5th World University Bridge Championship – Part 4

In round four of the 5th World University Bridge Championship, the
opposing teams were:

Taipei A
United Kingdom
China A
Germany B

Germany A
China B
Taipei B

If you would like to get caught up, here is our commentary from the first three rounds of play:
 Round 1        Round 2         Round 3

This time board 1 left all but two teams going down in part score, with one big swing in Germany’s favor. Risking a non-vulnerable penalty double at the 2 level is questionable at best, with way too many IMPs to the declarer when doubled into game. But this is college Bridge with competitive juices flowing at their peak. See hand records here.

What do you think of these hands and opponents doubling West’s 2 Hearts in a competitive auction?

Board 1 – see details here

Dealer: N Vul: None

J 9 4

A J 7 6

A 9 8 7

Q 5



Q 10 9 5 3

6 4

K 10 9 7 6

A 8 7 5 2

8 2

Q J 3

A 8 4


Q 10 6 3

K 4

K 10 5 2

J 3 2


North should not be proud with black suit J 9 4 and Q 5 – suspect values, but Bridge is a competitive game and typically opens most 12 HCP hand regardless of the vulnerability. Actually, East’s 11 HCP hand rates to produce at least as many tricks, bidding 1 Spade. Next South balances 1 Notrump with 8-10 HCP and a nice Spade Q 10 x x. Not want to miss out on the fun, the German West player called 2 Hearts figuring the Spade King was worth something in partner’s suit. After two passes to South reopening double, it’s back to North in the moment of truth. Fearing no evil holding the Heart A J x x over West, Indonesia converted the double to penalty. Unfortunately North/South couldn’t find the setting double-dummy trick, gifting 470 points and 10 quick IMPs to Germany.
While it was still waters for most teams on board 1, right away our youth were entitled to lots of thrills and spills on board 2. With North-South vulnerable, all the Aces, half the Kings/Queens and a double suit fit, good things can happen. But wait, looking at the North/South hands do you agree there’s more than meets the eye?

Board 2 – see details here

Dealer: S Vul: E/W

Q 7

A J 10 7 3

10 6

J 5 4 2


K J 8

9 4

Q J 9 5 4 3 2


10 9 6 4 2

8 6 5

K 7

10 7 6


A 5 3

K Q 2

A 8

A K 9 8 3

Ah, South’s dream came true and it’s time to wake up with this beauty. With 20 HCP, all values working and a nice Club suit most will probably open 2 Notrump and the optimists shooting a strong 2 Club opener with a handful of quick tricks. Either way, many West players will capitalize on the favorable vulnerability bidding 2 or 3 Diamonds. Next North makes a positive response in Hearts with 4 teams bidding 6 Hearts and one unfortunate pair bidding a fateful 7 Heart grandslam. Either the Diamond King or Queen was led, revealing whether the North/South pair play “systems on” over interference, i.e. transfers. Those venturing into a somewhat wobbly 6 Heart slam were gifted 12 IMPs by the fortunate lie of West’s Spade King and stiff Club Queen. Apparently the one pair missing slam mis-guessed the Clubs – with this holding after drawing trump declarer should win the Club Ace, then play low from North to see if East produces the Club Queen. On another note, North/South should be wary of their doubleton Diamond suit after West’s preempt. Yet good fortune came to the eager North bidders with declarer pitching the second Diamond on South’s fifth Club.
Board 3 was flat enough but on board 4 it was deja vu memories of board 1 from one pair. Despite all vulnerable most pairs allowed the annoying North/South overcallers to tout their Spade suit over East/West’s Heart suit.  First let’s look at the hand, then comes “truth or consequence!”

Board 4 – see details here

Dealer: W Vul: All

A J 8 4 3

10 5 4 3


A 9 2


10 7

A K Q 9 6

K 5 2

10 4 3

K Q 5

J 7 2

J 9 8 7

Q J 7


9 6 2


A 10 6 4 3

K 8 6 5

One East player (USA B) was apparently annoyed enough to risk doubling France’s 3 Spade overcall with a trump King-Queen third and secondary honors in the minors. True, when partner has a sound opener and you hold 10 scattered points its worth considering a vulnerable penalty double. Here East has big trump Spade honors behind declarer and perhaps East was taught the “Rule of 23” figuring pard’s 13 + 10 = DOUBLE!
After the Heart lead to West’s Queen, with a quick “eyes right” looking at the dummy its clear to play trump (which would set the set the contract). Looking at the North/South hand with only 4 quick tricks, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to start cross-rufing red suits. So if West doesn’t go for the
trump switch on trick 2, declarer could ruff 3 Heart tricks in dummy and a few Diamonds in North’s hand to bring home the doubled contract. Indeed, that was USA’s fate, with 730 points and 12 IMPs to France. So again, the part score penalty doublers left the board with their heads reeling.
Okay, we will finish or overview of this round with an exciting distributional hand.

Board 10 – see details here

Dealer: E Vul: All


 A Q

 K 6 4 3

 K J 9 7 5 4


 8 7 5

 8 7 5 4

 Q 10 7

 Q 8 6

 A K J 9 6 4 3 

 K 10 9 3 2

 – –



 10 2

 J 6

 A J 9 8 5 2 

 A 3 2

 Vulnerable or not, with a 7=5=0=1 shape and reasonable values East has big plans on this hand.  After all, with a mere 10 HCP shouldn’t East be able to count on partner West to come up with two tricks?  As it turns out, despite holding a lackluster flat hand West does have a nice complement of major suit placeholders which limits the opponents trick taking ability.   Not surprisingly, the bidding ranged from 6 Spades in the East (doubled both times) to 6 Diamonds in the South (also going down),  5 and 6 Clubs in the North (6 making slam but not deserved), 5 Hearts bid twice and doubled once (making but not deserved), 5 Spades doubled and making (earning well deserved bonus point for making 11 tricks), a few 4 Heart games making, and one lonely 3 Heart contract making 5!  Wow!
Some East’s will be tempted to open 4 Spades, quite an understatement for a hand with perhaps 5 losers.  With East’s excellent Spade honors and suit length, Heart’s are hardly worth mentioning for several bids.  As it turned out, most of our field went with the reasonable 9 card Heart fit and contract.  The typical bidding will begin 1 Spade by East around to 2 Clubs by North, although some busy-bidder South’s just can’t help but overcall in Diamonds (not wise when vulnerable).  When West passes East loses a few heartbeats until North bids 2 Clubs.  From here, it’s doubtful many East players could avoid the urge to make a bid jump in a major and by looking at the final contract, it’s probably a jump in Hearts. 
And so at the end of this explosive board, the scores ranged from 16 IMPs for 6 Clubs making slam in the North to 5 Spades doubled and making in the East for 13 IMPs in the other direction.  No wonder Bridge can get in the veins of our bright collegiate Bridge players.
And so at the end of Round 4, China Taipei B team slipped down a few notches to third place. Here’s how the top
teams stacked up:
Poland 87
USA A 81
France 77
China Taipei B 69
China A 69
Germany A 68

Until next time, enjoy the good life at the Bridge table!

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