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).