Transnational Teams in Bali

The Transnational Teams world championship in Bali, Indonesia, last month was for teams that had not qualified for the knockout stage of the Bermuda Bowl, Venice Cup or d’Orsi Senior Trophy, and for anyone willing to travel to that beautiful island in the South Pacific.

The winners were Mark Gordon, Pratap Rajadhyaksha, David Berkowitz, Alan Sontag, Jacek Pszczola and Michael Seamon from the United States. This is a first world title for Gordon, Berkowitz and Rajadhyaksha, a third for Pszczola and Seamon, and a seventh for Sontag.

In the 48-board final, they defeated a team from China by 92 international match points to 81.

The Gordon team’s closest match, though, was in the quarterfinals. It began the last 16 boards against Polish Students (Stanislaw Golebiowski, Piotr Tuczynski, Pawel Jassem, Jakub Wojcieszek, Michal Klukowski and Piotr Zatorski) down by 33 imps.

Gordon won 11 imps on the second board when Klukowski and Zatorski bid a six hearts that failed when the trumps broke badly. The Poles scored 14 imps two boards later when Wojcieszek made a lucky six no-trump doubled.

The margin was still 36 imps halfway through the set. Then Berkowitz and Sontag bid six clubs that needed no spade lead and a trump suit of A-K-Q-10-9-6-5 opposite a void to play for no loser. When this rolled home, the Gordon team gained 10 imps. (It was hard for Zatorski to lead a spade from king-third, knowing that dummy had five spades.)

Three boards later came the diagramed deal.

At the first table, Berkowitz (South) did not overcall one diamond with one heart, vulnerable opposite a passed partner. Klukowski (West) jumped to four spades, ending the auction.

Sontag (North) led the diamond queen. South took the trick with his ace and gave his partner a diamond ruff. North cashed the heart ace and took the spade ace later for down one.

In the given auction, after Wojcieszek (South) overcalled one heart, it was nigh impossible for Jassem (North) not to bid five hearts.

Seamon (West) led a spade. Declarer won with dummy’s ace and cashed the heart ace. To get out for down one, he now had either to play a club, or to take his diamond ruff in the dummy and then lead a club. But South played a second round of trumps, ducked to his queen.

It was again time for a club, but declarer cashed the diamond ace. This was his last chance to start establishing clubs and escape for down two, but he ruffed his diamond loser in the dummy. South finally, too late, turned to clubs.

Pszczola (East) took this trick, cashed his heart king and led a diamond. Declarer ruffed with his penultimate trump and had to play a club. East won with his jack and tapped declarer again with a diamond. East then claimed the last three tricks for down four.

Plus 100 and plus 1,100 gave the Gordon team 15 imps. The deficit was down to 10 with three boards to play.

More on Monday.

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