Page 0066

66 English Bridge August 2018 www.ebu.co.uk

´ J 10 8 6 3

™ A 6 4

t A 4

® K 10 8

´ 9 4

™ K 10 5

t K 9 8 7 6 2

® A J

F

unbridge now offers the opportunity to

challenge its best player, Argine the robot, at a

5-board IMP match. Whilst its record is

astonishing with an 80% victory rate, can it actually

beat the best players out there?

Milan Macura, a member of the Czech Republic

open team which competed for the European title

in June, has accepted Argine's challenge and is now

posting a weekly video where he takes on Argine

and comments on his own play in real time. It is a

great way for us all to improve whilst having a good

time watching the game that we love.

After losing the first match, Milan struck back in

the second one. I found this board of particular

interest. Milan held ´94 ™K105 tK98762 ®AJ and

his first decision was whether to open or not in

second position with everyone vulnerable … Milan

gave some insight regarding his thinking . . . let's

hear him out:

D Both offensive and defensive possibilities with a

6-card suit plus an ace and two kings. You should

open despite having only 11 points.

D Expecting to play in diamonds if in a part score,

but in NT if in game, mainly because he doesn't

have a singleton, hence a hand that can be

described as balanced despite the 6-card suit.

D Likes his heart and club holdings for playing NT

from his hand, but not his spade one, so Milan

was already planning what he would do on the

second round: bid 1NT if partner responds 1´

(to right side it) but 2t if he responds something

else.

The bidding then continued with 1™ on his left,

1´ showing five spades by partner and pass on his

right. Now that the bidding had become

competitive, Milan followed his judgement that

diamonds would play better in a part score and bid

2t, thinking that he could always bid NT later if

partner had enough to force to game. His partner

now bid 3NT which ended the auction.

Here is a recap of the auction:

East led the ™8 and, as it was played on

Funbridge, Milan had to fill North's shoes and

declare the contract. How would you play?

Watch an expert challenge Argine on the Funbridge blog

Funbridge Competitions by Christophe Grosset

N

W E

S

West North East South

Pass 1t

1™ 1´ Pass 2t

Pass 3NT All Pass

Our Czech champion quickly realised that he did

well to open the bidding as he reached a very good

game with only 23 points combined. He would

always make nine tricks, providing the diamonds

were 3-2: two hearts, five diamonds (after conceding

one) and two clubs while the opponents would only

ever take three spades and one diamond.

Milan then said something that you should always

remember, 'You never want to relax, if you think you

are making, always ask yourself, what could go

wrong?'. Here the answer is that diamonds could be

4-1, in which case you could survive if West had a

stiff Q, J or 10 by taking the ace and then playing a

diamond to the 9; if it makes the trick, then you will

give one diamond to East: if not, then diamonds are

3-2 and all of your diamonds are good. On the

actual hand, diamonds were 3-2 and it didn't

matter, but it is because top players think about the

possibility of bad breaks on every board that they

can get it right when it actually happens.

Check out https://blog.funbridge.com/en_us/ to

follow Milan's adventure against Argine and enjoy

hearing about his thought process card by card. r

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