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All comments by Leonard Helfgott
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Eric: I may be an atavistic Luddite (!) but couldnt the problem with Jxx xx AKxx AKxx be partly solved by opening 1D? Yes we might miss a 5-3 or good 4-3, but bidding 4C instead of spades with 3244 seems better.
Jeff: You know that you are one of the expert gurus (and a gentleman) to the mid/upper A players in the strongAllendale, NJ sectionals. I would appreciate your personal thoughts after poll is concluded. :)
4 hours ago
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Given the conditions I think 3C would be a gameforce. One might consider 4C after 2s-3H-p-p- as partner with likely less than 3S should have clubs, but if it goes 2S-p-p-3H- you have more of a problem.
Also, it would be nice to play negative doubles here after a raise. Even if you play penalty doubles over NT interference, the raise and therefore putative heart fit makes a penalty double by NTs partner almost impossible, IMO.
Jan. 18
Leonard Helfgott edited this comment Jan. 18
2NT
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Steve: I would add that for the cases where 2NT >50%, that is 20-4 and 21-3, the odds of 9T are well under 50%. However, of all contracts declarer advantage (opening lead, etal) seems greatest for1NT and 2NT contracts, so the 20-3 and 21-2 are probably at least even money for game, IMHO. And unless you are playing Imps, why not just pass in tempo with a poor 4 count. Thomas Andrews Fantasia tables tell us 2NT (20-21 avg 20.4) plus bad 4 count produce well below 50% games. That way you can have your cake and eat it too (if they double).
Jan. 18
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Thanks all for participating. My actual hand was x KQx AKQxxx KQ10, and 3NT was also bid at other table—expert passing. Partner was unlucky to play suit correctly (low to the 9) and lose 2 tricks (AX onside, Jxx offside). Before anyone thinks that low to K is better, work it out—AJx onside are 3 important cases. I agreed with partner's decision at the time.
Jan. 17
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Sounds about right. I woikd not pull 4Sx.
Jan. 16
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Yes. West is at least 2HCp if not 3hcp (based on style) over minimum. Is there a valud argument for “overbidding” 3S instead of 2S initially to resolve problems in sdvance and “get his hand off his chest” in one bid?
Jan. 16
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Strict mechanical rules remiove judgment
Jan. 15
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Yes, we had not discussed it and both of us would likely have taken it as a splinter.
Jan. 14
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Yes but Gambling 3nT would be a solid minor with no side A ir K, like x xxx AKQJxxx xx.
Jan. 14
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Thank you all for your comments. Actual results don’t mean that much but FYI the board was played 9 times woth an 8 top. 4 pairs played in 4H, 1 making (420) and 3 down (-100). One played in 4NT down 1. 4 pairs played in 3NT—-3 pairs scored 10 tricks (430) and one pair went down. The 5 scores of -100 scored 2/8(25%), the sole 420 scored 5/8=62% and the 3 430s scored 7/8=88%. No 400’s!
What might be an interesting calculation is to assume the field is divided into 4 equal groups—- 3NT acoring either 400 or 430 and 4H taking each of the two above lines. True I’ve ignored 460s and sets of 3NT, calculating the expected matchpoint score of the two 4H actions in context of some 600s and 630s would be informative for anyone willing to perform this exercise.
Jan. 13
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Agreed. All the C players make this bid ans unfortunately get away with it 35-40% of the time.
Jan. 13
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Jacoby with 3 trumps? Not ideal. 2C with only 3 clubs and 4S is not iseal and common in this area. Don’t see why you prefer these to bidding a 4 card spade suit. Your point about raising with weak hands is obvious, and 1NT if 100% forcing makes sense, but what about natural bidding with a full opener?
Jan. 12
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I dont know of any standard game forcing raises with only 3 trumps, so 1S seems normal. What would you suggest after partner’s 2C? A 4Th suit 2D? Then if partner jumps to 3NT decide to pass or bid 4H? Partner has shown 2 suits (which he doesnt have) and you have QJx in his major, an opeing bid, and nothing in the 4Th suit. Maybe its a style issue on opposite sides of the pond.
Jan. 12
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Given that 1H-1S-2C-3H is invit., not forcing, what natural auction would you suggest?
Jan. 12
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Yes. South passed
Jan. 12
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Ben: If you did not have the agreement to split spade invites into these two camps (3S=5, 2N/3S=4), what would you prefer, 2S, 3S, 3C?, other?
Jan. 11
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Dave: If the trump suit were known to break 3-2 I would guess best would be to lead from board and finesse twice. However, 4-1 breaks could make this risky or cumbersome. So I’m thinking that “best” would be to play Ace first and then low, and if LHO can duck smoothly with Kxx you pay off. Am I wrong?
Jan. 11
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Craig: I am with you 100%. And I recall Kit’s article about the negative psychological impact of a disaster of this sort which carries on through the match. There is also (for me) the positive psychological impact of ensuring the contract at the cheap cost of one imp occasonally—and that helps me play my best for remainder of match.
Jan. 11
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Richard: I do prefer 2-way (Nagy or Kokish I think they’re called) in developed partnerships. However this was a very infrequent partner (near expert in cardplay) and it had not been discussed, so “natural” (or “help suit” if you prefer that term)for game tries. Partner held Qx Txxx Txx AJTx and declined the try. With a 4Th trump and 3 tens, I would have accepted with his hand. I also think AJx(x) is a better choice for a natural try than Jxx or even JT9. I generally do not ask for help in 3 loser suits if I have an alternative.
Jan. 11
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So your partner resulted you and erred when he told you you erred by passing over 1S? Has bridge really come to the point where you are supposed to overcall 2D with a balanced 12 count and indifferent 5 card suit?
Jan. 10
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