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The Spingold 2013 final faced two teams: Bridge 24 (an incredible team of only 4 players from Poland: Jacek Kalita, Michael Nowosadski, Rafal Jagniewski and Wojciech Gawel) and the Grue team with exquisite players from USA, Canada, France and Sweden: Joe Grue, Les Amoils, Brad Moss, Thomas Bessis, Peter Bertheau and Jacob Morgan. The first two final sets ended with a small advantage for the Grue Team: Bridge 24 43 – Grue 55.
After West’s 1 opening bid, Bessis showed his spade suit and Kalita doubled showing strength, Bertheau competed with 2 (alerted as not constructive) and Nowosadzki showed his 4 heart cards, after Bessis call occupying the 3rd level Kalita closed de heart game.
After the spade lead and the diamond switch, declarer had already lost the first three tricks. To make his contract he needed to find the two heart honors. In the fourth trick, after winning the hand with the K, Bertheau switched to the 2 and declarer won the trick with his A, watching North’s Q.
He continued playing the el 6 when he saw Bessi’s Q, he overtook it with the A. Continued with the K, both players played spade from their hands, and played the 3, after Bertheau’s 9, he continued with the K…and when the J appeared he scored +420. Both defenders showing 4 diamond cards, and North’s Q were clues to declarers play.
At the other table East was the declarer and he also played 4. He received the 3 as the opening lead and North won with his A to continue with the 2 to his partner’s A, covering dummy’s K, and the K. Again declarer had to find the rest of the heart honors and Gawel in South also returned the 2, A… Q. Amoils continued with his 6, Q and A…and followed with another heart to the 10, one down = 12 IMPs for Bridge 24.
The next important board was Board 43: Nowosadzki opened his hand with a 1 bid, and Kalita answered with 2, forcing to game, West continued showing his 4 heart cards and Kalita raised to the third level showing support and extras, but his partner showed no slam interest with 4, Kalita respectfully passed. Declarer only lost a club, a diamond and the trump queen to score +420.
At the other table, the bidding begun the same way but didnt end with the same happy end: when Morgan showed his extras, Amoils continued showing his first control, and the partnership couldnt mange to stop before slam, which gave 10 IMPs more to Bridge 24
At the other table the bidding was:
Bessis opened 1 and Kalita also said 1NT but here Bertheau chose to pass, giving West the opportunity to ask for the other major. Once they found it they decided to play4, the hand ended down when declarer made some mistakes, helping Grue team to add 13 IMPs. The rest of the set hands were pushes.
The match was Grue: 74 – Bridge 24: 73.
And the 4th set begun with an incredible number of kibbitzers following the alternatives in the BBO VG. On the first hand Bridge 24 added 10 IMPs but BBO didnt broadcast the board.
Boards from 52 to 57 saw Grue Team add another 37 IMps. The most important swing among these boards was Board 55 where two upgrades made the miracle to reach an unattainable game, with 9 sure tricks:
Brad won the heart lead with the K and played a diamond, Kalita won with his A to return a heart, Moss played a little one from his heart, West Oeste ducked and the J won the trick. Declarer played the Q and claimed his 9 tricks. At the other table Gawel opened 1NT but his partner was not as optimistic as Grue and passed = 10 IMPs for Grue.
From board 58 to 63, Bridge 24 added 19 IMPs, the match was Grue 111- Bridge 24 101. As the Grue-Moss table had played much faster than the other one, board 64, the last one of the set, was played first there:
At the other table Jagniewski opened with 2 multi and his partner asked to chose his major to play game, with a 4 bid, Bertheau took the opportunity to double for a possible lead and North passed to turn his partner the declarer. The bidding ended in 4 by Gawel.
Now Bertheau had to lead, and he correctly chose the J, Q from dummy and K from Bessis, he stopped to think for several minutes and finally returned a diamond, a bad choice who cost his team 10 IMPs.
It was a miracle, suddenly Bridge 24 tied the match 111-111 and earned the right to play an 8 boards playoff to define the Spingold 2013, but that’s another story.