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All comments by Leonard Helfgott
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Yes. That’s probably what I was thinking Wednesday night.:)
12 hours ago
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Ah. I should be more observant to the problem. At my table ther was no opposing bidding (1S-2C-2H-4S). Once I recognized the hand, I recalled the actual table conditions instead of looking at the bidding and the IMP problem. I don’t think I would try leading the queen, but low from the board would have been more sensible if RHO had preempted.
16 hours ago
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I guess the question comes down to whether you are aiming for 1 loser or two. Playing low to ace and back loses 3 tricks only to KJTx with LHO which is only about 5.6%. The intrafinesse is surely the best play for 3 tricks (2 losers) and could do better. You may be right that this is a better play for just one loser than ace and another, but I’d have to check on that. Kx onside or JT onside or a smooth in tempo play of 10 or Jack by RHO might be enough table presence to hold to one loser. Admittedly a weak player might rise quickly or hitch badly with Kx if you lead low from the board. I did not notice that the author had “changed conditions” from MPs to IMPs when I commented and would have rethought this atIMPs.
16 hours ago
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I had no reason to think the king was on my left other than trump breaks were bad for several prior hands that night. I’m aware of the value of the intrafinesse but feared club ruffs so chose to reject it on this hand. I’ll check the math on these combos. I think that in a team game my radar for assuring 10 tricks would be up. Thanks.
17 hours ago
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Then the problem was changed from the actual conditions. I played the hand At the last Wednesday nights mAtchpoints game. Under the change of conditions And with the actual lead of club ace and another, I would agree with low from dummy attempting to limit trump losses to two. Like all the other declarers in the club that night I tried for one trump loser and lost three.
23 hours ago
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Oh, yes. Didn’t see Easts ruff. Optical Illusion. Still would not pass 3C and I would wind up in 4S, down 1. BTDT:).
Nov. 18
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Thank you all for participating, including actual partner and opponents at other table. Aside from the infinite debate about 1NT with this type of hand (I expected a fair vote for 1NT but not a modality), I am a bit surprised at the great resistance to reverse with this type of hand, assuming you have some type of decent “reversing structure” in place. My partner, Greg Rosoff, is a very infrequent partner so this has not been discussed very much. Given this 7 control hand and ability for responder to show a very weak hand (with 2NT or 2oM whichever cheaper) the downside of a reverse seems small compared to showing both minor suits in a natural manner, and I guess there were enough votes to support that view. I am a strong advocate of light reverses (decent 16, or a pure 4-6 with 15) and have had good results. I can raise 1D to 3, and bid a natural 2NT if partner rebids his spades.
One final point about KR evaluation, which is indeed suit oriented. When you pick up a hand you do not know in advance whether it will play in NT or a suit. So if this hand is worth 15-16 for NT and closer to 18 for suit play, a “Shroedingers Cat” view of splitting the difference and treating it as 17 overall might be best. Those who cannot bring themselves to reverse with hands worth 17 (a priori) …
Nov. 18
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Ai-Tai- agree with your analysis of 3C vs double. Bid where you live is always sound strategy, IMO. And like Mr. Fleet, I wouldn’t pass partners direct 3C overcall with the South hand. Also I may be having an optical illusion, but why would we need the spade 10? With the Q onside 3-2, isn’t 4S cold?
Nov. 18
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But what if you are trying to maximize tricks at mAtchpoints? Low to Ace and back (guessing if you see J or 10 with RHO has appeal for 11 tricks.
Nov. 18
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I think that if you are playing Imps instead of mAtchpoints there is good reason to lead low to 9, then back to the 8, if you have already established 2 club discards. Otherwise low to ace and back seems percentage. And leasing the queeen wouldn’t far well if LHI was one with stiff.

BTW: down 1 was a very good score, most others went down 2.
Nov. 16
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I think most play both 3C and 3S as invitational. If so then either 2D or 4S would be necessary. If your understanding is that 4C would show this hand (6S, 4+C, gf) then fine but haven’t seen that one in a long time.
Nov. 16
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Oh. From last night. I got club ace and low to king. So suspected a ruff and wanted to dump my heart losers. The immediate two hands before (and two later that night) I had gotten very bad spade breaks so at trick 2 as I led a spade to ace I said to my esteemed partner.”Now watch this!” Fully expecting LHO to hold 4 trumps. And so it was! Down 1 when any other break would score 10 tricks. Didn’t seem right time for intrafinesse.
Nov. 16
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Sam: I prefer your auction to ours, but contract the same. Yes I led low to 10 and low back up, when LHO followed I rose. Perhaps even better is leading club jack, covered and low club back planning to finesse 8 if lho shows out. Of course it would take an incredibly unlucky parlay for this to matter more than 1imp, but recognizing the dangers keeps us on our game.
Nov. 16
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I don’t think partner could have J108, I would always drop the Jack from that holding unless every other option was safe. I realize that 108 is possible but seems quite unlikely and as Phillip Martin points out any black shift has its own risks. If I were to lead a club I’d try the king as I overdo this play compared to others, and I’d try spade J here from Jxx. The way I bid the preemptor cannot hold both the spade king and club queen, but I can’t read preempts anymore with most of the field preempting on quacky opening bids. :). But I’m a middling defender at best and plan to learn from this discussion.
Nov. 15
Leonard Helfgott edited this comment Nov. 15
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How about 3H first and then 5D?
Nov. 14
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Gotta get the heart suit in, then when partner doesn't raise a double of 5S is clear.
Nov. 14
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Bob: seems a tad light for 2NT doesn't it? And if you ARE good enough for 2NT, why not 2D with an unbalanced hand?
Nov. 14
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If you ever get back from Montana or Wyoming or wherever you are, let's get together again.
Nov. 13
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Looks like 6D is best slam. Tough to get to. If North raises diamonds strongly it can happen. 6C isn't as good, but reasonable. IMO
Nov. 13
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My mistake, I checked again and both sides were Vulnerable. Does that affect your decision.
Nov. 13
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