2nd European Open Bridge Championships Page 3 Bulletin 8 - Saturday, 25 June 2005

The Final

Erichsen v. Goldberg

by Jos Jacobs

On Wednesday, the Mixed Teams Finals was played between Erichsen, a Norwegian team of three couples: Erichsen, Helness and Brogeland, against the Goldberg team from Sweden, consisting of Lars and Ulla Goldberg couple and Efraimsson with Svedlund.
The Norwegians took a big early lead which at a certain point amounted to 39-6, mainly due to this board:

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

Open Room
West North East South
Goldberg Brogeland Goldberg Brogeland
1 Pass 3 3
Pass Pass 3 Pass
Pass 4 Pass Pass
Dble All Pass    

Shrewd tactics by Boye Brogeland paid rich dividends. He passed 3 as he was pretty sure his screen mate would compete with 3. Of course he knew that 3 had been a Bergen raise. When the auction went as he had been hoping for, he bid his intended 4 and even enjoyed the pleasure of this contract being doubled. If you guess well in both red suits you might even make six, but one overtrick only was still worth a fine +990.

Closed Room
West North East South
Erichsen Efraimsson Erichsen Svedlund
1 Pass 2 All Pass

When Svedlund did not consider her hand worth an overcall, the bidding ended rather prematurely. When the defence failed to cash their diamond tricks, Erichsen even made his contract for another +110 and 15 IMPs to the Norwegians.
When the last board of the first segment arrived, the Swedes had just started a rally. They very much continued their good work at their last attempt of the session:

Board 16. Dealer West. E/W Vul.
  Q 10 8 7 6 3
8 6
10 5 2
4 2
J 10 5
A 8 6 4 3
9 3 2
Bridge deal 5
A K 9 7 4 2
K J 7
10 7 6
  A K J 9
Q 3
Q 9
A J 8 5 4

Open Room
West North East South
Goldberg Brogeland Goldberg Brogeland
Pass 2 2 Dble
Pass 2 3 3
4 4 All Pass  

East led his top hearts, partner contributing the jack and the ten. After this suit preference, East duly found the diamond switch to put the contract one down. No doubt her task had been made easier by West’s 4 bid: he was sure to hold at least some useful values somewhere.

Closed Room:
West North East South
Erichsen Efraimsson Erichsen Svedlund
Pass 2 Pass 4
All Pass      

At this table, East had no clue whatsoever. On the top heart led, West contributed the five and East promptly switched to a club. One overtrick and at least one happy Swede.
At the end of the segment, the score stood at 39-29 to the Norwegians.
The second segment was very, very quiet. At the end of it, the score was 63-53 to the Swedes, who thus continued the good work they had started on the closing boards of the first session.
The final session suddenly livened up when board 9 appeared:

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

In the Closed Room, Boye Brogeland got excited when his partner showed majors after North’s 1NT opening bid:

Closed Room
West North East South
Brogeland Goldberg Brogeland Goldberg
  1NT 2 2
2 Pass 3 Pass
4 Dble All Pass  

When East made a further move over his voluntarily bid 2, he was all too eager to accept. Understandable, but very expensive as it was North who spoke the final verdict.
Goldberg +800. At the time they were playing this hand in the Closed Room, it looked as if the Swedes had sealed their victory with a likely big swing here.
In English cricket, there is an old saying: “No score is either good or bad until you have seen what the other side has made.” This saying apparently also applies to bridge, as was shown once the replay of the board got underwa

Open Room:
West North East South
Efraimsson Helness Svedlund Helness
  1NT 2 Dble
2 3 4 5
5 Dble All Pass  

Svedlund too showed majors with 2, but not having been warned about the hearts she went all the way to 4 when partner showed signs of a genuine spade fit. This was asking too much of her partner, however, when he had to review the auction after South’s 5.
Helness thus had an even easier double than Goldberg to pick up a fully unexpected 1100. The 7-IMP swing meant that Erichsen were now only 2 IMPs behind Goldberg and not 20.
We will skip board 11, the 6NT at both tables, as it is published elsewhere in the Bulletin as an appeal case.
However, the next board after this common disaster was the first board of what really was a comedy of errors till the end of the match. The only exception was board 15, on which both NS pairs bid the grand slam with complete confidence.

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

Open Room
West North East South
Efraimsson Helness Svedlund Helness
Pass Pass 2 Dble
Pass 4 All Pass  

When Efraimsson did not find his hand worth a diamond preempt (and why should one disagree with that view?) the bidding was quickly over. Helness had little trouble in producing 11 tricks. Erichsen +650.

Closed Room
West North East South
Brogeland Goldberg Brogeland Goldberg
3 Pass 4 Pass
Pass Dble All Pass  

Boye Brogeland did open the West hand, and when East made a raise NS really had a problem. When Ulla-Britt Goldberg elected to sit the double, their spade game was lost and they had to be content with +100. Erichsen thus got 11 more IMPs to lead by 9, all of a sudden.
The next board saw a game off four top losers being made at both tables. Then, both West overcalled wildly on a red twosuiter, one of them being caught but the other escaping with a plus score when his opponents drove to slam where making game was already quite difficult.
After the grand slam, Goldberg kept their opponents out of a cold vulnerable game at one table to recoup 11 IMPs but it was too late. The difference was 9 IMPs to Erichsen’s favour at that stage, and the Appeals Committee had to decide what would happen next.
As we all know now, the 5,5 IMP decision made it a victory by 3,5 IMPs, 99-95,5 to Erichsen. Congratulations to the winners of the gold, and to the silver medallists as well.

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