Blogs

Evil 22-04

Few NS pairs managed to buy this contract in 5C, which sometimes made with an overtrick (or two!). The problem was that for some reason, the NS pairs did not have a good understanding of their own takeout double methods. Most Souths opened 1D and most Wests overcalled 1H. This presented North with a problem that should not have been there. Why? Because it seems that the ‘expert’ Norths could not double because that would show four spades! So, the only options remaining would be 1NT without a heart stopper, or an overbid of 2C which many other ‘expert’ pairs even play as game forcing. The ‘modern’ way seems to be that a double shows four spades and a bid of 1S shows five. I find that incorrigible and in fact have persuaded all my partners that this is a total waste of bidding space when one can always bid 1S with four spades and double to show the other MINOR. Let’s take a look at the full deal:

Board 6 from Thursday 27/01/22
Dealer E EW Vul

AJ9
T75
T
KT8743
65
AK9842
KQJ4
6
Q742
QJ63
732
92
KT83
A9865
AQJ5

Evil 22-03

Here is the actual deal that our opening lead problem was based on. Maybe you won’t agree with the bidding, but the bidding of opponents is not your concern, only what you can infer from it. I believe that the opening lead against the bidding that took place is not difficult to find IF you take notice of the bidding and the correct inferences. Let me repeat the bidding: 1S from West, 2NT from East, 6NT from West. Looking at the South hand, what should you be thinking? I was hoping that at least one of my readers would find the correct answer, and I do believe that there is only ONE card that South should lead.

Dealer W Nil Vul

7
43
K8743
T9854
AKQJ93
AJ
AT
J73
T5
KQ7
Q762
KQ62
8642
T98652
J9
A

The closest to the right (and you will agree that there IS a RIGHT when you read on) answer came from one of the many readers who would lead the ten of hearts. His rationale was perfect up to a point but he missed the punchline.

Evil 22-02

This deal actually came up online and not from X-Clubs, nor does it have anything to do with my “Evil” bidding methods. But we Evil players also put a huge emphasis on defence, which is why I bring this deal to your notice.

Let me tell you what happened when I logged in for a casual online game and ended up playing just this one hand before giving up in disgust. Firstly, I will set this as an opening lead problem for SOUTH.

Dealer W Nil Vul
This is your hand as SOUTH

8642
T98652
J9
A

West opens 1S and East bids 2NT, which you decide, without asking, to be a normal bid, 11-12 HCP and most likely no more than a doubleton spade. But, whatever the case, West now bids 6NT. You have to make the opening lead when everyone now passes. You take a quick look at your opponents’ profiles and they say that East is ‘advanced’ and West ‘expert’.

What would YOU lead, and WHY?

I would be very interested in receiving answers from readers, email me at villy@xtra.co.nz

Evil 22-01

This is the year of “Evil Twos” and “Evil Acol” for anybody who wants to try something a bit different yet not overly difficult to add to their bidding and play repertoire. Did you notice that this is the year 2022 so Evil Twos is an apt description of our opening two level bids and defence against an opposing 1NT opening, so let’s start there.

The reader should by now be familiar with the basic structure of the weak two openings, and overcalls when an opponent opens 1NT. However, to start this series, I want to make one interesting addition to our defence against a 1NT opening by opponents. Our basic “Evil” structure of bidding over an opposing 1NT is as follows:

  • 2C: clubs and hearts
  • 2D: diamonds and hearts
  • 2H: hearts and spades
  • 2S: spades and a minor
  • 2NT: both minors
  • all 3 level bids natural and 6+ cards
  • Double: Essentially Penalty (15+HCP)

X-Clubs Play_11

This deal from Tuesday 14/12/2021 should have led to a reasonable slam that made. Surprise, surprise, not only was the slam not bid often enough, it wasn’t made often enough either.

While there is no certain way to ensure that 6S makes (before you see all the hands), bridge is also about giving yourself the best chance of making your contract, and that requires more than just working out some percentages and playing accordingly. Though I’m sure even the statisticians in our midst would have come to the right conclusion about the best way to play the hand. Let me show you the deal:

Board 7 Dealer S All Vul

T8
954
T9642
A92
AK74
K83
AKQ
KQT
QJ652
AJ72
J73
4
93
QT6
85
J87653

X-Clubs Play_10

This deal comes from Thursday 9/12/2021. Perhaps not surprisingly, the final contract almost always was 4S by East, even though a 5C sacrifice should be found without too much difficulty. That is, if NS play “Truscott” and North uses his or her imagination rather than follows what the book says. Let me show you the deal so you can judge for yourself.

Board 3 Dealer S EW Vul

Q432
T87532
T92
9863
J85
AKQ6
K4
KQJ542
AT6
J9
Q7
AT7
K97
4
AJ8653

X-Clubs Play_09

This very interesting deal comes from Wednesday 24/11/2021.
Board 7 Dealer S All Vul

J74
Q865
T64
654
K3
A2
AKJ2
AQ932
AQ985
JT973
9
87
T62
K4
Q8753
KJT

#2447 Sorted

Thanks for your input. The question, once again:
Match Point session.
Dealer E. EW Vul
You are South

SouthWestNorthEast
1Pass1Pass
?

What's your rebid, holding:

6
AK832
AQ743
AT

There were a number of different views on this one, the main issues being:
a) is a rebid of 2D forcing?
b) is a rebid of 3D GAME forcing?
c) after a response of 1S and then 3NT when opener rebids 2D, what can opener expect from partner's hand?

Vil's Riddles #2447

Match Point session.
Dealer E. EW Vul
You are South

SouthWestNorthEast
1Pass1Pass
?

What's your rebid, holding:

6
AK832
AQ743
AT

Answers to villyn@xtra.co.nz if you please.

Days and Times for NZX BBO Sessions

While lockdown persists and clubs are closed a team of friendly amateur BBO directors began by offering a list of daily 1PM and 7PM sessions open to all NZ players. Interest in the daytime sessions has lately fallen off as clubs return. The week-day sessions (except Friday nights) will be named starting with "NZX Club" and play 14-18 boards of the standard X-Clubs deals with a Swiss draw format when feasible. Friday nights and weekend sessions will be named starting with "NZ Club" and play random boards as no X-Clubs deals are produced for those times. Session results will be reported on this website (Results by Week tab above) and, at around 5:30 and 11PM, will be included in the daily score-across. You'll be able to see how your results stack up in a field of, usually, hundreds of other pairs playing the same hands at clubs around NZ. Click on Read More to .. well .. read more:

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