Join Bridge Winners
All comments by Kit Woolsey
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Not natural.
Feb. 6
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True, you can beat it. But if partner has xxx, AJx, Kxx, Jxxx or something like that, will he know to go up ace of hearts when declarer wins the club shift and lead a heart from dummy. Perhaps he should work the hand out, but you never know. The trump shift leaves him with no other conceivable defense. That is the reason I prefer the trump shift at trick 2 – to force partner into the winning defense.
Feb. 5
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Sorry, I thought the problem was after trick 1. I still stand by my analysis. North shouldn't have a doubleton diamond.
Feb. 5
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Yes
Feb. 4
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Partner must have 3 diamonds for his Q-bid. If he instead had a doubleton diamond and a good hand, he would have redoubled instead of bidding 2.

While normally suit preference doesn't apply unless obvious, here it is obvious. Partner's spade play is suit-preference.

Declarer wouldn't have played the queen of spades from Qxx. Therefore, partner's 8 of spades is not his smallest spade, so he doesn't want a club shift. If partner had the ace of clubs or if his clubs were as good as QJ, he would have signaled for a club shift. This means we aren't getting any club tricks.

We can count 1 spade trick, 1 diamond trick, and 0 club tricks. We need 3 tricks from the trump suit to defeat this contract. These can come from 2 natural trump tricks from partner and a ruff in our hand (declarer having, say, Qx, KJ10xxx, K, AQJx) or the ace of trumps and 2 ruffs in our hand (declarer having, say, QJx, KQJxxx, x, AQx).

I think a trump shift covers all bases. If partner has just the ace of trumps and the king of diamonds, he will win, give us a ruff, and we underlead to get the second ruff. However, if partner has 2 natural trump tricks he will not win the first round, and when he get in on the second round of trumps he will give us the spade ruff. This defense prevents us from wrongly underleading the ace of diamonds.
Feb. 4
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David,

Yes, it is that easy to say. Our notes explicitly state that when the partner of the multi bidder forces to the 3 level with a P/C call and the opponents do something, pass says suit is spades and double says suit is hearts.

Michael,

Correct. If we are forced only to the 2 level and they bid higher, opener's pass is mandatory and says nothing.
Feb. 4
Kit Woolsey edited this comment Feb. 6
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Exactly.
Feb. 4
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Why would west cover the diamond if he has a stiff queen of clubs? He would be happy for his partner to ruff and give him a club ruff. That will always beat the contract if east has j10xx of hearts, and maybe if East’s hearts are weaker. So grab your club tricks and make the contract.
Feb. 4
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It suggests that you pass. Partner may have had slam ambitions if you didn't have wastage in diamonds, but once you have that wastage he judged there is no slam. If he were still interested in slam after hearing your 3NT call, he had other bids than 4 available.
Feb. 4
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They can't make 5. Even with the hearts 3-1 and the AQ of clubs in the North hand, all they make is 10 tricks. The defense always gets 1 spade trick, 1 heart trick, and the diamond ruff.

You seem to be forgetting that you get a diamond ruff when partner has the king of hearts entry. Given that, it looks to me as though their chances of making 4 are at best 30%, perhaps less. In addition, if you get 2 heart tricks they will often be down 2 (or even 3 if partner has K10xx of hearts). I don't think they are close to 50-50 to make.
Feb. 4
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I think that is being very double-dummy. Suppose you could see partner's hand, and had heard the auction. Would you prefer to save in 5 or defend 4. I would prefer to defend 4. That contract will go down if the hearts are 2-2, or if your king of clubs scores. West was unlucky that the hearts were 3-1 and that the AQ of clubs both happened to be in dummy. Any change in the N-S hands would mean that 4 is going down and that 5 is a phantom save.
Feb. 4
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If the opening bid were a minor, I would play it as natural. We have the rule that we don't play in the opening bidder's suit if he opens 1 of a major.
Feb. 3
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I don't totally agree with Michael about getting rid of written defenses, particularly for high-level team events. The reason is that if we do so, the powers that be may start banning too many conventions.

What I would like to get rid of is the requirement of supplying defenses. If a pair wishes to make up their own defense and bring it along, fine. However, the business of supplying the written defenses to every pair causes nothing but problems, often more problems for the players who are trying to use the defenses. If they aren't familiar with them, they aren't going to learn them with a 30 second study. One player may read something which his partner fails to read in the defenses, and this causes them to have a mixup. They would be better off with no defenses.
Feb. 3
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There is always something which might get picked up. Anyway, this is all irrelevant. As I said, they don't redouble. If they are making 2 overtricks I guarantee you there will be no redouble when they know there is a relatively cheap save.

If you believe the danger of overtricks is significant, that is a good argument against doubling. As I said, I think the chance of down 2 is far greater than the chance of an overtrick. This is my judgment, and if you disagree then not doubling would be correct for you. But the possibility of a redouble simply isn't part of the equation. If I am that wrong, the -990 is going to cost a ton of IMPs anyway. It isn't the redouble which will cost the IMPs. It is the double in the first place.
Feb. 3
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Has nothing to do with this situation.
Feb. 3
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Maybe. I'm at the table, and I will let my table presence be the deciding factor. I am glad to have the opportunity to use this table presence to get a better result, an opportunity I wouldn't have had if there had been no redouble.
Feb. 3
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Why do we have “at most 1 heart trick”. Is there a law which says the enemy hearts can't be 2-2?
Feb. 3
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Perhaps it is UI when they don't look. Also, if they look only when they have a possible action (which one can't know unless on a previous hand they didn't look) that is UI also. However, my attitude is to forget about it. When I'm playing something which is deemed complicated enough to need a written defense, I don't think the opponents should have the additional burden of being required to look all the time. Most players will know what the initial bids mean without having to look, so they don't really need to look before deciding on the initial action anyway. So, I just let them have their UI for whatever good it will do them.
Feb. 3
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How big were my chances that 4 would make and they would let us play there? Pretty decent. West has a lot of high cards, and the opponents may be concerned about going for 200 or 500 when 4 wasn't making in the first place.

The point is that bidding 4 goes after getting a plus score, either by making or by pushing the opponents to 4 down 1 when 3 was making. Passing is much more likely to result in a minus score. Plus scores win the IMPs.

As to whether or not the double is a good bet, that is a judgment call. I think it is. But whether or not the double is a good bet, letting the opponents buy it for 3 has to be a bad bet.
Feb. 3
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I don't agree. West can take care of himself, and if he needs the king of hearts in East's hand to defeat the contract he will play for it. East knows that West must have the king of clubs for the double.
Feb. 3
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