ATLANTA — The final event at the 3rd World Youth Open Championships here last month was the Board-a-Match Teams.
The winners were from Turkey: Erkmen Aydogdu, Akin Koclar, Altug Gobekli, Berk Gokce, Muhammet Ozgur and Sarper Uslupehlivan. They finished two points ahead of Australia: Ellena Moskovsky, Lauren Travis, the brothers Justin and Nathan Howard, Max Henbest and Peter Hollands. Third, another three points back, was the American team of Anthony Lee, Ryan Wessels, Frank Lin and Kevin Rosenberg.
The Junior Knockout Teams winners (Marius Agica, Adam Kaplan, Owen Lien and brothers Adam and Zach Grossack) had a chance to gain a medal, but in the last round, against the team that came second to last, both of their pairs sat North-South. This resulted in an under-average score, which left the team fifth, four points behind third.
The winners showed better bidding judgment and good declarer play in the diagramed deal.
Aces are great, worth more than four points. At the other table, South opened one no-trump, showing 15 to 17 points. This was a definite underbid with four aces and a five-card suit. Gobekli (West) made a debatable two-heart overcall. (A good rule of thumb is to have at least a six-card suit, especially when you have a balanced hand.) After two passes, South rebid two spades, which was passed out. This contract came home with an overtrick, declarer losing one trick in each suit.
At the other table, Ozgur (South) correctly upgraded his hand, opening one spade. After West overcalled two hearts, and Uslupehlivan (North) made an aggressive negative double, promising length in the minors (but usually more high-card power at this level), South rebid three no-trump.
West led his fourth-highest heart. South won with his jack, cashed the diamond ace, played a diamond to dummy’s queen and led a third diamond to West’s king.
When West returned the heart king, declarer took the trick, crossed to the spade king and cashed the two diamond winners, bringing everyone down to five cards.
If West had kept two spades, one heart and two clubs, South would have established clubs. And when West retained one spade, two hearts and two clubs, declarer played a spade to his ace and exited with the heart eight.
West took two tricks in the suit, but then had to lead away from the club king, giving declarer an overtrick.
Look fondly on aces.