California Dolphin: statewide California news

Bridge: March 10, 2019

The ACBL held its Fall Championships in Honolulu, a lovely site but beyond the means of some players. Attendance was low. One attendee remarked on how many players seemed to be pros and “sponsors.”
A controversial appeal determined the winners of the Blue Ribbon Pairs. A contending pair wandered into 7NT after an opponent had doubled a diamond bid. Doubler’s partner, who had the ace of diamonds, paused before passing 7NT. A diamond was led. A directorial panel ruled that the pause suggested the winning lead. The result was changed to 7NT, making. That generated a deluge of comments on the internet forum BridgeWinners.
The Reisinger Board-a-Match Teams is the toughest event on the tournament calendar. Each deal is worth one point. If you are plus 90 and your teammates are minus 100, you lose the whole point. Slight errors are punished.
The winners were international: Blass (non-playing captain) and Pszczola (U.S.), Brink-Drijver (Netherlands), Kalita-Nowosadzki (Poland). Today’s deal on the final day was crucial.
North-South for BLASS got to 3NT after East-West bid on nothing. West led a spade, and South won in dummy and led a club: three, king, ace.
South won the next spade and, knowing West had the missing high cards, led the ace and a second heart. West took his king and led a third spade. South won and led a diamond to … his ace, dropping the king. He scored plus 660.
In the replay, West for BLASS sensibly did not open and was rewarded. North-South reached 3NT again, but declarer had no guide in the play and went down, giving BLASS a decisive point.
West dealer
N-S vulnerable
S A Q 2
H Q 9 8
D Q 7 4
C Q 10 9 8
S J 10 8 6 5
H K 4 2
C A 7 6 2
S 9 4 3
H 7 6 5
D 10 9 8 5 3
C J 3
S K 7
H A J 10 3
D A J 6 2
C K 5 4
West North East South
1 S(!) Pass 1 NT(!) Dbl
2 C 2 S Pass 3 NT
All Pass
Opening lead — S 10
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