Day 1 - The Championships begin
Here's (most of) the Australian contingent over here in Seoul for the Asia Pacific Championships. This photo was taken last night at the Opening Ceremony. Thanks to Suzie Braithwaite for sharing it with all of us!
Play in all categories began this morning at a bright and early 9am (Korea time; 10am AEST). All of the teams played four matches today, except for the Ladies (three matches per day, due to the number of teams entered) and the Girls (who had a bye in the second half of the day).
The Open squad had a slow start, with a 2-IMP win against China Hong Kong but a 20-IMP loss to China. Another 2-IMP win against Malaysia came in the third round, with a 3-IMP win against Thailand to finish. Wins are always good even if they're little!
What would you bid on this hand from Match 1?
There's no guarantee it will make, but it seems fairly normal to overcall 3NT with a good source of tricks in diamonds. How about if left-hand opponent doubles, passed back to you? Still liking your bid?
Pretty scary now? Justin Mill, playing for the Australian Open Team, decided to lie in the bed he'd made himself and passed the hand out. The full hand:
Nice dummy, Peter Hollands! Justin managed to make 3NT doubled en route to a small win in the match. Good luck to the boys as the Open campaign continues. We are only 4 matches in out of 30, so very early days.
The Ladies team began with a small win against Korea 1 and a small loss against Indonesia, followed by a big win in the always important trans-Tasman test against New Zealand. After 3 rounds (out of 22), the Australian Ladies are lying a respectable fourth (out of twelve) with 37.47 VPs from the day.
One of the best hands of the day was declared by Sue Lusk of the Ladies team. She played four spades doubled on the following deal:
West, Susan Humphries (NZ) led the six of clubs to the queen and ace. Sue Lusk played double dummy from here to land her contract: low spade to the ten, club back to the jack, and another spade, West winning the King and returning a spade.
Winning the queen on the dummy, Lusk played a club to her ten in this position:
There was no defence to beat the contract now. At the table, West ruffed and returned the jack of spades, but Lusk won in her hand and played the king of diamonds. This was ducked, but another diamond came next and West was helpless, having to surrender the rest of the tricks to dummy's long club suit. Well done Sue - out of 10 tables playing in 4S, only 3 managed to make it.
Deep Finesse says that four spades can be beaten, but it involves a very fancy defence: leading diamonds to attack dummy's late entry to the long clubs! Besides this, it requires several precise plays later in the hand. Not easy!
In the Seniors’ series, the Playoff team (Australia 1) had 4-IMP loss to Thailand but bounced back with a solid win against Singapore. A big win against Chinese Taipei 1 followed by a 20-IMP win against Japan put Australia 1 in second place at the end of the day, 1VP off the lead!
Australia Seniors 2 were average on 20.00 VPs after two rounds, with a 16-IMP win against Chinese Taipei 2 and a 16-IMP loss versus China. A heavy loss against China Hong Kong was a disappointment in the third round, and Australia 2 closed out the day with a losing draw against India. Early days, and they aren't really that far out of it.
The Juniors lost by 10 against Indonesia in the first match, but had a great result in the second round, beating one of the favourites (China) by 26. Another good result came in their third match, beating another of the favourites (Singapore) by 5 IMPs, and Australia capped off the day with a big 34-IMP over Thailand.
After 4 rounds of 27 total, the Junior team are on 52.62 VPs. They're in fifth, but second place is only 2.5 VPs away, and the lead just 9 VPs away. We play the current leaders, China Hong Kong, in the last match tomorrow.
The Girls had the best day of all the Australian teams! Because there are only seven teams in the Girls series, there is a bye in each round robin. Australia Girls played a 28-board match against Thailand, winning the first half by 56 and the second half by 72 to record a blitz 20.00 VP result. In the second match, Australia had a bye and the girls went off to sample Seoul’s famous cosmetics stores. A successful day all round!
Catch up with another report tomorrow as more results roll in throughout the day. I might see you on BBO - my screenname is lmilne and I am commentating matches when team duties don't require attending to.
Posted by Liam Milne on Tuesday, 30 May 2017 at 00:14