Worldwide Bridge Base Online
A novel event for mixed teams was held from October 31 to November 2, 2016. Four teams played online in three venues. The Bridge Base Online (BBO) team was at the Silver Cloud Broadway Hotel in Seattle; Lavazza competed at the company’s research center in Turin, Italy; and the Chinese Contract Bridge Association (CCBA) and Yeh played in the Beijing International Convention Center.
The event consisted of a round robin of 16-board matches. The final result was Lavazza 83.64 victory points, CCBA 65.98, Yeh 49.59 and BBO 40.79.
The highlight for the BBO team was the participation of Bill Gates, who partnered Sharon Osberg. Their teammates were Jill Meyers-Bob Hamman and Sheri Winestock-Fred Gitelman.
Today’s deal was one that Gates played. At his table, NorthSouth were “happy” with three clubs, made with an overtrick.
But in the given auction, Meyers bid a game-invitational three clubs, and Hamman went for game in no-trump. West led the spade two: three, ace, six. East returned the spade nine: king, four, heart five. What did Hamman do next?
Declarer could have gotten lucky in clubs, but knew that that was against the odds — 16.96 percent, to be precise. Instead, Hamman played a diamond to the ace and a heart to his 10. With hearts 3-3, West had no defense, but she surprisingly led another spade, so Hamman immediately claimed nine tricks: three spades, one heart, four diamonds and one club.
That gave BBO 10 international match points against Lavazza.