Crockfords Semi-Final

28th April 2005

at Spondon (Derby)

Graham Jepson vs David Jones

Graham Jepson & David Musson, Frank Littlewood & David Robinson

The match started badly for the Sheffielders, when they failed to bid a grand slam, which their opponents found, in the first stanza of 8 boards. They found themselves trailing by 17 imps.

In the 2nd stanza, this hand came up:-

SQ J x
HA K J x
DK x x
Cx x x

Partner opens 1D, you bid 1H and parner rebids 2D.

Well, what would you bid? 3D isn't forcing, bidding another suit implies 5 hearts.
Not unreasonably, Dave Robinson bid 3NT . . . . .

and the defence took the first 5 tricks in clubs. This was partner's hand:-

SA K x
H10 x x
DA Q x x x x

No-one is to blame, but isn't it galling that 6D depends only on the finesse of the HQ,
(which works,) and a reasonable break in trumps (also true.)
So after 16 boards they were 30 imps behind

Stanza 3 went a little better: they lost only 1 imp.

In the 4th set, it was their opponents' turn to run into trouble:-

SA K x x
HQ J x
DQ 10 x x
Cx x
SQ x x x
HA K x x x
DK x x

North opened 1NT, and once they found their spade fit, NS were soon in 6S.
But Frank, sitting East, held:-

SJ x x x
Dx x x
CK x x x x x

So he doubled (Lightner,) ruffed the heart lead, and partner's DA made the setting trick.
Note that 6NT is a good contract, with the CK right.

Another failed slam, plus a few smaller swings, and Graham's team had made 24 imps on the set; they were back in the match, with everything to play for.

The last 8 boards were pretty much all their way and they won the match comfortably.
We wish them well in the final round robin on May 7-8th.

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