Follow the European Youth Team Championships taking place in Oslo, Norway, with Milan Macura from 4 to 11 July!
Milan Macura is the captain of the Czech team sponsored by Funbridge. He is familiar with Funbridge. You can watch the weekly videos of his challenges against Argine in our Videos section.
Throughout the Championships, Milan will share the highlights of the event as well as interesting deals. His summary of Day 3 is already available.
DAY 3: The European Youth Team Championships brought swingy matches with very nice boards
The third day of the European Youth Team Championship brought swingy matches with very nice boards. The most interesting was this one.
You hold the following hand, how do you plan the bidding if partner opens 1♣ and your right hand opponent jumps to 3♥?
| J 9 6 4 3|
A K 7 3
A K 9 8
You clearly have a nice hand, but how much? With such an unbalanced hand, you should count your losers and try to figure out how many partner can cover. You have 3 spade losers and one loser in each minor. It is important to say, that these are theoretical losers. With 3-suiter hand, it is always difficult to get rid of your fourth cards, but you have to evaluate your hand somehow (HCP works a bit worse here). After 1♣ opening, you expect 12-14 balanced hand which usually holds 4 honors. That should be enough to make a slam if those honors are in your long suits.
- One option is to double first and then bid 4♥ to show shortness and slamish hand. But, the risk of partner passing is very high and what would you do after 3NT? probably pass …
- Another option is to bid 3♠ which is forcing and wait if partner raises you to 4♠ or bids 3NT. There is still hope partner is unbalanced with clubs and no ♥ stopper which you like the most. After 4♣, you have a good bid of 4♥ and can reach 6/7♣
- And finally some people will decide to bid 4♥ immediately to show 3-suiter hand with short ♥ and slam invitation hand. With only GF hand, you will double 3♥.
My preference is 3♠,partner holding 3433 distribution will tend to pass after my double and will be in trouble after 4♥.
In this particular board, this is how the bidding can proceed after 3♠:
After partner’s raise to 4♠ , you can bid 5♥ to show the void and slam invitation hand. That should be a 5-loser hand opposite 12-14. Partner having 4 honors in the other suits can accept with 6♠, bid 5♠ with less or show a maximum hand with 5NT or 6m with a long suit.
Do you change your bidding if your partner opens 1NT and 3♥ overcall? And what if there is no overcall at all? Would 4♥ be a transfer in this sequence to play?
This is how the Funbridge artificial intelligence Argine bids with all cards:
With no overcall, West can show a GF hand with 5♠ and 4♣. After 4♠ which should show a minimum hand with spade fit, West can bid 5♣ as cuebid and when East fails to bid a red cuebid, Argine expects partner to have points in spades and raise to 6♠.
Here is the whole board:
| Q 10 2|
J 10 9 8 2
10 7 6
| J 9 6 4 3|
A K 7 3
A K 9 8
| A K 7|
Q J 5
Q 6 5 4
Q J 4
| 5 3 2|
A 10 9 8 7 6 3 2
5 3 2
The outcome and bidding sequences among the field in the Youth Championships differ a lot. The high scorer for NS is 6♠x by West, making 12 tricks. No surprise that it was bid and made by the leading team – the Netherlands.
After the lead of ♠6, East covered with ♠9, and won the ♠10 with the ♠A. Declarer crossed to the dummy with the ♣A and played ♠J to force the ♠Q so he didn’t lose a spade trick. Now, declarer cashed all the top tricks except the last diamond for making 12 tricks.
Some players made the contract after ♥A lead. They ruffed it, played 2 rounds of spades and when the queen didn’t drop, they tried the diamond suit. That didn’t break either so they had to discard a diamond on the hearts. You have to make a guess if to finesse the ♥K through trumps or to ruff the second ♥ for K dropping.
Some players played 6♠ from East, which I and Argine will also get to and North led ♦J to give partner an immediate ruff. Now, declarer cannot lose a spade trick and has to make a decision if to play on ♠ 2-2 (after South ruffs) or finesse Q10x at North. The winning play is to play the ♠J and if North covers with the Queen and South drops the ♠8, finesse the ♠10 by crossing with a ♣ to hand and play the ♠9. You can find this play with the 3♥ or even 4♥ overcall, because you expect south to have eight hearts since he has no points and overcalled vulnerable, but not if North will be a passed hand.
The most interesting result is in match Russia vs. Turkey, where the Turkish were allowed to play only in 2♥ not doubled, clearly a misunderstanding by the Russian pair.
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