Amidst mounting excitement the semi-finalists decided

SportingIndia|06-Oct-2015 14:24

CHENNAI:  Mounting excitement marked the closing stages of the six-round, 96 board  quarterfinal sessions spread over two days in the Bermuda Bowl, Venice Cup and d Órsi trophy events on Monday in the HCL-42nd World Bridge Team Championship here.

In some cases not until the last board played was the winner decided. As it turned out, USA 2, Sweden, Poland and England went through in Bermuda.  In the Venice cup for women, France, Netherlands, England and USA 2 made it while in the dÓrsi trophy for seniors, USA 1, USA 2, Poland and Sweden earned passage.

In the Bermuda event, it required a penultimate board swing of 13 IMPs  to help USA 2 to pip the impressive China at the post  (238-236 IMPs) to use an athletics jargon. An early lead had kept China afloat overnight and much of the earlier sessions but  USA 1 (Kranyak and Demuy and Kranyak  E-W in open room;  Hurd and Woolridge N-S in closed) warmed up to fine touch midway in the last segment  when the US side brought the margin down to three IMPs.  Ten points through three boards towards the seemed to help China’s cause but then came the big swing to leave the Asian leader in despair.

 USA I too looked  good as it closed in on England, which had a marginal lead overnight. But the day did not go well until the final round when USA was within distance to edge England but the latter held on to win (215-195).   France too fought its way up to within three points off Poland  before going down 197-211.

The surprise in this section was the exit of Bulgaria for all its wonderful  run earlier.  The team lost it out yesterday when it could not win a single round.  Things were better later but not enough to Sweden which won 223-202.5.

In the Venice Cup  much was expected of Denmark which had led over France overnight but  the slip started early today and it was just five points adrift of France and even that was reduced but a fine final round helped France to register a  better looking 232.3-184  win. England overwhelmed USA 1  225-184 and Netherlands had a pretty win of 273.7-202 over Italy. USA 2 had a fight in hand against China to get over a 110-126 arrears mid way in the final segment to come off a 201-175 winner.

In the seniors competition the winners came out lot more forthright.   USA 1 had the measure of  Norway 220- 182.7 never quite troubled.   USA 2 too had little  difficulty in ousting  Ireland 192-167. Poland accounted for  England 219.5-196 and the best of all was Sweden which swamped Australia  253-195 after a massive final round effort.

In the Transnational team event,  Zimmerman (142.70), Boras (140.76), Argentina (138.60) and Netherlands (136.89) were the top four  on the penultimate day of the preliminary swiss league.

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