Analysis of the Exclusive Tournaments #4 of Milan Macura

Another week is over and we know the winners of both MP and IMP weekly tournaments.

We know the winners and you can watch and read the analysis of the Exclusive Tournaments.

If you have not played these tournaments yet, you can find them under “Get started/Practice > Exclusive tournaments” and search for Milan Macura.

Both the IMP and MP tournaments start on Saturday and end on Thursday when I am making the videos.

Another week is over, we know the winners of both MP and IMP weekly tournaments and the analysis of the Exclusive Tournaments is released.

More and more players mark the tournaments as their favorites

284 in MP and 328 in IMP. The participation stabilizes with over 420 players in MP and 530 in IMP.

Klaus from Germany won the MP tournament with 85.48%, followed by Laurence from France and Grzegorz from Poland. Ivan from Croatia was 7th, but the best on my friend list.

Results of the MP Exclusive Tournament

Here is the list of top 10 players and my top 10 friends.

I am very happy I have managed to get there too.

Top 10 leaderboard – General Ranking
Top 10 leaderboard – Milan’s friends

Results of the IMPs Exclusive Tournament

The best player in IMP scoring was Michal from Poland with 38 IMPs, followed by the regular leader Tarun from India with 34 IMPs. Denis from France took third place with 33 IMPs and even five players tied with 30 IMPs.

I am happy that even 3 Czech players made it to the top 10 of my friends, I scored -1 IMP and finished 298th.

Top 10 leaderboard – General ranking
Top 10 leaderboard – Milan’s friends

Analysis of the Exclusive Tournaments
the most interesting hands.

You get the following hand. What is your opening bid and how do you plan the bidding?

Analysis of the Exclusive Tournaments

You are holding a very nice hand with 64 in Majors and “only” 10 HCP.

These unbalanced hands, especially with Majors, have to be evaluated differently though.

You have 6 losers, which is a good enough hand for 1♠ opening (standard 1 level opening has 7 losers). A preempt of 2♠ or a 2♦ Multi should show a hand with 7-8 losers and less than opening hand.

After 1♠ opening, your Left-Hand Opponent doubles, partner redoubles (10+ HCP) and Right-Hand Opponent passes (no preference for a suit).

LHO chooses to bid 2♦ and partner doubles for penalty. What do you do now?

Analysis of the Exclusive Tournaments
The bidding

At first sight, it does not seem you have many defensive tricks. But opponents are vulnerable and you are not.

Scoring +200 or +500 will be far more than you can score in your own contract.

Club singleton is a great value, partner Argine should be short in spades so you can give her some trump promotions when you get to the trick on the club ruffs.

I decided to pass which won’t be the decision of the majority.

Analysis of the Exclusive Tournaments
The lead

Partner leads the ♠4 and it is time to plan the defense.

Based on the lead, partner started either with a singleton or with three spades – you can see both the ♠2 and ♠3. You win the first trick with the ♠Q and you should play the club immediately.

Declarer play ♣8, partner wins with the ♣Q and returns the ♣7. You ruff and now is the time to cash the spades.

Partner returned a high club to show the spade preference which indicates spade singleton.

Partner discards the ♣4 to your ♠A and she ruffs the ♠K to give you another club ruff.

The damage is done when the ♣A drops from declarer.

Now, you have to play a heart through declarer to score the ♥K.

With one more trick in diamonds, you set the contract by three tricks for +800 and a 90% score.

Here is the full board

Analysis of the Exclusive Tournaments
The full deal

Declarer can do better.

If he wins the ♣A and plays ♦A followed by ♦Q, he will lose only seven tricks to go down 2.

When North wins the ♦K, he has to cash the ♣K and ♣Q and escape with trump, otherwise he will get endplayed for -1. 4♠ can be made because both Kings are situated well and the ♥Q falls to the king, but +420 is still not enough.

What to remember

Always consider vulnerabilities when you are making a decision in bidding and try to imagine how many tricks you need from partner to make your contract. And, if he has necessary cards, consider how many tricks you will make in defense.

If you don‘t double for penalty minimum 3 times during the evening club game, you are not doubling enough.

Here are the most played contracts

Analysis of the Exclusive Tournaments
The most played contracts

There is one more twist in this board.

When you decide to bid 2♠ or even 3♠ after partner’s double, West makes another bid so you can be defending 3♦x or even 5♦x.

Valuable lesson for the defenders

“When opponents showed the majority of points and no fit, stay out of the bidding unless you have sure tricks in your hand. Partner won’t help you much.”

Boards in the IMP tournament were not very exciting and if you made standard decisions, you will end up around 0 IMPs as I did.

The decisive hand was on board 6 where Argine declared 3NT. How would you declare this hand as West?

Analysis of the Exclusive Tournaments

East opened 1♦, South overcalled 1♠, you decide to force with 2♣ and after partner’s 2♦ minimum, you jump to 3NT.

South wins the first trick with the ace and returns the ♠9.

You have communication issues which might be the reason not to play on clubs.

But, do you have another reasonable chance?

You have 2 spade tricks, 2 club tricks, and 2 diamond tricks. You can establish 1 heart trick. But where to get the rest?

You have plenty of options and maybe that is why Argine chooses different lines with different players.

At my table, she ducked the ♦9. I won the ♦Q and felt the contract is lay down since I hold the ♣Q62 and I have also three diamonds. So I tried to cash the hearts and ended up with -630 and -6 IMPs.

What if I had decided to continue spades?

Argine would have won the ♠6 and returned another spade. After that, Argine plays ♥K which South wins with the Ace and he then wins the remaining spade.

The situation ends in a very difficult position where Argine has to find the distribution and decide whether to play for a squeeze or simply finesse the ♣Q. She opts for a squeeze and go down.

There are many alternatives on how to declare this board, but for 151 players, Argine’s misplay scored +10 IMPs.

Analysis of the Exclusive Tournaments
The most played contracts

Here is the full board

Analysis of the Exclusive Tournaments

If you have decided to play the club finesse, you score easily 10 tricks and you may even try for one more.

Bridge is a fascinating game and when you don‘t see the cards, there are plenty of various lines which humans very often cannot see.

Argine sees them and in some cases takes an alternative line which sometimes works and sometimes fails. We, players, have to accept this fact and shouldn’t get frustrated when that happens to us. Negative feelings have a big influence on the next boards and cost you much more.

If you would like to see all the boards, watch the commented videos.

The videos

MP Exclusive Tournaments

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

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IMPs Exclusive Tournament

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.