FEB_08_EB p11 Simpson 14/1/08 3:32 pm Page 11
– an open verdict
THE anoraks among us who follow this and Nick Sandqvist made it to the semis
sort of thing will have noticed that this is with the journalists’ team representing the
the last time the Trials for the Open Team Times and Daily Telegraph narrowly missing
for the European Championship will be out again.
restricted to teams of four. The Selection Winning the round robin had two
Committee has indicated that it intends to advantages for Liggins (Glyn Liggins, Peter Colin Simpson
return to teams of six in a Premier League Crouch, Martin Jones, Neil Rosen). Firstly,
and then a squad system. Some comment- they were guaranteed a Camrose selection
ators have been less than complimentary in the forthcoming Home Internationals, South, exercised good judgment in offering
about the performance of the England and secondly they could choose their semi- 3NT as an alternative to 4♠. Holding
Open Team in the past. However, it should final opponents. This proved a poisoned mainly soft values, Gunnar Hallberg, North,
be noted that in the last few years one chalice as they opted to face Armstrong accepted. This contract produced ten tricks.
team headed the round-robin stage of the (John Armstrong, John Holland, Tony
Olympiad and reached the semi-finals; Waterlow, Paul Hackett) and lost by 2 IMPs
another, different team, headed the round (a couple of overtricks) over eighty boards.
robin in the following Olympiad, and a The other semi was between Townsend
third team was fifth in a European Champ- (Tom Townsend, David Gold, Gunnar
ionship, missing a medal by a whisker but Hallberg, Andrew McIntosh) and Sandqvist,
nevertheless qualifying for the Bermuda (Nick Sandqvist, Artur Malinowski, Justin
Bowl – the first time for many years. and Jason Hackett) with the former prevail-
Let us hope that the new system provides ing after taking a healthy lead at half-time
greater success. and overcoming a determined fight back.
This deal appeared early in the match, the
eventual winners combining good bidding
judgement at one table with a fine intuitive
defence at the other to gain 10 IMPs:
Love All. Dealer West. At the other table, with a similar auction,
♠ 10 9 6 3 North chose 4♠ and Tom Townsend was
♥A763 on lead. South’s 3NT bid put him off
♦ K J 10 clubs; spades or diamonds looked passive,
♣Q5 so eventually out came a heart, producing
♠ 5 ♠K72 two hearts and two aces for the defence.
♥ 985 W
♥KQ2 At the end of the round-robin stage, the
♦ 65432 S ♦A97 teams to represent England in the Camrose
John Armstrong ♣ A764 ♣ 10 9 3 2 Trophy were selected, namely Neil Rosen –
♠AQJ84 Martin Jones, Tom Townsend – David Gold,
The selection process started in Solihull last ♥ J 10 4 and Andrew McIntosh – Gunnar Hallberg
October, at the recently refurbished West ♦Q8 to play in Northern Ireland in January, and
Midlands Bridge Club where nine teams of ♣KJ8 Glyn Liggins – Peter Crouch, Neil Rosen –
four played the first of two weekends to Martin Jones, and John Holland – John
reduce the field to four semi-finalists. All Armstrong in the Republic of Ireland in
England’s best players were on show, al- West North East South March. David Price will be non-playing
though it was likely that only five teams had Pass Pass 1♣ 1♠ captain for both matches. Perhaps it would
a chance of reaching the knock-out stages. 2NT 3♣ Pass 3NT have been better for the European Champ-
At the end of the second weekend in All Pass ionship team to play the whole of the
November, at the equally refurbished Young Camrose; however, the final of the Trials
Chelsea Bridge Club, the form book came The bidding showed aspects of modern will take place too late to allow this.
good and the teams captained by Glyn theory: 2NT was a poor raise to 3♣, and 3♣ Best wishes to our teams – I hope they
Liggins, Tom Townsend, John Armstrong was a good raise to 3♠! Andrew McIntosh, will bring back the Camrose.
www.ebu.co.uk February 2008 English Bridge 11