Thursday Series #1

Vil begins a new series of commentaries on hands played at his home club of Hutt on Thursday nights.

From Thursday 11/07/2019
Board 12 Dealer W NS Vul

43
K852
AT94
KQJ
Q965
J974
732
T4
A82
AT3
KJ65
872
KJT7
Q6
Q8
A9653

Vil's New Wednesday Series

This is the first “Wednesdays” review in a new series. There is a bidding question at the end. If you send me your answer at villyn@xtra.co.nz, I will send you my thoughts in return.

Board 6 from 10/07/2019
Dealer E EW Vul

KJ84
J85
A642
Q2
A92
32
KT873
K94
T65
Q964
Q5
J853
Q73
AKT7
J9
AT76

Talk to Your Partner

Good bidding by one person in a partnership can sometimes be undone by impetuosity on the part of the other.
Board 28 from 13-06-2019
Dealer W NS Vul

AQ3
KQ863
54
AK7
T7
JT
QJ98763
T2
J54
A974
T
98543
K9862
52
AK2
QJ6

Declare and Defend Series Coming Up

I am about to start on a new series “Declare and Defend”. As an example of what that series will focus on, here is an example. If you were one of the many Wests who made fewer than TWELVE tricks in a spade contract, then maybe you would benefit from the series.

Board 13 from Thursday 6/06/2019
Dealer N All Vul

JT
J3
K875
KQ632
AKQ843
AT42
J84
962
AKT975
6
A97
75
Q8642
QJ93
T5

Follow-Up

Thank you for your input from last week, folks. It is always apparent that the general standard of declarer play AND defence does need considerable improvement. For those of you who are interested in improving the way you think about things in the play, I am reproducing last week’s deal and suggesting some things you should think about when declarer. Those of you who responded did show that you were prepared to think and not just play your cards out and hope for the best.

Board 16 from 5/06/19
Dealer W EW Vul

2
5
A98732
KQJ83
9865
QJ9743
K6
2
AQJ43
A6
QT
A976
KT7
KT82
J54
T54

Question Time

An ordinary 1NT opening bid can often lead to all sorts of end results, as evidenced by this deal.
Board 11 from Thursday 6/06/2019
Dealer S Nil Vul

6
K8764
A6
AK976
Q982
AT5
KJ75
QJ
KT7543
Q32
T83
T
AJ
J9
Q942
85432

It's the Thought that Counts

This week we see the first session of a Swiss Pairs at our club, so I will be looking for deals where an emphasis on teams play strategy is necessary to achieve best results. That means bidding confidently to your games, and taking great care in your declarer play, as well as good defence. All that will come with more play and learning. Maybe I will get some responses from readers this week, I still have not had any responses to the previous review which asked for suggestions on declarer play.

Board 16 from 5/06/19
Dealer W EW Vul

2
5
A98732
KQJ83
9865
QJ9743
K6
2
AQJ43
A6
QT
A976
KT7
KT82
J54
T54

A Right Royal Tussle ..

Competing at low levels is a big part of the match point game, and lighter than normal opening bids can help or hinder both sides. South’s opening of 1D third in hand was reasonable enough, and it made life difficult for EW. It should not have but it seems that it did.

Board 21 from Thursday 30/5/19
Dealer N NS Vul

AJ43
32
AT872
75
KQ865
Q974
AKQ9
T2
A865
963
T863
97
KJT
KQJ54
J42

The Naughty Corner ...

Some basic bidding lessons were clearly ignored when this board came up.

Board 6 from 29/05/2019
Dealer E EW Vul

KJ95
2
KJ742
AK3
7
AQT864
T63
J97
AQT64
J7
AQ85
T8
832
K953
9
Q6542

XG's vs Rank

SnippetSnippetNow that XG's have been with us for a few months and some 40% of players are progressing from Evolving (less than 1000 boards) to Mature status it seems timely to look at what sort of numbers our higher-ranking players are coming up with. The spreadsheet attached below clearly demonstrates what we all suspected .. top players have top XG's.

The population of 3116, sorted by XG Rating, was divided into 31 bands of 100 players of X-Club deals. Because some of the ranks had small numbers - eg 44 Life Masters vs 1375 Local Masters, the raw numbers would mask the point of the exercise. The chart is presented as the percentages of each rank falling into any particular band. A sample of how to read the chart might be: 50% of the 52 Grand Masters who play X-Club deals have XG's in the top 100 band: 15% in the second band of 100: 12% in the third etc …

Other observations:

  • One third of NZB-affiliated members play X-Club deals
  • Only 40% of these 3116 players have XG's over 50 which translates to 40% have negative handicaps while 60% have positive
  • XG's for top of the table exceed straight averages by some 5%, about equal for middle of the table, 5% lower near the bottom of the table. This seems to indicate that handicapping by straight average (as clubs commonly do) favours the stronger player

Have a look .. it's interesting

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