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Two championships were held in the Hague Holland in February. The Forbo open teams championship was preceded by the Nations Cup an Invitational tournament between North America Italy Norway and the Netherlands.
Both tournaments were won narrowly by the strong Italian squad of Bocchi Duboin-Lauria- Versace.
In the second match of the Nations Cup the North American side showed better judgement when they jumped into the lead against the Italians.
After North had shown minor strength South with support for both minors bid 4nt . Moss with his extra spade length bid 5 spades which he could have made and North now doubled. South could visualise that 6 clubs would make if his partner was void in spades and bid it. Now Fred Gitelman with a probable defensive trick did not double . This persuaded Brad Moss who had little defense to take the save in spades. When Moss found out about the void in spades with North he guessed the lie of the hearts and held his losses to two aces and down one minus 100.The par result in a well judged hand . Surprisingly The Italians allowed Howard Weinstein to play 5.
Strangely in the other match between The Netherlands and Norway both teams were allowed to play in five clubs one doubled ! This match then proceeded to be one of the biggest routs in bridge ever recorded in a twenty board match with the Netherlands winning by 112-0 !!!.
USA led the whole way and then on the second last board lost their lead on this interesting hand.
Against 4 Spades North led the heart Queen . Declarer won this and played a diamond to the Jack and Queen. Declarer ruffed the heart return and when he led a diamond to ruff in dummy North pitched a club. Now when he led a low club off dummy South pounced with the ace to continue a second heart giving North an extra trump more than declarer. When declarer tried a club North could ruff and continue with a fourth heart setting up a second trump trick to ensure one down. In the replay against the same contract the lead was the Q allowed to hold followed by a heart switch. Now declarer could simply take a diamond finesse and ruff one diamond in dummy before drawing trumps.
The Norwegian South defending the same contract on the same defense did not rise with the ace of clubs in the same position and allowed the contract through. The Dutch defender in the North seat tried the effect of ruffing the third diamond overrufed in dummy. The Norwegian declarer guessed to play a club to the nine and then the ace of spades dropping the Queen. He now had ten tricks by drawing trumps and conceding a club. However he led a third diamond allowing North to ruff with a high trump and lead a club to the ace and get a second ruff for down one. Perhaps the west player was shellshocked from the previous hands.
North America slipped again on the final board which allowed Italy to win the match by 53-35 and the Cup with North America only a few points back in a tie for second.