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All comments by Alvin Bluthman
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I'd also like a section on movements, to ask questions about the complex movements I see run at the Sephardic Community Center here in Brooklyn.
6 hours ago
Alvin Bluthman edited this comment 6 hours ago
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The original K-S system book (from 1958 (?) and the revision from `1963 (?) did not. K0S updated from the 1980s used 2/1 for 2 and 2 responses but not for 2 responses to a 1 opening.
March 23
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As with the other recent post on this subject, a player who has just signed off in game cannot then make a forcing pass.

Does anyone see an exception to this rule?
March 23
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K-S is not a 2/1 GF style. So, West should bid 3 over 2NT (to show his extra length), and then East should bid 4, having, by agreement, forced to game the previous round. Now, West shows his void with 4, and East then bids 4NT (D-I, not Blackwood, as in K0SA Updated. Now 5NT (GSF), 7.
March 23
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I am Saddened by reading of Wirgren's passing.

Hugely enjoyed his Bridge World articles, including “The Odds on Signaling” and “A Dying Art Form.”
March 22
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That seems to be to be a 2NT rebid.
March 22
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That looks like a 2NT opening to me: xxx AKQ10x KQJ KQ.
March 21
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The negative double (of 1, after partner opened 1) promises the minors, not heart support. If 2 forces to game, then East made a misdirected call, showing heart support he does not hold. Could 3 (instead of 3 mean “pick another suit”?

If 2 merely forces to the three-level, then East is obliged to do the best he can lacking more than a preference. I voted that 3 is not forcing (and expect to lose up to three spade tricks). Going to 4 requires guessing that partner's spade holding is short when advancer did not advance.
March 21
Alvin Bluthman edited this comment March 21
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Ed:

This is reasonable, but incomplete. For one thing, you are addressing only the opener's side in bidding 4. For another, you state that 3 is a splinter, but that probably refers to either responder's raise of a 1 opening, or opener's rebid after responder bids 1!G or 2. There are many other sequences.

Here is another thought about splinters - if your are definitely able to establish that the splinter shows a void, rather than a singleton, you can use your usual RKB ask as Exclusion, and not need to waste bidding space by asking with a higher bid.
March 20
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I'd like to play Kickback with my partners (and do so, with one partner). But there are issues. How do you distinguish among sequences that bid 4 when hearts have been bid, tio dhow the following:

a. RKCB - Kickback;
b. a splinter bid (or is 4 too high for a spokinter in a heart auction;
c a natural spade bid, e. g. raising partner's spades when he has bid the suit;
d. a spade control in support of hearts (use 4NT instead?);
e. Exclusion Blackwood with a spade void.

There just isn't bidding space for all of these possible meanings.
March 19
Alvin Bluthman edited this comment March 19
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You're welcome.
March 19
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Naturally, there are several different ways to play all of this. An experienced (expert?) partnership should have AGREED on answers before sitting down at the table:

“How to begin the Queen ask following partner's 5D reply (3 or 0 key cards held) when Hearts is the agreed trump suit?”

Typically, use the next bid suit to ask for the trump queen (or ten trumps, the equivalent - see below) and the side suit kings. That is, if partner bids 5 to your 4NT ask, bid 5 to ask for thr trump queen. 5 or 5 (the trump suit) should deny the trump queen, and end the discussion. Now, pass or bid six, depending on whether you have twelve tricks without the trump queen. If partner does have the trump queen (or a combined ten trumps - again, see below), he will bid higher; methods per agreement to commit to slam and suggest seven. For methods suggestions, see Kantar's RKCB books, or read up on Spiral Scan.

“Can you skip 5H and use 5S as the Queen ask after a 5D response? etc”.

“Can you show the Queen of trumps and a King holding below the 6 level? i.e. 5C response/ 5D ask/ 5S shows King of spades and the queen of Hearts if Hearts is the agreed trump suit.?”

These two questions assume that hearts are trumps and that partner responded 5 to your 4NT keycard ask. One approach to keep the trump queen ask at 5 or 5 is not to play RKCB in a heart auction; another is to use 4 as your asking bid (you can use either 03/14 or 14/30 to respond.) If your approach requires you to use 5 to ask for the trump queen, you are already committed to playing 6, and are looking for a grand slam. Yes, you will need further agreements about the sequences in which bid of 4 asks for keycards and in which it is natural, or a splinter-showing or ace showing bid.

“Knowing the partnership holds 10 trumps between the 2 hands. Why is this equivalent to holding the Queen of trumps when responding to partner's ask?”

Why are ten or more trumps equivalent to a trump queen? Eleven certainly is. Even if trumps are 2-0, the opponents' queen must fall. Ten usually is. The trumps might be 2-1, and the queen will fall. Or, if the trumps are 3-0, you will usually be able to guess who holds the three cards and who holds the void, and finesse against the queen. The odds are better than 90% in your favor that you will not lose a trick to the trump queen when your side holds ten trumps including both the ace and king. .
March 18
Alvin Bluthman edited this comment March 18
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This auction is different from such as (1) X (P) 1; (P) 1 and (1) X (P) 1; (P) 2.

In the present auction, you could pass partner's request to bid holding nothing; in the others, you can't do so. So, partner does not need as much strength to raise. I'm still an old-fashioned bidder who thinks partner is inviting game, and with my near-maximum, I'm tempted. If playing some from of game-try, I would use it.
!
March 16
Alvin Bluthman edited this comment March 16
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Playing fourth-best leads, and holding only three-cards in a suit, you are obliged (lacking an honor sequence) to lead the third-highest card. The ambiguity and confusion whether you hold three cards in the suit or four, is one of the most important reasons to switch to third- and fifth0best leads. I should have mentioned this.
March 15
Alvin Bluthman edited this comment March 15
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QJ9xx x KJxx A109. Eleven HCP, strong cards to the extent possible over the overcaller, and the likelihood of a misfit. Do you believe that the opponents will make 2x? Or that they have a viable three-level contract (maybe in clubs) to which to run?
March 14
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Ah. The famous “two card difference principle.”

But how do you explain this to an intermediate?
March 13
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Typically used against suits (rather than against NT, at least in the U.S.), the advantage is clarifying holdings that are two card lengths apart.

The correct way to do this (rather than the way that Jim Perkins reports running into) is to lead the lowest card when holding an odd number of cards (3, 5, or 7 cards in the suit) and the third highest when holding an even number of cards. Of course, leading honor sequences takes precedence. So, from KQ6, you lead the king (or the queen, if playing Rusinow), not the six.(FN)

Partner unravels your lead by using the Rule of 12 with a third-best lead, Rule of 10 with a fifth-best lead, and Rule of 8 with a seventh-best lead. Note that the two numbers add up to 15, as does the Rule of 11 with a fourth-best lead. Rule of X is simply to subtract the spot of the lead from the Rule number to determine how many cards higher than the led card is in the other three hands.

Example: You hold the KJ73 or the KJ7532 and lead the 7. Partner searches for clues among the cards in his hand and dummy, and sees the missing lower cards, suggesting that your seven is not the lowest. When he concludes that you have led from an even number of cards, and tries the Rule of 12, he learns that your 7 is third-highest, and, from declarer's bidding, figures out that you started with four or six cards in the suit. (I will not give an example of using the Rule of X; you'll find that in almost any book on defensive signaling, usually with an ((unlikely)) hand that allows partner to duick the lead too allow the spot card to win.)

Also, for standard count signalers, high, then low shows an even number of cards in the suit; low, then high shows an odd number of cards in the suit), when you hold an even number, and are not winning the next trick, your second card in the suit will be lower than your first, So, your play of the 7, then the 3 in my example, will show an even number. And your 3 is too low to hold two cards lower, so partner knows you started with four cards, not six, in the suit.

Figuring out your holding with an odd number is even easier. Often, your spot card will be the lowest card not in partner's hand or dummy; the 2 or its equivalent. So, he knows you started with an odd number of cards.

FN: Few play Rusinow (second highest from touching honors, when holding three or more cards) today, but the initial proponents of third-and fifth-best leads, Jeff Rubens and Larry Rosler, in their book Journalist Leads, and earlier magazine articles, proposed using both together on opening leads against suits. This is not necessary.
March 13
Alvin Bluthman edited this comment March 14
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A rule “X when obvious” is problematic. Few things are ever obvious from the perspective of another player. Partnerships should have a clear agreement about whether to play attitude, count, or SP. A request to continue a suit into a singleton sometimes makes sense,, but this is not likely to be one of those times. Suppose, on a different hand, dummy held short, weak trumps (such as Ax(; and third hand held a finessable Qxx. Now, by having partner lead a winner to force dummy to ruff with the x, third have makes the finesse impossible, winning with his Q later on.

For this reason, some (such as the Granovetters, in their book, A Switch in Time), propose the use of attitude signals when dummy holds a singleton in the suit led.

Here, no such trump promotion is possible. So, a different agreement has much to commend it, and less risk. And why would third hand choose an ambiguous 7? Perhaps it wasn't a choice. Perhaps he was short in clubs. We would reject that idea because it would give declarer a side suit of six or seven cards. So, he must be trying to give an ambiguous message, such as “I don't have side suit winners to help you defeat the contract,” which means that declarer holds the K. With no way to get to partner's hand, I would probably now shift to the A, and hope for a third round winner. Not the play I would make if partner showed the K.
March 12
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OK, missed that. East then mishandled the situation.
March 12
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Were N/S damaged? No,. but E/W probably were.

South failed to disclose a conventional meaning for the redouble, Had East known that N was showing a hand with a heart suit (instead of more generally a strong hand), he could have passed 1 XX, and West might have sacrificed in 4.
March 12
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