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All comments by David Yates
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This whole ethics thing I think I get. Why anyone thinks 3 shows a 5503 (or 4405) moose when LHO opened a 15-17 NT and you have 14 HCP with major holdings indicating partner's “majors” are spotty as well is beyond me. Either North psyched the 1NT to account for the moose in the room or partner usually has 3 HCP for a DONT bid and thus makes an auto GI with any ten point hand. (Which might explain 2 only spades, obviously W has seen partner's DONT bids).

The reason this is relevant is this relates to an inherent issue with all UI cases. Here, we have an honest player stating that he could tell by partner's reaction that 2 was a misbid. We have some really, really good players here some of whom have not gotten to the part that partner cannot have the moose. (Jeff G shows a hand for 3, but that means 1NT was a psych.)

So color me cynical (I am a colorful guy) but in cases when a TD gets to the table and the partner of UI-er has a detailed analysis of how it is ‘impossible’ that overcaller has not misbid, I have to wonder whether that analysis would have ever happened behind screens had it not been first triggered by the obvious table action.

As far as this case goes, IMO “technically” West is allowed to bid as he wants. (Because, obviously “everyone” can field this without the table action). 4 is OK because that caters to the 4504 (impossible) moose. Pass of 3 is OK too. What I would not allow is a 3 call by E. So I would roll back to 2 and it is probably down 4, but we do not have the N/S hands to know for sure.
15 hours ago
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Often, the commentary associated with a choice prevents me from selecting an option. But (FWIW) I do also agree that last train is a decided overstatement of the value of this hand.

A 5 LT bid makes sense if 5 is a slam try denying a spade control. However, pretty sure most would play 4 by advancer here as natural and not a cue. Maybe the voters did not give the auction as much thought at the computer as they would at the table.
Oct. 17
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It is not clear to me that ‘no’ is the correct answer.

The final part of L23A (hereinafter WT?) states “ or 3. has the same purpose (e.g. an asking bid or a relay) as that attributable to the withdrawn call. ”

It seems to me that 2NT Leb to sign-off in hearts serves the same purpose as transferring via 2 to sign-off in hearts. The fact that other hand types might be shown via 2NT is not relevant as the law is written. Each clause under L23A is separated by an ‘or’ clause making each condition independant. The subset provision is specified in L23A2 and is a separate condition. If any one of the provisions set forth in L23A1, A2 or A3 is true, then the call is considered comparable. They need not all be true.

In Frances' example, a 4 call by opener over 3 would trigger provisions of L23C (as L16C is specifically not applicable). Assistance gained through the infraction certainly led to opener's 4 call and the TD would be directed to adjust the score.
Oct. 17
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What I know about the club finesse is not whether it works or fails, but that I do not need it. There is no useful discard. So a winning hook only matters if RHO has Jxxx because they cannot tap you.

But if you are worried about the tap, the first round heart hook is a much better play. It is 3:1 against the club hook. All the missing A&K will probably not be with E because he might have overcalled 1NT instead of X. (And if he has all 4 control cards, the finesse is 0%). If he has only two control cards, he doesn't have a X. So it looks as though E will have 3 high honors and W just one. Hence 3:1 against or 25% at best since JJ with W is possible and E now only 14 HCP for X. Meanwhile, the J onside is nearly 2/3 - way better than hoping the club hooks works. This assumes the relevant heart distributions are 1-4 or 2-3. (I doubt Chris X's with 4522 and even so, I am dead).

The problem is even given these remaining distributions that slightly increase the chance of the heart finesse winning, playing for the drop is now 75%. But of course this was the other 25%.
Oct. 16
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I didn't think I did either :)
Oct. 16
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It is a support-X with three-card support for partner's pass. The other ten cards should be useful. For me, this is a good 4-6 hand.
Oct. 14
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Without agreement, I would assume partner meant it as natural. But I prefer a cue with agreement.
Oct. 14
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I am not sure that I want to shoot out 4 and see what happens. This is because if it goes P-P-4-P, I am winning. But if LHO makes any other call, things probably wont work out so well because this hand is not good enough to open 4 and then reopen with a X if the ops act.

For me, this is mostly a “who is on my left” problem. I don't have a problem with partner selecting 4. Some days that is my call too. But I think it is a much better call if the ops are red.

I think it is misplaced believing your decisions on this hand will be more difficult opening 1. …4; 4NT-P-5-? you are stuck passing and then guessing what to lead. Partner is on lead if LHO overcalls 5 and this was not a hand I looked forward to defending.

If I open 1, partner will have a chance to speak and I prefer having some information. I am not so worried at IMPs that the ops might “find a sac”. Better ops are less likely to sac at IMPs at equal. If they are slated for -300, +3 is their best outcome and -8 when 4 fails. This isn't MP math.

4 could work. But I generally prefer to make tough decisions with some information as opposed to being stuck with a random decision with no input from partner.
Oct. 14
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That's OK. I blame that typo on the editor, Eugene :)
Oct. 13
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@David, is there an English translation of this American vernacular?
Oct. 13
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Card him! (Appears <21!)
Oct. 12
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Beer him! (7)
Oct. 12
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Maybe that explains why I have old scorecards all over the place.
Oct. 11
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I can understand people overcalling 4. I don't understand why you think you will play there - unless your bidding so scares partner that they would pass the South hand because “it's you”.

North doesn't really have a 4 bid and you still have 11 tricks in NT.

If you overcall 4 on the N hand, you just change the nature of the ATB posts to “missed slam” or “no chance slam”.
Oct. 8
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The Tonya Harding defense doesn't work in bridge because you can just get a stationary N/S if you cannot walk.

@ Randy, it was legal, then it was midchart, now it is legal again. Though I am not sure that I want to bet if the ACBL has finally made up their minds.
Oct. 7
David Yates edited this comment Oct. 7
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The old Kit Woolsey “game try to stop us” route :)
Oct. 7
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@CJ - ugh. 1NT is still 1NT. You asked partner to bid and he passed the decision back to you.
Oct. 6
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A half-dozen years ago we were playing a KO match, (P)-P-(1)-? by one of the best players in the world. The 1 opening hand was a bit worse than the actual South hand here since after my X we reached a final contract of 6 making.

If the psych worked and we lost the match, I could not imagine crying to the officials about my opponent's bid. With the above S hand, I can also not imagine not opening 1 in 3rd seat. It isn't even a total psych. It is just a K lite for the usual 3rd seat light opening. (I like 1 simply b/c I can pass 1)
Oct. 6
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I think the problem with this line is that declarer is left guessing which squeeze will operate. So while one can succeed against many positions, in the end you have to guess just one.

For ex, suppose we discover that E has the 4(+) spades. The end position will be:

Dummy


104
AK7

Decl
7
6
K4
10

If E is guarding clubs, declarer must cash red suit cards to squeeze him. If E is holding the Q, then declarer must play the clubs first. There isn't any way to divine his minor suit guard from the discards. The wrong guess is -1.

The squeeze Jannes suggests above is automatic and works against either defender without guessing which minor suit the hand with the spades is guarding. This is because you can pitch a spade from dummy on the last heart.
Oct. 6
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If clubs are 4-4 (and not exactly QJ98/6542) then either defender can guard clubs. Both lines make on 3-3 spades. So the question seems whether either hand holding 4(+) spades plus Q or 4(+) spades & 5+C is more probable than the simple 50% of Q onside.

Vacant spaces makes the Q less likely to be in the hand with the four spades. But given the additional vig of 45 blacks in either, it seems that finding either of those situations is >50%.

Note that declarer has an idle spade card to pitch from dummy on the last heart, so no guessing.

A calculator and some effort might produce exact numbers, but this is how I would think about it at the table.
Oct. 6
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