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Deal analysis by Christophe Grosset for the EBU magazine (April 2019 issue)

Christophe Grosset writes a column in the English Bridge Union magazine in which he makes a bridge hand analysis that he played on Funbridge. You can find below his latest bridge deal analyzed published in the April 2019 issue.

bridge hand analysis

Bridge hand analysis – April 2019

Always count

This month’s bridge deal is a matchpoint hand that I played in the series championship.

S 7 4 3
H K J 2
D 5 4 2
C A 6 5 3
S –
H A 9 8 7 5
D A Q J 10 6
C K Q 8

Love All. Dealer West. Matchpoints


Competitive auctions

After a competitive auction ending in 4♥ the lead is the ♠A. You are pleasantly surprised when seeing dummy: only three spades and three useful cards with the ♥KJ and the ♣A. You also note that the opponents have 10 spades, and did not bid 4♠. You ask your (robot!) opponents what system they play, and they tell you 5-card majors, better minor (they open 1♣ with 3-3 and 1♦ with 4-4) and a strong NT.

What we know from the bidding?

First of all, spades must be divided 6-4 as West did not open 1♠. He also cannot have 15-17 if he is balanced. Lastly, he must have at least four
diamonds, unless he is exactly 4·4·3·2. But if he has this, East would have six spades and a singleton heart, and would certainly have bid 4♠.

Now let’s count the points

You have a combined 24 points, so the opponents have 16. You are playing on Funbridge where the robots are quite conservative, both when opening hands and when responding! What can you infer from that? Well, the points must be divided 11-5, 12-4 or 13-3. Indeed, you have never seen the robots respond to an opening bid with fewer than three points.

On the ♠A lead, East encourages with the 9, meaning that West probably has AKJx and East Q9xxxx, as with QJ he would play the queen. It is now quite likely that East has either the ♦K or the ♥Q, but not both. As we know that West probably has four diamonds, the odds favour East having the ♥Q. There is one more reason to play East for the ♥Q, can you see it?

Had East had the ♦K and West three hearts to the ♥Q, that would give West: ♠AKJx ♥Qxx ♦xxxx ♣Jx. As we said, the robots are quite conservative, so it’s
highly unlikely they would open with this hand.

Following your logic, you cash the ♥A and K, and while everyone follows, the queen doesn’t drop. You now finesse the diamond to West’s king and the defence make their two tricks for … a top!

You might have missed it…

…but had you decided to finesse the ♥Q first, East would have continued with a spade, forcing you to give up the ♦K before pulling trumps, allowing East to ruff a diamond.

Isn’t this a beautiful game?
Here is the full deal.

Love All. Dealer West.

S 7 4 3
H K J 2
D 5 4 2
C A 6 5 3
S A K J 10
H 6 3 
D K 9 8 3
C J 10 4
orientationS  Q 9 8 6 5 2
H Q 10 4
D 7
C 9 7 2
S –
H A 9 8 7 5
D A Q J 10 6
C K Q 8

If you are interested by reading and watching more bridge hand analysis to improve your bridge, click here.

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