Page 0030

30 English Bridge February 2018 www.ebu.co.uk

West North East South

1´ Pass 2NT1

Pass 3®2 3™3 3´4

Pass 4™5 Pass 4NT6

Pass 5t7 Pass 5NT8

Pass 6™9 Pass 7´10

All Pass

1 Game forcing - spade support

2 No shortage, extra values

3 Too late

4 Short clubs

5 Asking bid

6 Heart control, one key card

7 Asking bid

8 Diamond control and ´Q

9 Can you bid a grand slam?

10 Yes

West North East South

1NT 3™ 3NT

All Pass

T

owards the end of a close match, you bid and

make a grand slam while your counterparts

stop in game at the other table. You wouldn't

think that was a disaster, but when the Fates are out

to get you even your noblest efforts are in vain. That

was the lesson of many Greek tragedies, including

the one that happened on the island of Rhodes in

1996 in the Olympiad semi-final between Denmark

and Indonesia. With two deals remaining Indonesia

led by 5 IMPs, and this was the penultimate board.

A Greek tragedy

Great Bridge Disasters by David Burn

click

link

When Indonesia sat North-South they didn't bid

the suit in which they were cold for seven - indeed,

they didn't bid any suits at all:

Game All. Dealer North.

´ A K 10 8 2

™ 6 4

t A Q 5

® A 9 7

´ 9 7 3 ´ J

™ Q 9 ™ K J 10 8 7 5 3

t J 6 3 t 8

® K Q 8 5 4 ® J 10 6 2

´ Q 6 5 4

™ A 2

t K 10 9 7 4 2

® 3 N

W E

S

This was one of the best auctions of the

tournament, and to have conducted it under

immense pressure was a superb performance. Plus

2210 gave Denmark 16 IMPs and the lead by 11

going into the final board.

When South made his final call the Danish

supporters in the Vugraph theatre made an awful lot

of noise. So loud was it that the players in their

theoretically isolated room could hear, and they

knew that Denmark had done something

spectacular. The last deal was a partscore affair on

which the Danish South, 'knowing' that his team

must have won, went to sleep and allowed Indonesia

to make 2NT for a gain of six IMPs, but that wasn't

enough - Denmark had won by five.

An English rather than a Greek tragedian

remarked that as flies to wanton boys are we to the

Gods - they kill us for their sport. Denmark hadn't

won by five - they hadn't won at all, because the

Vugraph scorers had earlier credited one of them

with making an overtrick in a contract that had in

fact failed. This made a difference of - you've

guessed it - 5 IMPs, so the two teams had finished

level. Back they went to play eight extra boards, in

the course of which Denmark eked out a lead of 8

A full 17-count with a strong five-card suit is

perhaps too much for a strong no trump, and South

had some options other than 3NT available to him,

but when both players took the low road they

scored an unhappy +720. Denmark did rather

better:

Index

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