This hand was played some days ago in BBO. It’s very nice that things like this still happen, because it reminds me that sometimes even poor bidding can lead to the right contract.
I would have understood if South took the lead to bid the slam… but it was North to do it!
Actually you cannot defeat this slam.
I was really tempted to double it having ♠ AK in my hand. I would have never imagined they did not pass!
I am really amazed by this sequence! When these things happen at the table I just suggest to smile about it. Next hands will not be so lucky anymore. It happens to get a bad score versus poor players and sometimes I have been watching “expert players” starting yelling about the luck and the poor bidding. Bridge needs also poor players and you cannot yell at them!
Now let’s analyze this Italy – Germany match at the Champions Cup playing in Zagreb.
The board 1 depends on the lead. West in the open room select the wrong major suit and the contract is easy made by Brenner. In the Closed room Madala leads a ♠ killing the hopes of the declares (only way would be to catch the ♦ Q out of finesse.
At board 2 in the closed room it looks like North is a bit shy in bidding his 7 cards ♠ suit and lets opponents to play 3♣ contract. In the open room Bocchi is more aggressive and in the end E/W decide to defend at 5♣ . The decision is not good but it does not change that much since in the closed room they did not find the ♠ game.
At board 3 Bocchi opens 1NT with 14HCP and that remains the final contract. The pass of East is questionable with 18 HCP, but maybe that all the over calls are conventional. I think Brenner and Bocchi play 1NT 15-17 HCP, otherwise the pass of East would require a review of the defenses against the weak 1NT opening. In the closed room after 1♣ club opening it was not difficult for Madala and Bianchedi to reach the easy ♠ game.
At board 7 finally also Germany finds dome match points. It’s a matter of judgement. In the open room South decides that the end is not worthy 1♠ opening, while in the closed room the other South decided it was. So this 3NT is just decided by the ♦ split and position.
Interesting the board number 6. Both the teams reached the contract of 6♠ which was defeated by the position of ♠ K. Sometimes I am amazed by such decisions. They both called the slam:
In any case it was a playable slam, but in any case it was below 50% chance
Let’s analyze this match between Russia team and Lavazza team.
A swing has been produced by the hand number 6. The world class players Zia and Duboin reach a very aggressive final contract of 3NT. To be honest the weak jump of North helped to force Zia to take a decision. Now the problem of Russian couple is to defeat it. After the ♥ lead and the duck from West, South has to plan the defense. From the prosecution it looks clear that South thought that North had a club entry (A or K) and so continued with ♥ . Unfortunately, this gave time to Zia all the time to promote both diamond and clubs.
Even it looks like that it was South to take the wrong decision, in my humble opinion the discard of ♥ 2 convinced South to continue ♥ . If North probably discards ♥ 6 or 9 South will have to think to an alternative to reach 5 tricks for the defense and probably will continue with a ♠ !
The lesson from this hand is that every card you play is important when you are defending and sometimes mistakes are just due to wrong or lazy discard by the partner.
Another big swing occurred on the board number 5 where the contract of 7♥ was played in the open room. There is not much to say about the play since the contract depends on ♠ finesse that is working.
Also this contract is a product of a very aggressive bidding by the opponents. As you can see the 6♣ bid by Duboin is forcing South to bid without knowing if the partner has ♠KQ. I think that Duboin was relaying on the 1♠ opening bid to consider his ♠ K as the key card to defeat the great slam.
In the closed room, North and South bid in the silence and when they realized that the great slam was below 75% chance they stopped to 6♥
Let’s close the analysis of this match with the board number 12. Again pre-empt bidding plays a great role in the final contract. In the Open Room East and West are silent.
In my opinion it’s questionable the pass by North on the 2♥ , because they are vulnerable and the end was worthy a 3♥ or 2NT bid where South would have for sure raised to the game.
In this case the fun occurred in the closed room. West open the bidding with 2♠ and East raised to 3♠ Now it’s very difficult for South to bid when vulnerable. Actually I cannot really believe that Bilde really bid 4♥ with that hand. Really a casino bidding with a lot of chance of getting back a double by East and pay between 500 and 1100 (that is what happens if I bid like this!).
Now the problem is on East, because when you preempt you should have a plan, in case the opponents is bidding: you should double or do a sacrifice bidding. Anyway West hand was really bad especially regarding suit consistency.
This hand is from Turkish championships. Tokay and Versace land on this 4♠ contract. It was not easy at all to call it, in fact at the other table they missed it. It was an act of courage of Tokay to bid 3♠!
Many times such bids could return into a disaster. In case of missed fit in ♠ they probably should land in 4§ taking huge risk. In my humble opinion also great players should start to consider immediate bidding that show a 4 major and 5+ minor distribution shape. Imagine if Tokay was able to bid directly something to show 4♠ and 5+♣ ; at that point Versace could easily id the game.
This other hand is taken from the gold cup. I highlight this hand because in this case I want to underline which is the key bid: Pass from West (Brogeland) in first position. A disciplined bidding allowed opponents to arrive to the normal contract of 3NT that was easy defeated. At the other table West decided that his cards were worthy of an aggressive 2♠ opening. The result was that opponents were pushed to bud the much better contract of 5♣ .
Sometimes it pays off to be overaggressive but in most of the cases it’s discipline that gives you the best results on the long run!
In my opinion it’s better to play wisely an aggressive system than to play aggressively a standard system. If you build your system to be aggressive then you are ready also to face off the opponents’ biddings
And finally let’s see a game I played on BBO with occasional partner.
Here as you can see we missed an easy diamonds slam. Let’s analyze the bidding:
There are a lot of interesting hands outside there and it’s a pity to not bid them well when they occur.
The game was easy with 12 easy tricks collected by South
Let’s comment this bridge hand played during last World Juniors championships in Salsomaggiore (Italy).
N/S land on this aggressive 4 ♠ contract after 1NT opening and a stayman sequence.
It’s not easy contract to play, by the way it can be realized if there is not ♣ lead, because there is possibility to ruff the hearts and pitching 1 losing ♣ on the ♦ K.
The first remarkable play is the lead. It’s not exactly immediate to lead ♣ K against a 1NT opening. There are a lot of layout where in this situation you risk to lose a trick. With same hand I expect a lot of people could lead ♦ or a trump.
But the most amazing fact is that on the prosecution of ♣ Q, Rosenberg had a clear picture of what was going on. He thought that the only way to beat 100% the contract was to cover the trick with ♣ A and give ruff to the partner! At this point the end is over.
How many of you would have used the ♣ A at trick 2? Most bridge player would have just followed a small club.
This is the amazing thing of playing bridge. You have to be always on the spot. Always thinking of what’s going on and what you can do.
So next time you play, before to automatically follow in the suit, think what you are doing!
In this case let’s comment a missed game. The players at the table are World Masters, much better player than me of course. Anyway let’s try to put together some ideas. Everything looks like a standard auction until Lauria 2 ♠ . Then in my opinion there is the difficult bidding by South.
South has 15HP hand and these bidding alternatives:
• Pass. I would not pass this hand as well. 15HP having 2 Kings and 2 Aces cannot be passed out risking opponents to play 2 ♠
• 3 ♣ This was South bid. I don’t like this bid because it’s saying to the partner who doubled to forget hearts, since he can play only minors suit. And this is what probably North thought about it. Bidding like this is showing a 5-5 or 6-4 distribution with probably shortness in hearts
• Double. This would have been my favorite bid. It does not mean South has hearts. It just means he has points. In the end also if partner bids 3♥ the ♥ K and ♠ doubleton are not. On the double North could easily bid 4♥
If you have a look to what happened in the other room. Everything was much easier in order to find the right contract. South decided to open the auction with 1NT, so west was forced to pass and North could easily bid 4♥
To be honest I am not a great fan of 1NT opening bid having 5-4-2-2 distribution. But probably I should start to reconsider it since it looks like it works very well. Also a pair like Fantoni Nunes (I know they were cheating, but not in bidding) was using in 1NT 12-14 successfully the 5-4-2-2 distribution even if the 5 cards were in a major!
Let me know your thoughts and see you next time.
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This hand is the classic unlucky expert hand. As you can see from the layout 7 ♠ is the contract you would like to be in without knowing opponents distribution….
Once you see opponents’ distribution you really regret it. Did you see it? You can easily maintain 7 ♥ played by West.
It’s a pity for East West. The bidding sequence is strong club, where 1NT shows hearts and game forcing hand, 3NT I think shows solid ♠ suit, 4NT is RKCB, 5 ♣ 3 “Aces”, 5♦ asks for ♠ Q and 6♦ shows the ♠ Q and ¨K
You can believe it or not, but this hand is coming from a world class competition.
You can see North South bidding the normal contract of 3NT played by North and East leading with small ♥ . North ducks the first trick and when West plays back ♥ Q Easts lazily follows with a small heart and North ducks again. You can see that now the disaster for the defense is completed. For world class players it should be very easy to play ♥ K, but unfortunately costly errors occur at any level
Star of this other wrong defensive play is the same couple of the previous match. In this case players are in North South. East West are playing 3NT by East and South has not an easy lead. By the bidding a major suit lead is expected. South decides to play ♥ which in my humble opining is not a good lead in any case, since leading ♠ would have better chances to find a long suit in partner hand. By the way nothing is lost for the defense, since East can only count on 8 tricks and needs § finesse to work in order to maintain the contract. And here it happens what you did not expect… North for mysterious reasons decides that it is a good moment to duck. Now East just cashes everything and collects the K arriving to 11 tricks!
The real issue with this hand is that you need to have clarity on what’s happening and have defensive plan. This was not the case for North South couple.
And this another common mistake that happens when you want to prevent opponents but your partner is not disciplined with opening!
East raises the bid to 5 ♣ with both 4 cards in both the majors. This is a questionable decision since having length in majors should make you think that opponents will have a hard time to maintain the game if bidden, while on the other side you get a double. Moreover we have to consider that both pairs are not vulnerable so opponents will not be much incentivized in raising to 5 in a major and will probably prefer to cash the penalty. To complete the issue for this bad decision is the fact that partner has too many HP in side colors! West was expected to have only ♣ HP. This is very important to establish when you create a partnership. The style and it should be respected with discipline in order to take always the right decision.
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Let’s comment this bridge hand that I recently played with a random partner on BBO.This is an example of how you should not bid:
♠ A Q J 2
♥ 6 5
♦ K J 7 6
♣ A Q 9 7
What else can we note about this hand? It is the bidding of East of 2 ♠ . As you can see the suit is composed by only 3 cards. That’s absolutely acceptable and it’s the best bid you can do at this stage. Consider that you are assuming your partner to have 4 spades cards, otherwise he cannot double the second time.
The funny part (but I will not report her the chat) is that partner after the disaster started to yell me arguing about the 2 ♠ bid with only ♠ 7 5 4
If someone starts to yell to you while playing bridge just ignore, everybody will understand who is the real idiot. You do not need to proof anything to anybody, just keep calm, blacklist the player and start with a new partner next time. In any case to play bridge should be a pleasure.
And now an example of people who do not think 1 second to the game plan:
What can we note about this hand?
In a competition, to miss a contract like this could cost you 25 MP with only 1 mistake. The secret of playing bridge is to always be focused on what you are doing, on what your opponents are doing and act accordingly.
We’ll come back very soon with new hands to comment that I played or form important championships.
If you have any comments. Please post below and I will reply back very soon!
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