11-13th of October saw the finish of Sweden’s finest national tournament, Elitserien.
The winners by 17,5 VP’s by the old scale was Smile, BK Lavec. How
ever three of the five players were Danish guest stars invading Swedish territory. The team consisted of what can most accurately be described as bridge magicians; Peter Fredin (who lives in Malmö, as close as you can get to Denmark without crossing the Øresund Bridge) played in turn with fellow swede Johan Dieden and Jacob Røn, the latter a former Danish World Junior Champion.
The young magicians playing every board of the tournament was the Danish Dynamite duo Dennis Bilde and Martin Schaltz – both world junior champions from 2008, not to mention Dennis Bilde being the reigning Vanderbilt-champion.
In the absence of Johan Upmark and Fredrik Nyström, who attended and came second in the Citta di Roma – Angelini tournament the same weekend, the responsibility of defending the Swedish home soil was in the hands of Sweden’s most frightening pair, Per-Ola Cullin and Peter Bertheau, the only pair to beat Bilde-Schaltz in the butler despite getting molested by the Danes in their tête-a-tête. However their team Skalman had to settle for silver, never really closing in on Smile, who had a comfortable lead from the first weekend and did not intend to let the championship slip away.
The following boards from the penultimate and ultimate rounds assisted the Smile victory:
Due to the bidding, Martin Schaltz estimated his four small hearts a huge offensive asset and decided to bid 5, since he did not imagine 4 to be beatable in the hands of the old legend PO Sundelin. 5 is a great save against 4, however in this case the opponents chose to bid on to 5. Dennis Bilde found the lead of the eight of spades, the only lead to defeat the contract. At the other table Fredin-Dieden bought the hand in 4 making.
1 (55++ mi)
Martin Schaltz: “2 was slightly surprising from my point of view. The vulnerable opponents made it tempting to pass, however I chose to bid 2 with my good spade spots and a strong offensive hand in case partner has fit.”
West chose to bid 2NT invitational relay, presumably heading for 3NT. Dennis Bilde in the North seat jumped to 4, leaving East to not unreasonably wanting to accept his partners game try by bidding 5, happily doubled by Martin Schaltz.
Martin Schaltz led the ace of clubs, then followed with the heart AK and a third heart ruffed by dummy’s ten and overruffed by North’s king. Declarer now thought to believe South’s holding to be 55 in the majors and stiff club ace, so on Dennis Bilde’s return of the club king he ruffed high with the diamond jack to slightly disappointing witness Martin Schaltz follow suit.
He know chose to cash AKQ of spades and finesse North for the diamond 9, allowing south to score an extra undertrick to finish the slaughter at 800 for the only positive score in the NS-column, since most pairs played 4X as it happened at the other table:
Røn lead his AKQ of spades and switched to the ten of diamonds, leaving declarer with no more than 7 tricks for -500.
Despite having their tournament invaded by Danish hitmen, the Swedes graciously saluted the victory of the Smile team and complimented the players for their steady and bloody performance.
Results and pictures from the tournament can be found through this link: