Tom Drijver’s tournament analysis – September 2023

Tom Drijver's tournament deal analysis

Did you play the Ambassador’s tournament hosted by Tom Drijver on 24 September? Whether yes or no, watch a video replay of his tournament and benefit from Tom’s tips to improve your level!

Replay of Tom Drijver’s 24 September tournament

Seducing your opponent

You are seated in the South position in a 10-board tournament with MP scoring.

After the auction, you find yourself in a 3NT contract, with West leading the 8 of hearts.

Let’s count the tricks:

  • 4 spade tricks
  • 3 heart tricks.

That makes a total of 7 tricks.

Possible tricks to develop:

  • 1 spade if spades break 4-3
  • 2 club tricks
  • 2 diamond tricks

There are plenty of options to consider, and now it’s time to formulate a plan.

Before reading on, please think about how to play this hand for yourself.

First thoughts:

  • Playing a small heart could win an extra heart trick if West underleads the JT or if West led from Jxx or Txx.
  • Communication is an issue in this hand.
  • Clubs seem safer because no finesse is required.

Next, you played the K of spades and followed with a small club. West took the club trick and then switched to diamonds! Was this pure luck, or did your actions influence your opponents’ mistake? From West’s perspective, a diamond return is the only option to defeat the contract. This option gave you extra tricks.

After winning the diamond ace, West played the queen of diamonds, which you unblocked to maintain your communications.

Now, you led a heart to the ace and then played the spades. Unfortunately, they were divided 5-2, so you played a diamond, and they broke 3-3. Because West had underled with Jxx of hearts, you also collected those tricks for a total of 11, achieving a top score of 99.89%.

The whole deal:

What did you think of this article by Tom Drijver?

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