Winter in Vienna 2024

Winter in Vienna

The tournament was played over the weekend from 26.-28. January at the Bridgecentrum in Vienna and contained an Opening Pairs on Friday evening, a Swiss Teams on Saturday and a Main Pairs on Sunday. The attendance was much higher than in recent years, due to the participation of players from Croatia, Hungary, Poland and Spain.

There was enough time to do a little sightseeing too.

The Opening Pairs was won by Austrians Simon Weinberger/Michael Strafner ahead of Spaniards Eric Milesi Vidal/Jordi Rafecas Ventosa.

The Swiss Teams

The Swiss Teams saw 26 teams fighting for the trophies and after 48 boards the top finishers were:

  1. VIENNA (Wadl, Kadlec, Eichholzer, Scheberan)         89,3 VP
  2. ZAGREB (Zoric, Cekol, Sasek, Havlicek)                     78,6 VP
  3. BUDAPEST (Minarik, Selmeci, Szücs, Zabradi)          78,0 VP
The winners, team VIENNA

This Board from the last round created swings in many matches:

(1) Strong

1♣ was strong and after the intervention the next bids were natural. In theory 7♦ was the worst available Grand Slam, but the diamonds behaved and 16 tricks were there for the taking in all strains except clubs. The other table bid to 7♥, worth 2 Imps to Team Zagreb.

The Pairs Tournament

The pairs tournament was attended by 52 pairs who played two sessions of 18 boards each. 

There were lots of interesting boards, especially the one shown below from the second session. What came up here is a not so well-known theme, the “Lead undirecting Double”:

Lead ♠5, 10 tricks, +630 NS

On a spade lead, declarer could unblock the ♣K and work on diamonds to take ten tricks (two spades, two clubs, five diamonds, and one heart). If East could double 3♠ to tell partner not to lead this suit, then West should find the heart lead that is necessary to beat 3NT (since clubs are blocked declarer cannot consume his nine tricks). In situations like this, the Lead Undirecting Double is a useful move compared to the mere Pass if you use more common methods.

The top three pairs:    

  1. Leo Szücs – Benjamin Zabradi (Hungary): 62,71%
  2. Sophie Hermann – Patricio Crisafulli Sadaba (Austria): 62,48%
  3. Vedran Zoric – Goran Cekol (Croatia): 61,94%
Sophie Hermann – Patricio Crisafulli Sadaba
Leo Szücs – Benjamin Zabradi 
Vedran Zoric – Goran Cekol 

This was a very nice tournament and Vienna is always worth a visit. 

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