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DAY ONE Venice Cup
From Ray Lee
October 23, 2005

OK, don't promise to do this for every round (but will try for every day).  Below are some interesting deals from Canada-Sweden, Venice Cup Round 1.  Unfortunately, this good win was followed by a 10-IMP loss to Japan (Linda and Francine sitting out).  Now they play Morocco.
Venice Cup
Match 1
A good win (22-3) for Canada versus Sweden, who were actually somewhat lucky not to lose more badly.  A poor game rolled home on the second-last board to reduce the carnage a little.  Three interesting deals:
Board #8
Canada vs. Sweden
neither vul.
                                    S 10 6 5
                                    H 7
                                    D J 10 9 7 2
                                    C A Q J 7
            West                                                    East
            S A Q 9 7 2                                        S J 8 4 3
            H 8 6 5 3                                            H A Q 10
            D K Q                                                 D A 8 6 3
            C 6 4                                                  C K 9
                                    S  K
                                    H K J 9 4 2
                                    D 5 4
                                    C 10 8 5 3 2
At both tables, West became declarer in 4S, and both Norths started their singleton heart.  Jenny Reiman for Sweden put in the 10 from dummy; Linda Lee won the jack and returned a club to Francine Cimon‚s ace, and she switched to a small diamond.  Winning this in hand, declarer crossed to the club king and now made the technical error of calling for the jack of spades.  The second round of spades demonstrated to her why the jack had been a mistake, but it was actually not too late to recover.  She cashed one more trump and the queen of diamonds, before putting North in with a spade.  However, Francine had an easy diamond exit and declarer finished one down.  The winning play (after the misstep in spades is to cash the queen of diamonds and then lead a heart up. When North discards, declarer can eliminate diamonds and then exit a trump to North, who really is endplayed this time.
At the other table Joan Eaton, having played spades correctly, had no difficulty in making her contract thereafter.
Board 12 was another tricky 4S contract.
N-S vul.
                                    S 6 4 3
                                    H 9 8 4 3 2
                                    D J 6 5
                                    C K 6
            West                                                    East
            S A 9 7 2                                            S K Q J 5
            H K J 10                                             H A Q 7
            D A 8 7 2                                           D 10 4
            C 10 9                                                C 7 5 4 2
                                    S  10 8
                                    H 6 5
                                    D K Q 9 3
                                    C A Q J 8 3
Again both teams played in 4S E-W, but different systems led to different declarers, and in the end, different results.
Joan Eaton (West) got the lead of the CK after South had doubled Stayman earlier.  The defense began with three rounds of clubs, and when the S9 held declarer only had to cross to dummy, ruff another club high in hand, draw trumps, and claim ten tricks.
The Swedish auction was more convoluted, and it wasn‚t clear what exactly E-W had.  Linda Lee decided to lead a heart from the South hand, which turned out to be a killer.  Deep Finesse will tell you this hand is always cold for 4S anyway, but that depends on declarer knowing the 10-8 of spades is onside and ruffing diamonds with trump honors in hand. Mari Reiman, being only mortal, won the heart in dummy and played a club.  South won the jack and persevered with hearts.  The next club was won by North, who delivered her partner‚s heart ruff, and that was another nice swing for Canada.
This was the fun board of the set:
Neither Vul.
                                    S Q J 8 4 3
                                    H A
                                    D A
                                    C A Q J 10 7 6
            West                                       East
            S 7                                         S 6 5
            H 5 3                                      H K J 4 2
            D K Q 10 8 7 6 3 2                   D J 9 4
            C 6 4                                      C 9 8 5 4
                                    S A K 10 9 2
                                    H Q 10 9 7 6 4
                                    D 5
                                    C K
Bertheau, sitting South for Sweden in the Open Room, opened 1H, and Joan Eaton overcalled 4D, the majority action in all three events.  Katt Midskog didn‚t know where to go on the North hand (and who can blame her?), and in the event her punt at 6C turned out not be a winning action.
At the other table, an unusual agreement came through for Canada.  Francine Cimon likes to open the higher-ranking suit with a weak 6-5, regardless of length.  After reluctantly agreeing to this, Linda Lee found that opening 1S on the South hand worked out rather well.  After this start to the auction, Francine was undeterred by West‚s diamond preempt, and Linda soon found herself declarer in 7S, with little to do except put her hand on the table and chalk up 13 IMPs.