European Championships in Opatija 2014 – Match Against England

After the European Championships in Opatija many bridge players were asking me how do I feel about winning only a silver medal by favored team of Monaco. Is it a success or a failure? In my opinion our goal was to win a medal of any color and it was achieved.

Weaker play in the end of the championships was a bit unsatisfactory, but these things just happen. In spite of working hard on improving the level of slam bidding, we won in 36 hands only 26 IMP.

There still is significant potential in this element of bridge.

Last match against England

The question who is going to win the gold medal – Israel or Monaco was being answered in many deals. I’m not going to describe spectacular slam in spades with only seven trumps (with ten hearts) played by Fantoni – Nunes. From the coach point of view another deal seemed interesting.

Lack of good agreements led Norwegian pair to a bad contract.

Bidding. Both vul.

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4x(N)-2= -500

We can win 3 IMP ( easy to win 4 and 5♣)

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3NT (E) -2= -200 = -12 IMP


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Situation assessment made by both players was of great importance. From Helness’s point of view his partner might have:

A x x, Q J x, x, A K x x x x

Helgemo thought that his partner has 2 stoppers in . What do I mean by lack of good agreements in competitive bidding?
In sequence 1 pass 1 we can’t exclude a contract on the line WE. Very often the answer one heart promises only 3 cards.
For example – many players with a hand:

♠6 5, K 10 3, K 3 2, ♣ Q 8 7 5 3

after opening 1 prefer to bid 1 instead 1NT (wrong hand). We must have mechanism to show our 5 – 5 shape, but with 5.

My recommendation:

3 delicate positions.

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Here is the full deal:

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Correct bidding.

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Helness having information about an agreement 5 – 5 other, will never think about a contract 3NT.

What’s the conclusion? We still have a lot of work to do.

Posted in Blog.

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