Join Bridge Winners
All comments by Kit Woolsey
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Play small spade from dummy. If East shows out, play West for Qxx of clubs and exactly 5-2-3-3 shape, taking 6 spades, 3 clubs, 2 diamonds, 2 hearts. Else

Play spade to king. If somebody shows out, draw trumps and play hand with stiff spade for queen of clubs, taking first round finesse if playing West for queen. Else

AK diamonds, diamond ruff, heart to ace, diamond ruff, heart to king, run the trumps, and use the information I have received to guess the clubs.
Feb. 18
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While I commend Eric and Morten, I don't believe that boycotting the tournament is a practical solution to the problem. The difficulty is that most players won't go along with the boycott. I know that I wouldn't. Playing in the three North American championships is one of my greatest joys in my life. Not doing so because a pair of convicted cheaters are playing in the tournament would be an admission that the cheaters have won. My guess is that almost all players feel the same way, as indicated in Barcelona.

I believe a more effective approach is as follows: Come to the tournament, enter the event(s) as usual, but simply refuse to play a hand against the convicted cheaters. I would be happy to do that. If my pair were the only pair which did that it wouldn't be effective – we would simply get zeros on the boards and probably some kind of discipline. However, if everybody boycotted playing a hand against them, that would be another story. The ACBL would really have no choice but to kick them out of the event. I do believe that once the word got around this is the sort of boycott which most if not all players would follow.
Feb. 17
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I do not agree with Ben. When you open other than 1 you are limiting your hand and putting partner in the captain's seat. You can't afford to do this with this sort of hand, since you must be the one who takes control. When you open 1 you are announcing that you are taking control, and the auction will flow much smoother. Opening something else and then playing catch-up just doesn't work.
Feb. 17
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Exactly David. In addition, on these layouts partner would have surely led a heart rather than a club, since hearts is unbid while North opened 1. A club lead from xxxx when dummy has opened 1 isn't particularly attractive.

This illustrates why it is vital to construct exact layouts which are consistent with the bidding and play up to date when arguing that play A is inferior to play B.
Feb. 17
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Deb,

Instead of talking generalities, could you describe a specific layout which is consistent with what has happened and which fits your conditions. I'm not saying you are wrong, but I can't comment intelligently without knowing what exact layout you are referring to.
Feb. 17
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True. But sometimes players don't open light. Or declarer may have a similar hand without one of the queens or jacks.
Feb. 17
Kit Woolsey edited this comment Feb. 17
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Whatever our Monday morning quarterbacks come up with for the perfect sequence to get to the grand, it will be interesting to hear them explain how their perfect sequence would have stopped in 6 if North's hand had been AKxxxx Q10xxxx x –.
Feb. 17
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It is true that the 10 may be descriptive in the suit. Normally it definitely denies the jack, and probably shows the 9 if that might be relevant.

In this particular situation the jack is known, and the location of the 9 can't possibly make a difference. Therefore the 10 has nothing to do with holding the 9. You would make the same play of the 10 from 105432 if that is the signal you wish to give and could afford it.

I hadn't realized in my first response that dummy had AJ doubleton. This might make a difference. If partner has Kxx, he may need to unblock when you started with 6, but not if you started with 5. Thus, count could be vital for him. On the other hand, you might be ducking from K109xx if you judge that declarer has Qxx and you want to retain your entry. In that case, attitude is what matters. So, that answer to what signal you want to give is not clear. However, if it is an attitude signal you wish to give, you do so in the normal manner – highest card you can afford for high signal, lowest card for low signal.
Feb. 16
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The default signal on a suit partner leads is attitude. Unless it is totally clear from both sides of the table that the attitude interpretation makes no sense, then attitude it is.

Since your conditions are that you want to encourage, that has to mean that the attitude interpretation makes sense.
Feb. 16
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My guess would depend upon our other agreements:

If we do not play Smolen after 1NT opener, I would think partner had forgotten and is playing me for 5 spades and 4 hearts.

If we do play Smolen after 1NT opener, partner would have had to forget two things for his 4 call to make much sense, although he could have a hand where he judges a 4-3 spade it is best. More likely is that he clicked the wrong button or pulled the wrong card out of the bidding box.
Feb. 15
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Not only could the doubler have that hand, that is what the doubler is expected to have.
Feb. 15
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If you go to the 3-level voluntarily with this hand, in the future your partner will be afraid to compete on hands with which he should be competing.
Feb. 14
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I don't think strength has anything to do with the issue. All you know is that you are more likely to have some plus score coming on the auction where partner doubles 1NT than the auction where partner responds 1NT. However, that doesn't say anything about whether declaring 2 of a red suit vs. playing (or defending) 1NT is more likely to get you that plus score.

If partner has something like AJxx xx KQJx xxx, then you are clearly better off declaring 2 than defending 1NT. However, give partner xxx in diamonds and a strong club holding, and you are better off defending 1NT. Which hand is more likely? I have no idea.
Feb. 14
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Clearly that would make the invite more attractive, since partner can evaluate intelligently. However, there are far more practical uses for bids than invitational mini-splinters.
Feb. 14
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Clearly the question was worded badly. Even if one thinks pass is the percentage action, I can't imagine any real bridge player thinking that bidding 3 (without UI) is unreasonable.

The real interpretation of the question is: May South bid 3 in the light of the UI. That fact that there were many no votes indicates that the readers interpreted the poll as it was intended, not as it was worded.
Feb. 13
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Of course if partner had doubled 3 is wouldn't be a pure penalty double. What it would be is a balanced 17 or 18-count with 3-card heart support, typically 5-3-2-3 shape, where he is strong enough that the believes it is our hand and wants me to choose between defending 3 doubled and declaring 3.

If I had to guess what partner has for his huddle, I would guess that this is the most likely hand. If partner has 4-card heart support and more than minimal values, he will generally just up and bid 3. It is the strong hands without 4-card heart support where he has a real problem.

Thus, I do not agree that partner is choosing between 3 and pass. I'll bet he is choosing between double and pass. I do not think he “almost bid 3”.
Feb. 13
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Clearly 6 is a great contract. 6 is fair, and may depend upon which minor is led. In real life, it would be difficult to find 6 instead of 6.

One important point is that the quality of the field has nothing to do with the decision. If you go right, you win 1 matchpoint vs. all tables which went wrong. If you go wrong, you lose 1 matchpoint vs. all tables which went right. This will be true regardless of what percentage of pairs who bid the slam. The only time the quality of the field makes a difference is if there will be some pairs who will be in other than game or slam in a major, and even in the weakest field that doesn't look likely.
Feb. 13
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Looking at a couple of the example hands:

David: AKxxx Jx x AQxxx

Robert: AKxxx Jxx xx Axx

How does bidding 3 fare? It looks to me like on balance it will do better than passing out 3. I'm unlikely to get doubled unless I run into a bad heart split, since the opponents don't know whose hand it is – they will be happy to have pushed us to the 3-level. I would be unlucky to go down more than 1 trick and my be making. The opponents have a good chance to make 3. Most of the time selling out is the winning action only when both 3 and 3 are going down, and the odds appear to be against that.

It is worth noting that on both of these hands, the trump total is 17 (7 + 10 for David's hand, 8 + 9 for Robert's hand). That makes bidding 3 a 1 trick overbid via LOTT (bidding 3 over 3 contracts for 18 total tricks), which is usually the winning action unless the hand is defensively oriented. With all my strength in hearts, this hand is offensively oriented. As the LOTT suggests, the odds are that at least one of the 3-level contracts is making.

As seen, bidding 3 may be right even when partner holds the most unfavorable hand types for this action. If he has a more favorable hand type, then bidding 3 is definitely going to be better than passing out 3.

I don't disagree with anything David says, except when he says that bidding 3 is actually cheating. In my judgment, bidding 3 is automatic, not close. If I were polled, I would tell the director that 3 is the only bid on my radar. If I were in this position at the table, I would bid 3. A committee might disallow the call. I would have no problem with that, since other players might think that pass is a LA.

This is simply a judgment call, and in my judgment pass isn't a LA. My judgment is based on the “bad” hand types such as the ones presented. If I can see that 3 may well be the winning action even opposite those hands, then passing isn't a LA. If I see that bidding 3 is likely a losing action opposite those hand types, then passing would be a LA.
Feb. 13
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Having not jumped to 3 the previous round (which South might well have done), a 3 call now looks automatic to me. You aren't going to sell to 3 when your side has at least 8 trumps (maybe 9) and the opponents have at least 9 trumps (maybe 10). In addition, you have strong trumps. It doesn't look close.
Feb. 13
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Inviting with distribution is a bad idea. The problem is that partner can't make an intelligent evaluation. He will accept on many hands where game is bad, and he will reject on many hands where game is good.

Just go high or go low. On this hand, with 2 aces and 4-card support I think East should go high.
Feb. 12
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