Day 6: Where the Heck is Monaco, Anyway?
Darren – Les Vince – Nick Danny – Dan
The tiny principality of Monaco is probably best known for its casinos and for actress Grace Kelly who became Princess Grace of Monaco. As one wag put it, Monaco is a pleasing sunny place where shady characters live. Who would have thought that Monaco could field a bridge team whose members include two of the strongest pairs in the world. Despite Canada’s size relative to Monaco, the over-under line here in Lille is 80 VPs in favour of Monaco.
On the Road to 16 Olympiad Way
Here is a critical deal from our last match against Argentina. Leslie Amoils and Darren Wolpert were East-West respectively. (They won’t stand still long enough for a picture 🙂 ).
This was the penultimate deal, with the score standing at 34-30 for Canada. Darren’s bold balancing double put Les on the hot seat. The spade suit was strangely missing, so partner was highly likely to hold both majors, making two hearts a safe haven. But if partner has hearts, maybe defending wouldn’t be too bad. Les’ well-judged pass turned a routine +200 (1NT down 2) into +500 for a welcome gain of 7 IMPs.
Canada Shows Its Teeth
Sometimes even the biggest bridge nation can be pushed around. Look at this result from the third segment of Canada’s match versus Monaco. Nick L’Ecuyer was North and Vince Demuy was South.
Sitting North, you hold ♠ J9653 ♥ — ♦ A10643 ♣ Q106 and you hear this auction
Nick L’Ecuyer didn’t fly all the way from Montreal to pass. He closed out the auction by doubling, or so he thought. But wait! East now bailed out to 5C, passed around to Nick. Again he doubled, and this time it did end the auction. Vince carefully led the ♥J (K from A king at the 5-level) to get the defensive cross-ruff going. And, in the best of Scandinavian accents, 1400 was the agreed-upon result. At an identical juncture in the closed room auction, the Monegasque North opted to pass 4♠ and +200 didn’t help the big nation’s cause. The full hand:
The Key to My Heart (Game)
The enterprising duo of Daniel Miles and Daniel Korbel demonstrated that hearts are not only a higher paying strain than clubs, but that sometimes you can get rewarded with a games bonus.
This was the second board from segment in our 6-segment match against Monaco.
Here is how “the Dans” bid the hand:
As you can see from the diagram, only a club lead (or an early club shift) will beat the heart game, not too likely on the bidding. At the other table, the auction subsided in 3C when opener bid just 2C at his second turn. A nice 6 IMP pick-up!