April 2016 English Bridge
THE CHANNEL trophy competition was held in
December and it was the turn of the Dutch Bridge
Federation to host this annual meeting in Utrecht,
south of Amsterdam. Three parallel competitions
were run: U25s; U20s; and U25 women. Our juniors
faced experienced teams from France, Belgium and
the Netherlands. The competition was run as an
intense 18 board double round-robin over three
days with 63 boards to play on the middle day.
The U20s team dominated their competition
winning every match to storm to victory. Having
fallen behind against the French in the first half of
their match, they overturned a 15 IMP deficit to
beat their arch rivals. Four crushing victories
against the Belgians and the Dutch set up a deciding
replay against the French for the title. A narrow
victory resulted in a debut Channel Trophy victory
for all six players. Congratulations to Ben Norton &
Sam Behrens, Kripa Panchagnula & Jonathan Clark,
and Liam Sanderson & Daniel Winter with npc
Michael Byrne. Kripa and Jonathan made their
England debuts (and what better way to start than
with a win). Liam and Daniel both represented the
U15 team in the European Championships earlier
in the year and it is encouraging to see they handled
the transition to U20 so well.
The following hand is taken from the penultimate
match against the Dutch and features Ben and Sam
bidding to an excellent grand slam.
Sam and Ben play the increasingly common
method of 5-card majors and transfers over a
prepared club so 1™ showed four or more spades.
2NT showed values and nine cards in the black
suits: either six clubs and three spades or five clubs
and four spades. South now bid 3´ showing a game
forcing hand with five spades. Having shown
controls via 4® and 4™, North now pressed on to
ask for keycards and when South showed 0 or 3 with
5t, North enquired further for the queen of spades
with 5™. 5NT showed the queen but no outside
kings. Sensing a grand slam could be on the cards,
6® asked for a third round control in clubs. With
his doubleton club, South proceeded to bid the
excellent grand slam without hesitation for +1510.
When the Dutch stopped in only 6´, this was a
valuable 11 IMPs towards a 36 IMP victory.
The U25 Women fielded three young players -
Jasmine Bakhshi, Megan Jones and Liz Gahan -
who were the youngest ever to represent their
country. Helen Holmes was also making her debut.
The more experienced Katy Lee and Laura Covill
with npc Sarah O'Connor completed the team.
They finished third with two excellent victories.
Considering some of the team were more than 10
years below the age limit it was definitely a very
creditable performance. Congratulations to all.
The U25s were represented by Shivam Shah &
Freddie Illingworth; Alex Roberts & Ankush
Khandelwal; Toby Nonnenmacher & Michael
Alishaw with npc Alan Shillitoe. Despite securing an
early lead, they slipped to third place behind
France, the winners. r
U20s victorious by Kyle Lam
Channel Trophy report
Channel Trophy report
E/W Game. Dealer North.
´ 9 4 2
™ K 6
t A K
® A K J 8 7 2
´ 7 5 ´ 8 6 3
™ Q 10 8 5 2 ™ 9 7 3
t Q 6 2 t J 10 9 8 5
® 10 6 4 ® Q 3
´ A K Q J 10
™ A J 4
t 7 4 3
® 9 5