Tom Dessain Writes
With a double victory for the Dessain brothers looking possible I was delighted to see my brother Mark, and his partner Liam, being presented with the U19s trophy as we proceeded to play the last round of the U25 Championships.
At the end of day 1, Dom and I were just over 50 IMPs clear of second place and with our biggest loss on a single board being 5 IMPs we were quietly confident, but not complacent. We hadn’t played the pair who was lying second and a defeat there might have made things tighter at the top.
The following board came up on the second day which was our only double figure imp loss of the event.
The auction proceeded:
Initially 2 was a three-way multi being either weak in a major, strong in a minor or 20-22 balanced, the later of which was shown by the 2NT rebid. I continued by showing my spade suit and once 3NT was converted to 4 I thought I was worth a look at slam and consequently drove to 6 after hearing the required three keycards. This was doubled by West and was passed back round to Dom who had the difficult decision of deciding whether to pass or pull to 6NT. It all depended on what West had doubled on. If he had doubled on spade length it might be best to play in 6NT, if he had doubled on the spade King and an additional feature it’s probably best to stand the double. Dom decided that due to his lack of shape and that the only source of tricks he could envisage was in the spade suit passed. Unfortunately the contract failed by one trick on the 5-0 trump break with 6NT making due to the club Queen lying in a favourable position. This represented 11 imps out as no other pair had bid past game.
Mike Amos comments:
Tom has written about a hand where he and his partner scored badly, but is too modest to comment that in fact they have bid well to a contract which we would all like to be in. Any 3-2 Spade break leads to 12 tricks and declarer can cope with some 4-1 breaks as well. The hand also demonstrates the folly of doubling slams when you know trumps are breaking badly — just sit back and take the plus. Especially at teams or IMP scoring all you stand to gain is a couple of IMPs, but you stand to lose a bucket if the opponents take fright and have a better contract available as here.
I think everyone would agree that Tom and Dom really deserved their win — they took the lead after a few matches and never looked like losing it, playing much more steadily than any of the other pairs.
Mark and Liam are to be congratulated on their win also, achieved in a very different fashion with a storming performance in the second half. At half time Shivam Shah and Tom Rainforth looked to have a decisive lead having scored over 70.24% against Mark and Liam’s 63.89%. In contrast in the second half the ultimate winners topped the 70% mark and when Shivam and Tom could only score in the low fifties the brothers had won their double.