27th European Youth Team Championships – Day 6

Follow the European Youth Team Championships taking place in Oslo, Norway, with Milan Macura from 4 to 11 July!

Milan Macura is the captain of the Czech team sponsored by Funbridge. He is familiar with Funbridge. You can watch the weekly videos of his challenges against Argine in our Videos section.

Throughout the Championships, Milan will share the highlights of the event as well as interesting deals. His summary of Day 6 is already available.

DAY 6: The end of the European Youth Team Championships

Deal analysis:

We are approaching the end of the Championship and players are getting tired and making more mistakes as well as nice defenses and bold bidding. 

Here is a normal board on the first sight, but can turn into a big swing for either side very easily. How would you manage the South hand?

S J 10 5 4 3
H K 10 9
D A J 7 8 
C A 2

You open 1♠ and your partner raises to 2♠. Right hand opponent passes and after your pass, West reopen the bidding with 3♣. North doubles and East escapes to 3♥. What do you do?

South West North East

You have 3 defensive tricks and partner doubles 3♣ so he should have a maximum hand and club honors. Before you make an action you should make the plan in defense. East must have a ♣ shortness in order to escape from 3♣, but suppose it’s a singleton. You have 2 aces and the ♥K to score 3 tricks. If partner has an extra trick, your ♥10 can get a promotion for minimum one down. Doubling for down one is good in matchpoints, but not so much in teams. On the other hand your potential in diamonds can turn the score for +500 in a partscore board which is very tempting to double.

In the broadcasted match in between the Czech Republic vs. Slovakia, the bidding went this way:

South West North East

2♥ = AK or 8+ HCP and 3+♠ fit
2♠ = minimum hand, 7-8 losers
dbl = penalty

After the 2♥ as good raise which promise minimum 2 high cards (A or K), you expect the contract to go down for sure and hopefully for down 2 or even 3. You lead the ♣A and this is what you see in the dummy.

H 8
D Q 9 4 3 
C J 10 6 5 4 3

You partner plays ♣7 and declarer ♣8. Your signals are up-side-down so 7 is positive or even number of cards. After you see the AK in spades in dummy, you expect partner to hold the ♣K and ♦K and most likely also ♣Q or ♠Q to have a good raise.

How many tricks can you count in defense now?

Most likely you make only 1 trick in ♣, one in ♥ and 2 in ♦. You need to score minimum one extra. If your partner is having ♦K10x, you can score 3 diamond tricks and if you play a second club, you can get a promotion. But what should be the switch?

You should help your partner to defend properly. You should cash the ♦A and switch to a club. Partner can cash the ♦K before playing the ♣K if the second club holds. If declarer discards his diamond loser on third round of diamonds, you discard the diamond too and you can get a trump promotion in ♦. That can happen only if declarer is holding 2632. With more likely 3631 distribution, declarer will ruff the second club trick, but after you get the ♥K, you can play the ♦J to be able to cash 3 diamond tricks and get the trump promotion for -2 and 500. Here is the whole board.

S  9 6 2
H 7 6 5
D K 8 2
C K Q 9 7
H  8
D Q 9 4 3
C J 10 6 5 4 3
orientation S Q 8 7
H A Q J 4 3 2
D 10 6 5
C 8
S J 10 5 4 3
H K 10 9
D A J 7
C A 2

Unfortunately for the Czechs, South cashed the ♦A and played the ♦J. That wins if partner has the ♦10 and the ♠Q to go potentially for -3. In this particular board, the ♦10 was in declarer’s hand and South didn’t have enough time to get his trump promotion. The ♦10 becomes the entry to East hand for drawing the last trumps before he unblocks the spades. Just made and +730 for Slovakia which tied the match with 14 IMPs swing when the other table went 3 down in 3♥. 

Notice that 2♠ contract from NS can be beaten if EW gets the club ruff and crossruff the high honors scoring 2 hearts tricks and 4 spade tricks. Only one pair found this defense in 2♠.

European Youth Team Championships

Report #6

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