Bridge - The Scotsman 03/01/2012

The best Women’s team in the world is currently France (D’Ovidio, Bessis, Gaviard, Neve, Cronier, Willard). They won the Venice Cup, the Women’s World Championship, beating surprise finalists Indonesia.

The best Women’s team in the world is currently France (D’Ovidio, Bessis, Gaviard, Neve, Cronier, Willard). They won the Venice Cup, the Women’s World Championship, beating surprise finalists Indonesia. Unusually the two USA teams were both eliminated in the quarter-finals, and the bronze medal went to Netherlands, who defeated England in the play-off.

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The French bidding style is quite conservative, but their card play is of the highest quality. On this deal the Indonesian declarer reached just 3H, and made an easy overtrick when West cashed one top diamond, then switched to the king of clubs. Against Gaviard’s game West cashed both top diamonds, then exited safely with ace and another heart. Declarer won in dummy, discarded her spade loser on the jack of diamonds, and ruffed the fourth diamond. The she played three more trump, putting West under severe pressure. This was the four-card ending:

Declarer might cash the ace of spades to produce a simple positional squeeze, but she actually played for a more stylish criss-cross squeeze by playing the last trump, discarding dummy’s little club. West must bare one of her kings. Declarer cashes the ace under which the king will fall, then crosses to the other ace to cash the established queen.