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All comments by Kit Woolsey
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You already won with the jack of hearts. If East has Axx of hearts the card he doesn't know about is the king of hearts. When you lead the low heart from dummy he will think you have the king, and is unlikely to see the need for going up ace of hearts and continuing the suit.

Also, you may infer how the hearts lie from what East does. If he goes up ace of hearts and doesn't continue hearts, you can infer that the hearts are 5-3 so you then go after clubs. If he ducks the heart, either the hearts are 4-4 or the suit is blocked and you can safely go after diamonds.
4 hours ago
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They have definitely been used in the team trials in the past. I can recall two incidents I was involved in regarding chess clocks from two different trials.

In one incident, pair A was clearly taking more time than pair B. Going into the last board, there were only a few minutes left on the clock. Should pair B intentionally play slowly on the last board (thus throwing the table over the time limit), knowing that pair A would be penalized (but there would be no penalty if the table finished on time)? Obviously if there were no chess clocks there would be no need for this ploy.

In another incident, a defender didn't realize that he had won the trick in a part-score hand, so he didn't lead and his clock was running. Should his screenmate, who was dummy and knew what had happened, speak up or say nothing and let his opponent run up the time which would lead to a penalty against his opponents if the table ran over? Obviously if there were no chess clocks it would be routine to speak up.

I also remember there was a trials match which was decided by a time penalty. I don't remember the details, as I was not involved.

These kinds of examples (along with ploys such as not claiming an obvious claim in order to use up enemy time) illustrate why chess clocks do not work with bridge matches.
11 hours ago
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The plays look very close to me. I think it more of an at the table decision, based on how confident West was with his opening lead (more confident with a 5-card suit), and how confident East was ducking.

If I did choose the knock out the ace of diamonds approach, I would do something very strange. I would cross to dummy with a spade, and lead a small heart from dummy. If hearts are 4-4, this won't cost anything. But if hearts are 5-3, East might not see the need to rise ace and lead back a heart. If he fails to do so, the suit will be blocked.
11 hours ago
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Any port in the storm is fine. Now difference at all between playing the minor and the major.

I don't understand your question. This treatment applies only when spades are the opponents' suit.
12 hours ago
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Thanks. Fixed.
May 20
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Sorry, contract is 3NT as I'm sure you might have guessed.

The bidding was a complex auction, not really relevant to anything. I was just telling a story.
May 20
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I don't know the methods, but I would imagine that the 2 call asks West to bid his better major. If that is the case West did what he was supposed to do, so there is no UI issue as far as West's action is concerned. If West were taking advantage of UI, he would have passed 2.

The MI to North is a different problem. I don't know what North would have done had he known that West had the majors, but he sure wouldn't have bid 2. Thus, the ruling is at least reasonable, although maybe North would have doubled 2 or maybe 2 would have gone down more than 1 on best defense and not perfect declarer play.
May 17
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I might bid 4 immediately, or I might pass and then bid 4 over 3. Either approach might work. Regardless of which approach I take, I would certainly double 4.
May 16
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I would not read anything special regarding the queen of diamonds into West's shift. West simply knows that he doesn't have any entries to his spades, so he is looking to set up a heart trick or two before his partner's minor-suit cards get knocked out. He would be thinking this whether he had the queen of diamonds or not. In fact, he would be more likely to think this if he didn't have the queen of diamonds, as his partner might have that card to stop the run of the diamond suit. Thus, I would just make the percentage play in diamonds, which is to play East for the queen.
May 16
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I would not word my poll in that manner, since I think it obscures the main issue, which is whether the MI makes the 3 call more attractive than it would be with the correct information.

If I were wording a poll, it would be as follows:

Compare the 2 call vs. the 3 call. Would you say:

Strong NT (and the 5-4 hand) vs. weak NT (and the takeout hand) makes the 3 call:

More attractive if strong NT?
Equal if strong NT?
Less attractive if strong NT?

If the result of this poll showed that the 3 call was more attractive vs. strong NT than weak NT (which I would find hard to believe), then adjustment is called for. If not, then table result stands.
May 15
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Simplest and quite likely best is to ignore the double.
May 15
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According to the rules described, it is clear that East got MI. The question is, was East damaged.

For East to be damaged, it would have to be the case that the 3 call (as opposed to 2) was more attractive with partner having a 5-card minor and a 4-card major than with partner having a takeout double.

In my bridge judgement, that is not the case. In fact, I would think that the 3 call becomes less attractive with the MI which was received. Therefore, I would allow the table result to stand.

This is of course just my bridge judgment. Others may feel that the MI makes the 3 more attractive, and if that is the case then it would be proper to adjust the result.
May 15
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Assuming the reason for the 4 opening bid wasn't that West accidentally pulled the wrong bid out of the box, it is clear that West thought the partnership was playing transfer preempts at the time he made the bid. He may have realized just after he made the bid that this was wrong, and if that is the case he is not required to explain to his screenmate the mistake he made.

There are two possibilities:

1) The partnership can give sufficient documentation proving that they do not play transfer preempts. If that is the case there was no MI, so the result stands.

2) The partnership cannot give such documentation. If that is the case, the assumption is that the true agreement is what the bidder thought it was when he made the bid. This would mean that both North and South received MI. I don't see how this would affect anything South did, but obviously North wouldn't have led a spade had he known it was a transfer preempt. What North would have led isn't clear. It would be necessary to make some probabilistic estimate about North's lead, and try to estimate the likely result in 4 after each of the possible leads. This might not be so easy to do, but it is what must be done.
May 14
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2 does ask for the major. If the doubler chooses to pass, that is on his head.
May 14
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I'm not sure I see why CRASH has a loss on one-suited clarity and preemptive value. Since suit bids of 1 and higher are all natural, any kind of 1-suiter can be bid as you see fit.

I have no experience playing any of the other variants. I have been playing CRASH for over 40 years, since Steve Robinson and I invented it back in the 1970's. When not playing it, I just play everything natural.

I would guess that the majority expert practice would be to either play CRASH or play nothing.
May 14
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It was North, not South who made the takeout double. South Q-bid and then bid 6 in response to the (presumably) pick a slam 5NT call. Whether that sequence makes sense with my proposed 4-2-7-0 hand one could debate, but with that hand one might try anything. Thus, I don't think that construction can be eliminated due to South's auction, although admittedly it is unlikely.
May 14
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The initial double looks fine.

North might have bid 2 immediately, but bidding 2 (planning on then bidding 2 over the likely correction to 2) is okay.

South might have doubled 3 to keep open the option of defending, but with his 6-card diamond suit his 3 call is okay.

North might have passed 3, but since his partner's 4-card major might be spades his 3 call is okay.

As for South's later bidding, the less said the better. He has a clear pass of 3. North might have a zero count.
May 14
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I don't see why everybody is so sure that East has 7 hearts. A 3 preempt at favorability with a 6-card heart suit is hardly unexpected these days.

I agree that declarer probably should cash a couple of spades before making his club play, although if East can hold 6 hearts then the clubs could still be 3-3. However, in practice I doubt if most declarers, even experts, would make that play.

As to whether I would split when declarer leads a club up, I'm not sure.
May 13
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I agree that partner has denied a club void. But I do not agree that partner has denied the king of spades. Remember that partner doesn't know you have the QJ of spades. From his point of view, declarer may have to choose between a spade finesse and getting enough tricks in clubs (partner doesn't know how many enough tricks is) to make the contract. If he goes out of his way to show the king of spades, he may be telling declarer how to play the hand.

I think there is a good chance that partner has the king of spades. If he has nothing in spades, he might have overtaken the first trick. If declarer's hand is !!Qxxx xx AKxxxxx –, it is necessary for him to overtake and shift to a spade to get you off a squeeze. On other hands declarer will still have the communication for a squeeze, but it might be more difficult. Partner is leaving you on lead for a reason, and the reason isn't that he is void in clubs.
May 13
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I don't think you would. A shift from any of these holdings could give declarer a trick he wouldn't (or might not) have for himself if he has doubleton honor in clubs.

It is true that the club shift forces declarer to commit himself at trick 2. I don't see how that makes any difference. Declarer is going to have to commit himself at some point if taking a double club finesse is his winning action, and he isn't going to find out anything of value later on.

If the club shift broke up some squeeze position, then I could understand it and probably agree with it. However, I don't see how the club shift breaks up anything which declarer could do without the shift. It only forces an earlier commitment.
May 13
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