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All comments by Barry Rigal
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That might be an indirect record in that it was the fifth call of the auction that introduced their 13-card fit. Of course an artificial call to show a long suit might achieve the same result but this seems ‘odder’. The history books are full of pairs playing Multi missing HUGE fits because one player assumes his partner has the other major. so in a way they never bid their suit; but I don't know if they include missing a 13-card fit.
9 hours ago
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I'm pleased to hear that we are only discussing 4441 shapes.
Some 4441s are easier to bid than others. Stiff spade is the worst; 1m-1-2 is ugly but at least you have two suits in below 2NT.

1m-1-2 on 4-1-4-4 is probably going to leave you better placed than 2NT opener. 1m-1M-4om splinter is surely going to leave you better placed than 2NT opener.

And if partner passes 1m unless you have the huge major-suit fit with 0-3 HCP facing 20 you aren't clearly worse placed.

The point is that particularly if playing WJR the 6-4 fit will almost never go missing and you wouldn't have found the 4-4 fit with a hand that can't respond to 2NT (in fact 44(14) 21 facing 3442 3-count may find hearts when you open 1m and not when you open 2NT). So while you could sell me on stiff king in 1=4=4=4 21/2-count, I'm not buying any other pigs in pokes.
May 24
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I wondered if it was possible to disagree with Bob more strongly than I did on responding 1NT to a x with a four-card major. Thanks Bob for clearing a very high bar.

Opening 2NT with a singleton…please, please, Bob do it against me!

I know it is possible to use over-emotive language; I'll try to restrain myself to describing a 2NT opener with a hand with any 5-4 shape no/ matter what the singleton as losing bridge. the reason you don't open the suit with the offshape 15-17 hand is the rebid. With 5431 and some 4441 you actively enjoy your rebid (reverse/jump shift) when you have 19-22.

For the record my client partner's last 2NT opener was A/KQxx/KJxxx/AKx which went as you would expect in 3NT facing 10xx/Axx/Qxxxx/Qxx.
May 24
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I hate opening 1NT with a singleton and in a strong NT 2+ basis I haven't done it in 8 years. In a standard base my three attempts with stiff king (thanks Joel!) have yielded an ave 90% board. This is over a 16-month period so I'm not exactly seeking my chance to take this call.

To reiterate some comments: above any hand with 5M or 4 or any 17-count is out for me. The first two are easy to describe though on the third round you may have to guess whether to go high or low. I can live with that.
17-counts reverse and are happy to do so (they may not be happy with the result but..)

Some 15-counts happily downgrade with a stiff honor – is there any doubt that K/Qxxx/AQxx/KJxx is between 13 and 14 not a 15-count?

16-counts with a reversing shape and a stiff K are the perfect hands to take the call. Any other treatment will mean a likely big lie on the second round facing the probable response. Here you lie on the first round – but stiff K may be as good support as xx?

What this comes down to, I think, is that I'd rather bid my suits if my judgment tells me to do so. Opening 1NT lets you into a ‘system’ auction, opening a suit gets you into a judgment auction. And the readers of BW have good enough judgment that they should back their instincts.

Treating A/Kxx/Axxx/KQxxx the same as K/AKx/AQxx/xxxxx is not something I'd be happy with.

Note that 1-1!M-2 is a ‘good’ reversing auction. you get to bid 2NT and limit if necessary at your second turn. 1/-1-2 is far more awkward. So before taking the kneejerk decision to ope3n 1NT look at your third call after a reverse first.
May 23
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what is format for ko (if we reach it – or even if we don't I suppose)?
May 23
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I think I can top that.
After a weak 2 opener to her left Sue Picus heard the auction continue 2 from partner and 3 to her right. Your partner had promised 0/1 diamond, I assume. Sue was facing an overcall at the two level and had a mere:

K Q 9 8 6 5 4 3
A 3
10 7
9

her partner ended in 6x; and yes he had to draw a round of trump.

AJ107/xx/AK52/Kxx

After a top heart lead eight spades and a top diamond in one order or another saw declarer's RHO caught in a squeeze when holding six diamonds and the A.
He was forced to pitch a heart whereupon a club set up the 12thy trick.
May 23
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So maybe the play wasn't so remarkable but Jay made the most of his limited resources.
He pitched his diamond loser on the hearts and played the club ace and ruffed a club as the queen appeared. Now he ruffed two diamonds in hand low and two clubs high in dummy.
That promoted a trump for West but declarer played a spade to the queen and the spade ten. West could win but had only a trump and a losing club left. So Stiefel won the two tricks in hand.
So what is odd about that you may ask?
Well look at West's shape and compare it to dummy and declarer's hand. There isn't that much in common with the shape; but West followed suit throughout – bar the tricks he led to.
Maybe that isn't really unusual but I don't think it happens very often that you never discard on a hand that is played through to trick 13.
May 22
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Add my vote (loudly) to the 1 crowd – though pretending I had a balanced hand and opening a short club to rebid 1NT would be just fine too. And after 1-1-2NT we would get a spade lead into the tenace. (or a heart lead).
Give me K10954 and I'd expect the hand to be worth an extra HCP. This doesn't feel like a hand I want to insist on being declarer in game. Slam is another matter.
May 21
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I agree with what David says but I think there is a separate issue: assuming partner has led from AK which card should you follow with from four when dummy has Qxx(x)?
The important thing is to have an agreement: do you play pure count and let partner work out if 2 or 4? Do you focus on getting your ruff (high is shortness, low is odd, play a specific card with four or five such as simulate two with five, play second most discouraging with four).

Then as a separate position decide how to signal with 3/4/5 if you have denied two in the auction.

This holding is far more complex though Rusinow would solve your problems of course. if partner might need attitude because he has led from Ax(x) life is highly complex.
May 21
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Mention of Adrian Putley above reminds me of his nickname – Drawback. David Burn or Richard Fleet will probably be able to provide chapter and verse.
May 20
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The play is as indicated above with trick ten collecting the four jacks. well done all who spotted it.
Spade, club to the king, 3xH. D shift won, three clubs to which West follows and South pitches a low diamond. Then CJ SJ DJ HJ. Nobody did anything unnatural; it just happened.
May 20
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Well there ought to be a law. How hard is it to rotate the deal to make South declarer. I wish I had the intestinal fortitude not to comment on deals wrongly displayed; well maybe I'll make a start here.
And all Cretans are liars.
May 19
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This last story reminds me of an earlier thread which was (and I hope I remember right) Mike Passell discussing some of Eddy Wold's partners. The background:
Eddy had a male client who paid for Eddy to play with his mother. Said client sat behind his mother, who clearly had no intention of ever bidding all night.
At one point Eddy had bid hearts in a competitive auction, the opponents bid on and the lady started thinking. It was too much for the male client who said to his mother out loud ‘Four hearts’…so she led the heart four..
May 19
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Using Leaping Michaels on hands like this hasn't yet got me into trouble. the only occasion when it should have done my partner was doubled for penalty (I was about to pass the forcing bid) down 200…but the weak two bidder took the double as takeout and bid 4M down 200 in return.
May 19
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And that is the right answer. nobody was going out of their way to do anything cute; it just happened.
May 19
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I asked Jeff Rubens, who would have bid 2 and described 1NT as borderline. He WOULD bid 1NT with 10xxx and AJx. So that might cast a little light on the issue.
May 19
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Duly added; good idea.
May 19
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This one is simple if we know which hand partner played his nine with. If it is online we are in trouble. Maybe if playing reverse attitude the slower he plays it the more likely it is to be a singleton.
May 18
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I'm looking forward to using some of the excuses listed above when we miss our four-four spade fit on a deal of this sort for a complete zero. Yet I don't have the chutzpah to do that….
Somehow arguing that the player with the decent four-card major and ace-third facing partner's shortness is supposed to immolate himself on the altar of 1NT seems so bizarre that I'm wondering if it is a strawman argument.
Rubens' 1NT bid as advancer generally seem to feature a different sort of hand than one with a four-card major.

I'm sure Bob wasn't West in the original deal and yet…
:)
only joking Bob.
May 18
Barry Rigal edited this comment May 19
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Danny
Either bible scholars or Greek/(Latin?) students would have bumped into it I guess. Textual criticism was part of my studies for longer than I care to think. Having gone from one of the two studies above to the other I realize that from the age of 12-22 when I studied (which wasn't often) it would generally have involved this area.
May 18
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