Milan Macura’s Exclusive Tournaments – October – #4

Another week is over and we know the winners of the two first Exclusive Tournaments of October, organized by bridge professional player, Milan Macura.

Find the analysis of the tournaments below.

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 every week.

The IMP tournament is played by Milan Macura and broadcast live every Thursday evening on his YouTube channel.

The video of the MP tournament is available on Funbridge’s YouTube channel every Friday.

Over 1,000 players participated in the weekly exclusive tournaments, 487 in MPs and 590 in IMPs.



Mukul 🇮🇳 dealt with the boards the best and scored 77.37%, followed by Bobby Song 🇨🇳 with 76.09% and Zouky Candi 🇧🇷 with 75,12%. The top 11 players reached the 70% threshold.

This time, I have reached the top 10 in my friends’ list, scoring 63.3%.

Top 10 ranking of the MPs tournament – General
Top 10 ranking of the MPs tournament – Milan’s friends


IMP tournament was not as wild as previous time so scoring over 30 IMPs was extremely difficult.

Still, 17 players managed to do that and the best of all was geoxis 🇫🇷 with +38 IMPs, followed by tilloy 🇫🇷 with +37 IMPs and Thomas alias TheMonti 🇧🇪 with +36 IMPs.

I scored +13 IMPs which was even not enough to top 10 in my friends’ list.

Top 10 ranking of the IMPs tournament – General
Top 10 ranking of the IMPs tournament – Milan’s friends

I could have scored 12 more IMPs if I had chosen a different approach with the following hand

You are vulnerable and your opponents are not. Your partner passes and the RHO opens 1♦, what will be your bid?

You have 6 losers, most of them can be covered only by top honors – aces and kings.

Since partner is a passed hand, there is not much chance he will cover you all 3 losers.

But, there is still a chance that he covers you two, for example with AK in hearts, or clubs, or with two aces and the ♠K will be with East so you can finesse it.

Being vulnerable vs not, I have decided to overcall 3♠ which should show exactly the hand I have.

Near solid 7-card spade suit and an extra trick.

In these vulnerabilities, you have to be very careful.

If I am non-vulnerable, I will overcall 1♠ and continue bidding them up to the 3rd level.

With a regular partner, I expect he will raise to the game with his hand:

Having two aces as sure tricks and entries for potential finesses in spades should be enough if you follow the vulnerability preempt rule:

In favorable

You can bid on level 2 even with 8 losers and a relatively poor suit. On level 3 you can have 7 losers with a broken suit, sometimes even with 6 cards only.

In same vulnerabilities

You should have a good suit and 7-8 losers on level 2 and 6-7 losers on level 3.

In unfavorable: You should always have a near solid suit and ~7 losers on level 2 and ~6 losers on level 3.

A big difference is if you have the suit led by the ace or not.

Not only the ace  is a key card when you are declaring, but it is also very useful when defending.

Partner can double opponents aggressively with a singleton, knowing you have the ace, and use it as an immediate entry for a ruff or a trump promotion.

Preempts create pressure for opponents.

Sometimes you are left in a good partscore, sometimes you go down when opponents have a better partscore, occasionally you will find an aggressive game.

But, sometimes you push opponents to a game which they will normally don’t reach, sometimes you get doubled and go down for higher score than opponents can make in their own contract.

So, on top of vulnerabilities, you should also consider the opponents’ position, analyze their chances of reaching a game or a lower level partscore (partner is a passed hand or not) and their level – some opponents tend to double more often than others, some constantly overbid.

In our example, 3♠ should be a great bid which opens the most possibilities to score IMPs in your favor.

Unfortunately for me and another 100 players, it resulted in -5 IMPs in this tournament.

Most players reached 4♠ by overcalling only 1♠ and when they rebid 2♠ or 3♠ after partner’s 1NT, North kept bidding up to 3NT or 4♠.

Both contracts are unbeatable since the ♠K is with the right defender.

Here are the most often played contracts

Board 1 of the IMP tournament was really interesting. If you want to see it and watch me playing an unexpected contract which turned to be the best one, look at the video on my YouTube channel or at the end of this article.

There were plenty of interesting boards in the MPs tournament.

I like board number 6 the most because there is a technique which one doesn’t use very often.

The bidding went in a standard way at most tables.

You reach 4♥ and East leads a ♦10. What is your plan?

You have 9 tricks from the top if hearts split 3-2.

You can establish an extra diamond trick to make the contract and you can make the spade finesse for 11 tricks if it works.

But what if hearts do not split and the ♠Q is with West? Can you still make 11 tricks?

In the majority of boards, you should plan to get rid of losers from the hand with more trumps.

There are very few boards where you can play a reverse dummy. On these boards you plan to get rid of your losers from the hand with shorter trumps – South on this board.

So, you always have to lose a trump trick and since you are missing the ♦Q and ♦J, you have to lose one diamond.

If you win one of the opponents’ diamond honors with ♦K, you can establish an extra diamond trick to discard the ♠J.

Therefore the goal on this board is to ruff three clubs in North.

This is a very difficult line of play because you have to plan all 13 tricks in advance. Maintaining entries and drawing trumps at the right moment is the key to success.

You start by winning the ♦A. Then, you cash the ♣A and play another club to ruff in North. Finally, you cross with the ♠A to the hand and ruff another club – West doesn’t follow in the third round of clubs and discards a diamond.

What are your analysis about the distribution now?

East has 6 clubs (KQJ1063) and led the ♦10. That should indicate he has a singleton. That leaves him 6 cards in spades and hearts. In the spade trick, East followed by ♠3 and West with ♠7. Argine signals second lowest from 4 cards or high card from a doubleton. If East has only doubleton spade, he will have 4 hearts. With a singleton heart with West, he will surely ruff the third round of clubs unless he has singleton ♥4.

Because West didn’t ruff, we can expect East to start with 4 spades and only 2 trumps. Since West played a ♠7 having 3 cards, he must have ♠Q107 because there are no higher cards left than the ♠7.

Now, you play 2 rounds of trumps ending in South and reach this ending:

When you play your last club, West has a difficult discard. His best choice is to discard a diamond. You ruff the club in North with ♥8 and now you can either cash the ♦K and play another diamond to endplay West or you can play ♦7 first to keep the ♦K as an entry for a spade discard on the last diamond.

This line of play will secure 11 tricks for 94%. There were 12 players who made 12 tricks, but that is due to declaring from South and getting the ♦Q lead. That way you don’t lose the diamond trick and you can simply play two rounds of trumps, finesse the ♦J and crossruff the hand.

I didn’t find the winning play since I have made wrong distribution analyses and put East with 3 trumps. I have still received 72.19% for scoring 10 tricks.

Here are the most played contracts:

Another interesting hand came on board 3. You can watch the video on Funbridge YouTube channel and test yourself whether to bid or not.

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.