Barcelona’s 11th international tournament

Barcelona’s 11th international tournament was held from the 9th to the 11th February at the NH Collection Constanza hotel.

A light and spacious room welcomed the participants for three sessions of 28 deals, gathering a total of 124 pairs, among whom featured several national and international champions. A dynamic group of young players from all over Europe also enriched the event, making good use of the opportunity to not only make the most of the bridge games but also the friendly atmosphere in the city and the nice Catalonian dishes.

Well-known characters from great international competitions such as Diego Brenner, Alfredo Versace, Juan Carlos Ventin, Christian Bakke, Mikael Rimstedt, Massimiliano Di Franco and António Palma were present. But beside the great bridge nations that were represented, Spain was not left out, with national names such as Carlos Fernandez, G. Goded, L. Lantaron, A. Knap, A. Wasik, A. Frances, J. I. Torres, M. Almirall, C. Cafranga and R. Gomez.

The first session was won by the pair Nacho Jover-Jordi Balleste with an average of 65.5%. In second position, Rosella Gadaletta and Massimo Lanzarotti got 65.2%, while the pair Ramon Gomez-Pedro Goncalves completed the provisional podium with 64.6%.

The results of the second session upset the overall rankings:

  1. Ramon Gomez-Pedro Gonçalves: 64.3%
  2. Heinrich Berger-Peter Zelnik: 61.2%
  3. Francesca Piscitelli-Andrea Boloroni: 60.3%

The final rankings would be known once the third session began at 11 o’clock on Sunday morning – fans of a Sunday lie-in were to refrain!

Finally, it was the Austrian pair Zelnik-Berger, already the winners of the Transatlantic Seniors Cup a few days beforehand, who made themselves known. When asked about their record, the winners simply responded: “Ah well, everything just went really well and that was enough in the end, we’re very happy!”

Here are two deals from the tournament:

Session 2, Deal 5: North Dealer, North-South vulnerable

After having opened 2♣ in third seat, you see your left-hand opponent overcall 4♣, then your partner double, which indicates a hand of fewer than five points.

It is your turn to bid… 

If your partner is short in Clubs, you have to bid over this! If he is not, your best hope is in your longest suit, Spades, with no guarantees.

The full deal:

You might make twelve tricks in a spade contract, only on a heart lead, by ruffing two small hearts and then giving up the lead to East (either if he ruffs the Ace of Hearts or Clubs, or otherwise in Trumps), which would force him to take the diamond finesse for you! On the natural lead of a club, you have to use diamond entries to cross back to hand after ruffing two hearts, which allows West to ruff your Queen of Diamonds, limiting you to eleven tricks. Well, whether you scored +650 or +680, that was less rewarding than 4 Clubs doubled, where you could take the first eight tricks (!) and score +1100…

Session 3, Deal 3: South Dealer, East-West vulnerable

What to do over Partner’s third-seat opening, green against red?

You only have five points and a very flat 4-3-3-3 hand. So, your decision?

If you wisely decide to pass, the sequence will end there and now you choose your lead.

Here is the full deal:

What was your choice? The normal heart lead is best but perhaps you are afraid of finding East with Ace-Queen. It will not be a problem if you chose a spade lead (the 8), which allows Opener to switch to Hearts. However, if you led a club, Declarer will make his contract with an extra trick…

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