Here I sit, in hot, sunny, glorious France, pretending to be on holiday but feigning lots of headaches so I can nip up to my computer. BBO is showing the second World Mind Games which started last Friday in Lille. In each Group the 16 teams play a complete Round Robin and the top four qualify for the play-offs. England got off to a slow start in both the Open and Women’s Series but hopefully they can pull back some of the magic they generated in the recent European Championships and qualify for the next stage. Happily our ‘Oldies’ are leading their group and appear guaranteed to go through.
Here are Fiona Brown and Susan Stockdale, young stars of England’s Ladies Team, ‘breaking the rules’ and bringing in a game swing:
2NT was forcing for a round, and Susan in North’s seat showed great judgment by ignoring the 4–4 Heart fit and raising to the best game.
With virtually the whole field going down in 4♥, this superior contract needed a little bit of care — namely that you could find yourself in trouble if you give up a Heart too early. Fiona wasn’t going to make that mistake. She won West’s Spade lead in hand and started Diamonds, running the Jack to East’s Queen. A Spade was continued, and the next Diamond was won by West, who cleared the Spades. Up to eight tricks now, it was a simple matter of safety-playing the Hearts for one loser, and a Heart to the King and one back to the ten saw the English Ladies pick up a well-deserved 10 IMPs.
Good luck all. Wish I was there!