FEB_08_EB p07 Naturalists 14/1/08 5:38 pm Page 7
David Bird reports on the latest
Naturalists v Scientists match
THE idea of a match between Scientists swing would result if David Wolfson could ten tricks and a very long suit indeed. Here
(using highly artificial bidding) and make 6♠. Wolfson won the heart lead and is a sample of the action:
Naturalists (using no conventions except made a great start by cashing the king of
Blackwood), is an attractive one. Provided clubs, dropping the queen of clubs from
the players are of roughly equal standard, East. The Principle of Restricted Choice E/W Game. Dealer South.
you have a chance to judge whether states that East’s queen is twice as likely to ♠ Void
conventions play a big role in the game. be a singleton as a chosen card from queen- ♥ K7
Previously, there had been three famous jack doubleton. Without playing any ♦ 9832
encounters of this type. The third match trumps, Wolfson continued with a club to ♣ K J 10 9 8 6 4
was in 1992, with Forrester and Robson the nine. Had this lost to the jack, declarer ♠ Q 10 4 ♠ AKJ98762
and Chagas and Branco as the Naturalists. might still have made the slam if trumps ♥ J 10 9 8 6 5 4 3 2 ♥ Void
Wolff and Hamman with Meckstroth and were 3-3, since he could ruff a diamond in ♦ 10 W
Rodwell represented the Scientists. dummy. He would also have been in good ♣ Void S
The fourth such match, played recently shape if East had ruffed from three or four ♠ 53
in London, was over-described as being in trumps. Unfortunately, East ruffed from a ♥ AQ
the same category. Firstly, there was a big doubleton trump and West still held a ♦ AQ765
difference in ability between the rubber trump trick. That was 11 IMPs away (£1100 ♣ AQ72
bridge players representing the Naturalists at the prevailing stakes) instead of the
and the world-class duplicate stars in the same amount in the plus column.
Scientists’ team. Secondly, the Scientists West North East South
were not playing particularly artificial Robson Marchessini Zia Hargreave
methods and were not regular partnerships. 1♦
‘Rubber Bridge Stars v Duplicate Aces’ Pass 5♦ 5♠ 6♦
would have been a more accurate billing. 6♠ 7♦ Dble All Pass
It was entertaining stuff, nevertheless.
Let’s see some action: Demetri Marchessini’s bid of 7 ♦ was
brilliantly judged, since 6♠ is easily made
on any lead by setting up dummy’s hearts.
E/W Game. Dealer East. Andrew Robson led a suit-preference two
♠874 of hearts, Zia Mahmood ruffing and re-
♥9752 turning the requested club. The defenders
♦63 claimed their three ruffs and the sacrifice
♣A985 went 500 down.
♠ J 10 9 3 ♠52 At the other table, the Naturalist West
♥ K63 W
♥ Q J 10 8 4 declined to raise his partner’s spades and
♦ 95 S ♦J8742 Boye Brogeland (North) made an overtrick
♣ J432 ♣Q in 5♣ for a net swing of 920 aggregate,
Demetri Marchessini, organiser
♠AKQ6 of the Naturalists v Scientists match, worth £920 at the agreed stakes for the
♥A and Naturalists’ Captain Goulash section. The Scientists won the
♦ A K Q 10 second day by 58 rubber points.
♣ K 10 7 6 The Scientists won the first day’s 56-board How much did we all learn about the
match by 134 IMPs, although this was importance of conventions? Not a lot.
reduced by a previously agreed 56-IMP How much fun was had by the ten players
West North East South handicap. On the second day the two and the many hundreds who watched on
Robson Priday Zia Wolfson teams played Goulash, with the wildly Bridge Base Online? A huge amount! I
Pass 2♠ distributional hands dealt by a Russian certainly enjoyed it.
Pass 2NT Pass 3♦ computer program. High-card points are
Pass 4♠ Pass 5♣ less important than long suits. In a typical Naturalists: Demetri Marchessini, Giles
Pass 5♠ Pass 6♠ Goulash bidding system, a one-bid suggests Hargreave, David Wolfson, Patrick Lawrence
All Pass at least a six-card suit, 1NT shows 13-19 and Tony Priday. Scientists: Zia Mahmood,
points and no six-card suit, a two-bid Andrew Robson, Gunnar Hallberg, David Gold
The Scientists had stopped in 4NT, so a big (including a natural 2♣) suggests around and Boye Brogeland.
www.ebu.co.uk February 2008 English Bridge 7