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Bridge 1/12
It came down to bidding and play
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    With one board to be played in the World Transnational Open Teams final in Shanghai last October, Gromova, Ponomareva, Dubinin and Gromov from Russia, and Balicki and Zmudzinski from Poland led M. Bessis, T. Bessis and Franck Multon from France, Fantoni and Nunes from Italy, and Zimmermann from Switzerland by 4 international match points. Here is that deciding deal.
    Look only at the West hand. What would you lead against four spades after the given auction? Two clubs was Reverse Drury Fit, promising a maximum pass with at least three-card spade support. Two diamonds showed a full opening bid, not a tactical light bid in the third position, but denied the values to jump to game.
    Yes, the jump-rebid of four spades by Adam Zmudzinski (North) was undisciplined.
    Afterward I asked Claudio Nunes (West) to explain his thinking. He said that he was deciding between a heart and a club. He did not want to lead his singleton trump, which might have picked up a holding in his partner's hand, and he dislikes leading away from a jack.
    He went with a heart primarily because it rated to be safer, but also gave the chance of generating tricks.
    Note that if West had led a club, Cezary Balicki (South) could have made his contract, losing only one spade and two hearts. But after the heart start, the contract was doomed. Down one gave the Zimmermann team plus 100.
    To win the gold medal, Bessis father and son at the other table would have to score at least plus 90. (Plus 50 would result in overtime.) Tune in on Monday.
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