Milan Macura’s Exclusive Tournaments – November – #1

After a record week at the end of October, we had a small decrease in participation. Still, 1,476 players participated in weekly exclusive tournaments – 612 in MPs and 864 in IMPs.

MPs Results

IMP Results

Replay the board 6 with me to win the tournament

Videos of Milan Macura’s MPs and IMPs tournaments

MPs Results

We had very interesting boards offering a chance to score over 80%, but no one did. Lewlew 🇺🇸 coped the best with a score of 78.51% ahead of OceanWave 🇫🇷 with 76.90% and EttienneR 🇬🇧 with 76.23%. After 5 boards, I had an average of over 86%, but the last 3 boards were all disasters and I ended up with “only” 59.51%.

milan macura bridge november 1 mp ranking
Top 11 ranking of the MPs tournament – General
milan macura bridge november 1 mp ranking friends
Top 11 ranking of the MPs tournament – Milan’s friends

IMPs Results

The highest average per board, almost 6 IMPs, had ClemLaLou 🇫🇷 with +47 IMPs. 2nd place goes to lexod 🇵🇱 and Jim Hermann 🇺🇸, both with +39 IMPs. There were not many swing boards if you played standard and if I hadn’t overbid on board 2, I would have had all plus scores. +24 IMPs is still a great score, only Aymeric 🇫🇷 beated me among my friends’ list.

milan macura bridge november 1 imp
Top 11 ranking of the IMPs tournament – General
milan macura bridge november 1 imp ranking friends
Top 11 ranking of the IMPs tournament – Milan’s friends

Replay the board 6 with me to win the tournament

You have a nice 3-suited hand with 16 HCP.

milan macura november 1 16 hcp

Yes, this hand can be considered as a 3-suiter because you have 3 cards in spades. When you are evaluating the hand, you can take into account the distinction below:

  • Balanced hands – Worth for playing NT mainly, Major if you find a fit.
  • 1-suited hands – Good for playing in that particular suit as trumps or in NT and use the long suit as a source of tricks.
  • 2-suited hands – Usually good to play in your suits, NT only if it is a misfit and you have 24+ HCP or if you have minors. 55 or 64 hands can be considered as good 2-suiters (unbalanced) and 54 hands as bad 2-suiters (semi-balanced). If you have a 6-card major and a 4-card minor, consider that as a 1-suiter.
  • 3-suited hands – These are mainly 4441 or 5440 distributions, but if you have 5431 and 43 Majors, you can play the contract also in 3 suits.

You open 1♦ and partner responds 1♠, what is your bid?

milan macura bridge november 1 bidding

With a 2-suited or 3-suited hand, you should show the second suit if you haven’t found the fit yet. 2♥ is a reverse and Argine describes it as 18-21 points. But that should be included in the distributional points.

Criteria other than HCPs for reverse bidding


With semi-balanced 5431 hands, you have three options. With a garbage hand (11-14 HCPs) with 7 losers or standard hand with 6 losers (13-16 HCPs), rebid the minor in both situations. With a maximum hand with 5 and fewer losers (15+ HCPs), bid reverse.

Quick tricks

Number of tricks your hand generates for a NT contract. This hand has a potential of 7 quick tricks – bid 2♥ as the reverse. If it is hard to count your winners and you have less than 16 HCPs, it’s better to repeat the minor.

milan macura bridge november 1 bidding all

Partner rebids spades to show a 5-card suit. You can now jump to 4♠ because your hand is maximum for all criteria: controls, quick tricks, ruffing potential.

East leads the ♦ 10, how do you plan the play?

milan macura bridge november 1 leading

You have one or two losers in spades and four losers in clubs. You have to lose one club, you can discard one on the third winner in diamonds, you can ruff another one or two and potentially establish the ♣K if West has the ♣A.

Unfortunately, you don’t have enough entries to North hand to ruff two clubs. The ♦10 lead seems to be a shortness and there is a risk of overruffing in both red suits.

So after you win the first diamond, you should play a trump to gain the trump control and prevent East to ruff your diamond winners. West plays low and East plays the ♠10. When you cross to dummy with ♥A, West plays ♥Q. What’s next?

milan macura bridge november 1 quiz

Here I made a mistake that cost me the victory in the tournament. I played the ♠6 instead of the ♠9. West jumped with the ♠A and East discarded the ♣5. When West played the ♥J back, I had 10 tricks (4♠, 3♥ and 3♦), but I needed to draw trumps. Keeping the ♠9 in the dummy blocked the suit, which put me so much in discomfort that I didn’t realize that there was still a winning play.

I could just play the ♠9 and when West ducks, play the low heart to cross to North hand to cash the last trump and claim 10 tricks, potentially 11 if the ♣A is with West. ♥8 is a winner and North still has one more diamond as an entry to South hand.

Making 10 tricks in 4♠ was a top score for 89.49%. A lot of players played in 2♦ because North passed their 2♦ rebid.

milan macura bridge november 1 most played contracts

Two bad scores in the row put me in depression and I tried to get a top score on the last board. My aggressive reopening bid over 2♠ was doubled for -1,100.

milan macura bridge november 1 most played contracts final

When you have a bad board, especially because of you made a mistake, take a break before playing the next one. Staying in a bad mood will cost you much more.

milan macura bridge november 1 desk

If I had just passed 2♠, I would have scored 48% or 88% depending totally on luck. I would have led ♦J.

Argine as declarer chose (I guess based on statistics) two different lines of play:

  1. Crossruff the hand immediately: ruff the third round of diamonds with ♠9 and lose 2 club tricks and 2 spade tricks.
  2. Establish a club trick: play the ♣J first in order to discard the heart loser and score 10 tricks.

These hands are very frustrating for everybody if you are sitting on a wrong chair. These things regularly happen in bridge and it is essential to learn to get over these situations to become a champion.

Videos of Milan Macura’s tournaments

MPs tournament video

You can find all the boards in the video which is posted on the Funbridge YouTube channel.

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IMPs tournament video

You can find all the boards of the IMPs tournaments in the video I posted on my YouTube channel. Don’t forget to Subscribe to so you don’t miss my next Exclusive tournaments analysis.

And if you didn’t know it yet, know that I challenge 5 of you at the end of each IMP tournament video!

My previous exclusive tournaments analysis are available here.