Jérôme Rombaut, 2017 Vice World Champion and member of the Funbridge team, played in the Cavendish competition which took place from the 3rd to the 5th February 2019.
Historically, this competition took place in the USA. For 2 years, it has been held in Monaco. Jérôme gives us an exclusive account of this prestigious international competition which was won by him and his team.
This year, we were in the superb hotel Le méridien.
22 teams gathered there to play in an extremely high-level competition. And it has to be said – it is better to have a small chance of winning if you are paying the €7,500 entry fee!
2019 Cavendish favourites
- The Zimmerman team from Monaco
- The Lavazza team from Italy
- The Zia Mahmood team, the American team with our own Thomas Bessis!
- The Ventin team from Sweden
- The Swedish-American team of the Rimstedt brothers
There was only one French team from the beginning, made up of two experienced partnerships: Soulet – Vinciguerra and Rombaut – Lorenzini.
The format was simple: 7 x 14-board matches of Swiss over two days, with only the top 4 teams qualifying for the semi-finals.
We started off very well
On the first day, bringing in 3 wins:
And there we were in second place!
The second day was more difficult.
Two wins, one draw and one loss:
The final match would be decisive
The winner would proceed to the semi-finals. We were playing this match against the Ventin team and, despite a truly impressive relay system played by the Swedes, we managed to win the match and qualify.
2019 Cavendish semi-final
Our opponents in the semi-final would be the Israeli team Birman. We won the first half 23-1 but our opponents pulled it back in the second half. Without knowing it, our qualification depended on a difficult decision I had to make on the second-last board.
| 6 3|
10 7 4 2
K Q 4
K J 10 7
My partner was very probably void in Spades (with at most a singleton spade) but the poor quality of my heart suit discouraged me from bidding over 4♠. This was fortunate, as 4S goes two off and 5D goes one off (in the same situation, Meckstroth bid 5C). We won 6 IMPs on the deal (instead of losing 4) and, although we lost that half 38-23, we qualified by 7 IMPs: 46-39.
2019 Cavendish final
In the final, we shall be facing our American friends Demuy/Hurd for all 3 rounds of the match and shall leave the Swedes to our teammates.
We would play well in the final too, for a final win of 70-35. My partner will kindly tell me that the training on Funbridge is paying off.