed East with a club for one overtrick.

Quantin was disappointed not to have started with the heart finesse. With hearts five-one the odds would have been in favor of the diamond finesse, when the same endplay produces the second overtrick.

Now for a story which Kees entitled Dutch Squeeze.

Quantin did not have much time to mourn. A much tougher contract was on its way.

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

West North East South

Pass 1 Pass 2
Pass 2 Pass 4
Pass 4NT Pass 5
Pass 6 All Pass

The lead of the K robbed declarer of a entry. The sight of three little diamonds was a big disappointment and Quantin needed extra heart tricks.

He ruffed a club and played the Q. East ducked, but covered the next queen, the one in hearts, and the trick was completed by the and ace and seven. There was no way Quantin could now develop the hearts with only one entry left in dummy. He played a spade to the jack and ace and had to take the spade return in dummy. He crossed to the diamond ace and played all his trumps leaving J 4 3 in dummy. In his hand were still K 6 3. West thinking he had to cover the hearts threw a diamond and East, thinking declarer had 9 8 left, wanted to keep his hearts to prevent declarer from taking the right view in this suit. To the disgust of East/West Quantin took the last three tricks in diamonds.

Many years ago Bob Slavenburg played this extraordinary squeeze for the first time, the reason why it has been named the 'Dutch Squeeze'.

Kibitzer Saves the Day

The second session of the Seniors final was more than halfway through and the overnight leaders, Hans Humburg and Göran Mattsson, were struggling. It hardly seemed the most propitious moment for the Daily Bulletin to check on their efforts, but the presence of our reporter coincided with a significant upturn in their fortunes.

Board 23. Game All. Dealer South.
K Q 5 2
A Q 5 2
A K 8 3 2
J 10
7 J 10 9 4 3
K J 10 9 8 5 4 3 A Q 7 6 2
J 5 4 10 7
A 9 8 7 6 4 3
K 8 6
Q 9 6

West North East South
Mattsson Hamburg

3 Dble 3NT 4
All Pass

Humburg didn't want South to be able to jump to 4, hence his tactical bid of 3NT. You can apportion the blame for youselves, but the simple truth is that the North/South auction failed completely to come to grips with the hand.

A complete top for the German pair, who now started to score consistently well. They finished the session with another maximum.

Board 27. Love All. Dealer South.
9 8 5 2
A J 8 6
A K 7
J 10
Q J 10 A K 6 3
Q 10 K 9 7 5 2
5 4 3 6 2
A Q 9 8 6 5 2
7 4
4 3
Q J 10 9 8
K 7 4 3

West North East South
Mattsson Hamburg

1NT(1) 2(2) Dble(3) 2
Pass(4) Pass Dble 2
Pass Pass Dble All Pass

(1) 12-14
(2) Majors
(3) Negative
(4) Forcing

After Mattsson opened with a weak no-trump, North was tempted to enter the auction despite the balanced nature of his hand. This would not have turned out too badly if his side had stopped in 2, but when South bid again in front of his partner they were in deep trouble. West led the queen of spades and switched to the queen of hearts.

Declarer won with the ace and returned a spade to West's ten. The ten of hearts was covered by the jack and king and East switched to the 2. West won with the queen and cashed the Q. Declarer was booked for four down and a slight error resulted in -1100. The German pair were so relieved that they insisted that they be watched again today by the same reporter.

After lengthy financial arrangements had been made (one beer!) an agreement was reached.

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