For the second round, Mello-La Rovere replaced the Salomão partnership, while Barbosa-Rodrigues came in replacing Brenner-Villas Boas. Both North-South pairs stayed the same.
You have these cards:
And even though you have such an abysmal collection, the decisive moment in this hand is up to you. South, your left-hand opponent, passes. Your partner bids 1 Club. North bids 1NT. Now, one South bid 3NT; the other bid Stayman, heard no majors, and then bid 3NT. What is your lead? And does it change according to the auction?
Rodrigues and La Rovere had these cards and led the 10 of clubs, upon which declarer easily made 10 tricks. A heart lead would hit partner with AK109 and dummy with Qxx (partner had a side Ace). This is a great example as to why double-dummy analysis should be checked up carefully by an expert before its results are considered to be the truth. Opening leads are particularly vulnerable to this effect.
In our story, though, everyone scored 630.
What is your action with this hand, Vul vs. NV, first in hand? Roberto Barbosa picked my choice and opened with 1 Heart. North doubled that with a 4=2=2=5 hand, and found a profitable sacrifice in 4 Spades, which went for 500. Mello preferred to open with a Multi 2 Diamonds, and this shut North up with that 4=2=2=5 hand, at least initially. He later came in with 3 Clubs when the heart suit was revealed, but spades were unbid, and so Mello-La Rovere scored +620 in 4 Hearts, gaining 3 imps for SALOMÃO. Check the full hand below, with the Open Room bidding.
You are West, 4th to bid, and no one is vulnerable. LHO passed and your partner opens with a weak 2 Diamonds, or its equivalent (at one table the opening bid was 2 Clubs, either a game forcing hand or weak with a 6-card diamond suit). South bids 2 Hearts. What is your bid?
Roberto Barbosa (whose partner had opened 2 Diamonds) bid 3 Clubs, hoping to help partner with a high-level decision later. The diamond support was left on the shelf for now. Roberto Mello, whose partner opened 2 Clubs, supported diamonds with 3 Diamonds. When North bid 4 Hearts, Emilio La Rovere, who had a typical 2 Diamonds bid (K109 x KQ9xxx xxx), passed. Adriano Rodrigues had an undisclosed club fit, but he had the wrong king. A difficult decision when no one is vulnerable. He picked 5 Clubs. No contract could be made (check the full hand below). 5 Clubs was doubled and went down 1, and 4 Hearts went down 2, 5 imps to SALOMÃO.
Board 18 was a pedestrian part-score, pushed. Board 19, on the other hand...
When South (JP) opened 2 Spades (spades + minor, weak) with the South hand in the Open Room, he gave a nasty problem to Roberto Barbosa as West. Without some escape hatch in the case that partner would reply to a Double with the dreaded 3 Diamonds, he preferred to overcall 3 Clubs. As the cards were, Double would have been much better -- East's hand was not good enough to offer a forcing 3 Hearts, and so the fit was lost forever. 3 Clubs went down 2.
On the other hand, Marcelo Branco as South did not have that weapon available, so he passed as dealer. Now E-W were bound to land in 4 Hearts. They were doubled, and the blockage in spades meant that the contract was unbeatable, but the damage was already done in the other room. The double cost only 1 imp, SALOMÃO gaining 14 imps on the board and acquiring an imposing lead in the segment after 5 boards.
Board 20 sent another imp to SALOMÃO when both pairs stopped short of a slam requiring a finesse and a guess in trumps (11 cards missing the King -- the King was singleton off-side). The opening lead meant 13 tricks at one table, 12 at the other.
Board 21 was a nice exhibit of Marcelo Branco's declaring, with his guessing shoes in prominent display:
Both Souths landed in 3NT after a 3rd-in-hand 1NT opening. Both Wests led hearts. East won the 1st trick, continued hearts and declarer ducked, allowing West to establish the suit with the 3rd round of the suit. (Both Wests contributed their lowest hearts while establishing the suit, perhaps with suit preference implications).
João Paulo went with the better odds in the diamond suit, immediately, by playing a diamond to the Ace, and a diamond to the Jack. That meant a quick down one when the defense cashed 4 hearts and a diamond in total.
Against Marcelo, Emilio La Rovere (East) picked an unfortunate discard in the 3rd heart trick, choosing a diamond (Adriano Rodrigues discarded a spade in the same position). That induced declarer to play diamonds in the opposite way. He was happy when the Queen popped up in the second round of the suit, but he was not home yet, having only 8 tricks (2 spades, 1 heart, 4 diamonds, 1 club). As he ran the diamonds (which were 2-2 by then) ending in dummy, each opponent discarded a spade and a club. He then led the Jack of clubs from dummy, and when East played low, he won the trick with the Ace, and went for the spade finesse against East, which produced the ninth trick. 12 imps for BARBOSA, interrupting the flow of imps in the other direction.
Board 22 was a push in a normal 3NT (both Wests lost a normal trick on opening lead to allow declarer to make 10 tricks).
Board 23 was a push in a normal doubled part-score, going down 4, 1100.
Oh, you need to see the hand? Ok, here it is:
Both Souths opened 3 Clubs, with both sides vulnerable. If you would have done something else, well done. Our warriors didn't and were doomed to pay 1100 for it. (Stefano, as North, took out from 3 Clubs doubled to 3 Spades, and lost the same 1100).
Board 24 was another victory for SALOMÃO
The main difference in the auctions was that Roberto Barbosa tried a weak 1 Club opening with the West cards, while Roberto Mello passed (and later overcalled 2 Clubs, after 1 Diamond - Pass - 1 Heart). Both pairs ended in 5 Diamonds. Stefano, as North, ruffed the Ace of clubs lead, led a heart to dummy's Ace, and led the 10 of spades from dummy. Even a misguess would not doom the contract, since he would always play West for at least one spade honor, given the auction at his table (West having opened 1 Club there). When West hopped with a spade honor, 11 tricks were easily made.
At the other table, Gabriel Chagas preferred to try to establish hearts after ruffing the club lead. Having played 2 top hearts and ruffed a 3rd one, he was out of time to establish spades (he became shortened in trumps), and ended down 2. 11 imps to SALOMÃO.
Imagine you have these cards:
North, first to speak, opened a non-vulnerable 2 Spades. After two passes, you are vulnerable. Do you bid something, and if so, what?
You were on a club guess to make 5 clubs. Your partner had --- KJx J1076 K10xxxx. But the club queen was long and in North, so you would probably misguess. Both players in this situation passed and defeated 2 Spades one trick, getting 50 for their pains. A club partial is probably the best possible result in this hand, netting you 2 or 3 imps, nothing to be scoffed at. No swing at our match, though.
Marcelo Branco and João Paulo had these cards, both vul, and heard their opponent start the proceedings with a 1 Heart opening. Do you or don't you? JP passed, and the auction continued 1NT-Pass-3 Hearts-Pass-3NT. This made 9 tricks.
Marcelo bid 2 Diamonds. The opponents had enough stoppers there (Qxx opposite AJ), but it was not easy to diagnose that, so they ended in their 6-1 heart fit, having AKxxxx opposite singleton Queen in this suit. As you can see, the hearts did not split well, so this contract went down 1. 12 imps to BARBOSA.
Board 27 was a laydown and easy 4 Hearts, no swing; and Board 28 was also pushed, but at down 3 when both EW pairs bid to a hopeless nonvul game (hopeless as the cards were -- it was a pretty normal game, 12 opposite 12, with a nice club suit to develop).
SALOMÃO had added 10 points to their lead, and the score was at 66-44 now.