5th World University Bridge Championship – Part 3

Continuing on our review of the exciting 5th World University Bridge Championship, round three reviewed more insights into the abilities, cunning, and tournament team competition.  As play continues day after day, regardless of ones age the intensity of competition can take its toll on a player.  Okay, let’s head for the tables and kibitz a few boards. See here for Round 1 and Round 2. Board 1 started off peacefully enough with our players in a Diamond part score.  But then came boards 2-4, most in 3 Notrump contracts with dramatic results! 

See hand records here.


Board 2 – see details here

Dealer: E
Vul: N/S


10 3 2

A K 9 8

J 8 7 6 5


8 6 3

A J 7 6

Q J 10

A Q 9

A Q J 10 4

8 4

7 6 4 3

K 2


K 9 7 5

K Q 9 5

5 2

T 4 3


After West opens a minor, responder East bids 1 Spade and opener rebids 1 Notrump (with a few weak Notrump openers having a different auction).  For the Notrump rebidders, one wonders if a fair number of players do not play a checkback mechanism (New Minor Force, etc) to find a 5-3 Spade fit on this hand.  Or do you think that perhaps responder East didn’t value the hand as and invitation hand with 11 distribution points (one extra for the good 5 card spade suit)?  Well, as luck would have it, the 3 Notrump contract rolls home nicely while those in a Spade game find themselves short two tricks.  What do you suppose is going on here? Perhaps some of our cunning West players denied showing three card suit, eh?  Taking a closer look a West’s hand, with 3=4=3=3 holding, the shapeless hand has no ruffing values.  And with the soft Diamond Q-J-10 holding those slow trick suggest, if not beg, a Notrump game.  So those in 3 Notrump game picked up  close to 10 IMPs.  And one of the North/South teams – best to remain nameless, figured vulnerability must be for sissies.  While competing in part score has its time and place, the mystery pair bid-em-up to a remarkable 3 Heart contract in the South, going down four doubled for a painful 1100 points.  Ouch.

Players were asked about special habits before the game:

WANG, Jui Chinese Taipei HUNG, Chieh-Hsing Chinese Taipei
Practice with my teammates. Make sure team’s strategies before game start. The most important is unspoken consensus, we should realize teammates each other, how to defend and attack. Actually I don’t. But I am considering that a bridge game takes 2 hours and keeps high tense. I need to pay more concentration on it, so I think there has different quality of wisdom and strength between bridge and other sports.

Next, on board 3 a few pairs tripped up trying to get the beloved ninth trick in 3 Notrump.  Check out the hand and plan your play.

Board 3 – see details here

Dealer: S
Vul: E/W

K 10 8 4 2

J 9 5 4

T 9 7


A J 9 3

K 3 2

K 8 6

A J 6

6 5

A 7 6

A Q J 5

9 8 5 4

Q 7

Q 10 8

4 3 2

K 10 7 3 2

Quick tricks: 1 Spade, 2 Hearts, 4 Diamonds, 1 Club.  Clearly with East’s “body cards,” the nice Club 9-8-x-x and West’s A-J-6 this suit is the only chance for redemption.  Those who lead the Club 9 and let it ride if South does not cover, were rewarded making game.   We take solace for the few who overlooked the values of the spot cards, missing the opportunity to finesse of South’s Club 10.  Been there, own that tee-shirt.

Astute Bridge players take notice when they see one singleton, another stiff singleton often lurks in the shadows.  And so it goes for both North and South on the next hand.  Consider the auction an final contract on this misfit, or is it?

Board 4 – see details here

Dealer: W
Vul: All

K 7 6


K J 7 3

A 8 6 3 2

8 5 4 3

K 10 8 2

Q 8 4

J 5

A 10 9 2

9 3

6 2

K Q T 7 4


A Q 7 6 5 4

A 10 9 4


Most competitive duplicate players open 11 HCP hands with a singleton and that’s about the worth on North’s holding.  Thoughtful players always consider their rebid before slapping down a bid – here with 3=1=4=5 shape and a minimum hand, the thinking North’s open 1 Diamond planning to rebid 2 Clubs (avoiding the 2D reverse or 1C-2C rebid problem).  So after 1D – 1H; 2C – ? what should South bid next:

2S – Fourth Suit Forcing, artificial?
3H – Ostensibly invitational for most, with 13 HCP plus distribution seemingly a underbid?
3N – Thrusting into game, hiding two extra Hearts held by South?
4H – Hoping partner has some Heart support?

Temporizing with a 2S (artificial Fourth Suit Forcing) call seems like the best place to start.  If so, North will  probably bid 3C to show the extra Club and lacking three card Heart support.  That that point our field of Souths could no longer procrastinate had to choose between a Heart and Notrump game.  Nine of fourteen chose 3 Notrump, the other 5 in 4 Hearts.  For either contract, a Spade was frequently led – only a few found the setting high Club lead when North played a Notrump game (although four were able to set Notrump with a Spade lead).  Back to the bidding, assuming South’s artificial 2S call is game forcing then a rebid of 3H would show 6 Hearts.  In this situation, should North bid 3N or 4H?  With a singleton honor ranking of Jack, 4H by North seems a reasonable call – holding primary honors (Aces/Kings) and a worthy honor, partner South should have a reasonable play for a Heart game.  Unfortunately, two of our five team struggled with declarer play here.  What happened?  Apparently some of declarer South’s both mis-guessed the two-way Diamond Queen finesse and needlessly lost a second Heart to go down one.   At times Bridge can be exciting, other times a lonely moment suggesting time for reflection.  And that pretty much sums up the energy of an International team game, right?

After the bell was called on round 3, the top team rankings were:

Chinese Taipei B – 62
Poland – 62
USA A – 56
France – 56
Germany A – 54

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