North America’s sole surviving medal hope at the World Youth Team Championships — the under-21 USA1 team– is assured of at least a silver medal by virtue of their victory over France 130.5 to 110.

USA1, competing for the Damiani Cup in the under-21 series, comprises Kevin Rosenberg, Oren Kriegel, Ben Kristensen, Chris Huber, Nolan Chang and Cole Spencer. The non-playing captain is Barry Goren.

The U.S. team came out slowly in the 56-board match, building a 31.5 IMP lead with eight boards to play. In quick succession, the French youngsters snatched back 31 IMPs over the next five boards, reducing the U.S. team’s lead to 9. There would be no further gains for the French team, however. USA1 tacked on another 11 IMPs when Huber and Kriegel collected 600 for a 3NT game that wasn’t bid at the other table.

The young Americans play a tough Swedish team for the gold on Friday. Sweden’s path to the final consisted of defeating the Netherlands by 41 in the quarterfinals, then turning up the heat to dismiss Norway by 75 IMPs.

The World Youth Teams Championships began in Istanbul, Turkey, on August 14. Other competitions are being held in Juniors (under 26) and Girls divisions.

Bridge Base Online will show the match on vugraph. For the schedule, click here.

Visit the WBF for Daily Bulletins and results: Click here.

For a Phillip Alder’s NY Times coverage of championship play, click here.