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All comments by Andy Bowles
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100% seems an overbid. Ax AKQJxxxx xx A would be a 2 opener for most of us, and that's without using any side queens.
Oct. 17
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It's the i-word. If you look at the page source, you'll find that the list of bad words is quite short, so for example you could have used “cretin”, “imbecile”, “simpleton”, “fool”, “twit” or one of many different words for human reproductive organs.
Oct. 16
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This deal generated three polls on BridgeWinners before it was even 24 hours old. Maybe it's difficult?
Oct. 12
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Another thing that may have happened at the other table is that the opponents faced the auction 1-4 and misguessed.

What does an invitational hand with a shortage actually look like?
Oct. 12
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Richard, I said it “seems obvious to me”. I didn't say I expected it to be obvious to you.

And I used the word “trivial” in the context of a conversation that began:
Brad: “As far as balancing 2♠ goes, I wonder what we'd be saying …”
Andy: “I'd be saying ‘+110’”

Note the use of first person pronoun. Again, I wasn't suggesting that it would be trivial for you.
Oct. 11
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If you had offered a poll option that read simply “More South than North”, I would have voted for that.

I would also have voted for an option that read “More South than North. North's decision to leave in the double was unwise with such poor trump spots, but the alternatives are also unattractive: 2 might well be a 3-3 fit, and scrambling with 2NT would work poorly opposite a 4=1=4=4 shape. South's action was more clearly wrong, because he could have bid 2 showing this hand-type. A delayed takeout double covers a wide-range of hands, so it is best avoided when you have a good alternative.”
Oct. 11
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I think partner is more likely to make a good decision if I make a descriptive call. I have a hand which is well described by the phrase “four spades and a longer minor”. I have available a bid that shows four spades and a longer minor. Why should I expect a better result if I make a call that shows some other hand?
Oct. 11
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Getting to 3 after balancing with 2 is trivial. Partner bids 2nt asking for my minor, and I bid 3.
Oct. 10
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Sorry,I thought it was obvious. I don't vote in polls where each poll option includes a verbal justification (or, more commonly, inanity), so that voting requires me to choose from a set of opinions none of which I wholly agree with. If the poll options had been simply “100% North”, “More North than South”, etc, I would have voted.

I don't think that there was any risk of creating a sense of ill-defined self-doubt in the original poster. The final poll option makes it obvious that he understands why some people will choose not to participate.
Oct. 10
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“As far as balancing 2 goes, I wonder what we'd be saying about that choice if the round kings were switched and North lacked the 9.”

I'd be saying “plus 110”. Moving the kings around doesn't make 3 any less cold.
Oct. 10
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I didn't vote, because I never vote in polls of this type. That's not a complaint, but simply a statement of fact.
Oct. 10
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Yes, a second-round 2 seems obvious to me. It shows exactly this type of hand - only four spades, a longer minor, and unsuitable for a first-round action.
Oct. 10
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This analysis is fine, except that West is declarer, so North is the one who led 7. Hence North probably has four diamonds, and we should play for hearts 3-3.
Oct. 9
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This is how to do it in your head:

After we play two trumps and K-A-J:
- The trumps have split 2=1.
- The small hearts have split 2=3.
- Therefore each player has the same number of vacant places, so it's equally likely that either player has Q.

(Edit: This assumes there are no inferences form the lead.)
Oct. 9
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Technical arguments:
- On competitive partscore hands, the question you want to answer is more often “Should we bid on?”, not “Should we double?”.
- If redouble shows less offence, you risk going down in 2xx. If redouble shows more offence, that's less likely.

There's also a non-technical argument:
- If there is a choice of methods and neither is obviously better, choose the one that's more fun.
Oct. 9
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I don't think it's clear that it should be a maximum. There's a good case for playing it as any hand with four spades rather than three, to help partner to judge what to do.
Oct. 8
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They could ask you.
Oct. 4
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I didn't understand that because, so far as I can see, you didn't tell us that. Why can't opener be 4=3=4=2?
Oct. 2
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North's actions were normal. South underbid when he passed 2, and was a bit lucky to find so much duplication between the two hands. If North had held the more likely Qxx Axxx Jx Axxx, 3NT would have been a good contract. Even opposite the actual North hand, 3NT still had play.
Oct. 2
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3NT isn't cold on a simple squeeze, but it is making on a triple squeeze. Just cash the diamonds at tick two, and West can't hold onto the long spade.

This is a better idea than playing a spade at trick two, which loses when West has six spades.
Oct. 2
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