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Improve your rankings! (English Bridge Union)

Christophe Grosset writes a column in the English Bridge Union magazine in which he makes a bridge deal analysis that he played on Funbridge. You can find below his latest article “Improve your rankings” published in the June 2018 issue.

Funbridge recently introduced some new rankings as well as tournaments. Funbridge points can be earned playing any federation tournament including EBU ones but also by playing in our new Funbridge tournaments. There are five new types of ranking:

    • Ranking with Funbridge Points
    • Ranking in series tournaments
    • Ranking based on average performance
    • Ranking based on wins in challenges
    • Ranking of countries with the best average.

These rankings are a good way to quickly see how you compare to the whole community of Funbridge players.

Careful play on boards that look routine at first will drastically improve your record in the long term. Here is a bridge deal analysis. You are declarer sitting
South:

S K 6
H 9 8
D A 9 8 6 4
C J 7 5 4
orientation
S A 7
H K Q J 5 2
D K J 10 7
C A K

 

West North East South
PASS All PASS

 

You are in 3NT after a very simple bidding sequence and receive the ♠Q lead.

It’s too easy to relax and lose concentration when partner provides such a strong dummy. Eight points and ♦A9864 opposite your ♦KJ107. It all looks easy peasy. Well, on this one, if you are not careful, you might go down.

You have six top tricks with two spades, two diamonds and two clubs, and you can easily establish at least two heart tricks by giving up the ace, as well as two or three diamonds depending on whether you find the queen. The issue is that you only have two spade stoppers and one is gone after the lead, so you can only afford to lose the lead once before taking your nine tricks … and establishing two hearts or two diamonds will not be enough.
How can you maximise your chances?

If diamonds were to provide the extra three tricks you need, it would mean not losing any tricks in the suit. Because of that, playing diamonds can certainly wait for the second spade stopper to be gone. Establishing the hearts means the opponents will take the ♥A immediately which is why you must play on the heart suit first.

You should take the lead with the ♠K in dummy and lead a heart. If your right hand opponent has the ♥A, he will be left with only bad options – taking it and letting you make at least three hearts later, or ducking it, in which case you will make your king and can now safely switch to diamonds where you can establish two sure tricks while you still have the ♠A as a stop in case you lose the ♦Q.

S K 6
H 9 8
D A 9 8 6 4
C J 7 5 4
S Q J 10 8 2
H 7 6
D Q 3 2
C 10 6 3
orientation S Q 9 5 4 3
H A 10 4 3
D 5
C Q 9 8 2
S A 7 
H K Q J 5 2
D K J 10 7
C A K

The difficulty of this type of play comes mostly from concentration. Detecting that there is an issue is sometimes harder than solving the problem. If you spot these positions, you will certainly be well placed in all of the Funbridge rankings!

You like this bridge deal analysis? Click here to read the others in the “Let’s talk about bridge” blog category

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