Tom Drijver’s tournament held on 22 January: Video replay and deal analysis

Have you played the Tom Drijver Ambassador’s tournament held on January ? Whether you have played it or not, watch a video replay of his tournament then enjoy Tom’s tips to improve your level!

Replay of the Tom Drijver’s tournament held on 22 January

Tom Drijver’s deal analysis: Make practical bids and keep counting while you play

You are sitting South in a tournament scored by MPs.

Think for yourself how you would have bid before reading on.

What are my options?

  1. DBL to show my points
  2. 3NT to try to bid the best game at once
  3. 4♦️ to show our fit
  4. Pass

I have too many points to pass. Having a spade stopper, my choice would definitely be 3NT and not DBL, which shows a four- or a five-card heart suit. And yes, I did consider a raise in Diamonds but rejected that idea. The risk of losing three or more tricks in a diamond contract is simply too high.

Therefore I bid 3NT, making everybody happy.

West led a spade against 3NT. East won the spade lead and returned the 4 of Hearts.

Think for yourself which card you would have played before reading on.

What do we know from the bidding?

  • First of all, Spades are divided 2-6 or 1-7 as East bid 3♠.
  • Now let’s count points. You have 24 points between the two hands, so the opponents have 16. East’s bid shows 5-11 points.

My certain tricks: 2 spades, 1 diamond.

Potential tricks: 1 heart, 4 clubs and 3 diamonds. Looks promising though the danger is not in Spades but in Hearts.

When I play the King of Hearts, I am hoping East to have the Ace and West to have the Jack. There is no reason to play for this. So, I try the 10, which is only wrong when West has the Jack and East the Ace. West takes the Ace and returns a heart for my King. Meanwhile, I am feeling more and more comfortable. When I play a club to the King, and East wins the Ace, I am almost sure West has the King of Diamonds. The diamond finesse grants me ten tricks and a score of 89.57%.

The whole deal

What do you think of this article by Tom Drijver?

Please share your view in the Comments section below!


  1. Since East has the club Ace, he should return a spade at trick two. South cannot get more than 6 tricks before turning to clubs at which point East can cash out.

  2. Of course the reasoning to play the 10 of heart on the return of 4 of heart from East is correct. Also the certainty of a successful finesse at diamonds make sense when counting the point on E-W line.

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