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APR_08_EB_p21 Simpson 14/3/08 2:32 pm Page 21

Open team trials

– the final

REPORTS

IT is said that a week can be a long time 1

12-14

in politics. A weekend in Solihull can be 2

Transfer to hearts

a very important time in bridge as the 3

Auto-splinter, showing a shortage in clubs

team to represent England in the Open and interest in a slam

category at the European Championships 4

Roman Key-Card Blackwood

in Pau, France, would be decided there. 5

Asking for the queen of trumps Colin Simpson

By the time they reached this stage, the

two teams contesting the final had South, John Armstrong, missed an oppor-

already played about three hundred tunity after East’s double: he could have West North East South

boards and would be required to play passed, allowing his partner, John Holland, Townsend Armstrong Gold Holland

another one hundred in five stanzas of to redouble to show a void rather than a 1NT1

twenty, mirroring the length of matches possible singleton. However, he recovered Pass 2♥ 2

Dble 3

3♠4

to be played in Pau – a tough test of when he discovered only one ace in his Dble5 Pass 4♥ Pass

stamina and concentration. partner’s hand, diagnosing that Holland Pass 4♠ Dble All Pass

John Armstrong’s team of John Holland, must have a club void to propose a slam 1

12-14

Tony Waterlow and Paul Hackett had opposite a weak no-trump. He then asked 2

Transfer to spades

survived a tough semi-final winning by a North if he held the queen of trumps (5♦), 3

Values

narrow margin, whereas Tom Townsend’s because he knew partner would reply as 4

At least four cards in the suit

team of David Gold, Gunnar Hallberg though he had that card if he held extra 5

Take-out

and Andrew McIntosh had had a smoother length, i.e. the seventh heart, making it a

passage to the final, and various pundits decent slam. The play was not a problem North’s decision to bid 4 ♠ might be

had made them marginal favourites. once the spade finesse was successful. questionable, because on best defence

The underdog status did not affect the The first day of sixty boards continued East-West’s 4♥ contract will fail by two

Armstrong team who started the stronger in a similar vein with Armstrong winning tricks; however, given the state of the

picking up a number of small swings in each set and leading by 42 IMPs overnight – match, John Armstrong wanted to take out

the early exchanges and also this slam a good advantage but by no means insur- insurance. How right he was! At his first

swing in the first set: mountable. Townsend started the second opportunity, John Holland, the declarer in

day well, picking up 20 IMPs in the first set the South seat, led the queen of spades

and doing better in the early exchanges from dummy and then later finessed against

N/S Game. Dealer East. (Rotated) during the fifth and final twenty boards, the ten, thereby securing his contract and

♠J96 even creeping into the lead. However, this nailing down his team’s victory by a margin

♥AJ98642 was not last because of the strong game of 33 IMPs.

♦KQJ played by both the Armstrong pairs, as ex-

♣ Void emplified by Armstrong’s brave bidding The final outcome

♠ 10 5 3 2 ♠K87 and Holland’s fine card-play on this deal: looks good

♥3 W

N

E

♥ 10 7

♦A975 S ♦ 10 6 4 2 Despite administrative hiccups at each

♣ 10 8 7 5 ♣AK92 Love All. Dealer South. (Rotated) stage of the Trials, we have established

♠AQ4 ♠Q8732 who will represent England in Pau (the

♥KQ5 ♥963 third pair and non-playing captain will be

♦83 ♦K chosen by the Selection Committee). John

♣QJ643 ♣K854 Armstrong and John Holland played in

♠ 4 ♠ K 10 5 the last European Teams Championships

N

♥ A854 W E ♥ KQJ2 in 2006; Paul Hackett and Tony Waterlow

West North East South ♦ 9754 S ♦ A 10 8 2 have also represented England, in 2002.

Gold Holland Townsend Armstrong ♣ Q932 ♣ J6 On the form shown throughout the Trials,

Pass 1NT1 ♠ AJ96 the team has a very good chance in the

Pass 2♦ 2

Pass 2♥ ♥ 10 7 Europeans, with qualification for the

Pass 4♣3 Dble 4NT4 ♦ QJ63 Bermuda Bowl a distinct possibility and a

Pass 5♣ Pass 5♦5 ♣ A 10 7 medal a reasonable chance.

Pass 6♥ All Pass We wish them the very best.

www.ebu.co.uk April 2008 English Bridge 21

Index

  1. Page 0001
  2. Page 0002
  3. Page 0003
  4. Page 0004
  5. Page 0005
  6. Page 0006
  7. Page 0007
  8. Page 0008
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  28. Page 0028
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  31. Page 0031
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  35. Page 0035
  36. Page 0036
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  38. Page 0038
  39. Page 0039
  40. Page 0040
  41. Page 0041
  42. Page 0042
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  48. Page 0048
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  56. Page 0056