Vil Gravis's blog

X-Clubs Play 30

This one is about opening leads and defence. Any partnership, and I stress PARTNERSHIP, that can develop a good understanding about opening leads, signals, and working on the plan that has been set in motion by the opening lead, will regularly score about 6% more than their counterparts in any one session. That is my estimate, based on the fact that you will be defending half the time (yes, the good, more aggressive pairs will be defending much less often!) and not all defensive situations will require more than very basic defence and no real thought or imagination. Is a regular score of 58% in your sessions better than 52%? You decide and if you have a partner you can work with, take defence more seriously and don’t just put it in the too hard basket.

Board 2 from Monday 19/09/22
Dealer East NS Vul

T
KT2
AT97
KQJ54
AQ9
QJ97
J62
872
J8743
843
54
AT9
K652
A65
KQ83
63

The final contract nearly all the time was 3NT, usually arrived at when South opened 1NT and North raised directly to 3NT. What should West lead?

X-Clubs Play 29

I believe that this deal has been written up elsewhere but here is my perspective on it, aided by some of my own panelists.

Board 4 from Tuesday 13/09/22
Dealer West All Vul

KQ8653
75
T854
3
J7
984
J932
KJ87
A9
AKQJ
AK
Q9642
T42
T632
Q76
AT5

X-Clubs Hands 27

Unfortunately, Board 23 was not played at every club, so I can’t say just how many NS pairs managed to bid to this very easy 7NT. I say very easy because that is exactly what it should be. Let’s take a look.

Board 23 from Wednesday 9/08/2022
Dealer South All Vul

K8
K2
AK
AKQ9732
Q932
J7
986542
T
J74
QT654
QJT
J5
AT65
A983
73
864

X-Clubs Play 26

Sometimes Deep Finesse does manage to play a hand how it should be played and still get a much better result than most mere mortals. This deal gives us a very good illustration of that. Not one of our declarers made eleven tricks in a heart contract but the Deep Finesse way is not esoteric at all. Rather, any declarer who follows basic principles of play will probably manage to do what Deep Finesse can do, without stumbling on any ‘anti percentage’ lines that DF is well known for.

Board 8 from Tuesday 2/08/22.
Dealer West Nil Vul

87432
AQJ93
J6
2
KJ965
Q84
KT743
Q
K854
KT953
986
AT
T762
A72
AQJ5

X-Clubs Play 25

“Thou shalt not transfer” is one of my commandments. But there is an addition to that: “when it can be avoided if need be”. The unfortunate thing about this deal is that the NS hands were as they were. Had South had North’s hand and vice versa, the results would have been totally different for all EW pairs where West played the hand, be it in 3NT or 4S or a slam in either spades or No Trumps. But let’s take a look at the hands as they were dealt by a benign computer.

Board 8 from Tuesday 26/07/22
Dealer West Nil Vul

9765
AT987
52
98
KQ
642
K43
KQT43
AJT32
K3
AQ76
A2
84
QJ5
JT98
J765

X-Clubs Play 24

Many of your declarer problems will have no sure fire solutions, but you can always give yourself a better chance if you give the problem a bit of thought. As well as that, with a bit of ‘table presence’ and insight into your opponents’ behaviour.

Board 12 from Thursday 21/07/22
Dealer West NS Vul

QT853
A7
QT
AJ86
A6
9854
87632
95
J72
62
AK95
QT74
K94
KQJT3
J4
K32

Any Ideas?

You are South and dealer at match points. NS vul.
The bidding has been:

SouthWestNorthEast
1Pass2Pass
2Pass4Pass
PassPass

West starts with two top diamonds, the ace and king (East following with the 2 and 3 (standard signals). Then West shifts to the five of hearts. How would you continue from there, here is the layout of your hand and dummy.

Dummy (North)

K94
KQJT3
J4
K32

You (South)

QT853
A7
QT
AJ86

Any ideas to me please --- villyn@xtra.co.nz

X-Clubs Play 23

Lots of lessons to be learnt from this very ordinary deal from a match point session, though it will also have much relevance to teams play.

Board 6 from Tuesday 5/07/22
Dealer East EW Vul

87653
KQ7
KT92
8
QJT
9843
J3
AKJT
K9
652
86
Q97642
A42
AJT
AQ754
53

X-Clubs Play 22

To quote one of my regular correspondents: “Deep Finesse is a genius when all the hands can be seen but would be quite dumb at the table”. Here is a perfect example of that.

Board 14 from Friday 1/07/22.
Dealer East Nil Vul

AKT54
9
AQJ6
Q74
Q8732
T2
T732
J6
J6
J753
K984
T82
9
AKQ864
5
AK953

Not So Quick ...

Vil posed this quick question to his panel:

Teams, dealer West EW vul, you are South.

SouthWestNorthEast
-1Pass1
?

What do you bid holding:

AQT9843
KQ62
T
4

Syndicate content