Premier KO Winners

Levine achieves three-peat

Mike Levine, Eddie Wold, Geir Helgemo, Jeff Mecksroth, Eric Rodwell, Tor Helness

The final of the NAOBC Premier Knockout featured defending champs and No. 1 seed Levine (Mike Levine – Eddie Wold; Jeff Meckstroth – Eric Rodwell; Geir Helgemo – Tor Helness) taking on the original No. 7 seed Moss (Sylvia Moss – Roger Lee; Sjoert Brink – Sebastiaan Drijver; Michal Nowosadzki – Jacek Kalita).

In the first quarter, Moss could not get a break. After six boards, they were in a 39-IMP hole. Team captain Mike Levine, playing with Eddie Wold, judged well to pick up 11 IMPs on this deal:

Dlr:
North
Vul:
E-W
North
♠ A Q 6 5 3
J
Q 4
♣ A 10 9 3 2
West
♠ J 9 2
Q 8 7 6
K 10 9 3 2
♣ 4
East
♠ K 10 8 7
10 3
J 8 7 6
♣ 8 6 5
South
♠ 4
A K 9 5 4 2
A 5
♣ K Q J 7
WEst
Moss
North
Wold
East
Lee
South
Levine
1♠ Pass 2
Pass 3♣ Pass 4♣
Pass 5♣ Pass 6♣
All Pass

With nothing to cuebid over the club raise, Wold signed off. Levine, with excellent trump support and controls in the red suits, bid slam. Wold was able to ruff out the hearts, making seven.

The auction at the other table:

WEst
Helness
North
Drijver
East
Helgemo
South
Brink
1♠ Pass 2
Pass 2♠ Pass 3♣
Pass 3NT Pass All Pass

The 2 bid was artificial and showed hearts, either a five-card suit with 10-plus points or a six-card suit with 8-plus points. 3NT ended the auction.

captain Sylvia Moss, Roger Lee, Michal Nowosadzi, Sebastiaan Drijver, Sjoret Brink, Jacek Kalita
Moss lost the first quarter 67–3. The second quarter, however, Moss turned it around and outscored Levine 48–11, which included a stunning run of 35 IMPs on the last four boards. Here’s one where Michal Nowosadzki and Jacek Kalita showed up in a big way:

Dlr:
South
Vul:
None
North
♠ Q J 10 9 4 3
A 7 3 2
K
♣ 9 2
West
♠ 7 6
Q 9 8
A Q 6 3 2
♣ A J 3
East
♠ —
K J 6 5
10 9 8 7 5
♣ Q 8 7 6
South
♠ A K 8 5 2
10 4
J 4
♣ K 10 5 4
WEst
Moss
North
Wold
East
Lee
South
Levine
1♠
Dbl 4♠ 4NT Pass
5 Dbl; All Pass

Kalita ruffed the opening spade lead and picked off the stiff K offside. The excellent heart spots and 10–x in the short hand enabled him to discard a club on the long heart. With the club finesse on, Kalita made six. At the other table, Rodwell, sitting West, did not make a call over 1♠. North bid 3, game forcing with some shortness, and South bid the spade game; down one and 12 IMPs to Moss.
Levine was up by 27 at the half.

Although there was plenty of action in the third quarter, Levine managed to extend their lead by 4 IMPs. Time was running out for Moss to make their move. Down by 31, they lost another 31 IMPs over the first five boards of the fourth quarter. The final score was 169–102.