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All comments by Alvin Bluthman
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Yuhudit:

I misread the auction. You are on lead against spades or clubs; partner is on lead against notrump.

But that is not all of the story. If you double 3NT, are you asking for a spade lead or for a club lead? If you double 3 in a ;live auction, forcing to game,, what To you mean to be doing?

David Caelisle's hand KJ10x AKQx KJxx x is about the maximum holding, but what do you expect partner to say with a Yarborough and four or five clubs, except pass. I do not expect to defeat 3 doubled, even on a trump lead (to try to prevent declarer from ruffing out his spade losers).
15 hours ago
Alvin Bluthman edited this comment 8 hours ago
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Deleted. Sorry.
16 hours ago
Alvin Bluthman edited this comment 15 hours ago
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Andy:

While I see the merit of your statement, the definition is as stated. The magazine also maintains that an opener's reverse obliges opener to make his second bid in a higher ranking suit than his first; that is, as you know, not always accurate either. (And, no. The problem is not merely about the so-called “high reverse” of auctions like 1 - 2; 3. Sometimes, naming suits to play in does not begin on the first round at all).

The magazine has also criticized definitions written by others, such as in the June 2019 editorial, commenting on the definitions in the Laws of Bridge.

All I can say on the subject is that it is extremely difficulty to craft definitions intended for use as intellectual premises, rather than merely as descriptors.
June 16
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Bridge World Standard 2017 states “A competitive action is one taken over an opponent's bid, double or redouble. A competitive action taken in direct position immediately follows an opponent's action; one taken in reopening position follows an opponent's action and two passes.”
June 15
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Are you asking for a term to refer to the following: (a) a bid to the immediate left of a bid which is a one-round force, I. e. a pass by the bidder's LHO will not end the auction; and (b) by the partner of the overcalller. “Advancer” is used for the player in the (b) auction. I don't know of a word for the (a) auction.
June 15
Alvin Bluthman edited this comment June 15
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If the positive 3 bid promises a side ace or king, together with the diamond suit, then North should bid 6. End of story. (((FN))) However, it might not have that promise. E. G. South might have shown only AKQxxx or the like. If so, then North cannot, at that stage, be secure in bidding the slam. What South priomises depends on partnership methods, which we do not know. The same is true of the 3 bid - is it a spade control, or a spade suit?

—————–
(((FN))): Except that, in the very rare case in which responder holds TWO such cards, one of them will be the king of hearts, and he can draw the necessary inference and raise to s3even hearts.
June 10
Alvin Bluthman edited this comment June 11
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Basically, BR is suggesting that Smith asks for another underlead. Basically, that supports JM's statement that he sees Smith in books only when third-hand has played his second highest of touching (or possibly finessing) honors. Thus, he wants the same play again.

This cannot apply when third hand plays the king (denying the queen, and not picking up dummy's queen when holding KJ. This situation needs a different rule. So, in this type of situation, if Smith is to be played, it should have a different meaning. As I understand JM, he is suggesting that it show either the jack or enough extra length to drop declarer's jack.

Any thoughts? And how would Smith be different from SPS in this situation?
June 9
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To quote RP, who is comparing a 99% 6 contract with a 91% 6NT contract:

Suppose the above scenario occurred 100 times. On average, 6 C would make 99 times, and 6 NT would make 91 times. At total points 6 C nets 99 × 920 - 50 = 91,030 points, while 6 NT nets 91 × 990 - 9 × 50 = 89,640 points. Consequently, bidding the superior slam in clubs gains 1390 total points, or an average of about 14 points per board. This is the way it should be.

Now consider the picture at IMPs. On the 91 occasions when both slams make, 6 NT gains 91 × 2 = 182 IMPs. On the eight occasions when only 6 C makes, 6 NT loses 8 × 14 = 112 IMPs. Thus, we have a complete turnaround! Bidding the inferior notrump slam now gains 70 IMPs, or an average of 0.70 IMPs per board. This is obviously wrong.

The primary objective in bidding is to reach the best contract, yet doing so here gets kicked in the face by the current scoring method. The problem lies in the assessment of 2 IMPs for high scores that differ by little. With low scores, say 180 versus 120, the 2-IMP differential is on the mark; but to gain 2 IMPs for 990 versus 920 is disproportionate.

To fix this, I (((RP))) propose a change:


If both tables make an undoubled slam, a difference of 20-80 is 1 IMP, and 90-100 is 2 IMPs.


In this case, making 6 NT (990) versus 6 C (920) would gain only 1 IMP, which neatly corrects the scoring flaw: In 100 deals 6 NT gains 91 while losing 112, properly favoring the club slam. Note that if both slams make an overtrick (1020 vs. 940) it is still 1 IMP, but if only 6 NT makes an overtrick it is 2 IMPs.

The adjustment works equally well when vulnerable, and/or for major- versus minor-suit slams. For instance, 6 H (1430) versus 6 D (1370) gains only 1 IMP, while 1460 (overtrick) versus 1370 gains 2 IMPs. It also works for grand slams (e.g., 2210 vs. 2140) but in that case it is always 1 IMP since overtricks do not exist.

This simple change will restore the traditional strategy to reach the best slam, as opposed to the current winning strategy to steal the 2 IMPs. Those who prefer the latter can always play matchpoints — though “matchpoint bridge” is arguably an oxymoron.

Back to APB: Does anyone else want to play this way? If so, or not, why?
June 9
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So sorry. Not clear what convention you are referring to. Please explain.
June 4
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On June 3, 2019, the show aired James Holzhauer's 33rd game, in which he lost. The game was taped, per news reports, on Marc h 12, 2019, before his first game aired.
June 4
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I raise this issue because Eddie kantar, in his RKC books, wrote that Goldman and Soloway had an extensive set of agreements on what 4 meant in a heart auction, thereby discouraging Kantar from using 4 as Kickback. He took this position, even though much of his writing on the subject (in five editions) proposes a complex set of agreements about which suit should be used as the RKC ask in a minor suit auction. That is, if you ask for keycards in a club auction, is your asking bid 4, 4, 0or 4? If if you ask for keycards in a diamond auction, is your asking bid 4, 4, 4 or 4?

I've never understood the need for such complexity. Perhaps Cohen and Berkowitz had it right. Or, at least, a simple set of agreements can make it easy.
June 3
Alvin Bluthman edited this comment June 3
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Certainly true.

Can you suggest ways to identify 4 buds as natural, Kickback, controls, or splinters?
June 2
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This is too confused. In “standard,” such as BWS and elsewhere, you deny the trump queen by bidding the trump suit at the five level. All other calls show the trump queen (or ten trumps, the equivalent). Typically, the cheapest non-trump bid denies any/all relevant side suit cards you are requested to show. All other bids promise at least one. This is true in both the Kantar style (described in his RKB books) and in Spiral Scan.

Whatever else your partnership chooses to do, these two principles should be clear and universal.

Example 2 presents a problem because the request for the trump queen and the side suit honors must be made above five of the trump suit. This is no good. Rearrange your bidding by making your key-card ask at a lower level, such as by using Kickback (4 in a heart auction, “Baby Blackwood,” (3NT), or some other approach (even Roman Keycard Gerber, though it loses the use of 4 bid, is probably better than using 4NT as RKC in a heart auction. This will allow opener to ask for the trump queen and side suit values by a bid of 5 or lower, solving the problem shown.
May 31
Alvin Bluthman edited this comment May 31
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Paul:

“When you open 1NT you define your hand very precisely as to shape and high cards, so partner has a better idea of where our side is going than we do.”

That's the theory anyway, but is it really true that partner has a good idea about your hand? In the modern game, we have 1NT openings with any five card suit, and any doubleton, or neither. We have “good 14s” masquerading as 1NT openings, as well as “bad 17s” (assuming you are playing 15-17 - adjust to your own reality).

We have long, strong suits, and long weak ones, sometimes six-card minors. We have short strong suits, and short weak ones.

Granted, partner may have a better guess about your hand that you have about his. But how good can his guesses be?

Just as there is now a theory of “shared captaincy preempts” (August W. Boehm, March 2019 Bridge World), there is a need for a theory of “shared captaincy notrumps.”
May 31
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Whenever opener's RHO bids a suit after a transfer, opener can accept only by bidding one or more levels higher. Hence, 1NT (P) 2 (2), opener's next heart bid is at the three level.

This must show a hand that sows extras (at least three or four trumps by agreement, or maximum strength, rejecting some hands with which opener would have bid teo hearts when forced to do so.

Also, doubling 2, or bidding 3 or 3 should have specific meanings, such as penalty for the double, or a five card minor for the 3 or 3 bids. BWS 2017 has no specified meanings for these sequences, as it codifies opener's rebids after a double fo the transfer but not over an overcall beyond the transfer. Some may play these 3 or 3 bids as specialized superacceptances o the transfer.
May 31
Alvin Bluthman edited this comment May 31
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Is this his player number?

(((number deleted)))

If the same man, then he was recently playing in youth games, and last played in a tournament about two years ago. Too bad he hasn't continued. Many young people with families are too busy studying or earning a living to play much bridge.
May 27
Alvin Bluthman edited this comment May 28
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Good idea.
May 27
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You expect to take ten tricks in hearts, including partner's values, which you will assume are just under one-third of the missing values not in your hand. If you expected to take fewer tricks, you would either pass the hand out, or bid hearts at a lower level.

The most difficult decision occurs when you expect between nine and ten tricks. Should you go high or go low?
May 27
Alvin Bluthman edited this comment May 27
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Board is rotated correctly now. Thank you.

Now, my choice is a diamond lead (the nine), with a double finesse. I'm going after overtricks. The odds are 76% that I can get a third diamond trick, and seem to always have two spade tricks for nine. All I need is to guess the soade ten(or for the opponents to lead the suit for me, though this is unlikely in a good pairs game), and I have at least ten tricks.

The IMPs play, which will guarantee nine tricks after the favorable start, is a spad away from the ace to the jack.
May 27
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I'm confused. It seems, from the hand diagram, that it was N-S who bid 1 - 3NT, but neither the bidding diagram nor the cards played to trick one reflect this.

Please fix this to make it easier to read.
May 26
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