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"Everything Under Control"

by Ana Roth & Fernando Lema


 June 2011:
From Friday 10 to Saturday 18 in Asuncion of Paraguay (PAR), was held the South American Championship or WBF Zone III Trials for the World Bridge Championships in Veldhoven (NED). The tournament qualified 2 teams in each category, Open, Ladies and Seniors for the World Cup. 

 96 boards were played in the Open and Ladies Categories Semifinals.  In one of them; Brazil (who won the title and now he is the South American 2011 Champion) faced Venezuela, in the other semi-final Argentina faced Chile.

  
In his semifinal match, Brazil was always ahead and ended up winning, but that was not the story between Chile and Argentina. Although the match was very close until the end, on the 4th set, Chile developed an almost decisive score, when he won 55 to 28 IMPs.

 One of the most beautiful hands in the tournament was an excellent Small Slam played by the Chilean Grandmaster Marcelo Caracci, the board was Nº 55:

 

 Dealer South;  Vul: All

 Q 6 4
 A Q 10 9 6 3
 9 3
 9 4

 9 7       
 8 2
 A K Q J 8 5
 J 10 2

 A K 10 2   
 K 5
 10 7 6
 A K 6 5 

 

 J 8 5 3
 J 7 4
 4 2
 Q 8 7 3 

 

 In the Close Room the argentine partnership: Angeleri/Villegas was in E/W. South passed and Ricardo Angeleri opened the bidding with 3. Villegas in East, closed the bidding with 3NT, 12 tricks and +690 for Argentine.

 

 Lets look what happened in the Open Room:

 

 Oeste    

Norte    

  Este    

  Sur      

 M. Caracci    

C. Pellegrini    

  J. M. Robles    

  Camberos      

 

 

 

Pass

1  2 Double Paso
3 Pass 4NT  Pass 
5* Pass 6 End

 

*2 Keys cards and Q

 

  Caracci, West, used a different approach to open the hand. He started with a 1 voice, which encouraged his partner José Manuel Robles to declare a small slam.

 Carlos Pellegrini´s lead  was
A (dummy served the 5, 7 by East and North, the declarer, the 2), he continued with the 3 and dummy's K won the second trick.

 A quick review of West tricks gives us 11: 2 spades, 1 Heart, 6 diamaonds and 2 clubs. A double dummy analisis: divided honors in the spade suit and the
Q out of finesse... seems that West will not be able to make 12 tricks to fulfill his contract, but often in bridge not all it seems...is.

 Caracci owner of an enviable technique gave us a clinic on how to play these kind of hands without trying a doubtful finesse.
After winning the second trick West began to run the diamond suit, playing the 4 TOP honors from his hand. He arrived to this 6 cards layout was:

 

 Q 6 4
 10 9
 
 9 4

 9 7       
 
 8 5
 J 10 2

 A K 10 2   
  
 
 A K 6   

 

 J 8 5 3
 
  
 Q 8 7   

 

 Now when West played the 8, North played the 10, dummy the 6 and South was in trouble...

 

 If he throughs his fourth spade card the 3, West plays A and K, ruffs the 2 with his 5 and the 10 is his trick number 12, so he decided to play his 7.

 

 But Caracci totally in control of the hand played the A, the K and when the Q appeared, South claimed 12 tricks and a 1370 score: 12 IMPs for Chile.


 
Congratulations and Good Luck! Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Venezuela, Zone III representatives in the next Bermuda Bowl, Venice Cup and Senior Bowl.