In the Open series, there was never really any question who would win, although a few years ago it would have been unimaginable: Monaco. In 2010, Pierre Zimmermann, a Swiss real estate tycoon, hired five of the world’s best players to join him in forming a team to represent the mini state: Geir Helgemo and Tor Helness from Norway, Fulvio Fantoni and Claudio Nunes from Italy, and Franck Multon from France. They immigrated to Monaco in 2010 and this year gained citizenship. This was their first European Teams win; now for the world.
But back to the triumphant England women. This is the sort of nifty play from Fiona Brown (against Greece) which helped secure their victory:
West led a low spade to her partner’s king, and a spade came back. Fiona put up the ace — and West failed to ditch her ♠Q. Fiona read the situation perfectly: she played two rounds of hearts, then a spade to West’s ♠Q. West switched to the ◆K but when that held, there was no exit that did not cost the ninth trick.
Incidentally, Helgemo also made 3NT on the lead of the ◆K. He ducked; West switched to a spade and he ducked East’s ♠10. East now played the ♣6 (the ♣Q would have been the killing defence) to West’s ♣J. West continued with the ♠Q. Helgemo won, then ran his hearts. The last one forced West to bare his A♣, and he was thrown in to lead into the split diamond tenace.