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China Open wins 2015 Yeh Bros Cup

On April 15, 2015 China Open wins the 2015 Yeh Bros Cup in Shangahi: Sun Shaolin, Hu Linlin, Li Xiaoyi, Liu Jing, Hou Xu, Kang Meng and Chen Gang (coach). Second place went to Red Bull: Wang Yuewu, Kuang Yuegang, Simon.

Notable bridge columnist of the New York Times Mr. Philip Alder wrote this interesting column: A Turning Point at the Yeh Brothers Cup.

The Yeh Brothers Cup took place in Shanghai from April 8 to Sunday. After 10 rounds of 10- board matches, the field was reduced to eight teams, from 28, for the quarterfinals. The two Amercian entries failed to make the cut.

The 48-board final was between China Open (Hou Xu, Liu Jing, Kang Meng, Sun Shaolin, Hu Linlin and Li Xiaoyi), which had qualified for the quarters by 0.28 victory points, and Red Bull (Liu Li, Lu Yiping, Wang Yuewu and Kuang Yuegang from China, and Bauke Muller and Simon De Wijs from the Netherlands).

China Open took a 27.5 international match point lead after the first third, but the next session saw Red Bull move ahead by 11.5 imps. China Open regrouped and had a 1.5-imp advantage with six boards to be played. The diagramed deal, Board 43, effectively decided the match.

                                North

                                ♠ Q65432

                                ♥KQ8

                                ♦109

                                ♣76

West     East

♠ J10987               ♠K

♥ AJ943                ♥10765

♦ 2          ♦ J43

♣ A10                                            ♣KQJ53

                                South

                                ♠ A

                                ♥2

                                ♦AKQ8765

                                ♣9842

In the given auction, De Wijs (South) opened one diamond, Li Xiaoyi (West) used a Michaels Cue-Bid to show at least 5-5 in the majors, Muller (North) passed, Hu (East) invited game with three hearts and South jumped to five diamonds, which was doubled by West.

What did West lead?

If West has started with his trump and East had not covered dummy’s nine with his jack, the contract could have been down three. Understandably, though, West selected the spade jack. South took East’s singleton king with his ace and led his heart. Now West would have done best to duck, but that play was nigh impossible to find. West took the trick, cashed his club ace (East signaled with his king) and led another club. East overtook with his jack and shifted to a low trump. Declarer, confident that West was short in diamonds, played low from his hand. It did not gain a trick, but was a fun play. The contract was down one.

At the other table, Sun (South) upgraded his hand by opening one club, which promised at least 16 points. Lu (West) doubled to show a major or minor two- suiter. Kang (North) responded one diamond, indicating 5 to 8 points. Then Liu Li (East) made a very strange bid: two diamonds. Why did he not jump in hearts or clubs, which would have been “pass or correct”? West would have passed with that suit or bid higher without it. South shut eyes and rebid three no-trump, which was passed out.

What did West lead?

We can see that the defenders could have taken the first six tricks, and even a spade-jack start could have defeated the contract. But West chose his fourth-highest heart, so South ran for home with one heart, one spade and seven diamonds.

Plus 100 and plus 400 gave China Open 11 imps on the board en route to winning the match by 108 imps to 101.5 and banking the $150,000 first prize. The runners-up received $36,000.

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