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Analysis of the IMP Exclusive Tournament #3 of Milan Macura

The third “weekly exclusive tournaments” are over. We know the winners and you can watch and read the bridge board commented.

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 when I am making the videos.

In IMP tournament, we also did not beat the record from the last week, but still 583 players played all deals.

The best player, before I played live, was Jean-Pierre from France with +52 IMPs, followed by Paul from Canada with +49 IMPs and Klaus from Germany with +41 IMPs.

Here is the top 10 leaderboard

Bridge board commented: top 10 leaderboard
Bridge board commented – Top 10 Leaderboard

I scored +6 IMPs and took 195th place.

I did not make any fatal mistake, but also didn‘t hit the jackpot doubling opponents when they bid crazy in E-W.

Surprisingly, my best score (+8) resulted from making 2♠ on board 2 when I decided to open 1NT with this hand:

Your hand

The reasons why I decided for 1NT and not for 1♦ are rebid issues.

Yes, this hand is semi-balanced with two small clubs, but what would you bid after your partner responds 1♠ to your 1♦ opening?

2♦ seems to be too strong and we can miss the heart fit if partner is weak.

Rebidding 2♥ is also risky because partner with 8 HCP will force into 3NT which will most likely go down. Opening 1NT has all possibilities for reaching a good partscore (1NT, 2♠ -if partner has 5+♠- or 2/3♥) as well as for the best game contract (4♥, 3NT, 4♠).

In this baord, partner had a very weak hand with six spades so she transferred to spades and that was the final contract.

About 50% of declarers made it, others went -1 or -2.

3♣ from E-W makes 11 tricks and -2 IMPs.

The most interesting hands came on boards 4 and 5.

You can watch the discussion about board 4 in the video, but you can misplay board 5 with me here.

You open 1NT and partner jumps to 4♥ which is natural sign-off.

East leads ♠J, how do you declare?

You are missing ♥A and ♦A so it seems you cannot lose two club tricks. There is no reasonable chance other than playing the club towards the queen and hope the ♣K is with West. But, once you play the Q♥ to draw trumps, West wins and plays the ♠Q, East ruffs and returns a trump.

What is your plan now?

You already lost two tricks and the ♦A is still to come. You have an extra winner in spades which can be used for a club discard, but that is still not enough.

I saw the following chance: playing the small diamond from Kx. If East has the ace, he cannot win the first trick because he will establish me both ♦Q and ♦K and a potential discard. Still, I need the ♣K in the East hand – I do not have entries to unblock the ♦K if West returns a ♣. If East does not play the ♦A, I can win the queen and discard the ♦K on the ♠K. The plan worked so I didn‘t lose the diamond, but the ♣K was in East so I lost two club tricks instead.

If you analyze the board a bit deeper, you will realize that West already had 6♠ and 2♥ so he is holding only 5 cards in the minors. If ♦A and ♣K are with East, you can squeeze him.

So, instead of the small diamond, you sacrifice your ♦K. East has to win and cannot switch to clubs if he holds the ♣K. He should return another diamond which you win in South, cash the ♠A discarding a club in North and ruff a diamond.

Here is the final ending

The end

When you play the last trump from North, East is forced to discard either the diamond winner or the ♣J. In either case you discard the other suit to end up with one extra winner. Seems like a very simple squeeze. But, realizing you can get to the position at trick four is not easy, even for experts under time pressure.

East cannot defend himself against the squeeze, but if you will play from open cards, West can break the squeeze in the third trick. Instead of giving partner a spade ruff, he should play the ♣10. That breaks the communication in clubs and declarer has to lose a heart, a diamond and two club tricks.

Every strategy has a counter-strategy. It is just up to you and your partner if you are able to choose the best one and find alternatives based on the declarer’s or defensive play.

Only 71 players made the contract, the rest of the field went minimum one down.

Bridge board commented - Most played contracts
Bridge board commented – Most played contracts

If you like this board, have a look on board 4 in the video which we analyzed together with followers on the live stream:

After the tournament, I have challenged 5 Funbridge players. Find out how many of them beat me. You can try your luck again next Thursday during the live stream.

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And to read my analysis of the MP tournament, click the following button: