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.
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%.
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.
Replay the board 6 with me to win the tournament
You have a nice 3-suited hand with 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?
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.
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.
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?
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?
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.
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.
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.
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:
- Crossruff the hand immediately: ruff the third round of diamonds with ♠9 and lose 2 club tricks and 2 spade tricks.
- 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.
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My previous exclusive tournaments analysis are available here.