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All comments by Kit Woolsey
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If you want our opinion, please give all the hands accurately as well as meanings of the bids. Maybe you don't think this is relevant, but we might.
8 hours ago
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When you put in a hand diagram, with the vulnerability and bidding, then I will look at the problem.
20 hours ago
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Why does 4 force partner to bid over 4? He can bid 4 as an offer to play.

Our rule is simple. 4 of a previously bid major is always an offer to play unless it is totally impossible that this is a playable contract.
20 hours ago
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When they have opened a major, we play a transfer to their major shows game invitational values in the other major. So, your example sequence of

(1S)-1NT-(P)-2H

would be an invitational “transfer” to hearts.

We do the same thing at the 4-level. A transfer to their major is a slam invite in the other major.
20 hours ago
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Every hand has to be analyzed on its own merits. This example might give you an idea of how to approach the problem.

Let's suppose LHO opens the bidding, and you are missing 2 aces and the queens of spades, hearts, and diamonds. Assume that LHO will always open with 12 HCP, never with 10 HCP. Therefore opener must have the two aces, and at least two of the queens. Suppose you need to guess the queen of spades. Ignoring vacant spaces, there are initially 8 equally likely possible queen holdings for LHO:

All queens
QS QH
QS QD
QH QD
QS
QH
QD
None

The condition of him having 12 HCP eliminates the last four possibilities. Of the four holdings he might have, three of them contain the queen of spades. Thus, if all other things are equal (which of course they never are), the odds are 3 to 1 that West has the queen of spades.
Oct. 14
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I'm not so sure I agree with your conclusion.

From K9x, it can never be right to discard a spade. If declarer has the 10, he will always finesse whatever you do. If declarer doesn't have the 10, discarding a spade gives him a chance to make a no-play contract.

From Kxx, it is more interesting:

If declarer has the 10, again nothing matters.

If declarer has the 9, when you discard a spade declarer will presumably play your partner for a stiff spade. However, that stiff spade could just as easily be the 10 as the king, so declarer will put down the queen of spades, since that is just as good when RHO has a stiff spade and caters to West having discarded a spade from Kxx. By not discarding a spade, you leave declarer with a guess.

If declarer has neither the 10 or the 9, discarding a spade gives declarer the opportunity to make a contract he would not have made, since even if he has the 8 of spades leading low to the jack is much better percentage than playing East for 109 doubleton.

The conclusion is that it is never right to discard a spade from either K9x or Kxx.

What East should do with 10x of spades is even more interesting. If declarer doesn't have the 9, nothing matters. If declarer has Q9x, declarer has a guess with no spade discard. East would be forced to discard a spade from 109xx. By doing so from 10x, he might induce declarer to go wrong when declarer might otherwise have gone right.

In Utopia, it shouldn't matter. Declarer's percentage play from Q9x (assuming West doesn't discard a spade) is low to the jack, as that works when West has Kx or stiff king. Thus, East's discard of a spade from 10x shouldn't make a difference as declarer was always going down if declarer took the percentage play. In practice, however, East discarding a spade from 10x looks like a good idea.
Oct. 13
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Because 3 is assumed to be a try to get to 3NT until proven otherwise. 4 is an unambiguous slam try in hearts.
Oct. 12
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The analysis assumes that the grand is bid at the other table. If the contract is 6 at the other table, a much more realistic assumption, then discarding as spade from K9x risks 25 IMPs in order to gain 0 IMPs, since the difference between down 1 and down 2 will be the same 14 IMPs. Not a good idea.

Even if the second undertrick were meaningful, no competent player would even discard a spade from K9x. What if declarer never saw the inference about the spade discard having to be from a 4-card holding and was always planning to take the finesse, just running his trumps first to give the opponents a chance to make a mistake. And from declarer's point of view, since he knows no defender would ever discard from K9x, playing the ace is always correct. That is real life.
Oct. 12
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It isn't just that you have the minor and spades. There is nothing to alert about that.

However, if you guarantee shortness (singleton or void) in one of the other two suits when you rebid 1, that is an unusual treatment which the opponents would have no reason to expect. Thus, IMO one should alert it.
Oct. 11
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In my partnerships, the 1 rebid shows an unbalanced hand. We always rebid 1NT with a balanced hand. This is not a mainstream treatment, so I alert the 1 call. I also alert the 1NT rebid, and when asked I tell my opponents that we always bypass a 4-card spade suit with a balanced hand.

I have no idea whether or not these alerts are required by the ACBL alerting regulations. I simply believe that this is the way bridge should be played.
Oct. 11
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Personally I would lead a diamond, particularly at IMPs (you didn't specify the form of scoring, so I assume IMPs unless stated otherwise). I believe the best chance to defeat the contract is to hit partner with a diamond void or a singleton diamond and a red ace and give him a ruff or two. If I find this, I don't want to blow my club entry. At matchpoints I would probably choose a club lead, for fear our club trick(s) may be going on dummy's spades if I don't lead a club.

My opening lead choice doesn't matter. There is nothing in the UI which suggests the club lead will work out better than a diamond lead.
Oct. 11
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Either North or South might have taken different actions earlier. That is not the issue.

No, North can't know how good South's hearts are without peeking into South's hand. But South knows, since he is looking at his heart holding.

The key is for North to convey his intentions. The 4 call doesn't do that. It ends he auction. If North has any slam interest, which he does, he should let South know about this with a 4 call.

Once North shows this slam interest, South can now look at his hand. South will see that his hand is as good as it possibly could be in context with the previous auction, and South will drive to slam. Probably best is for South to bid RKC, and if North has two key cards and the queen of trumps South can follow with a king ask. This will let North know all the key cads are accounted for, and since South can't have anything more for his 2 call North will basically know South's hand. North will be able to bid a grand if there is one.

One of my tips is: Give partner a chance to look at his hand. North's 4 call failed to give South that chance.
Oct. 11
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Because spades is the one suit I know is a potential source of tricks for declarer, and the one suit where it is easy to visualize leading the suit picking up something declarer couldn't or wouldn't have been able to do for himself.
Oct. 9
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A spade lead would be my solid fourth choice.
Oct. 9
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A spade lead would be my solid fourth choice.
Oct. 9
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Haven't you heard of a hole-up play?
Oct. 8
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I wouldn't mind being in slam opposite something like AJxx Axx AKQxx x, so I'm too strong to sign off. However, make that queen of diamonds something smaller and partner will still have his bid, yet 4 might be the limit of the hand. Partner knows which hand he has. That indicates showing some interest by bidding 4. If partner is able to drive it in after that, we want to be in slam. Otherwise, we will stop in 4.
Oct. 8
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5 denies trump queen but shows extra length. 5 denies trump queen and denies extra length. Higher bids show trump queen along with specific kings.
Oct. 8
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Patrick,

If West's pass over the double is no good with 4 trumps and a decent hand, that means the opponents will always be able to escape when they are in trouble (which the partner of the multi bidder knows if he has a singleton or void in one of the majors) by passing the double and watching LHO pull.
Oct. 8
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Double (takeout) by South, 3 by North, 4 by South

3 by South, 4 by North

Pass by South, double (takeout) by North, 4 by South

The first sequence would be my preference, but any of them are reasonable. All roads lead to 4.
Oct. 8
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