February 24; 2013: Monaco again took possession of the Slava Cup

Monaco: Franck Multon, Fulvio Fantoni, Geir Helgemo, Henri Fissore, Claudio Nunes

Israel: Alon Birman, Dror Padon, Ilan Herbst, Lotan Fisher, Ophir Herbst, Ron Schwartz

The final faced Monaco team with Israel’s young team, and was played in four segments of 8 boards each. In the first segment Monaco could only take advantage of one IMP, the second was a draw and the third only a bunch of IMPs more for Monaco. But in the last segment Monaco’s experience prevailed and helped them to add 13 IMPs that led them to victory.

Monaco-Israel Slava Cup 2013 Segmento 4 de 4

The final segment began with Monaco beating Israel for 7 IMPs. The first two boards were a tie and in the third one Monaco managed to add one more by IMP because of an overtrick. But Board 28 must have left a bitter taste on both teams. In one of the tables the Israelis managed to stop before the slam, but declarer made a safety play concerned  of 4-1 trumps, and received a heart ruff: down one. At the other table Monaco failed to halt and declared the slam: down one. Both declarers must have felt that the board could have define the final… and that might be needed further drastic measures … only those who watched the match knew that nothing had changed.

Board 30 sealed the end because of excellent decisions of the Monaco’s players in both rooms.

 Board 30: Helgemo opened 1, and Padon jumped to 3, Multon closed the 3NT game. Birman lead the K (a drastic move), and declarer made 11 tricks.

  In the other table the bidding began exactly the same, but Fisher over South 3 chose 4 game.

 After two pass, Nunes took the opportunity to make a Lightner Double, rewarded when Fantoni lead a diamond, leaving declarer with no chance to bring   his contract home and unable to take the Slava Cup home…

An excellent decision by Multon to play 3NT and an excellent Nunes decision, a Lightner double stopped the young Israeli team who for the second consecutive year lost the final against Monaco team.