This is a Quick Report from the third weekend of the Danish 1. Division.
Slam bam boom
In the last round of the weekend the current number 1 and 2 collided in the Danish first division. The meeting was also a clash between former junior partner medalists Martin Schaltz and Andreas Marquardsen.
The match ended with a narrow victory to Team Audita (Lars Munksgaard-Allan Cohen, Andreas Maquardsen-Poul Clemmensen) vs. the Schaltz/Blakset coalition (Peter-Dorthe Schaltz, Martin Schaltz-Lars Blakset and Knut Blakset-Mathias Bruun)
Martin Schaltz and Andreas Marquardsen were screenmates during the first half. As juniors they formed a successful partnership, winning gold at the 4th IOC GRAND PRIX in Salt Lake City in 2002 on a team with Dutch stars Sjoert Brink – Bas Drijver representing Northern Europe.
Contrary to Brink and Drijver their partnership did not survive the junior days, although they gave it a new try some years ago.
Both players are very aggressive, so I sat down behind them to be entertained and was not disappointed.
Three times they bid slam as the only table out of 12 with imps filling the air.
Marquardsen – Clemmensen found their way to six spades, guessing the hearts.
** asking for the Q
Lars Blakset lead the Jack of clubs and declarer played for best chance stiff K of hearts on either hand.
After two boards it was time for revenge:
Competitive bidding brought Blakset-Schaltz to six hearts:
* 2 = 5-5+
Marquardsen in E cashed the A of spades on the lead, his partner signaling with the 2. They had a disagreement what this showed, and after twisting and sighing Marquardsen returned a diamond to the queen, where only a club would defeat the contract. It was still left for Martin Schaltz in N to find the king of hearts, but thanks to Marquardsen’s expressive body language there was no doubt he did not hold a stiff king. 12 tricks.
Now a bidding problem:
All vulnerable. You as N hold A K 8 6 5 3, 8, K J 4 2, A 6.
Martin Schaltz thought for several minutes, then deciding to ask for keycards and bid the slam when Lars Blakset showed one ace. Even without the club lead the contract was doomed. -100. Afterwards Martin said to me that he should have enquired for the spade queen and stay out of the slam when his partner replied positively.
With so many imps shifting hands, the match was bound to end 16-14, 94-83 in imps, in favour of Team Audita.
After an average weekend Peter Schaltz’ team still leads the first division 11 VPs ahead of Audita. The last weekend is played the 2. – 3. of March. The top four teams after this weekend will qualify for the semifinals, the winner of the RR deciding the opponent.