One of the many great innovations made by the EBL in recent years is to adopt the suggestion that in the event of a tie a knock out match should be settled by a sudden death football style penalty shoot-out. When Era and China Open found themselves tied at 56-56 out came the first of a possible three extra deals – if they were unable to break the deadlock the toss of a coin would decide.
East led the eight of spades and declarer took West’s ten with the jack, played a diamond to the king and a diamond for the ten, queen and ace. It was now child’s play to arrive at eleven tricks, +150.
South’s somewhat conservative decision to pass 3 appeared to have left the door open:
Here East led the nine of spades and it seemed certain now that Era would be the team advancing to the semifinal.
Declarer won with the jack and played a club for the six jack and ace. When west returned a club declarer won with dummy’s king pitching a heart, played a heart to the ace, ruffed a heart and followed it with the king of diamonds. East took the ace and returned the queen of hearts.
When declarer ruffed with the eight of diamonds West’s overuff meant despair for declarer.