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East deals
none vul
 S A T 7 3 
 H A K Q 7 2 
 D T 4 
 C A 6 
 S K Q 9 4 
 H J 6 4 3 
 D K Q 9 8 3 
 C  — 
none vul  S J 6 
 H T 9 
 D 6 
 C Q J T 9 5 4 3 2 
 S 8 5 2 
 H 8 5 
 D A J 7 5 2 
 C K 8 7 

West
Versace


pass
pass
all pass
 
North
Malinowski


dbl
3H
East
Lauria

3C
pass
pass
South
Sandqvist

pass
3D
3NT
Result: making, NS +400.
 
West
Townsend


pass
dbl
dbl
 
North
Nunes


dbl
4H
all pass
East
Gold

4C
pass
pass
South
Fantoni

pass
4D
pass
Result: down 3, NS –500.

World Mind Sports Games 2008
Sandqvist plays 3NT

The English Open team (Townsend/Gold, Sandqvist/Malinowski, Hackett/Hackett) are through to the final, playing a strong Italian team. After the first day, England were 45 IMPs adrift, but with 48 boards to play. Those of you not up at 4am may have missed the first board on the second day, on which they pulled back 14 after Nick Sandqvist made a tricky 3NT.

In the closed room, Lauria started with a conservative 3C, and the English pair bid sensibly to 3NT. Double-dummy, any lead from Versace would help declarer; the SQ followed by a low spade gave Sandqvist a chance to guess right and get a ninth trick immediately, but since Versace could equally well have started with KQJx he tried the ST. Lauria switched to a diamond, taken by the DQ, and Versace knocked out the SA. Sandqvist took two rounds of hearts, leaving:

 S 7 
 H Q 7 2 
 D T 
 C A x 
 S 9 
 H J 6 
 D K 9 8 x 
 C  — 
 S  — 
 H  — 
 D  — 
 C lots 
 S  — 
 H  — 
 D A J x x 
 C K x x 
Now playing a spade would endplay Versace into giving him a diamond trick—but one isn't enough, and West can't then be squeezed in the red suits, since whichever club is played first removes an entry.

Sandqvist found the solution of crossing to the CK immediately, which set up a squeeze without the count in three suits. Versace had to pitch a diamond, and Sandqvist played a club to the ace; now Versace pitched a diamond (anything else loses too) and the spade endplay forced him to give two extra tricks in whichever suit he returned. Excellent declarer play!

In the open room, former CUBC captain Tom Townsend was playing with his usual partner, David Gold. Gold's 4C opening gave the Italians more trouble, and they ended up in 4Hx. Gold led his singleton diamond, and when declarer played low Townsend won and returned the D3 (ruffing McKenney: asking for a club). Gold ruffed and led the club for Townsend to ruff, then another diamond back which declarer ruffed high—defence still have a trump trick and two spades to come for three down.

At the time of writing, England have pulled back 25 IMPs on the first 16-board set of the day, which leaves them just 20 IMPs down with 32 boards to go.