Page 0052

52 English Bridge February 2016 www.ebu.co.uk

THE EUROPEAN Champions Cup is a 3-day

tournament for the champion teams of Europe's

top 11 bridge countries, the current champions

(ITALY-Allegra) and the host country. In November

2015 it was held in Milton Keynes. The four

countries involved in cheating scandals (Israel,

Monaco, Germany and Poland) withdrew of their

own accord and were replaced by teams from the

next-ranking countries.

The host team, England-EBU, was Simon Gillis (a

sponsor of the event), Boye Brogeland, Tom

Hanlon, Espen Lindqvist, Zia Mahmood and Eric

Saelensminde. Italian teams had won 11 of the 13

previous holdings and England's highest finish had

been sixth place.

On the first two days there was a round-robin of

10-board matches. The top four, next four and

bottom four would then compete in three knockouts

(semi-final and final). The very first round

offered some juicy action. This is what happened

when Italy-Allegra faced Italy-Angelini:

West North East South

Giubilo Bianchedi Cima Di Franco

2® 2™ Pass 3™

Dble Pass 4NT Pass

5t Pass 6t All Pass

The meaning of Leonardo Cima's 4NT was not

announced. Perhaps it was UNT with the intention

of correcting 5® to 5t (to show a strong 5t bid),

perhaps it was merely a transfer to diamonds. Be

that as it may, the safe hand became declarer in 6t.

North led the ™J and dummy's ™Q won for an

easy make.

What would happen at the other table?

West North East South

Duboin Tokay Bilde Sementa

2NT Pass 4´ Pass

5® Pass 5t Pass

5™ Dble 6t All Pass

Dennis Bilde's 4´ showed either clubs or

diamonds and 5® was 'pass or correct'. When

Giorgio Duboin heard of long diamonds opposite,

he made a grand slam try of 5™. He must

have regretted this ambitious move (rather than a

simple 6t) when he heard a lead-directing double

from North.

The ™6 was led and Bilde called for dummy's ace.

He played the ace, king and jack of trumps, North

throwing the ´2 and the ®9. When declarer led

the ´10, Antonio Sementa played low! Bilde ran the

ten and made the slam for a flat board. It was

unlikely that North would have discarded his only

spade when he had plenty of other cards to

throw. Sementa might well have read declarer for

a singleton ´10 and split his honours to defeat

the slam.

If a club is led against 6t, North is caught in a

Morton's Fork. If he wins with the ®A, declarer has

two heart discards. If he holds back the ace, declarer

wins and ditches his other club on a spade. If South

leads a trump or a spade, declarer must arrange the

Morton's Fork himself. He will need to guess

whether to lead towards the ®K or the ®Q.

In the semi-final of the middle-four knockout,

England (Alexander Allfrey, David Bakhshi, Mike

Bell, Tony Forrester, David Gold, Andrew Robson)

faced Sweden. They lost the first half by 46-12, but

Love All. Dealer West.

´ 5 2

™ K J 10 5 2

t 2

® A J 9 8 6

´ A K 9 8 ´ 10

™ A 3 ™ Q 9 4

t A K Q 9 t J 10 7 6 5 4 3

® Q 3 2 ® K 5

´ Q J 7 6 4 3

™ 8 7 6

t 8

® 10 7 4

N

W E

S

Italy's fifth

win in a

row by David Bird click

link

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