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Milan Macura’s Exclusive Tournaments – October – #1

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

It is the beginning of October and both weekly exclusive tournaments are over.

With combined effort, we have broken the record in participation!

The numbers increased by hundreds with 426 (previously 284) and 515 (previously 328) players respectively marking the MP and IMP tournaments as favorites.

The participation has risen to 590 players in MP and 770 in IMP.

Results of the MP tournament

Tarun from India is back to the top, this time beating his own record – 91.55%.

Also, Jean-Pierre from France achieved an impressive score, but still 10% behind Tarun with 81.76%.

The bronze medal goes to Klaus from Germany with 80.92%. Here are the lists of the top 10 players and top 10 friends.

I scored 54.46% and finished in 188th place.

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

Results of the IMP tournament

The winner in IMP scoring was Klaus from Germany with +46 IMPs, followed by Wengki from Indonesia with +44 IMPs and Miki from the UK with +33 IMPs.

I was running for the top 5 but did not win 7 IMPs on the last board, lost 5 IMPs instead.

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

Let’s have a look if you will do better.

You are having +23 IMPs and this is the last board of the tournament. You need 5 IMPs to get to the top 10 and 7 IMPs for the top 5.

This is your hand:

Your hand

Your LHO opens 1NT and both other players pass.

What do you do?

You have a great hand with both major suits and only 4 losers. But, most of the HCP are behind you so the finesses will most likely not work. You can try to bid 2♣ LANDY to show both Majors and once your partner picks the hearts, you can show longer spades and let your partner decide. Bidding this way, you will end up in 2♠ or 3♠ respectively.

You should rely on your partner‘s decision if you have complete trust and understanding of what strength you show via 2♣ followed by 2♠ or 3♠. My recommendation is 5 losers for 2♠ or 2NT and 4 losers for any 3 level bid where you show your distribution, knowing the shortness is the key. With this hand, it is more difficult because you have a void. Also, I prefer to declare from my hand to hide the distribution and to put West on lead.

I chose the 4♠ bid. Bidding this way, you hide your 4 cards in hearts and the club void. Opponents might misdefend, which increases your chance for winning your 7 IMPs.

West leads ♣A and partner puts a decent hand in the dummy:

You have a diamond loser, two heart losers, and a spade loser.

What are the chances of scoring 10 tricks?

You have to ruff the diamond in North, you need spades 2-2, you can pray for ♠K with East, and you can lose only one heart trick if you win an honor with your Ace. You can achieve that if ♥KQ is doubleton or if any player is holding a doubleton honor.

You should start with the HCP analyses. West showed ♣A and ♣K, you can find the ♦A if you play the ♦K, West is most likely having it, which gives him 11 HCP already. So, he cannot have both ♠K and ♥KQ. Most likely he will have exactly two of these honors to hold 15-17 HCP.

Now, you should do the distribution analysis. You need spades breaking 2-2 so you put West with 2344, 23(53), or 24(43) distribution because he promised a balanced hand. That means East is having most likely only two hearts.

The best line you can choose, based on the analyses and needs, is to play three rounds of diamonds and ruff it in the dummy. Then lead the ♥J and if it is not covered, play low. If East is really having ♥Kx or ♥Qx and spades split 2-2, you are winning the contract. You have also an extra chance that West started with ♥KQ doubleton so an honor drops to your ♥A in the second round.

Unfortunately, on this board, West has a 2245 distribution with ♥Q5 so you end up losing a diamond, two hearts (because you don’t have a second entry to dummy to play the finesse again), and a spade trick. Down one for -5 IMPs.

Here is the full board

If you play immediately ♠A and another spade, West will lead the ♥Q and you make the contract gaining +7 IMPs.

West can still beat the contract if he plays a diamond or the ♣K. That will put South on the lead again and with only one entry to the dummy with the diamond ruff, he has to lose two hearts.

If you know the layout in hearts from the beginning, you can always win the contract. Just play a low heart from South while you still have an entry to the dummy. If West plays the ♥Q, you ruff a diamond in dummy and finesse the ♥K. If he plays the ♥5, you play the ace and the ♥Q drops.

Here are the most played contracts. Only 8 players made 4♠ and 3 players made 4♥.

The most played contracts

On the following board, you have a bidding problem.

You are holding this hand, how would you bid in MP?

Your game

You are holding 18 HCP and a semi-balanced hand. Standard is to open 1♣ and wait for partner’s response. Most likely you will hear 1♦, 1♥ or 1NT from partner so you can jump to 2♠ to show a maximum hand.

On this board, partner passes and RHO bids 1♥.

What now?

You can double to show the maximum hand, but not with a singleton diamond. The better bid is 1♠ to show a 2-suiter hand with an option to double in the next round if opponents are only in 2♥. Your LHO jumps to 3♥ and your partner bids 3♠.

Do you raise or pass?

Argine suggests passing. Your partner Argine passed 1♠ so she has less than 5 HCP. But, do you need any HCP from partner to make a game? What are your losers? How can partner cover them? These are the questions you should constantly ask yourself.

You are going to lose the diamond, you have three heart losers, and a potential spade loser. The key is the heart suit. Since West jumps to 3♥, he is most likely having a 4-card fit. That would leave partner with a singleton since 13-5(E)-4(W)-3(you) = 1(partner). Simple math can cover you 2 more losers by ruffing two hearts in the dummy. You can even lose a spade trick to make 10 tricks if clubs break.

Here is the full board

If I’d be holding North hand, I would jump to 4♠ myself, but Argine is too much focused on HCP.

Only 118 out of 590 players bid and made the game. They have deserved the best score of 88.05%. The majority of players passed 3♠.

The most played contracts

October Exclusive Tournaments videos

MP tournament video

You can find all the boards in the video which is posted on the Funbridge YouTube channel.

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Video of the MP exclusive tournament of October – #1

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!

Video of the IMP exclusive tournament of October – #1

My previous exclusive tournaments analysis are available here.