5th World University Bridge Championship – Part 1

In this series, we will take a look at some of the exciting hands from the 5th World University Bridge Championship during August, 2010, held in Chinese Taipei.  Watching this video is a great start, illustrating the energy, compassion and competitive flair for International University Bridge:

YouTube Preview Image

Or click: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mWB7Hw5JhiM

The competition is part of the International University Sports Federation. What’s that you say – Bridge is not a sport? Not true for the IUSF, whose motto is “Excellence in Mind and Body.” It’s terrific to see that on the international front to see our exciting game of Bridge highlighted as a premiere sporting event, acknowledging our game’s contribution to excellence of the mind. Here’s a listing of their 29 competitive categories.

Okay, let’s head for the tournament results here. When it’s all said and done, we see the winners were: Poland, France, and Israel edging out the “A Teams” of USA, Germany and China (who entered two teams).

Looking at Round 1, Board 13 provided revealed the defender’s ability to find the correct lead.

ROUND 1, BOARD 13
N
BOTH
654
AJ7
J962
864

J9
K52
A74
AKQJT

AK2
T643
53
9532

QT873
Q98
KQT8
7

Most teams played 3 Notrump in the East, down 1.  Those doing their homework knew to lead the Diamond King, the top of a broken sequence.  However, several leaders went wayward with a Spade lead that allowed West to go up with the Jack in dummy for a quick 9 tricks.  That lead costs their team a painful 12 IMP swing.  Yet its lessons like these that reinforce Bridge axioms like leading from the top of a sequence suit.  Promoting a student to a graduate is great – ditto on a well-deserved suit promotion.

Arguably one of the most exciting hands on the first round was Board 12, a competitive slugfest for our youth not concerned with trivial matters like unfavorable vulnerability.

ROUND 1, BOARD 12
W
NS
A63
QT962
KQT93
T7432
Q952
83
J6
AKQ965
KJ8
754
A
J8
T74
AKJ
87542

Both sides may have 20 High Card Points, yet in a trump suit it’s all about length.  And when both sides have a double fit, the sky can be the limit in bidding and tricks made.  At the University level, only a few  North-South partnerships might have a special bid (like opening an artificial 2 Notrump) to show 5-5 in the minor suits.  With unfavorable vulnerability, most mortal youth will be contented to open 1 Diamond anticipating a Club rebid should opponents find a Spade fit.  And Spade fit they do find – a whopping 6-5 fit that quickly propels East in a 4 Spade contract after West’s 4 Spade shutout bid.  At this point, most North-South pairs were shutout yet the fearless USA Team A, Taipei Team B and Poland rolled the dice bidding 5 Clubs.  Twice 5 Clubs was doubled, making 6 for 950 points; Israel sensed the big fit persisting upward to 5 Spades, down one doubled for 200 to Poland, far better than the sting of losing 950 points.

Look for more rounds of analysis here at our BridgeBlog.   See Part 2 here.

Newcomer & Novice Newsletter #16: Transportation, Unblocking, Hold-ups

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On our upcoming series of Newcomer-Novice newsletter articles, we will explore the exciting world of transportation – at least at the Bridge table.  Being blocked, stranded, stymied, stuck, snookered, obstructed or whatever you choose to call it, the result can be a bewildering moment.

The same can be true for our poor declarer, wanting to play a card from the other hand, typically the dummy yet lacking an entry card to long lonely suit.

Come to think about it, leading from the top of a sequence serves the same purpose, promoting a long suit. Enter the world of Bridge transportation – having the ability to play up to a winner in your partner’s hand.  Of course, there’s always more to an iceberg than meets the eye so expect some twists and turns for the defenders, too.

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Happy Trails,