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e-Vil Files 18

Sometimes a decent swing in a teams match can come from a very ordinary deal, especially when the declarer play or defence is not up to scratch. “Cover an honour with an honour” should be well ingrained in most advanced players, and this deal provides a good example of just that.

Board 15 from Tuesday 6/10/2020
Dealer S NS Vul

K42
AKQ8
T652
Q2
J963
JT963
A
T73
AQ5
4
KJ9843
K54
T87
752
Q7
AJ986

e-Vil Files 17

Teams is coming soon to our club at The Hutt. Teams is a totally different game tactically to match points. Bidding and making games is the most important facet, but so is not taking undue risks. One of my favourite suggestions is ‘get in early and get out early’. By that I mean that it is fine to open a bit light when the time is right, but to stop competing when you know you are pushing it uphill when the hand does not belong to your side. Determine what is rightfully yours, and what you might miss out on, and bid accordingly. Totally different to match points when every hand has the potential for a good match point score. Here is a deal from some time ago, in a teams match.

Dealer S All Vul

KJ973
AJ542
T
86
Q5
T76
AJ8652
Q7
862
Q93
K7
AJT54
AT4
K8
Q943
K932

e-Vil Files 16

How many of our readers play on Thursday nights? Those who do not should seriously consider it, because the Thursday deals always produce some really great hands. Thursday 24 September was no exception. Here are some bidding problems for readers. I have asked my panel of Open players for their opinion, and will collate their responses. Readers of the “e-Vil Files”, can take part by sending in their answers. The highest scoring answers, as scored by the panel, will win a copy of my booklet on Twos and No Trumps. Please note: I have put the hand with the bidding problem as SOUTH in every instance, for convenience and consistency. All problems are from a MATCH POINT session.

e-Vil Files 15

Another No Trump hand that was very difficult to handle for the group that played this deal at our club. Maybe with a bit more experience things might be different.

Board 5 from Wednesday 16/09/2020.
Dlr N NS Vul

Q963
752
AK96
K9
JT8
AKQJ
QJT54
7
A72
T964
AJT432
K54
83
8732
Q865

e-Vil Files 14

Let me now repeat the hands from the last article for you and suggest how the defence should have gone against 1NT doubled.

Board 7 Dealer S All Vul

T62
9643
J876
86
K3
JT752
AK2
KJ7
QJ98
Q
T5
AQ9542
A754
AK8
Q943
T3

e-Vil Files 13

This one from Friday 11/09/20 X-Clubs was very poorly defended by EW, yet they still scored over 70% on the board. Knowing when to double a 1NT opening bid contributed to the good result, but the defence was thoughtless to say the least. I have contended earlier that defending against 1NT should be easier than playing it, let me show you why with this very good example.

Board 7 Dealer S All Vul

T62
9643
J876
86
K3
JT752
AK2
KJ7
QJ98
Q
T5
AQ9542
A754
AK8
Q943
T3

e-Vil Files 12

If you don’t believe in competing against a weak No Trump, you should read this, which might change your mind. It has not been easy for me to convince people about the virtues of bidding over opponents’ weak 1NT, but one person I know has managed to overcome her phobia very well, if Tuesday’s results at Clubs are anything to go by. I will show you the NORTH hands on three separate boards, and you can decide whether you would bid or pass.

Board 10 from X-Clubs, Tuesday 8/09/2020
Dealer E All Vul

KT96
A7654
J52
T

SouthWestNorthEast
---Pass
Pass1NT?

e-Vil Files 10

Apologies! There were a couple of cards either missing or in the wrong place in No.9 but the essence of it would not have changed. The deal was reconstructed from memory, and mine is nowhere near perfect, so here is a more meaningful version. This time, I trust, there are no cards out of place!

Dealer N EW Vul

J4
QT76
AQ862
K5
KT32
A83
T43
J96
AQ876
52
K5
QT87
95
KJ94
J97
A432

e-Vil Files 09

The DOUBLE is a tool that is very much underused, and when used, totally MISused. I intend to write much more about the basic takeout double, as well as our “Evil Double”, but for now I want to start with a typical deal where there is competition in the bidding.

Dealer N EW Vul

J4
QT76
AQ862
K5
KT32
A83
T43
J96
AQ876
52
K5
QT87
95
KJ94
J97
A432

The bidding at our table, in a match point session, was:

SouthWestNorthEast
--11
X2XPass
33PassPass
X

e-Vil Files 08

How can you improve your defence? Well, the first step to good defence is the opening lead, so let’s talk about that. There is no short cut to becoming a good opening leader, but nothing beats a bit of thought. Your thinking should be about two things: the actual hands as you can best work them out, and that includes your partner’s hand as well as declarer and dummy; and then, an anticipation of how declarer is likely to play the hand.

Dealer W NS Vul

JT6
4
JT9765
J64
7
AT72
A84
AQ753
AKQ54
K962
Q3
K2
9832
QJ53
K2
T98

The auction was:

SouthWestNorthEast
-1Pass1
Pass2Pass3
Pass4Pass4NT
Pass5Pass6

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