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All comments by David Parsons
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Richard, I provided partner's original hand six notes up in this thread. How would you have bid it with your best partner? At the Flight A North American Pairs event here in NYC, 30% of the group got to the superior 6 contract while the other 70% (including me) got to only 3NT.
Oct. 12
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Yes, 3 does mean that…but it also means “extras” (more than a limit raise) since the bidder has agreed to move beyond 3. So, perhaps I misspoke (sorry) when I said it promises a “control.” In fact, it merely promises a stopper and also denies a stopper in hearts.
Oct. 12
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Oops. I need to retract my statement that the T was the best lead by 0.1 tricks when run double dummy. While the constraints on the problem were fine, I made a mistake on reading the results. The actual result was that the T lost (not won) by 0.1 tricks. Sorry about that. Glad that the simulator confirmed the majority opinion here, and the advice that the pros have given me.
Oct. 11
David Parsons edited this comment Oct. 11
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Ah, okay. I misunderstood.
Oct. 11
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If you're so certain about 5, then why not bid 5, the Queen-asking bid? If partner has six diamonds, he'd bid something other than 5 and you'd reach small slam, with an extremely high chance of success given the position of the takeout doubler. If partner has no keycards rather than three, he can always sign off in 5. In the actual hand, partner did indeed have the following hand, when grand slam has a shot at making and small slam is cold:
A83
T8
KT8753
AQ
Oct. 11
David Parsons edited this comment Oct. 11
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If the CC is wrong and “Could be Short” was not properly announced with the 1 bid, and it made a difference, then opponents could rightfully claim damages afterwards.

Whereas, if the CC was correct and the question gave UI information to defenders, causing LHO to lead clubs many times to set up the fourth club of defender, then I think that the declarer could rightfully seek damages.

There are appropriate ways to handle these things, and then there are inappropriate ways.
Oct. 9
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This was a tough call – in the actual hand, partner had a singleton A, and small doubleton spade, and had KQJT (missing the A). So, 6 went down one, but if partner had a doubleton heart and singleton spade, it would have made. Partner was critical of my 6 bid, but since my invitational bid of 4 was preempted, I thought I had to make a choice. And, even if I had been able to make a 4 invitational bid agreeing clubs, would I have been happy with partner bidding only 5 with his hand?

The 4NT bid is really interesting to me – is this a way to invite to 6 (since choice of minors doesn't make sense after my partner bids a minor)?

After comments here, we might just adopt 4NT as that type of system! So, thanks for those who discussed it and especially Jim Munday, who posted that as his choice.
Oct. 9
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Sorry. I should have been more careful.
Oct. 9
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Oh come on, Ray. If the lead was from a three card suit, the board had a three card suit, and declarer's RHO asked what the minimum number of clubs declarer could have, do you think that declarer's RHO could have anything other than four? I was dummy and couldn't see any other hands, and immediately correctly concluded the shape of the unbid hands…and I'm not Sherlock Holmes.
Oct. 9
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The board has three clubs. The leader “usually” leads four from four but chose to lead third from three, because the leaders four card suit was unattractive. The partner of leader thinks that there are too many clubs around…he has four, declarer is supposed to have three, and dummy has three. If his partner has four, then there's too many around. He wouldn't be asking the question AFTER seeing dummy unless he had four clubs, would he? Just logic…it's easy.
Oct. 8
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Under Minor Opening, the “3” is checked for 1C and 1D.
Oct. 8
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Yes, the card was filled out appropriately and it was on the table.
Oct. 8
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At matchpoints, pushing for game in spades with a three-card limit raise opposite a weak overcall seems a bit insane to me.
Sept. 14
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Thanks, Paul! I imagine your interpretation is the reason so many people bid 3, which is clearly forcing. But after 3NT by partner, now what? 4NT can only be invitational for NT at the point, right? 4 would clearly be forcing, but how about 4? Perhaps 4 after 3NT as a key-card asking “Kickback” bid for hearts would make sense? And what would 4 mean after 3NT? (Kickback for clubs?) I'm genuinely curious how you'd interpret these (or would ideally like them to be interpreted). And how would BWS interpret them?

I learn a lot from these discussions, and one “quote” for which I've seen the wisdom is that 4 would be forcing if “partner has not limited his hand.” So, per this quote, it does indeed seem that 4 should be treated as forcing since partner has not limited his hand. Though, clearly 4 isn't right in this OP hand.

We do indeed play “Redwood” (Kickback) for the minor suits, and we've also agreed that in making a bid that can be interpreted as either Redwood or Splinter, Redwood should take precedent. So, 4 sounds like a reasonable bid here, even though the implication that clubs is agreed might confuse partner.

The real problem with hands like the OP hand is that there's no way to show a six-card heart suit and be forcing to slam. And therefore, there's no way to ask for keycards for hearts (rather than clubs). One possibility might be to use 4 for keycard-ask in clubs and 4NT for keycard-ask in hearts – I've seen this type of system being used as a conventional response to “Leaping Michaels” for example. But then, 4NT as a quantitative inviting bid has merit as well. Perhaps 4 should be a “Kickback” keycard ask for hearts?

As you've figured out by now, this is the companion hand to another hand in which, without having discussed the meaning of 4NT and 4 in a competitive auction, one of us (okay, it was me) bid 6NT with this hand and missed the 7NT grand slam.

I soon regretted not bidding 4 here as I think partner would have correctly interpreted that. Interestingly, the OP hand does need partner to have the AKQ and K to make all the tricks in NT, and that's exactly what partner had!

Thanks again for everyone's input – Bridge Winners is one of the best learning tools for me!
Sept. 13
David Parsons edited this comment Sept. 13
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Paul, I regard you as an expert on BWS and I assume that you know that 4NT is keycard for clubs? My partner and I were both wondering.
Sept. 12
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Larry thinks this “rule” of not supporting with two-card support is pretty important: https://www.larryco.com/bridge-articles/two-over-one-gf-part-11
Sept. 11
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Hah…love the steak with his eggs comment – gotta remember that! :-)
Aug. 31
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There is only one lead that holds them to 3NT, with the actual hand, and that is a low diamond. Dummy had five clubs and four hearts, declarer had four diamonds and four spades. Partner does have Qxx of diamonds and a low diamond gets two diamond tricks before clubs run.

This one reminded me of a book by Mike Lawrence entitled “Tips on Cardplay” where he talks about leading declarer's bid suit (against NT) under certain conditions when you feel that declarer had bid a four card suit. The diamond suit meets every one of Mike's conditions – Lawrence goes out of his way to advise that a lead towards declarer's suit is much better than a lead through dummy's suit, even though some lead textbooks state otherwise.
Aug. 31
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If partner doesn't have shortness in spades and the Q (or equivalent) after his 4 bid vulnerable, I would be shocked, wouldn't you?
Aug. 31
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I don't get why 3 isn't considered.

By his pass, partner has tolerance for diamonds and if he has a club stopper I'd think 3NT would be a finesse away, such finesse having more than a 50% chance of making with the strong hand in the right position.
Aug. 30
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