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All comments by Craig Biddle
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Yes, the problem is for West to visualize the heart shift when a club shift is also plausible, and perhaps even more likely to be right.
4 hours ago
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I hate lead problems like this. When someone gives you the hand, you know there's a right lead, and anything could be right. Lefty could have KQJx, or AQJ7x, or righty could have QJ9x. My gut reaction to most lead problems against 3NT is to avoid giving a trick on lead. People bid 3NT on anything nowadays.
4 hours ago
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I thought this way on day 3 of the Roth Swiss in Vegas. All vul, LHO opened 2 and partner doubled. I held 1095 108532 AJ6 !xJ3. So I bid 2. 4 from CHO, double from RHO.
23 hours ago
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1. It's acceptable to either cue bid or balance with 1 to me.

2. Pass was the wrong action. East knows that two 8-card fits exist, and has a reasonably good hand for the auction. I would have bid 2, planning to bid hearts later if the auction continued.

3. Bidding 2 is noncommittal about strength, redouble shows a good hand.

4. 3 - this must show some sort of decent hand since with clubs he could just sit for 2xx.

5. Nope. Who says advancer isn't 2=2=5=4 with a near Yarborough?

6. I don't think this is a “should have.” I think West could have bid otherwise, but his auction is certainly acceptable. He can't possibly have a preemptive hand with 5-5 majors here (he would just pass), so partner should know he has something.
Aug. 19
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It's hard to answer your questions without seeing all 4 hands and the rest of the auction. It seems that partner must have had a hand that at least cause some people to act directly over 1.

As far as the ruling on the pre-alert is concerned, I think that a procedural penalty is in order and I think that can easily be applied after the fact by knocking the appropriate number of VP's off of the offenders' total. I see no reason for the non-offending side to benefit from an adjustment to the table result here, it seems likely that responder's decision to bid over the 1 opening would have talked EW out of bidding game anyway,
Aug. 19
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1. 2, telling partner what I have and acquiring more information.
2a. 3, selecting the best strain.
2b. No, if partner forgets, it's on him. After all, partner agreed to play this way, he should have put in the work required to learn it.
3. I wouldn't be in this position. But if I were, I would duck the first two clubs and win the 3rd since I can't let them win 3 and shift to hearts.
4. If LHO has played a club smaller than the one he led, I play a diamond to the ace and another; if LHO has played nothing but higher clubs I take the diamond hook.
Aug. 19
Craig Biddle edited this comment Aug. 20
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If I run to 1, I know that neither opponent has 5 and partner knows I don't have that many either. So whatever he has, we will end up in our relatively least bad spot unless he is 2=4=3=4.
Aug. 18
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Yes, I have LHO and RHO reversed.
Aug. 18
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You're right, that should have been 91.5% of the time that I don't overtake and trumps are 3-1. I think all the rest of the math is correct, though.
Aug. 18
Craig Biddle edited this comment Aug. 18
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Yes, this was the first article in the series of articles called the “Useful Space Principle” which also gave us kickback and transfer advances of overcalls. The series was in 6 parts, from November 1980 to April 1981.
Aug. 18
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Perhaps you should play that, after a RD, a cue is like a fit-jump in the suit partner was forced to bid. Partner would be charmed to declare 4 with his mitt.

As mentioned below, (a) this cue would be a responsive double hand type, and (b) paradox replies to the RD would solve this problem (and others). For instance, in a paradox context, this hand would now bid 4 over a 3 “denial” and the best strain would be reached.

I'm not sure, however, that committing to the 3-level in AKJxx with Jx in their suit and 10xx in partner's is all that hot of an idea at matchpoints.
Aug. 18
Craig Biddle edited this comment Aug. 18
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And then there are the unwashed among us who would like to be able to open this 1NT in any seat. Doesn't help much with partner's lead, but RHO may be reluctant to sit out a double with a broken 6-card diamond suit.
Aug. 18
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Assume that all follow low to the first spade. If I lead the Q now and LHO follows low, then RHO will have the J 12 of 23 times. BUT overtaking also makes 12 tricks half the time when the J DOESN'T drop since I will endplay LHO with it immediately and he will have to let me back to dummy.

A. If I overtake

Spades 2-2 - 12 cases

Finesse on - 50% - 6 cases of 13 tricks

Finesse off - 50% - 6 cases of 12 tricks

Spades 3-1 - 11 cases

Finesse on - 50% - 5.5 cases of 12 tricks

Finesse off - 50% - 5.5 cases of 11 tricks

Don't overtake

First suit I attack breaks 3-3 or 4-2 - 84%

Stiff K with LHO's 3rd trump - 1.2%

Stiff K with RHO's stiff trump - about 1.4%, now RHO is an 11:5 favorite to have the other K, too, so I go down about 0.5%

RHO has Kxxxx and can give LHO a ruff - about 8%. Actually, there's a diabolical defense here where RHO, with Kxxxx in the suit I attacked, shifts to the other rounded suit. I of course rise with the ace and play the first suit - ruff and they cash the other K and hold me to 10 tricks.

But let's say I make 12 tricks by not overtaking when spades are 3-1 and hearts are 3-3, 4-2 or 5-1 with the king or the heart length in the hand with the 3rd trump, (edited thanks to BY's comment below); 8.5% of 5.5 cases is about 0.46 cases, so the overtake case wins an extra matchpoint for making 12 tricks when not overtaking doesn't.

So overtaking gains in 6.46 cases, breaks even at 12 tricks in 11.04 cases, a total of at least 11.98 out of 23 matchpoints.

Overtaking is right, by a small margin.
Aug. 18
Craig Biddle edited this comment Aug. 18
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That's partly true but perhaps the amazingly good defense merely held an overtrick. So the relay pair gets a composite 50% on the pair of boards for being the only pair to bid a good grand slam and being the only pair not to make an overtrick in a normal game.

Does that seem fair to the relay pair?
Aug. 17
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Yes, by reducing the spread between the top and bottom score, you are doing little to reduce the variance. EW receiving 15 “free IMPs” in your method does little to reduce the overall effect of the swing because the swings on other boards are also similarly reduced.

And what about a deal where the proper IMP play in 4 or 5 is to take a safety play, but the proper play in 6 is to play for the maximum and the maximum play works? 40% of the field bids the slam. Now you have a datum of 450 or 650 and all the pairs bidding the slam get the full 11 or 13 IMPs, while their opponents get the corresponding minus. Is this fairer than having a datum of 768 or 1118? Perhaps, since the scores are now -7/+6 or -9/+7 for swings of 13 and 16 rather than 11 and 13. But is it worth the trouble?
Aug. 17
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I don't understand how you went down 1. After the first 5 tricks, wasn't the trump position QJ7x opposite 65 with the 8xx in South? So you cash the CQ, see the break, go to dummy by overtaking the Q with the K, and lead a club to the 7, draw trumps, and take 12 of the last 11 tricks.
Aug. 17
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When you tire of this crusade, there is a windmill near me that needs to be put in its place. I can rent you a horse and a lance.
Aug. 17
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There's no reason you couldn't just fasten a couple of 1“x1”x6' posts to opposite table legs and hang fabric between them with a flap and a couple of hooks to provide space to see the play. Or put a piece of plywood under the table to connect to the posts.

4-4'-8' sheets of 1/4“ plywood, cut into 2' x 4' sheets

32 1”x1" x 8' posts, cut to 6' in length - you can use the extra 2' to make feet for the posts

1 box small nails

24 yards heavy fabric (denim? terrycloth?)

staple gun to staple the fabric to the posts

32 hooks and eyes to secure the flap in the raise position.

Can of paint - a quart is probably enough

Total cash outlay for 16 screens, probably under $250.

A slightly better version could be built if someone was good with a sewing machine, tabs and velcro could be used to fasten the fabric to the posts. The fabric would then be removable and washable.
Aug. 17
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AK-A is 0.22% of all 11 point hands. This isn't 11+, it's 11++++.
Aug. 16
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20 HCP and 20 Low Card Points (2=4, 3=3, 4=2, 5=2). The best I've ever had was 14 and 21 (AAKQJ?5433222) - I opened it a 12-14 1NT.
Aug. 16
Craig Biddle edited this comment Aug. 16
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