2010’s Europeans – Five Queens for Ostenda’s throne

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Ostenda European Women Championship. Neapolitan Club has interviewed five women: Catherine D’Ovidio (France), Sabine Auken (Germany), Montserrat Mestres Rodriguez (Spain), Gabriella Olivieri (Italy), Elena Mihova (Bulgaria).One question per one player, five questions. All the players had to answer their own question; four of five have answered the others’ too. In the last days we have published the individual questions and responses; today we publish the collective question.


Madames: you, in West, have picked up these cards:

♠7 AJ1082 K82 ♣KJ94

IMP, All Vul. South opens 1♠; what do you do as West? Please, wait: before to respond, let me tell the entire story for our younger readers.

Canada and Usa was playing the final of 1995 Bermuda Bowl in Bejing; after 89 deals of 160, Canada was trailed by 141-172, still next. In the board 90, West had the above hand. The double could lose a 5-3 hearts fit; 2, instead of double, is an hazard: the suit looks inadequate and the hand is too weak. Nevertheless, with the duly help from East, 4 look not so far.

Mark Molson, Canada, bid 2. The Americans Freeman-Nickell doubled but didn’t find the best defence, then Molson paid -500 instead of -1100.

At the other table, the American Jeff Meckstroth doubled, finding the club fit; then the Canadians Kokish-Silver gave up the double and went on to game, for a net result of five IMPs for Canada.

[By my words from the fine book “Bermuda Bowl best deals”, Brian Senior & Henry Francis, 1999 Five Ace Books].

Now: double, 2 or pass? And why?


Elena Mihova: It’s a tough hand. Double takes third place. I would hesitate between bidding 2 and passing. At teams, I probably would choose 2. I would take the risk of giving unforced 500 or 800 because I could have a game, especially in hearts, which we could miss if I don’t overcall.

Gabriella Olivieri: I double.

Montserrat Mestres Rodriguez: My bid is Double: I lose the imps in the event that my partner has three cards in hearth, but I won when he has 4 clubs or 4-5 dia, and never I will pay -800.

Sabine Auken: Whether I pass, double or bid 2H depends on what day of the week it is, whether I slept well or not, whether I have a headache or not and whether the sun shines or whether it is raining. And if you show me the whole deal I may be able to figure out, which action would work best, but maybe not.

Catherine D’Ovidio: My preference goes to pass but I think double is ok. I don’t like 2



The Teams


Bulgarian Warriors: Elena Mihova, Miriana Mitovska, Boriana Pancheva, Ralitza Mircheva, Valya Yaneva, Anna Lekova-Kovacheva.

Alessandria’s Heroines: Gabriella Olivieri, Gianna Arrigoni, Cristina Golin, Simonetta Paoluzi, Marilina Vannuzzi, Annalisa Rosetta.

Grandes de Espana: Montserrat Mestres Rodriguez, Maria Eugenia Hernandez, Laura and Marina Castells, Maria Panadero, Paz Tapias.

Princesses von Franconia: Sabine Auken, Daniela von Arnim, Beathe Nemhert (called “Pony”), Cristina Giampietro, Annaig Della Monta, Barbara Hackett.

Aquitania’s Queens: Catherine D’Ovidio, Danièle Gaviard, Sylvie Willard, Benedicte Cronier, Veronique Bessis, Jonna Neuve

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