Join Bridge Winners
All comments by Kit Woolsey
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West's statement that he might have led a club had he been given the correct explanation looks pretty self-serving to me. But why should my opinion be trusted? Simply make a poll, giving the West hand as an opening lead problem with West getting the correct information. If there are, in fact, a significant minority of club leaders, then an adjustment is called for. If (as I would guess) “nobody” leads a club, then the result should stand.

If the director didn't do this but just flat out adjusted the result to 3NT down 1, that is a bad ruling IMO.
Dec. 5
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Depending upon the result at the other table, which we don't know but was probably some small or grand slam making, there might have been no IMP differential between down 1 and down 2.
Dec. 5
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Nigel,

How do I describe the 2 call? I describe it as showing clubs and another suit. As opener, I assume that is what partner has. If 2 gets doubled and I have 3+ clubs, I pass, telling partner that I am willing to play it there opposite a 4-card holding. If I have only 2 clubs I don't pass, since I am not willing to play it there. The possibility that partner doesn't have a real club suit doesn't cross my mind at this point.

So what happens when 2 gets doubled, I pass, and partner runs? If he redoubles that is obviously not to play – I think we can all agree to that. Presumably he wants me to bid my best other suit. If he bids a suit he has taken me out of the loop, and I just pass. I don't know anything about what he has now. I just shut up. All I know is that, having heard that I have 3+ clubs, he has (for whatever reason) chosen not to play in clubs. What that reason is I have no idea.
Dec. 5
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Mike,

I disagree with you about the 1-4 example. There is no agreement, other than it is “to play”. Partner might hold anything. I do alert and say that it is “not necessarily preemptive”, since without that the opponents would wrongly expect a weak distributional hand. However, I cannot make the description you are after. There is no expected degree of trump support. There is no expected high cards. There is no expected shape. There is no “style”. Partner makes the bid on any hand on which he judges it to be the winning action. He might have anything from a balanced 14-count with 3-card spade support to a yarb with some shape an support. If I said anything else about what I might expect, it would be quite misleading.
Dec. 5
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I might take the slow route to 2 with a long spade suit. I might take the slow route to 2 with a hand such as the actual hand. I might take the slow route to 2 with who knows what. That is my business. When I bid 2, that is not “showing” anything, nor is there any inference that anybody can take, other than that is what I chose to do. It isn't a “descriptive” call. It is an “instructional” call – it instructs partner to shut up. Similar to 1NT-3NT. That isn't descriptive. It might be bid on anything. It simply instructs partner to shut up.

Any attempt by the opening 1NT bidder to tell the opponents what his partner has for the slow sequence to 2 would not be accurate. Partner might have anything. If the 1NT bidder makes some description that would give the opponents MI, since that is not the agreement. That only agreement is that when responder bids 2, opener shuts up.
Dec. 2
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We play: After penalty double, all subsequent doubles are penalties. We are in a force.
Dec. 1
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I do not agree with your premise that this approach will right-side the contract more often. Having the stronger hand led up to isn't important here. what is important is that you want the opening bidder on lead, since if he doesn't have a heart sequence he may have a problem. The partner of the opening leader will always have an easy heart lead.
Nov. 29
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West had a balanced minimum with no source of tricks. He had a clear double of 4

East had already shown a not hopeless hand, and he is minimal in that context. He had a clear double of 4.

West had already overbid with his forcing pass over 4. He had clear signoff over 4.
Nov. 28
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I really don't see the problem. If the opponents overcall and we have game-going values, we choose the right strain basically as follow:

1) Do we have an 8-card major-suit fit. If so, play in 4 of the major. Else

2) Do we have their suit stopped. If so, play in 3NT. Else

3) Play in 5.

This is pretty much what any pair does when the opponents overcall. By responding 1 of a major with a 4-card major and longer diamonds, we are well-placed to find out immediately whether or not we have an 8-card major-suit fit. That is certainly not the case if we respond 2.
Nov. 26
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Our 1 opening shows 2+. We respond 1 of the major. The key is responder doesn't describe. He finds out what opener has. After all of opener's simple rebids without 4-card support (1 over 1, 1NT, 2, or 2) we have a relay structure for GF hands where opener shows his exact distribution. Responder takes over from there.

Even without a relay structure, the theme is the same. Opener rebids naturally. Responder makes an artificial GF bid (such as 2 over 1 or 1NT, 2 of other major over 2 or 2), and opener continues to describe naturally. There isn't much of a problem.
Nov. 25
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Probably right. I guess I could have not given the strong hand as much in the majors. I was just trying to throw something together which was fairly legitimate.
Nov. 23
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As Dale pointed out, the defense can afford to block the heart suit and still defeat the contract. If West didn't have the ace of clubs, it would be another story.
Nov. 23
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If East started with KJ75, he will know that West has Axxx when West returns the 4. The 2 or 3 will be missing. If West started with 5 hearts he should return his smallest, so his partner will know the return isn't from an initial tripleton. Yes, I know the “books” say to return your original fourth best, but the books are wrong about this.
Nov. 23
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It wouldn't happen twice with the same partner, since the first time it happens will be the end of the partnership.
Nov. 22
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My best effort (constructed hands) with our methods is as follows:

K KJ xxxxx J10xxx

AQx AQ10x AKQ AKx

1 1NT (clubs)
2 2 (diamonds)
2 2 (at least 5-5)
2NT 3 (spade shortness)
3 3 (generic 5-5-2-1, so exactly 1-2-5-5)
3 3NT (1 or 2 controls)
4 4 (1 control – stiff king not counted as a control)
4 4 (no ace or king of diamonds)
4NT 5 (no ace or king of clubs)
5 5 (no queen of diamonds)
5 5NT (no queen of clubs)
6 6 (no queen of hearts)
6 6 (no jack of diamonds)
6NT Pass

That's 26
Nov. 22
ATB
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While North certainly might make a game try, I believe those who say that North should just bid 4 are making an error. If North makes a game try and South rejects, you are not going to want to be in game.
Nov. 20
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It does appear that the director asked the right questions with the poll. So, if the polling did indicate that the takeout meaning made the double more attractive (which, as I have said, is not my personal opinion), then some kind of adjustment may be called for.
Nov. 20
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If declarer has that hand he will never play a diamond early, as that would be a virtual concession. He would run all his black-suit winners, which would squeeze West if West's distribution were 2-6-3-2.
Nov. 19
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Non-vul 1/2:

1NT: 10-12
1, then 1NT: 13-15
1, then 1NT: 16-19
1, then 2NT: 20-21
1, then 2, then 2NT: 22-24
1, then 2, then 3NT: 25-27

Vul, 1/2

1, then 1NT: 11-13
1NT: 14-16
1, then 1NT: 17-19
Higher – same as non-vul

3/4

1, then 1NT: 11-14
1NT: 15-17
1, then 1NT: 18-19
Higher – same as others

The above assumes a 1 negative response to the strong 1 opening. After a positive response, we use a relay structure.

Of course we can upgrade or downgrade appropriately. In particular, non-vul we might bid 1 then 2NT on a good 19. However, the 1 then 1NT sequence is one of the best in the system. This allows us to stop at a low level when responder is broke, and gives us more room when responder has game interest.

The reason we do not use a strong 2NT opening is that it necessarily creates an inefficient structure. No matter how good your bidding system is, after a strong 2NT opening you have to start at the 3-level, and the weak hand has to control the auction. When we have a balanced 20-21 opposite a positive we are establishing a game force at a very low level, and the strong hand is in control of the auction which is more desirable. Our slam bidding and choice of games bidding will be much more accurate than after a 2NT opener, and this is where the IMPs are.
Nov. 19
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That's a nice play of the early diamond. Of course in theory West can work out that he doesn't need to split because there is no way declarer is putting in the jack. But the diamond play is so unexpected that West will not be prepared for it, and in real life he will split just in case. Also, as you point out West could play the queen of diamonds on the actual hand when declarer leads a diamond up, but he would have to be on his A game to find that.
Nov. 18
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