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All comments by Donald Lurie
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This was the full hand.
West: T73, QJ9, K95, AJ73/
North: 86, T72, JT643, T52/
East: AKQ9, AK6, A7, KQ86/
South: J542, 8543, Q82, 94

not having the 5NT bid as inviting 7 available, the hand was played in 7N, -1 with the spades not being 3-3 or jack dropping stiff or doubleton. The right minimums, the right 11-count that included -J or even 10 count with -J, no J, and s 3-2 permits you to cash 13 tricks off the top. It's just that, with the given suit, 7 is the superior contract on this occasion (barring really bad C and D breaks which always seem to happen to me).
Question 1: On the given combined hands, what are the chances of being able to have the spade suit generate 4 tricks?
Question 2: Which contract do you want to be in playing match points?
May 16
Donald Lurie edited this comment May 16
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I like this.
much better than 5N pick-a-slam which is how my partner for this hand (and some other partners) would have interpreted 5N.
bidding had gone 1N-2C-2D -?
I'm wondering if there is a way to distinguish between a 4-card suit up the line and a 5-card suit? Or is it bid 4+ - card suits up the line at the appropriate level? Also, do you want opener to rebid a weak 4-card major (no top honor)?

Would the recommendations be any different if the scoring format was match points?
May 16
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OK: for all you 2 bidders, partner rebids 2. For the 3 puppet bidders, partner responds 3 (no 5cd M) and 3N over which ever bid you use to shows your 4-card major. (I suspect one bids the 4-cd M you have playing minis seeing that you are the stronger hand, but I could be/ probably am wrong.
Is everyone agreed that 5NT now says 6 of something (4-card suits up the line sounds good) with a minimum, and 7 with max?
Or do some of you interpret 5NT as being pick-a-slam? (I, personally, don't think PAS makes a lot of sense, at least to me, in such a sequence. However, two people at the table weren't sure but thought it might/ did.)
May 14
Donald Lurie edited this comment May 14
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This hand reminds me of an old cartoon showing two senior ladies discussing their bidding methods. One says to the other, “Now remember, Myrtle, 4NT is always Blackwood!”
They would be in a better position to assess for a possible grand, to invite 7. Their 4NT would show 2 places to play: 6 or 7.
Oh, well. This is what you get at 2:45 am.
May 8
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partner gets another chance.
May 8
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what is the rush to bid 7H at MPs? Partner must have had a reason for asking about kings. So why not answer partner's question(s) and then show something else, like trick source, if partner tries to sign off in 6H and you've already decided that you're not stopping short of 7? At least partner will have more information should he/ she then decide to convert to 7N.
Side issue: Does 5N promise the Q? or enough s that Q is (hopefully) covered by length in s? Not everyone plays this at MPs, some may bid 5N to try to decide on 6N vs 6H as CZ suggested above. I suspect you agreed that it does since you were willing to jump to 7.
May 8
Donald Lurie edited this comment May 8
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thx tom: that's what i thought i remembered…dang-near slam in hand. but you know my memory.
would make for a good bidding poll
May 3
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Tom. can you pull up the hand from recently played hands from today. Did the hand have 6 or was it 7 spades to AKQ? I think I recall that it also had something like AQTx in s and the A of s somewhere in there….something there in my quick glance made me wonder whether or not 4 was sufficient. Thx
May 3
Donald Lurie edited this comment May 3
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OK, it's unanimous so far, as I pretty much expected it to be.
Like all who have responded to the poll so far, my partner bid 4 ( - 2-suiter) much to my dread. The companion hand (mine) was T9, QJ752, 3, AJ854.
My kingdom for a horse (or, in this case, an entry): opening lead at table was K. Why don't people lead their partners' suits anymore?
There was some discussion about the OP hand including making the bid with 5-7. Some found the hand to be intriguing or interesting. So I told them I would post it here. Thanks for your indulgence.
Be well, Be safe, be well supplied
May 1
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Partner had a good double: KQ94, A, KJ62, KQ73. I don't anticipate that many would say that partner didn't have his bid. (How many would say that he had more than enough, that he could have been a bit lighter with proper distribution?) A lead beats 4 while another lead requires partner to find the shift at T-2 before the 10 is set up for a discard.
Dummy T53, QT92, A4, A864/ Declarer AJ, KJ8763, T73, J5
April 19
Donald Lurie edited this comment April 19
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I was taught eons ago that a reverse promises one more rebid (at least). So I voted for options 1 &2 above.
In contrast, Karen Walker (kwbridge) writes in her article on lebensohl after reverses that the 2 rebid after the reverse shows a weak hand, 5 to 7 pts with 5+ s and that it can be passed by opener if opener had a minimum 16-17 pt reverse. I find that to be awkward yet it's what I play with one of my most frequent partners.
April 15
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I agree with you that 4X is more likely to go down than 4 is making. But, is that all there is to the story?
I posted this hand because it raised a lot of issues/ questions for me.
1) What is the minimum hand that partner could have for his double of 4, especially at this vulnerability and the fact that he is under some pressure knowing that you are not going to be able to take action and that he is the stronger hand with the shortness is the app's suit and the right shape?
2) Although you could not bid over 2, how much will partner be borrowing from you or what's the minimum that partner might be assuming you have and basing his action on you having a certain minimum amount of values?
3) If partner is basing his/ her action on the assumption that you have a little something, are you producing that little something? If not, can you afford to pass or will partner be expecting you to pull to minimize the potential loss…or are you expected the simply pass and hope partner can beat 4HX.
This all gets back to what would you consider to be the minimum hand partner could have to double 4? Does it need to have a lot of high card strength, enough to likely have 4H just about set in his own hand, or how much could be a combination of a reasonable amount of high card strength (not a minimum opener) but with the right shape where a little bit of defense from you might be needed? Is partner depending on you to pull if/ when having less than the minimal strength that he might have been basing his action on you holding.
Sorry if I am not expressing myself clearly (I never could write to save my life). Hopefully the readers will understand what I am asking, especially since a lot of people so far (almost 3 : 1) have selected to pull the double.
April 10
Donald Lurie edited this comment April 10
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an explanation is in order.
i have known my partner literally all my life. I am not kidding when I say that he is an excellent player (including a nabc win a few years ago). We have played from time to time but had never really discussed a lot of things, such as the 3 bid. We hadn't played for several years prior to an hour on BBO. So, I didn't know how he played 3C, and found out after the fact that he intended it as hsgt. Perhaps I should not have added assume hsgt. Perhaps I might post his hand as a bidding poll. Result might be interesting.
April 9
Donald Lurie edited this comment April 9
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thx: that was pretty much my thinking. Just looking for a way to play in 9-card fit vs 6-0
April 6
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Meow: letting the cat out of the bag.
Seeing how, so far, everyone is rebidding their 4-card suit….
Here is the companion hand: 7, KQ9642, K32, J32
Sure enough, after 1D - 1H - 1S, partner rebid 2H (just like your insides told you he was going to do). Now what?
He got out for down 1, lose 1.8 imps. How to get to play in Diamonds? 3 makes 3 or 4, winning 3.3 or 4.3 imps. Not an imp disaster, but how to play in s? Do you hate the 2 rebid by partner?
I am wondering if a 2 rebid might have encouraged a raise vs. rebidding the 6-cd M.
I know, stuff happens.
April 5
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Meow: Letting cat out of the bag seeing how the votes here so far appear to be almost unanimous.
As some of you might have guessed, the was the companion hand to T, A952, AJT9, QT94 which was presented earlier yesterday. As of this comment, the votes so far for this 1444 hand were 3 to 1 in favor of DBL. The person holding the companion 1444 hand did not judge that hand to be worth a dbl forcing partner to 3N or the 4-level unless able to convert to penalties.

Like most of those of you who have responded so far, I, too, Passed the above 5-5 hand with 5 trumps for a mere +150 and a loss of a couple of imp (as I suspected when I made the bid). The only other option I could think of at the time (late in evening) was 3NT which would not have been the optimum contract but at least would have gained imps.

The North hand, the 3 opener, held KQJ9632, 63, Q, 765 while the South hand
was void, QJT87, 743, KJ832. Needless to say, we could have made 6. Where did we go wrong?
March 7
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Maybe I could encourage some of you who have voted to explain the reasoning for your decisions/ recommendations. I must admit that I did not anticipate the results that this OP has generated so far, ie 3:1 in favor of DBL. Wish to understand this better/ why is the vote so far so significantly in favor of DBL?
Thx
March 7
Donald Lurie edited this comment March 7
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thx D.
this sounds a lot like the other set of responses to the 1N rebid/ notes that I have that show strength-shape via relays (not Beta)
2C = 8-11, 2D asks
2D = 12+ 6+, no other 5, next step asks
2H = 12+ 5 and some outside 4, next step asks
2 = 5+ and an outside 5, next asks
2N = 12+ 5332
and 3Y = 6s and 5+ in Y?
Feb. 20
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thx again steve:
your gadget after 1C-1S-2Y is very interesting and, as usual, generated a bunch of additional questions in my mind. if it's ok with you, i would like to continue this via message.
Actually, it appears that I had missed something. I looked again at my system notes and it appears that the gillespie-streisand write-up in Timms' book does use support asking bids (alpha) after 1C-1S-2Y. I was just hoping there might be another way that isn't as prone to interference, that differentiates quickly between the two ranges. I haven't seen mention of this yet in the SMP book.
Feb. 20
Donald Lurie edited this comment Feb. 20
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thx steve:
this is what Gillespie-Streisand describe in their Mecklite write in Timms' 2/1 GF book. What I'm not clear about is what types of hands opener would rebid 1NT on, what types of hands opener would introduce a new suit on, and how the 1 responder responds to 1C - 1S - 2Y? Or is the 1NT rebid virtually automatic? I would have the same question if the size-shape relays after 1C-1S-1N were recommended. Or does one gets the controls first and then revert to….what?
Feb. 20
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