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 5 is already available.
DAY 5: The Netherlands and Sweden lead European Youth Team Championships
The European Championship has turned into the second half and Netherlands and Sweden are leading the field with big margin over Germany, Norway, Poland, Bulgaria, France, Israel and the Czech Republic.
An interesting bidding and declarer problem came up in the last round of the Day 5.
How would you bid with these hands?
North has a 1♥ opening and East passes. How do you evaluate the South hand?
You cover 2 tricks with honors and you have two shortnesses and five trumps to cover more losers from partner’s hand. If you have a mini-splinter, that would be the best option, if not, you probably have to jump to 4♥, same as Argine does. But, instead of Argine passing with the North hand, aggressive players jump to 6♥ directly not exposing their distribution to the defenders. Sure, you can invite with 5♦ showing void, but you can make a slam even opposite diamond values. Or, can you?
What is your plan after a small diamond lead?
You have 3 club losers and 3 spade losers, some of them you need to cover by trumps and one discard on ♦A. When you need to trump a lot of small cards in one hand, you need to have entries to the other, in this board to North.
You win the ♦A, discarding the spade in North. Play a club to the ♣A and ruff another club. Cross to the North with ♠A and ruff another club. Now, you will ruff the ♦ and play the last club. North ruffs with the ♥9. How do you proceed now?
You can overruff and play a spade hoping that you ruff the last spade with the ♥7. But, opponents can ruff the third round of spades with the ♥10 and you go down. Once East ruffs your loser in clubs, you can discard another loser in spades in the dummy, keeping still three trumps for ruffing two spades. So, even if opponents play a trump now, you have the contract home by scoring three aces and 9 trump tricks.
Since we now know that declarer is making the contract on a crossruff, how about making the contract after a trump lead?
Here comes the whole deal:
| A 10 8 2|
A K J 8 6
A 10 9 3
| Q J 5 4 3|
Q 6 4
K Q J 7 6
| K 9|
10 9 3
K J 5 3 2
8 4 2
| 7 6|
Q 7 5 4 2
A 10 9 8 7
How would you declare after ♥10 lead?
You have a spade loser and if East wins the second round of spades, he will play trump for the second time providing you only with 8 trump tricks which is not enough for making the slam.
Your goal should be to lose a trick to West who cannot play a second trump. You cannot achieve that in spades. You should take the first trick with the ♥A, cash the ♣A and play the ♣10. If East doesn’t cover (which he cannot with this layout), you discard the spade in dummy and let West win the trick. After any switch, you can crossruff the hand for making 12 tricks. If East covers your ♣10, you can cross with diamond ruff and play the ♣9 and try the magic for the second time. You always make the contract unless East has two club honors.
Can you find the lead which always beat the contract? Eshal Singhal from England found it, but his teammates were not able to make the contract after a diamond lead so no swing in the match against Slovakia. The easiest money you can collect if your opponents try to sacrifice over 4♥ and give you a 4 digit number.
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