Many congratulations to team Allfrey who won for the second year running. They were never not in the lead although it was pretty close at various points in the tournament. Well done!
Second placed team was Ireland.
Top player was Denis Bilde and joint second were Ben Green and Ankush Khandelwal
Allfrey beat Zia to hang on. Ireland snatch second.
The scene for the last match. Allfrey and Zia are the top two and playing each other.
Allfrey still have a smallish lead against Zia. And the teams are meeting in the last match! Ireland could also still do it but they need a big win over de Botton and a close match between the top two.
I don’t actually know much about the trophy. My friend Simon C from West London has threatened to write something about it at some point. I’ll chase him. In the meantime here’s a picture!
This is a hand from match 2 on Saturday.
Well done to Ed Jones (North) and Tom Paske for bidding the only making grand slam on this hand.
South deals and opens 14-16 NT: 1NT-(P)-2d-(2s) P-(P)-3c-(P) 3d-(P)-3s*-(P) 3NT-(P)-4c-(P) 4d-(P)-4h-(P) 4s-(P)-4NT-(P) 5h-(P)-5NT-(P) 7d
Allfrey just hanging onto the lead but Zia are only 3 VPs behind and Ireland 6 VPs behind second.
I was in the Vugraph room for a fair bit of this watching Robson-Allfrey against Gillis-Svendsen. This was the match with the sad 7c-1 which makes on a failure of restricted choice (but was a flat board in this match at least).
But some of the other boards were also interesting though in a less flashy way.
Board 23: A disciplined stop by Robson-Allfrey in 3 spades. 4 does make but you need to drop a stiff king of hearts. Their system allowed Allfrey as south to show his 4441 hand. In the event it made an overtrick on the JH lead.
4 spades at the other table down 2. (Most pairs in 4 spades went off.)
The Vugraph commentators (Ian Payn and Peter Clinch) suggested that the best lead if you know the 4441 shape is a trump. Do you agree?
Board 26: A cruel hand for the PAB (Point a Board) part of the scoring here. Robson-Allfrey reached the best spot of 4 hearts making plus one for 650.
Meanwhile the other table got to 3NT which made one more trick than it might have. The resulting 660 won Gillis 2VPs – yes 10 points counts as a win!
Board 27: Another board where the PAB component really mattered. The auction went:
(1s)-P-(P)-2d (X)-2s*-(P)-3d (P)-3s**-(P)-3nt (X)-4d-(P)-P (P) * Good raise ** Asking for spade stop
A good defence saw the Gillis pair take this two off. But it was not quite enough to beat the 140 for 3h making by EW at the other table.
PAB money back for the Allfrey team.