Matchpoint Strategy
Duplicate tournament bridge, as enjoyed by the American Contract Bridge League’s 168,000 members, can improve your game. The ACBL rewards achievement with masterpoints.
At “matchpoint” duplicate, the same deals are played at many tables, and the pairs who do the best with their cards win. In today’s deal, South plays at 4. This is a “normal contract” that every North-South will reach. If South takes 10 tricks when everyone else takes 11, he will get a “bottom.”

Dlr: South ♠ A J 10 5
Vul: None K 2
A 7 5
♣ A 7 6 4
♠ K 8 3 ♠ Q 9 7 6
A 5 3 7
Q J 10 8 6 4 3
♣ J 8 3 ♣ K Q 10 9 5
♠ 4 2
Q J 10 9 8 6 4
K 9 2
♣ 2
South West North East
3 Pass 4 All Pass

Opening lead — Q

Second Spade

South should win the first diamond with the king and lead a spade: 3, jack, queen. He wins the next diamond, takes the ♣A, ruffs a club, leads a spade to dummy’s 10, discards his last diamond on the ace and loses a trump to the ace. Making five.
At party bridge, where the goal is to make your bid, South would never play that way; he might lose a cold game. But at duplicate, he takes a calculated risk for an overtrick.
See for info on clubs and tournaments in your area.

Daily Question

You hold:
♠4 2
Q J 10 9 8 6 4
K 9 2
Neither side vulnerable. You deal and open 3. The next player bids 3♠, your partner doubles and the player at your right passes. What do you say?

Don’t even look at your hand. Pass. “Captaincy” is a vital concept. Your preempt described your hand, more or less, and partner is captain. He says he can beat 3♠, and for all you know, he can beat it by several tricks. Trust him.

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