Deal analysis – Luc Bellicaud’s Ambassador Tournament – October

1,300 players took part in the second tournament that I ran on 1 October 2023. Thank you so much! Deals were particularly interesting and included many moves requiring precision opposite the dummy.

Congratulations to Serogan who won the tournament and nearly reached the 80% threshold (79.99%). After a good game, I scored 64.57%.

Deal 2: No satisfactory bid

On this second deal, my distribution is 4441 with 21 HCP. Unfortunately, there is no adequate opening:

  • By opening 1♦, I will have to make a splinter bid, which best matches my hand, over my partner’s 1♥/1♠ response. However, the odds are against me. I have a few too many HCP, no nice suit that I could establish (Diamonds) and a big stiff honour in the suit of the splinter. Also, there is a small risk of missing the game if my partner passes my opening.
  • By opening 2NT, I accurately describe my point range in No-Trumps. But if my partner has a 4-card major or longer, my hand will really be undervalued in a trump contract. For example, if he has five hearts with the Queen in total, I won’t play in game even if it would be a good thing.
  • Finally, by opening 2♣ followed by 2NT, I don’t describe my point range in No-Trumps well, but I describe it better in a possible major trump suit. It is finally the option that I opt for…

Now playing in 4♠, I will have to justify how I found 22-23 HCP! My opponent leads a club (possibly from 4 cards) and I will need to make ruffs: there is no question of playing trumps. I use the strong hand as a basis and start by ruffing a diamond, noting that the suit breaks 3-4. Then I cross back in Hearts and play two rounds of the suit: hearts seem to be 2-4. To avoid overruffs by my opponents, I put the loser-on-loser play into practice: I discard my heart on my diamond. I ruff the club return and plays back a heart. West ruffs with the 10 and I ruff his club return again.

At this point, I know all distributions and that the remaining spades break 2-2. I can play the Ace of Spades and another spade with confidence!

These 10 trump tricks in Spades are worth 97% since players who opened 1♦ or 2NT stopped in part-score. 

Deal 5: Pragmatic bidding

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One comment

  1. Very careless article: in the first hand he claims 19 points when he has 20; in the last hand he swaps East and West all the time!
    That said those were interesting hands.
    I’m still getting used to playing against the bot and reading its signals.

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