Matchpoints strategy

This is my current topic of interest.

Why? Since Andre returned to Singapore, we have played 4 times at SCBA with the following results:

Friday 29 June: 66.18% 1st
Mon 2 Jul: 41% 2nd last
Fri 6 Jul: 45% 6th
Mon 9 Jul: 35% 3rd last (my all time MPs record low, amazed I didn’t get last, the bottom 2 were 34 and 32%)

Pretty weird stuff going on right?

This was of concern to us so we came up with some reasons.

Our first game that we played, when Andre was still jet-lagged from having landed back in Singapore just the previous day did well because nothing funny cropped up. We played our normal game, had a bit of luck and ended up with no outright bottoms, mostly average and average plus and a few tops, thus giving us 66%.

The games that followed, we faced system difficulties (due to the overcall structure, and some other minor details), some misunderstandings and most importantly, our strategy was wrong.

What do I mean? Andre made some doubles which I had no idea if he was planning to leave for penalties or for takeout into some other suit. With regards to the overcall structure, this was an anti-field system. Relatively speaking, I would think that we are one of the better pairs around, so playing anti-field is NOT the best. Coupled with misunderstandings due to the fact that we are but 4 months into this, you can see the recipe for disaster.

So my first question was, whether we should continue our 4 card majors/weak NT/overcall structure system. 4 card majors vs 5, I would think the former works better at MPs. Same goes for weak NT even though it is anti-field. We have had a couple of boards going 1NT-3NT with one suit completely open and opponents did not lead that suit. In fact, Andre even once claimed 10 tricks on the opening lead. With regards to the overcall structure, I would think that more proficient usage would allow us to have better results against the field. In fact, we have made some adjustments to certain sequences by further extending overcall structure ideas.

Of course, Andre’s still not used to matchpoints after playing so much bridge in UK. Matchpoints is an entirely different game from bridge. In bridge, you play to make the contract safely. In matchpoints, you risk going down for overtricks. I have been searching and have found lots of good advice on BBO.

Now to get my hands on matchpoint bridge by Hugh Kelsey.

Shall see how it goes tomorrow.


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