Boards 33-48 of the final of the U21 World Championship were not dull! 88 IMPs were exchanged and unfortunately France had the better of things coming out with 57-31. But oh dear, it could have been so different. At the time the match really seemed to be slipping away, but at the end the French lead was just 15 with absolutely everything to play for in the final 16 boards starting shortly before noon today.
The match was broadcast on BBO so in a day or two you’ll probably be able to find the files in the BBO archive. I’m afraid some of it wasn’t pretty, but it’s incredible to think how tense the lads must be as they play for the World Championship. IMPs seemed to fly out of the window — a poor slam was bid and a good slam was missed by the same pair. Later the same pair bid and made 6 for +1430 only to lose 7 IMPs. The explanation was that the French pair had been bounced in the other room by excellent English pre-emption. As a result the French pair had bid 7, which was doomed to fail because the English North held the A. Convinced that the French must have a Spade void, North bid on to 7. This was doubled and went six off for a penalty of 1700. This would have been ok if 7 was making, but of course it was not. That one board alone would have reversed the lead in the match. There was plenty of good stuff and well bid games won back IMPs. The deficit can be made up in just one board and the French have shown that they in turn will make plenty of mistakes. A cool and calm approach will win the day.
Good luck to all our team.