We can say that this year’s final is conservative because it faced teams number 1 and number 2 of the seeding. The final saw the cream of American bridge: Nickell vs Diamond
Seventh set of the final 7/8: Diamond-Platnick vs Meckstroth-Rodwell, Hampson-Greco vs Hammann-Zia: Nickell’s team now has added some IMPs and is 30 points ahead, due to add little amounts of points in many hands and only one two digit swing. Only one set to go…
Sexth set of the final 6/8: Diamond-Platnick vs Meckstroth-Rodwell, Hampson-Greco vs Katz-Nickell: Nickell’s team is ahead only 10 IMPs, in this set swings for one and for the other, but at the end Nickell only could add 3 IMPs more, no definition yet…and it seems that the champion is going to win by a little amount of IMPs.
Fith set of the final 5/8: Moss-Gitelman vs Meckstroth-Rodwell, Hampson-Greco vs Hammann – Zia: Nickell Team is now leading the final, by 7 IMPs, due to some overticks and games played or done.
Fourth set of the final 4/8: Moss- Gitelman vs. Meckstroth-Rodwell, Hampson-Greco vs Hammann-Zia, on the second hand of the match, Nickell team at one table played 4 spades and 5 clubs on the other, and received 8 IMPs. On the third hand Nickell team won 4 hearts on a table and Diamond loses 5 hearts. In the first 3 boards Nickell added 22 IMPs vs cero. Match was 129-94. On hand 54, the ninth board of the set, Hammann led his partner to a 6 diamonds slam, Zia played well…done, on the other table MG arrived to 7 diamonds two down … 14 IMPs for Nickell…they continued adding… the set was 42-9 for Nickell, the match 135-114…for Diamond… In board 57 Hammann NV opened 3 clubs with: J10xx 93 J Q95432…his partner Zia called over 4 diamantes, 5 clubs, opps doubled and he redoubled, waiting to hear 5 diamonds…they all passed and as he went 1 down= 200. At the other table Meckstroth_Rodwell played a pacific 3 diamonds contract…3 IMPs for Diamond. Board 58 was 7 IMPs for Diamond. Board 59 Zia-Hammann find a 6 clubs contract, only 5 clubs for MG… another 11 IMPs for Nickell now the set was 53-19 for Nickell and the match 145-125 for Diamond. Board 60 Meckwell played 3NT done, HG played 5 clubs down…another 11 IMPs…now the match was only 145-136 for Diamond. See you tomorrow guys…
Third set 3/8: Diamond-Platnick vs Meckstroth-Rodwell, Hampson-Greco vs Katz-Nickell Justin Lall was one of the Hampson-Greco vs Katz-Nickell table. In board number 38, the sixth board of the set, he wrote: “The players would never guess the imp results, board 2 EW are cold for a vul game and both tables played partial down white… board 3 both made a very difficult 3N, board 4 Platnick let 4S slip through vul to win 5 against 790…board 37 both sides sold to 2H when they could make a partial”. Two boards later Justin wrote: On board 37, meck chose to bid like greco, bid 1S with 4 spades, but then compete to 2S over 2H. Platnick did bid 3D which I thought was the best bid. I love having greco-hampson and meckwell in the same seats because we can compare their judgement within the same basic system. On board 38, Nickell invited to 3NT with a 3 diamonds bid, where Justin predicted a 3NT bid. Justin add later: wow on 38, rodwell did make the responsive X of 1N that hampson did not make, Platnick jumped to 3N which was down, and meck saved… so a possible swing for Nickell went to diamond. In board number 40, Nickell didn’t see his partner was a past hand and they played slam…down, at the other table opps played game. The match was 110-60 for Diamond. Board 43 Diamond played game in both rooms, 126 a 60. Board 44: Both reached a cold heart grand slam. Board 45 was a push. Official Results are 126 a 72…differente BBO VG results.
Second set 2/8: Diamond-Platnick vs Meckstroth-Rodwell; Moss-Gitelman vs Katz-Nickell: The set started with a nice combination for the Diamond team, in one of the tables Moss-Gitelman (MG) played 4 spades doubled while in the other table Diamond-Platnick ( DP) reached a vulnerable slam in hearts. The hand gave them only 8 IMPs, when MG, non vulnerable, went 5 down, 1100. In the next 5 boards Nickell added 4 points. On hand 22 Meckstroth, not let his opps play 2 spades, reopened the bidding and the pair finished playing a doubled contract, two down doubled: paid 300 (could have been 3) at the other table Katz-Nickell played 4 spades one down the board cost Nickell team 11 IMPs. The match was already 58 to 34. On the board 26 Diamond opened 1 spade, Rodwell double and Platnick with little spades an invitational hand with 5 of his 10 points in heart closed the game. Diamond won the hand squezze included and needed. At the other table opps just played a partscore in spades and made the same 10 tricks, but the board cost them 10 IMPs. Board 27 was also another 10 IMPs to Diamond. Now the set was 41-4 for Diamond. On board 28, Meckwell declared 4 spades over his opps 4 hearts, and played them doubled…DONE. At the other table his team played 4 hearts, DONE…15 very needed IMPs for Nickel …Now things were: 41-22. In the last board Meckwell paid 300 playing a 3 hearts doubled contract, opps could win 4 spades but difficult to arrive. At the other table MG played 4 hearts, after the auction 2 hearts-4 hearts, the opponents found out too late what was happening. 4 more points to Diamond. The set ended 46-22.
Set 1/8: Hampson-Greco vs Zia-Hammann and Katz-Nickell vs Moss-Gitelman: The first set of 15 hands in the end proved the undeniable advantage of a well constructed bidding system. Hampson-Greco (HG) gave bidding lessons at the table, and also helped their team overcome an adverse outcome, because of a mistake their teammates Moss-Gitelman, produced at half of the match. In board number 9 they played 2 diamonds redoubled made 3, that cost them 11 IMPs. On hand 10 HG played slam where their opponents at the other table just played 3NT and in hand 12 GH played a Grand Slam NV where in the other table Nickell-Katz just arrived to the slam. On board 14 HG played a partscore, after learning that they had no spade stopper while in the other table they went down in 3NT, with the bidding sequence 1NT-3NT. Only 9 IMPs ahead but Meckwell didnt play yet … still a long ride…
Diamond Team, seeding number 2:
- The Diamond team, the number 2, only needed 6 of the 8 sets of the semifinal, to convince the team Lee, his opponent, to WD, when the match was 282-112 with 170 IMPs difference.
|3 Lee|| 112
Maybe this give them a slight edge because it took a longer period of rest.
The Nickell Team, seeding number 1: The Nickell team began the semifinal with an important advantage, they ended the second set with an advantage of near 70 IMPs but they had to play the 8 sets to show their opponent they could beat them. Until Set 6 Nickell far exceeded his opponent, but in the Set 7 Milner team overturned the trend and narrowed the almost constant difference of 3 digits to a number close to 40 IMPs. The Set 8 ended 35 to 31, and Nickell finally got his ticket to the final.
|1 Nickell|| 289
|4 Milner|| 243