Join Bridge Winners
All comments by Kit Woolsey
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If at the table I were convinced that the 1 call was a mechanical error, then I'd just let him bid 2 and play bridge.

If I weren't so convinced, I'd call the director and now it is the director's problem.
April 21
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Clearly it is forcing and shows interest in bidding on. But it could conceivably show interest in 6NT.
April 21
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I have no idea what the ACBL regulations state. However, I do know that if you believe in full disclosure to the opponents, then you would alert and explain that a 4-card spade suit is routinely bypassed (assuming that is your style).
April 20
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I can only assume that North mis-sorted his hand and thought his king of hearts was the king of diamonds. If North had held 10x QJxx AKJx A10x, then 3 would be quite high enough (yes, 3NT works, but that is difficult to diagnose).
April 17
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I'm not so sure about this. While in general I agree that a claim should be held to the highest standards and that any doubtful points go against the claimer, I don't know that this applies when the claimer has false information based on a revoke. Here declarer “knew” with absolute certainty that he had 2 losers, and he so claimed. If he had known about the revoke obviously he would have led a trump. I believe that if declarer takes a rational line of play based on wrong information from a revoke and he had a better line available if he had known about the revoke, he is permitted to take the better line when the result is adjudicated. A claim is a line of play, and it is rational for declarer to think that nothing matters and he has 2 trump losers. Thus, I believe he is entitled to take the better line of play when the result is adjusted.
April 17
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I would duck a heart at trick 2. Probably East will win and return a club. I will make my best guess (probably the jack), and the rest of my play will depend on how I did in the club suit. If I got the clubs wrong, I'll pretty much need diamonds 4-2 and trumps 3-2. If I got the clubs right, I can scramble home 10 tricks via a heart ruff or two.
April 16
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No, I do not. West should assume that his partner has only 3 diamonds, since with 4 diamonds East would be expected to compete to 3 himself. Bidding 3 gains only when both 3 and 3 are making. Given that E-W have an 8-card diamond fit and that there is no particular reason to think that N-S have a big club fit, it looks much more likely that both contracts will go down 1 than that both contracts will make.
April 15
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Thanks. Fixed.
April 15
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Unless partner is limited so you know for certain that slam won't make, bidding RKC and then stopping short of slam when not off 2 keycards is an absolute no-no.
April 14
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I have never played it, so don't have any strong opinion. In general, I find it better to have bids which handle 1-suiters rather than 2-suiters. The 1-suiters are more frequent, and 2-suiters can often be handled by other methods.
April 14
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Of course any of this is possible. It just comes down to a matter of frequency. When partner opens 1NT and we have a 6-card major, we usually choose to play in 4 of the major rather than giving partner the option of 3NT. The philosophy is that on these hands the major is more likely to take 2 more tricks vs. notrump than to take the same number of tricks.

It is the same philosophy here. While on any hand notrump might be better, we believe that on balance the suit contract will often be right.

Certainly there are hands where we would prefer 4NT to be natural, hands where the 4NT bidder knows that 4NT has to be better than 5 of the minor. But we can't have everything – natural, RKC, slam try. One of these has to go. It is our judgment that on balance we do best giving up the natural interpretation.
April 14
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We play 4 in that auction is RKC for clubs. 4NT is a slam try in clubs. Obviously both 4 and 4 are needed as natural.

Our philosophy is that hands with a long suit which make exactly 10 tricks in both notrump and the suit are rare. Thus we give priority to the slam sequences, namely RKC and slam try.
April 14
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By my general agreements:

1) 4NT is never RKC for clubs

2) 4NT is never natural except if a NT raise, a NT rebid, or in a notrump auction.

Therefore, it would be a slam try in clubs.

If playing with an expert and nothing had been discussed, I would guess that the bid was meant as natural.
April 13
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A good philosophy is to accept partner's game invitation unless your hand is the worst possible hand it could be in context of the previous auction. How does the East hand rate?

East has 12 HCP. His expected range is 11-13, since with a balanced 14-count he would have opened 1NT.

He has a great fit for his partner's suit. He could have had a worthless doubleton in clubs.

He has side aces. This could be vital, since time won't be wasted establishing these as tricks while if he had lower honors it might take time to establish them.

The conclusion is that East's hand is well above the worst possible hand. He has an easy acceptance.

West might have blasted out 3NT himself. That is a close decision.
April 13
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While I agree that in principle East should work out that the only hope is to duck the club assuming North has his bid, I think that often East will not have the courage to make this duck. It is far from obvious that the duck can gain, since it looks like declarer is going to go up king of clubs anyway, and if declarer has another club he will cross back to his hand to lead it and East will be facing a similar problem.

Another important point is that winning the lead in hand and leading the 9 of clubs doesn't commit you to either line of play. You can use your table feel to help determine who has the ace of clubs. This is particularly important on this hand, since you can always make if you judge where the ace of clubs is and the two lines of play appear to be fairly close as far as percentages go. It isn't only that East might think before ducking. That won't happen, since if East is going to duck he knows he must do so in tempo or ducking can't gain. However, you may pick up on East's reaction when you play small from dummy at trick 1, since if he has the ace he will expect you to be leading a club up. You may be able to sense the wheels churning as he tries to quickly figure out whether to duck or not and be mentally prepared to duck smoothly. However, if East doesn't have the ace of clubs he won't have this immediate problem, and won't be thinking so hard at this point.
April 13
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Some pairs play that one can bid 2, then 2, as a lighter invite than 2, then 2NT. This allows stopping at 2 when opener is rejecting.
April 12
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Obviously Stayman then drop dead 2 is going to be the winner if the hand is a partial, since that will always get you to the 8-card fit instead of the 7-card fit while the other approaches will sometimes get you to a 7-card fit when you have an 8-card fit. The tradeoff is that you lose the light invite. Whether the gain from the light invite outweighs the loss on the partial hands has to be judged by any partnership.
April 11
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3 is a bid I would not make without agreement.
April 11
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I would win the diamond lead in hand and lead the 9 of clubs, planning on letting it ride. It won't be so easy for East to duck his ace, since if your spades are A109x then ducking would cost the contract. So, if the 9 of clubs loses to the jack I would be planning on taking the ruffing finesse in clubs, naturally first doing what I can with the spades (leading the jack off dummy to tempt a cover, planning on cashing the AK to win if the queen is doubleton).
April 11
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West is going to come down to a singleton heart and a singleton spade whatever his major-suit holdings are. The order of his cards is meaningless.

East erred by discarding spades. He should have discarded hearts. Apparently he thought his partner had the king of hearts and the ace of spades rather than the other way around.

On the actual discarding, it seems like playing a spade to the ace will always make if the hand can be made.
April 11
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