Monday Face to Face Return Nov 1 2022

Board 1
Love all
Dealer North
KJ
J9872
Q864
87
Q732
AQ10
AK5
J62
A10964
K4
J732
93
85
653
109
AKQ1054
 N
N1---1
S1---1
E-2-4-
W-214-
After two passes, South has nice 3♣ pre-empt. It doesn't have a seventh club, but, non-vulnerable,  it has enough playing strength anyway. West is too strong to pass and can't really do anything except double, and East will probably respond 3♠, although 4♠ is a reasonable choice too. 
In any case after three rounds of clubs, the play is the thing. 
I like crossing to the ♥Q and starting trumps with the ♠Q (perhaps South has the singleton J). That will be covered. Now if declarer unblocks the ♥K, and crosses to a big diamond and cashes the ♥A before playing the second trump, North will be "endplayed" - forced to lead away from the ♦Q or give a ruff and discard. North didn't open 2♥, meaning a heart ruff isn't likely, so I think anyone that does eliminate the hearts before exiting in trumps will have played correctly.
Board 2
NS Game
Dealer East
KQ9
Q84
J9653
Q2
A87653
7
Q104
K109
102
10653
K82
AJ43
J4
AKJ92
A7
8765
 N
N-12--
S-12--
E---3-
W1--3-
South will open 1♥ and East will overcall 2♠ if weak jump overcalls are being played. North has ten points and three card heart support, but KQx in spades really suggests NT. If you just play 2NT as a natural invite, I would do that. South should pass that and it will make on the likely spade lead. Playing 5 card majors, North may well try 3♥. I expect that to make sometimes although the defence can beat it if they play trumps quickly enough.
Board 3
EW Game
Dealer South
Q1053
1072
K65
Q32
76
Q95
A3
1098765
KJ942
AJ8
Q82
AK
A8
K643
J10974
J4
 N
N-----
S-----
E31332
W31132
After 3 passes, East will open 1♠. West will respond 1NT, not being strong enough to respond at the two level, which requires 9+ HCP typically in ACOL.East is worth a raise to 2NT showing around 18 points, and West will have to guess what to do. You'll probably make 3NT if the clubs can be brought in, and you'll probably go off if they can't. The lack of any top card in clubs makes the prospects of getting the suit going with so few entries poor, so passing (or correcting to 3♣ non forcing) is better than raising. Move the ♥Q into the club suit and I'd try 3NT. On a diamond lead and continuation, declarer can make 2NT if they look at the opponents cards, but they will probably just play on spades and take only 7 tricks. 3♣ will make if spades are guessed right for a deserved +110 and a good score.
Board 4
Game all
Dealer West
A63
AQ6
AQ73
432
KQJ10
K3
K104
J1075
87
J108
J965
KQ86
9542
97542
82
A9
 N
N1-31-
S1-31-
E-----
W----1
West will open a weak-notrump at a lot of tables and no-one has much reason to bid over that. The choice of opening lead is between a diamond and a club. I personally like leading passively against 1NT with no 5 card suit, so I'd pick a ♣. I think most declarers will make 8 tricks. Holding declarer to 7 will involve South having to lead a diamond through after taking the ♣A and North then managing to play A and a heart to set up the ♥Q as the defences 6th trick before the ♠A is dislodged. I don't see how that can be found.
Board 5
NS Game
Dealer North
A8753
QJ
1083
A96
KQ10
AK4
AQ72
753
642
9632
KJ965
4
J9
10875
4
KQJ1082
 N
N3----
S3----
E-421-
W-421-
After two passes, some players might open 3♣. I don't like it at this vulnerability although I would do so non-vulnerable as I advocated on board one. If South does open 3♣, I like x pass 3♦ pass and then West has a horrible problem. Probably best to pass that as 4-3-3-3 shape means that game isn't likely in spite of the 18 count. You will survive raising to 4♦ though if partner passes. If South passes, I can see some East West pairs getting to 3NT via 1♦-2♦-3NT. A spade lead will follow and if West simply returns a spade 3NT will probably make as North won't know the club suit is cashing. Most declarers will just cash 8 winners for one down, leaving South with a chance to violently signal for clubs. 
Board 6
EW Game
Dealer East
A42
5
AKQ865
AK8
9875
QJ74
104
Q63
KJ
AK1093
J
J10952
Q1063
862
9732
74
 N
N-5-32
S-5-32
E2-2--
W2-2--
After the normal 1♥ pass 2♥ start, North is too strong for a 3♦ overcall, so will make a takeout double. East will usually pass but might raise to 3♥. If East passes, South will try 2♠ and North will have an interesting choice. They have 9 tricks in their own hand - does partner stop hearts? They have a ruffing value and three card spade support - does partner have 5♠s? I think most players will try a 3♥ cue bid, asking partner to do something sensible. South will just return to spades, not knowing what else to do and I expect a lot of Norths to hope partner has a fifth card and raise to 4♠.  That won't make with spades breaking 4-2, losing 2 hearts and two trumps. Very well done to North-Souths that reach 5♦ if they managed to investigate for a 5-3♠ fit first. In practise I think it will take a good guess from North to bid diamonds at some point to get to that successful game. 

Monday Face to Face Return Nov 1 2022

Board 7
Game all
Dealer South
1064
AJ1098
A53
42
K53
7
KQJ84
K865
92
KQ63
1092
Q1073
AQJ87
542
76
AJ9
 N
N--121
S--221
E22---
W22---
South opens 1♠ and a lot of players at the club will overcall 2♦. Many top players would be nervous doing that, vulnerable, but a KQJ suit is reasonable & 2♦ is by no means clearly wrong at pairs. In any case, I think it will continue 2♥ from North, 3♥ from South and ACOL will just get North South too high on the deal. The poor lie of the cards means that declarer will be held to at most 8 tricks. Anyone choosing to open South a weak NT, or playing a stronger 2 over one style will stay lower and score well by going plus in 2♥ via a transfer or making 7 tricks in 1NT from North.
Board 8
Love all
Dealer West
QJ764
A754
J3
K9
92
K102
K105
J10832
K1053
Q3
Q9742
A5
A8
J986
A86
Q764
 N
N--21-
S--21-
E12--1
W12--1
I can see this being passed out at some tables. There is a concept called "Pearson Points", which a lot of strong players consider when deciding whether or not to open the bidding in fourth seat with a marginal hand. On the basis that the partnership that owns the spade suit is best placed to win the hand in a part-score battle, add your spades to your high card points and only open in fourth seat if that sum is at least 15. Here it is only 13, so pass. East, third in hand non-vulnerable may well open themselves, and East-West will then probably play 1NT or 2♦ both of which are dependent on finding the ♦J. I predict many different results on this board.
Board 9
EW Game
Dealer North
952
1064
KQJ8
Q84
AKQ8764
52
1093
K
103
AKQJ9
A42
J76
J
873
765
A109532
 N
N1----
S1----
E-2665
W-2665
When both players have solid suits and the two side suits are controlled as here, slam can be an excellent prospect  but very hard to bid. 1♥ 1♠ 1NT is a logical start but then it is very difficult for West to communicate that they have a solid suit and a mild slam try. I can't really see how ACOL can bid this one intelligently to slam
Board 10
Game all
Dealer East
A74
10752
105
Q1073
J2
643
764
AJ964
KQ865
AQ8
KQJ98
1093
KJ9
A32
K852
 N
N--1--
S-----
E-3-2-
W-3-2-
The model auction is 1♠1NT2♦2♠3♦Pass. The East hand isn't quite strong enough for a game forcing 3♦ rebid. With 2♠ and 3♦ West should give "false preference" to 2♠ over 2♦ and East should bid again, naturally, showing the 5th ♦ and about 16-18 points. West has a clear pass of 3♦. It will probably make 10 tricks, although it can be held to 9 if trumps are led as declarer can be kept out of dummy denying the ♣A a trick.
Board 11
Love all
Dealer South
103
AKQ7
109852
93
K6
J85
J7643
QJ7
QJ92
10
K
AK86542
A8754
96432
AQ
10
 N
N-243-
S-243-
E4----
W4----
I think it's normal to open 1♠ with that South hand - 55 in the majors and two aces is worth it. North will respond 2♦ and 4♥ should be reached. If it goes 1♠2♦2♥3♥Pass, then I think both players underbid, but especially South. Once you have found a 9 card fit in your side suit you aren't minimum anymore. Side-suit Aces should be significantly upgraded when distributional hands find a nice fit. 
Board 12
NS Game
Dealer West
762
AQJ104
A6
Q63
A43
K76
K754
1074
Q1085
95
109832
85
KJ9
832
QJ
AKJ92
 N
N62636
S62636
E-----
W-----
Slam on two finesses. You don't want to be in this one. Do note that the weak NT opener on the 5332 shape works better than opening 1 of your 5 card major as you will play 3N from the right side outscoring 4♥. On board 7 opening 1NT rather than 1♠ worked better too. Now, this isn't a large sample, but these two hands that look so like suit openers are text-book ready for the school of thought that says all 5332 hands in range should open 1NT. It won't always work out so well, but I recommend it in general - mostly because it simplifies bidding and means that when you rebid your suit you are always unbalanced. As an advocate for this approach, it is nice to see that even where it feels so wrong to open 1NT it still gains sometimes.

Monday Face to Face Return Nov 1 2022

Board 13
Game all
Dealer North
KQ8
AJ876
J8
KQ3
9
Q109532
Q53
986
A543
K
AK72
10542
J10762
4
10964
AJ7
 N
N11-32
S11-32
E--1--
W--1--
1♥ double 1♠ Pass 1NT Pass to South. Would you pass that or pull to spades or diamonds? Spades are very likely 4-2 because of the double, and partner may have chosen 1N on a 15(34) shape because of the takeout double. I think it's quite close. I'd probably pass 1NT though with such a weak suit, doing worse than players who pull back to spades.
Board 14
Love all
Dealer East
AK1042
Q954
97
J2
953
A7
865
109743
QJ8
K863
KJ102
Q6
76
J102
AQ43
AK85
 N
N22432
S22432
E-----
W-----
East will probably open a weak NT in third seat - I actually might take advantage of being able to pass partner's response and open 1♦, though. After Pass-1NT-Pass-Pass it's very important to bid on the North hand at pairs, especially because it is love all. It's nice to have a way to show majors. If you play that, you'll probably rack up 170 in a lucky 2♥. Otherwise you'll probably be stuck with trying 2♠. 1NT by East West will only go 2 off for -100 if they blast away at diamonds from the top, so if you don't come into the auction as North-South  you will score poorly versus the people that do, who will make 110, 140 or even 170. At love all, your own risk is low and, as shown here, if you can make something its unlikely you'll get enough in undertrick value to compensate.
Board 15
NS Game
Dealer South
KQ9652
Q
AK9
A92
AJ84
K9543
53
83
7
A1082
QJ108
KQ75
103
J76
7642
J1064
 N
N---1-
S---1-
E-13-2
W114-2
After 1♥ double Pass, the West hand is right at the borderline between 2♥ and 3♥ - I'd probably just pick 3♥ - the ♠A is a LOT better than the K here with North having bid spades. The latter choice will get you to game and the former will not. 4♥ will require very careful play but can be made if you start by leading a club towards dummies honours and then get the hearts right. It makes because the defence cannot play two rounds of spades without establishing your jack, so you can just draw trumps and go about your business establishing tricks in the minors. If you err by taking a spade ruff too quickly you will go off.
Board 16
EW Game
Dealer West
A
106543
AK6
A853
QJ62
92
1084
K1062
10873
KQ7
J9732
9
K954
AJ8
Q5
QJ74
 N
N52535
S52535
E-----
W-----
I expect North-South will bid 1♥1♠2♣4♥. Left to themselves declarer may lose two trump tricks by hoping for H9x in the East hand, but East is quite likely to lead their singleton and then split the heart honours to try to get a ruff, 11 tricks will probably be the normal result.
Board 17
Love all
Dealer North
AK54
95
9752
A32
3
A76
K84
KJ9864
107
QJ104
AJ63
Q107
QJ9862
K832
Q10
5
 N
N---31
S---31
E532--
W532--
Some will open the North hand a weak NT with two aces and a king. South should probably invite game in spades, by transferring and raising, then North is very minimum in high cards but will like the fit. Once again a close decision with no clear right answer. Game is basically 50% depending on the position of the ♥A - today staying low will be more successful,
Board 18
NS Game
Dealer East
762
K10732
QJ
1042
Q10985
AQ
1086
Q73
AJ4
J854
A743
K8
K3
96
K952
AJ965
 N
N3----
S3----
E-1-21
W-1-21
East will open a weak NT and West's 5332 ten count isn't strong enough to advance after transferring to spades. Lucky arrangements in spades, hearts and clubs mean that North-South can actually make 3♣, but I don't think many NS-pairs will enter the auction. The vulnerability is wrong to come in so speculatively.

Monday Face to Face Return Nov 1 2022

Board 19
EW Game
Dealer South
J108764
A8532

A3
Q9
J64
AQJ982
K7
2
9
K10743
Q86542
AK53
KQ107
65
J109
 N
N--761
S--761
E24---
W24---
South has a weak NT and North doesn't really have a slam try. Slam is actually a very good contract but its usually dangerous, looking at a hand like North's, to hope that partner has such a "perfecto". I don't see many pairs bidding slam. The only way I can see North getting interested is after the start 1N2♥(transfer)3♥ which some pairs play as showing 4 card spade support and a concentration of values in hearts (at least two of the top three). A 4♣ cue bid, a 4♠ sign off and then, knowing there is no wasted diamond control opposite, North might give the slam a try. 
Board 20
Game all
Dealer West
86
76532
43
J542
K43
J108
QJ752
K6
AJ92
KQ
K8
A10983
Q1075
A94
A1096
Q7
 N
N-----
S-----
E44234
W44233
East will rebid 1NT to show 15-17, or perhaps 2NT if East West play a 1NT rebid as just 15-16. West will raise to game. This will usually make ten tricks on a spade lead. If East rebids spades, it should discourage a spade lead, but ten can still be made by playing on clubs as the South hand just doesn't have three good discards on the run of the clubs. Still, if South does avoid a spade lead, declarer will often only make nine tricks.
Board 21
NS Game
Dealer North
AJ954
Q5
QJ74
K6
Q82
98642
AK
A54
K1073
K10
9865
732
6
AJ73
1032
QJ1098
 N
N321-1
S221-1
E-----
W-----
1♠ Pass 1NT Pass 2♦ Pass Pass to West. Non-vulnerable wanting to protect with 2♥ is a reasonable instinct, but the hand is actually very defensive and the opponents may not have much of a fit so passing is probably right. 2♥ might get doubled by a brave South and can go for 300. 2♦ is making.
Board 22
EW Game
Dealer East
Q932
K102
KQ1052
K
1075
9753
A96
A65
A8
A6
J873
Q8732
KJ64
QJ84
4
J1094
 N
N--121
S--121
E11---
W11---
It is likely to start with three passes. I quite like opening 1NT with North hand, but 1♦ is the usual call. After 1♦1♥1♠ south should raise to 2♠ and North has no reason to go higher. With Ax in spades, perhaps East will try for a heart ruff. That start will lead to a straightforward 8 tricks. On other leads, nine tricks may happen, but I expect 8 will be the typical tally.

If North does choose to open a slightly off-shape 1NT, West will lead clubs and has time to get the fifth one established to hold North to 7 tricks. Should South try Stayman in response? Another close decision at pairs - you are a bit stuck it partner responds 2♦ (you'd have to pull to 2♥), so you are just gambling that partner won't do that. With a hand like this it is a reasonable gamble as 2M is so likely to score more than NT when stayman elicits a fit. Not for the first time this session we see a decision that is a close guess where in the long run it won't much matter what is chosen.
Board 23
Game all
Dealer South
Q10432
62
Q107
872
95
QJ10
KJ65
K964
AKJ
973
432
AQJ10
876
AK854
A98
53
 N
N-----
S-----
E22112
W22112
AAK again, so some will open the South hand. Vulnerable though I am going to assume South will pass. After three passes, West will open 1♣ and South will overcall 1♥. I think West should try 1NT over that showing about 7-10 points and a heart stop without 4 spades. East will probably pass reluctantly - sure you might have 25 points, but you have no help in hearts and only a 4333 shape - 120 in 1NT will score well. If West does anything stronger, perhaps 2NT, I can see East West getting to 3NT one off
Board 24
Love all
Dealer West
96
AK1065
K9
AJ83
AK532
3
J1062
1094
QJ107
J94
543
KQ6
84
Q872
AQ87
752
 N
N223-2
S223-2
E---2-
W---2-
1♥ Pass 2♥ and East may get in with 2♠ at the vulnerability. If it's a part-score deal East-West will need to compete and the onus is on the player with shortage in the opponents' suit to enter the auction. North will push East West up to 3♠ which hasn't got much prospect of making more than 8 tricks. 50 to North South will probably be a common result. Either pair bidding less will score very poorly.

Monday Face to Face Return Nov 1 2022

Board 25
EW Game
Dealer North
A1098
AKQ
AKJ32
4
62
73
Q98754
AJ10
J74
965
106
K9532
KQ53
J10842

Q876
 N
N23664
S23664
E-----
W-----
Another very tricky slam-auction deal. If North opens 1♦ and rebids a game forcing 2♠ after the 1♥ response, I can see South just bidding game, not appreciating the usefulness of the Jxxxx heart. If North starts with 2♣ I think slam is likely to be bid. Two possible auctions are 2♣2♥3♦3♠ then blackwood, or if South, reasonably, doesn't want to bid such a weak suit directly over 2♣, 2♣2♦3♦3♥3♠ and then South should push towards slam. 
Board 26
Game all
Dealer East
Q42
A108642
J5
J7
63
Q3
97432
8643
J7
K7
AQ1086
AK95
AK10985
J95
K
Q102
 N
N--33-
S--33-
E33---
W33---
After 1♦ 1♠ Pass North should just try 2♠. East will probably try 3♣ although they'd really prefer to be 5-5 to do that, and South will push on to 3♠ because they have a reasonable hand with a sixth spade. Counting your trump length is more important than counting your points in these types of decisions. Assuming you don't intend to try for game, lots of points will help when defending too, but extra length in your suit only helps if you play the hand. With 5 cards in diamonds, Most Wests will pass , but some might push on to 4♦, which will probably go two down since declarer doesn't know to drop the ♦K. 3♠= will be the usual result.
Board 27
Love all
Dealer South
KQ108
2
Q
AK96532
J4
J106
AK987
J84
96
43
J106542
Q107
A7532
AKQ9875
3
 N
N5-661
S5-661
E-----
W-----
An exciting slam deal. This one is much more biddable, since South will really like their hand after a 1♥1♠ start. A double jump to 4♣ should be a splinter here, showing a great hand, 4card support and shortage. Responder can just blackwood over that & slam will be reached.
Board 28
NS Game
Dealer West
5
J4
Q43
AQ107654
K7642

J10982
KJ8
J93
AK962
765
32
AQ108
Q108753
AK
9
 N
N41323
S51423
E-----
W-----
Second in hand, vulnerable, North will open 3♣. South will have a close decision between passing and bidding 3♥. I recommend a pass. If partner has the likely heart shortage you will just get too high. Perhaps Left Hand Opponent will decide to overcall if we pass quickly and then we can double the opponents profitably.