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Swiss triumph in Bermuda Bowl World Championship

The Bermuda Bowl World Championship concluded last Saturday in Marrakech, Morocco and after a hard-fought battle Switzerland carried off the big prize, beating Norway in the final. Italy took the bronze by beating USA2 in the play-off.

In the Venice Cup, the ladies’ event, Israel scored a dominant win over Turkey with China taking the bronze over Norway.

In the D’Orsi Senior event, gold was won by Denmark, with USA1 and USA2 taking silver and bronze.

As most of you know the first world championship was held in Bermuda in 1950 under the guidance of Norman Bach, hence the title “Bermuda Bowl”, and we also staged the 1975 and 2000 events at the Southampton Princess. And we may yet have some part to play in the 2025 event.

Congrats to Switzerland, Israel and Denmark – the final is held over ten days and is possibly one of the most gruelling events of its type – keeping your concentration for 12 hours a day, in a forum where any small mistake is punished heavily by the opponents, is not for the weak of heart or mind.

This week’s hand also took place in a high level teams game and both tables reached the four heart contract after South opened one heart, North bid 2NT as a game-forcing raise in hearts, and South signed off in four hearts with his minimum.

See the hand in Figure 1.

Figure 1

The opening lead at both tables in a team match was a trump. After counting winners, the first declarer decided to give himself the maximum chance of making an overtrick.

He took the first trick in dummy with the King of hearts, then cashed the Queen of trumps before crossing to hand with a trump to the Ace and leading a low club to dummy’s King and East’s Ace.

East exited with a club and declarer’s Jack was taken by West’s Queen. After cashing the ten of clubs, West got off play with a diamond. When the Jack of diamonds lost to East’s Queen, declarer was a trick short of his contract.

At the other table, declarer played with metronomic efficiency and speed. After drawing three rounds of trumps with dummy’s tops, declarer cashed the Ace, King of diamonds and then ruffed the Jack of diamonds. Next he played the Ace, King and another spade.

West took this with the Queen and, in order to avoid giving a ruff and discard, exited with the eight of clubs. Declarer simply played low to ensure that he’d make a club trick no matter how the suit lay. Declarer took five trumps, two spades, two diamonds and a club.

The difference in the two plans was that, after East had followed to the first round of trumps, the second declarer’s approach guaranteed the contract no matter how the opposing cards were distributed, while giving up on the overtrick. This was clearly the correct strategy at teams play, and even at pairs looks to be a sensible line.

David Ezekiel can be reached on davidezekiel999@gmail.com


Friday September 1

1. Diana Diel – Stephanie Kyme

2. Gertie Barker – Betsy Baillie

3. Aida Bostelmann – Heather Woolf

Monday, September 4

1. Stephanie Kyme – Joe Wakefield

2. Gertie Barker – Jane Smith

3. Marge Way – Harry Kast

Tuesday, September 5

1. Felicity Lunn – Frances McManus

2. Malcolm Moseley – Mark Stevens

3. Sarah Bowers – Stuart Clare

Wednesday, September 6

1. Diana Diel – Pat Siddle

2. Wendy Gray – Richard Gray

3. Gertie Barker – Jane Smith

Thursday, September 7

1. Rachael Gosling – John Glynn

2. Gertie Barker – Erica Jones

3. Martha Ferguson – Judy King

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Published September 09, 2023 at 7:55 am (Updated September 09, 2023 at 7:16 am)

Swiss triumph in Bermuda Bowl World Championship

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