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All comments by Kit Woolsey
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My policy is to routinely give an undo, no questions asked. If a person is abusing the undo privilege, big deal.

On this particular hand it is pretty obvious that the low heart lead was a misclick. That lead would be totally irrational by any standards.
51 seconds ago
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Clearly you must win this trick. You can't afford to lose to declarer's 9. Getting a third round spade trick out of this is too remote. Your hope should be to get 3 trump tricks, 2 diamond tricks, and 1 club trick.

Assuming both follow to the second clubs, your next move is to cash the king of diamonds. Partner will give an unambiguous count signal. If partner shows an odd number of diamonds you will lead a high club, allowing partner to discard a diamond when declarer ruffs if that is right with his trump holding. If partner shows even number of diamonds, you cash the ace of diamonds before putting a club through.
2 hours ago
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There are no hard and fast rules. Each hand must be decided on its own merits.

On this hand, if declarer has Kx of diamonds nothing is going to help, so West should assume that either his partner has AK or declarer has stiff king. If partner has AK, it may be vital for partner to cash whatever number of diamonds are cashing and then shift to a trump. East should be able to work out what is going on if he has AK of diamonds, since attitude couldn't be of much importance.

As for 4th in the middle of the hand, that makes no sense. If you are giving count you make it as clear as possible, which means leading lowest from an odd number and highest you can afford from an even number. If you are giving attitude you again make it as clear as possible, leading lowest if you like the suit and highest you can afford if you don't. Partner will have to work out which you are showing, with the default being attitude.
2 hours ago
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So North opened a jack or queen lighter than most of us would do so. So what? This isn't any great deviation from what would be expected. There is nothing special for N-S to be alerting.

As for the South hand being worth more than a signoff, no way. Those singleton honors probably aren't worth anything. The only real value of these cards is that North doesn't hold them, which makes it more likely that the high cards North does hold are working. South's hand almost might as well be Jxxxx KJ9xxx x x. Would you consider inviting with that opposite a balanced 11-13 count which doesn't have 4 hearts. I don't think so.

In addition, one must pay attention to the bidding. What type of hand does East have for his double? Most likely a hand with short hearts and perhaps 4 spades. That means any spade finesse is likely to be off, and the hearts aren't going to split. Do you really want to be in game under these conditions? Picture North with Axxx Axx xxx Axxx. Could you ask for more? 3 aces for his 11-13, and 3-card heart support. And even opposite that hand, game isn't a favorite on the auction. Imagine if North had some wastage and only a doubleton heart how bad game might be.
3 hours ago
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So let's suppose I have a flight of fancy and make this GF 3 call on a hand which clearly doesn't have game-going values. As I interpret what Marty is saying, in our partnership it is now known that I might do something like this, and when giving his explanation partner is supposed to say something like: 3 is supposed to be game-forcing, but partner might not have it.

In my mind, this is completely misleading to the opponents. The 1NT opener is not taking into account the possibility that his partner might not have what has been indicated, but he is telling his opponents that they should be doing so, implying that this is part of the partnership agreements. It isn't.
4 hours ago
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That isn't necessarily true. I could see declarer having something like Ax AK xxxx Axxxx, and be willing to give up on the slight chance that you have stiff queen in order to induce a spade continuation.
5 hours ago
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I wouldn't double an immediate 3 overcall with Marty's example hand. 3 Puppet Stayman isn't used just to find 5-3 fits. It is also used to find 4-4 fits without giving away as much information as regular Stayman. I would think that we likely had a 4-4 spade fit, so I would pass and give partner a chance to bid 3 if he has 4 spades.
14 hours ago
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I'm not talking about the practice hand. I'm talking about the actual hand where dummy has KJxx of clubs.

I don't think West is going to find a diamond shift if declarer has Ax of diamonds. From his point of view his king of diamonds is his entry, and declarer might have AQJxx of diamonds. West is going to be continuing spades.
14 hours ago
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Yu,

If the NT bidder passes it out without clear evidence from the auction that something is wrong, that is evidence that the GF explanation is not accurate. That is something the NT bidder cannot do.

Marty,

Once partner passed 3, I am out of the loop. I wouldn't have the slightest idea what he is doing, and I wouldn't care. I wouldn't dream of doubling 3 on your example hand of KQJx, KJx, Axx Qx. If I double 3, I have it beat in my own hand. This would be true regardless of whether or not I had seen partner take this action previously.
16 hours ago
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I don't agree Marty. As long as partner treats my call as 100% game-forcing, he doesn't know anything that the opponents don't know. Even if I have made this bid in the past, that isn't going to affect his actions.

Of course for this example the 3 call is implicitly assumed to be game-forcing, whether specifically discussed or not. So it is really a moot point.

What about an example like the following:

Favorable vulnerability, playing Precision, partner opens 1 and next hand passes. I hold xxxxx xx Axxx xx. Obviously I don't have game-forcing values. However, the mood strikes me to bid 2 as a lead-director. This is 100% GF, and of course I plan to pull partner's double of 4 to 4S if it comes to that. Partner will never sell out, and will drive to game. However, if the auction times out in such a way that I can stop in a spade partial, of course I will do so. Would you consider this illegal?
March 28
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If declarer doesn't have the ace of spades, why would he ever play the king at trick 1? That could be going down in a cold contract if I have xx in spades and partner doesn't have an entry outside of spades.

The conclusion is that declarer has the ace of spades. This means he is wide open in diamonds, and doesn't need 3 spade tricks.

Declarer would have done better to take a straightforward approach of winning the spade in his hand and leading a club to the jack. Now the diamond shift isn't so obvious.
March 28
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It doesn't “promise” anything. It is simply defined as game-forcing. That means that partner can't stop below game. But the 3 bidder can do anything he wants, including violate his own game force.

For example, suppose you held: QJx QJx QJ10xxx x. You might very well bid 3, planning on passing 3 but bidding 4 of a major if partner has a 5-card major.
March 28
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3 isn't a descriptive bid. It is an instructional bid, telling partner to bid 3 with no 5-card major, or bid 3M with a 5-card major. Since the call doesn't describe anything, how can it be considered a psyche?
March 28
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East-West should not be disappointed about “pushing the opponents to slam”. They should be pleased that they forced their opponents to make a guess on inadequate information. This time N-S happened to guess right. Next time they may guess wrong. If N-S had been left alone it is much more likely that they would have made the right decision about whether or not to bid the slam, whatever that right decision happens to be.

Winning bridge is about creating problems for your opponents. That is exactly what E-W did here.
March 28
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Ace of diamonds, king of spades, king of clubs, KQ of diamonds discarding hearts. Assuming they live, then spade to the 10.

If Jx or Jxx of spades is onside, this will make on 4-2 club split.

If stiff small, Jx, o Jxx of spades is offside, will make on 3-3 club split.

If LHO plays jack of spades on first round I will believe him and instead play for crossruff, taking 3 diamonds, 2 clubs, and 7 spades.
March 26
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Those results look very consistent. As you say, thee main part of the .8 difference appears to be the 1 IMP wins.

If these results are representative, it seems quite clear to just bid 3NT with the 4-3-3-3 hands. The loss from info to the opponents is surely enough to outweigh the gains, when the gain opposite this very suit-oriented hand is so small.

Would you be able to do one more simulation. Same opening bidder's hand, but instead make the responding hand 10-11 HCP instead of 11-13. That might make a difference. I would think that not having the extra HCP would favor the suit contract more, but That might be wrong.
March 25
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Actually South wouldn't be scanning diamonds with that shape. The assumption is that North knows what South has in diamonds by knowing South's shape and number of controls. Occasionally there is an ambiguity which matters, but almost all the time it works out.

So, with your example hand of: Kxxx Kxxx Kxxxx

If 4 is South's DCB call, then North's response is (yes in clubs, yes in spades, no in clubs ), so North's call would be 4, the third step.

In other words, responder assumes that opener knows what responder is showing. If opener can't work it out, that is his problem.
March 24
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I am truly amazed. Keep in mind that:

1) When both contracts make, it will sometimes be the case that spades takes 1 or 2 tricks more than notrump, resulting in a 1 or 2 IMP pickup for 4. It would be much rarer that notrump takes more tricks than spades.

2) While I can't prove this without going though hand by hand, it seems intuitive to me that the opening lead is much more important in 3NT than in 4. If hearts is a soft spot for notrump, the lead will always be found double-dummy, but often won't be found at the table. With this sort of layout, other than he opening lead vs. notrump it doesn't look like there will be much to the play or defense to favor either notrump or spades.

If what I am saying is accurate, the simulation would favor 4, making 3NT even a better contract. That implies that one should always bid 3NT rather than search for a 4-4 fit with a 4-3-3-3 hand regardless of the hand, even with the ability to get to 3NT after finding the fit.

Just for clarification and to make sure that something isn't wrong, could you let us know the following from the simulation:

How many deals of the 1000 did 3NT make?

How many deals of the 1000 did 4 make?
March 24
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If the opening leader had KQxx of spades, likely he would have led a spade rather than a club. However, if declarer does have that hand then partner's spade shift is from a doubleton. I stand by my statement that if partner has the king of clubs and a tripleton spade, he will lead back a diamond, not a spade. And as far as I can determine, that is the only layout where it is right for the opening leader to shift to a club rather than playing ace and a spade.
March 24
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Okay. I don't see how there can be a “partnership understanding” about a call which is an absolute signoff, other than the fact that it is an absolute signoff.
March 23
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