BBO Vugraph - The Second Weekend of the Camrose Trophy - Part 3

Vugraph #421

The Camrose Trophy is an event contested annually by representatives of the home countries, England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland and Northern Ireland. To make the field up to an even number of teams, the host country (England this year) is also allowed a second team. The format is a double round robin of 32-board matches played over two weekends.

These were the overnight standings, with just two matches remaining.

E B U107.82
IRELAND  83.34
WALES  75.21
N.IRELAND  38.83

As usual, we start with a couple of problems. Firstly, with only your opponents vulnerable, you are South holding:

What do you bid?

Next, with only your side vulnerable, you are sitting in the South seat with:

What action, if any, do you take?

While you mull those over, we start with action from the Sunday morning session. We have already seen the highlights from WALES-v-IRELAND, which resulted in a win for the Irish by 103-40. Let’s see what happened with ENGLAND taking on NORTHERN IRELAND.

Andrew McIntosh’s 1 overcall left Hastings Campbell with the first of this week’s problems. He settled for 1♠, and Tom Paske (left) then raised pre-emptively to 4 to leave Sam Hall with a decision.

Given that he is unlikely to hold more than three diamonds, partner is very likely to hold at least five spades, although perhaps 4-3-3-3 shape is just about possible. Hall did well to bid 4♠, which then turned the spotlight onto Campbell. With partner surely holding at most one diamond, this South hand looks like it is worth a try to me, but Campbell decided not. He managed to score 13 tricks: N/S +510.

For Northern Ireland, Ian Lindsay came in with a jump overcall on the East hand. Peter Crouch (right) could have bid a forcing 2♠, but he decided that a jump to game was more descriptive. His hand now enormous, Simon Cope advanced with a 5 cue-bid and then jumped to slam when Crouch showed a heart control.

Crouch ruffed the diamond opening, crossed to hand with a trump, and ruffed his second diamond with dummy’s remaining trump. When declarer crossed back to his hand with the K, East’s bare queen appeared, allowing Crouch to claim the rest. N/S +1010 and 11 IMPs to ENGLAND.

Ian Lindsay opened a third-seat weak 1NT for the Northern Irish. Everyone passed and declarer made a peaceful eight tricks. E/W +120. Events were anything but peaceful in the replay…

Vulnerable against not, I can understand why Hastings Campbell chose not to enter with a 1♠ overcall after Andrew McIntosh (left) had opened 1♣ in third seat. When Tom Paske’s 1NT response was passed back to him, Campbell was left with the second of this week’s problems.

If you think a 1♠ overcall on the first round was dangerous, it is nothing compared to backing in at the two-level, as Campbell did. Paske redoubled to show his maximum, which left Sam Hall with only unpalatable choices. In fact, the cheapest option is to defend 1NT-Redoubled, which would have cost a mere -760 with the redoubled overtrick. When Hall chose to remove to 2, McIntosh had an easy penalty double.

The appearance of dummy presumably left Hall looking around for something to throw at his partner. McIntosh led a low trump and the defence was ruthless, holding declarer to just four tricks. That was E/W +1100 and a gift 14 IMPs to ENGLAND.

The final score in this match was of the magnitude rarely seen in competitive sports, except perhaps for snooker, 124-15. That was a maximum 20 VPs for ENGLAND. The final match of the two-weekend event saw ENGLAND up against “The Auld Enemy”, SCOTLAND, and there were plenty of fireworks left for those watching live on VuGraph. Curiously, this match began as the previous one had ended…

Jun Nakamaru-Pinder (right) made his first international appearance as a member of Scotland’s Under-21 team at 2009 World Youth Congress. He then made his debut in his country’s Open team at the 2012 World Team Olympiad. Over the past decade, he has represented Scotland at Schools, Junior, Under-31 and Open level.

Andrew Black started with a Multi 2, showing a bad weak two in one of the majors. The standard defence to a Multi is to use double as showing either a 12-15 balanced hand type or a very strong hand, perhaps 20+. Paul Barton’s 2NT overcall therefore showed something like 16-19. Nakamaru-Pinder looked for a 5-3 major-suit fit before settling for 3NT.

Declarer dropped an overtrick in the play, but E/W +630 looks like a fairly normal result. However…

Paske/McIntosh evidently play a non-standard defence to the Multi, or Paske upgraded this West hand into the ‘very strong’ hand category. Boy, did that work out well!

There are two ways of playing after a Multi is doubled. One is that bidding 2 or 2♠ shows an interest in competing to at least the three-level in the other major, and pass shows no interest in going beyond the two-level in either. The alternative, and the one presumably being used by the Scots here, is that opener responds as he would without the double, so 2 simply denies interest in competing higher in hearts and says nothing about spades, and thus a pass shows diamonds.

I confess that, playing either method, I would prefer to bid 2♠ on this North hand. When Brian Spears chose to pass, presumably showing diamonds, Barnet Shenkin had no reason to move. The defence was deadly accurate, Paske opening with the ♣4, covered by the deuce, nine and king. (It does not help declarer to put up dummy’s jack.) Shenkin led a heart towards dummy at trick two and Paske rose with the ace. Now came three rounds of trumps followed by the ♠Q switch through declarer’s king. Three rounds of spades eventually forced Shenkin to ruff with dummy’s last trump. The K was declarer’s third and last trick. E/W +1100 and 10 IMPs to ENGLAND.

Remarkably, Paske/McIntosh had collected +1100 from 2-X for the second consecutive match. This time was even more impressive, as it was against non-vulnerable opponents.

Nakamaru-Pinder opted for a takeout double of West’s 1♠ opening. McIntosh raised to 4♠, and Paul Barton (left) had no reason to think his side belonged at the five-level.

The defence began with two top diamonds, declarer ruffing. The favourable heart position means that declarer can now make 12 tricks. However, after drawing trumps, Paske chose to discard his heart ‘loser’ on the Q. That meant eleven tricks only. E/W +650 but what looks like another flat board…

Simon Cope chose a 2♣ overcall of Callum McKail’s 1♠ opening. Martin Bateman also raised to 4♠ on the East hand, but Peter Crouch continued to 5♣. Crouch was quite right that it was a profitable sacrifice against the vulnerable game, and it became even cheaper when neither of the Scots thought they had enough to double.

The bad breaks in the minors proved an inconvenience, so declarer lost a trick in the wash in addition to the obvious four top losers. Three down: E/W +150 and another 11 IMPs to ENGLAND.

The result was a massacre as severe as any that ENGLAND have inflicted on their northern neighbours over the last 500+ years, winning the match 151-18. Amazingly, ENGLAND had dropped just 0.15 VPs in their last three matches, with victories by 79 IMPs, 109 IMPs and 133 IMPs. Very impressive.

These were the final standings:

E B U131.51

Congratulations to all of the players who represented England over the two weekends: Andrew Black, David Gold, Simon Cope, Peter Crouch, Tom Paske, Andrew McIntosh, Frances Hinden, Graham Osbourne, Neil Rosen, John Atthey, Chris Jagger and Derek Patterson.

We are heading back to London now, to bring you the best of the action from the final stage of the trials to select the England Women’s team for the upcoming European championships.

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