The Weekend Australian - Review - - MIND GAMES - Paul Marston

JUST about all bridge events are scored at match­points or imps. At match­points your score de­pends on how many pairs you beat while at imps your score de­pends on how much you beat them by. As a re­sult, small wins mat­ter at match­points while they don’t at imps. This makes match­points the more chal­leng­ing form of the game. There are about 350 bridge clubs around Aus­tralia with a to­tal of about 35,000 play­ers and ev­ery one of their reg­u­lar ses­sions is scored at match­points. Now we come to the funny part.

There are also about 200 state and na­tional events held right around the coun­try each year and ev­ery one of them (apart from one event at the Gold Coast Congress) is scored at imps, with Swiss Teams be­ing the pre­ferred for­mat. Why is this? I guess the play­ers want less stress and more chance to get lucky when they are play­ing at a higher level.

One match­point event that has re­tained a strong fol­low­ing is the New Zealand Pairs, held ev­ery year in Septem­ber in Hamil­ton. This year it was won by Martin Bloom and Peter Gill of Syd­ney. To­day’s deals come from that event.

On deal one Bloom made four hearts by way of an end play.

West led the queen of clubs, ducked by Bloom. He won the club con­tin­u­a­tion and played a heart to the queen. West took the ace and per­sisted with clubs. Bloom ruffed, drew trumps and played the ace and king of spades be­fore end play­ing West with the queen of spades. West had no good con­tin­u­a­tion. He chose a di­a­mond, which Bloom ran around to his queen to land his game. It should be pointed out that West can pre­vail if he un­blocks his queen and jack of spades to al­low his part­ner to gain the lead with the ten.

On deal two Gill made four spades by los­ing just one trump trick. It is hard to imag­ine how he did this when you look at the di­a­gram.

The de­fence started well when West cashed the two top di­a­monds but then both de­fend­ers made a mis­take. First West con­tin­ued di­a­monds. East nat­u­rally ruffed, think­ing de­clarer had a third di­a­mond, but Gill over­ruffed and crossed to dummy to lead the good queen of di­a­monds. It should have been clear to East that de­clarer had no use­ful dis­card but he ruffed sleep­ily with the ten of spades. Gill sim­ply over­ruffed and played a trump. There must have been a loud bang when the ace and king dropped to­gether.

At the 14th Red Bull World Se­ries of Bridge in Sanya, Hainan, China from 10-25 Oc­to­ber 2014, the open teams was won by Piotr Gawrys, Stanis­law Golebiowski, Krzysztof Jassem, Michal Klukowski, Marcin Mazurkiewicz, Wlodz­imierz Starkowski, Marcin Mazurkiewicz (Poland), the women’s teams was won by Lynn Baker, Karen McCal­lum (USA), Sally Brock , Ni­cola Smith (Eng­land), Meike Wor­tel , Mar­ion Michielsen (The Nether­lands) and the se­niors teams was won by Reese Mil­ner , He­mant Lall (USA), Apoli­nary Kowal­ski , Jacek Ro­man­ski (Poland), Michel Bes­sis , Philippe Cronier (France).

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