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Bridge 1/9
The East Europeans edge in front
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    After 42 of the 48 boards in the World Transnational Open Teams final in Shanghai last October, M. Bessis, T. Bessis and Multon from France, Fantoni and Nunes from Italy, and Zimmermann from Switzerland led Gromova, Ponomareva, Dubinin and Gromov from Russia, and Balicki and Zmudzinski from Poland by 10 international match points. Here is board 43.
    The auction ending in one no-trump was identical in both rooms; the number of tricks won was not.
    At both tables West led a club to his partner's king, and a second club went to dummy's ace.
Cezary Balicki (South) called for dummy's heart queen, which was taken by Fulvio Fantoni (East) with his ace. A third club went to South's queen. A spade to dummy's queen was followed by a heart to declarer's nine and West's ace. Now South had seven tricks: two spades, three hearts and two clubs.
    At trick three, Michel Bessis (South) played a heart to his nine and West's king. Back came a club to declarer's queen. To make the contract now, South had to play a spade to dummy's 10, but he led a heart to the queen. Andrei Gromov (East) made no mistake, ducking the trick. The third heart went to his ace, and he cashed his club jack (declarer pitching spades from both hands), then shifted to a low diamond. In desperation, South played his king, but Alexander Dubinin (West) won with his ace and returned the diamond 10. The defense took one spade (at trick 13), two hearts, three diamonds and two clubs for down two.
    Plus 90 and plus 100 gave 5 imps to the East Europeans, halving their deficit.
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