Join Bridge Winners
All comments by Mike Gill
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Yeah I was wondering how to do that actually, thanks. Will update the articles.
Nov. 22
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Depends a lot on your style. If you would raise to 2 holding a 35(32) minimum then I think you have to bid 3 on this.
Nov. 20
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Not sure - unfortunately the vugraph archive for this quarter was somehow overwritten by the first quarter so both quarters show up as the same boards.
Nov. 16
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* This was not in Precision, though I think this is a normal minimum opener unless maybe you're playing EHAA
* I think 2 would survive partner's 2245 13 since he should raise 3 to 4. The bigger worry is a 2245 18 where he thinks we have a fit and drives to slam.
* I started out liking a fake 2 rebid on 3 on hands like this - the problem is that you now have less shape than advertised, and usually the way to show that is to bid NT, but you chose this rebid in the first place to AVOID bidding NT. This is why I think some artificiality is necessary in these auctions to achieve optimal results.
* For the record I raised to 3 at the table, but I thought 2, 2 and 2NT were all reasonable choices. Not often a bid in 4 different strains is under consideration!
Nov. 14
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I happen to prefer this style, particularly in an unfamiliar partnership, because I think it really simplifies a lot of sequences that would otherwise require lots of experience/judgment/artificiality to sort out. I could certainly be convinced that a top-level partnership with lots of experience sorting out major suit length later could do better, but for my dollar I'd rather spend the system discussion time elsewhere in a casual partnership.

All that being said, this is also a way more interesting problem than if 2 were a catchall, where I'd imagine it would attract a comfortable majority vote.
Nov. 8
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Thanks, glad you're enjoying. I wonder what the difference ought to be between those sequences. Certainly partner could bid 5NT with + planning to correct 6 to 6, or with just spades looking to choose between 6 and 6NT. I agree that 4 then 6 will likely get the message across, I suppose maybe if partner raises diamonds with 1345, say, you might get to an inferior fit? I dunno if I would have felt as good about bidding a 4-card suit over 5NT, fortunately I had an easy choice on the actual deal.
Nov. 4
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Agreed
Nov. 4
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I think the squeeze line is interesting, and I will admit to not giving it much consideration at the table, since it requires the finesse. I'm not 100% on exactly the right way to do vacant spaces but giving West 6 known cards and East only 1 feel wrong to me. We also know that East ought to have at least 5 diamonds for doubling 5 when my shape is unknown and I know my partner's exact shape and might rewind if I turn up with the rest of the diamond suit.

Depending on what you think Rodwell would bid with in a GF relay auction vulnerable holding the KT9 and maybe nothing much else, he probably has 4054, 4063, 3055, 3064, or 5053. I would probably bid with 6-5 or 7 diamonds and a void in the suit they're showing but it would depend on the hand for sure. I haven't run the numbers, but I suspect opposite those likely shapes playing for the drop comes out ahead.
Nov. 4
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Nevermind, this works the same as 4-2 if you play for the drop.
Nov. 1
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I mean everyone makes mistakes and I'm the first to admit I usually give my opponents too much credit, but a) my opponent was Meckstroth and b) it's seems really farfetched that he would need to cover? Am I really trying a Chinese finesse at Trick 3 in a grand I freely bid after knowing literally my partner's whole hand?

Also am I missing something Anant on Jxxxx and the K onsides? I only count 4 spades, 2 clubs, 1 diamond, 5 trumps for 12 tricks, since I still can't get back to the long spade (I could take a diamond ruff but then I lose a spade winner).
Nov. 1
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I should also say I'm pretty confident I wouldn't have thought of this at the table, and it's pretty crazy. I think it's only in the running since everything else seems so unlikely to work.
Oct. 28
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I think the main possible gain is when the suit is 3-3. Can West really be sure that I have a singleton after seeing his partner's 2? What if I needed 3 club tricks and held Jxx? I happen not to think Kxx AKQJxx K Jxx is quite a 3 bid, but remind me next time to duck the K and drop the J if I hold that! I was originally thinking that even if the suit is 4-2 this removes West's safe club exit, but after sorting through it I don't think this can matter.

I suppose in the real world there's also a reasonable chance the opponents get the signal wrong. I'm normally a fan of “discourage from 2 if you don't want a ruff” not “always give count”, but here you can't want a ruff from 2 if partner has 3+ clubs so I agree count is the indicated signal. However, the chances that both opponents are on the same page about that unless they're very good players is probably not so high.
Oct. 28
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Is it so crazy to duck T1? LHO will just think you have Jx and you're unblocking. With no entries to dummy shouldn't he play another club now to either give his partner a ruff (if he has KQxx) or prevent you from drawing trumps and taking any more than one club trick (if he has KQx).
Oct. 27
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We've been moving in this direction for a while as well. 1-2 is an awful auction, so definitely don't bid it if you might not want to play in hearts if partner raises! 1 - 2, on the other hand, is a great auction.

I play in a very scientifically minded partnership that hates having lots of one-off agreements. Having 1 - 2 - 3 set hearts is just way better for us. You gain an unambiguous (non-) serious 3/3NT with all your normal room to sort out values and controls for slam, an unambiguous control bid in spades as a heart slam try, and an unambiguous kickback 4 if you want it. Maybe if you play as much as Kit when it goes 1 - 2 - 3 - 3 you can make customized methods to sort out which suit is trumps for game and all the slam tries.
Oct. 27
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I wouldn't take it as natural if their overcall promised 5-5
Oct. 25
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Here's the system we came up with, I'm sure there are others. It was designed to be easy to remember (shortness by either player is always shown with 3M+1 to 3M+3), avoid giving away information when there's no slam interest, and always offer the partner of the person showing shortness a chance to show interest below 4M. For the 3 bids that show shortness (3N-4 over spades), you can use whatever scheme you like to resolve where it is (replacement, HI-MID-LOW, …etc).

This is the system over 1, it's the same over hearts but shifted down a step:

1 - 2NT (4-card LR+):
— 3 normal min GF hand, usually 6-7 losers, no voids
— 3 5-loser hand or better, no voids
— 3 min with a void
— 3 rejects 4-card LR
— 3N-4 max with a void

1 - 2N - 3:
— 3 shows slam interest, asks for more info
—— 3 min with a singleton
—— 3 no shortness
—— 3N-4 max with a singleton
— 3 shows a min GF splinter (lower-tier of 2-tiered)
—— 3 asks, 3NT-4 show
— 3 shows mild slam interest opposite a singleton and a max
—— 3NT-4 show singletons and a max
— 3NT-4 show a singleton and extras (upper-tier)

1 - 2N - 3:
— 3 either GF no shortness or splinter with extras
—— opener can ask with 3 or show shortness with 3N-4
— 3 just a LR, no shortness
—— 3N-4 shows shortness
— 3N-4 shortness, 7 losers hand

1 - 2N - 3:
— 3 asks, 3N-4 show the void location

1 - 2N - 3:
— 3N-4 show shortness, slam interest opposite LR rejection

We almost never jump to 4M while partner is unlimited - we'd only do this with the worst hand we can imagine for slam. I also didn't define 4 bids when 3NT-4 show shortness - this step is free actually. You can use this for whatever you want - I think the best use is a hand that has extra values for previous bidding but no singletons. For an opener that's shown 6-7 losers, this might be something like AQJxxx AKx xx xx. You could make slam here opposite a control-heavy balanced minimum GF like Kxxx xx Axx AKxx.
Oct. 20
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Yes
Oct. 20
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Well, I suppose you might bid 4 with any GF that can't really visualize a slam, whereas some of those hands might bid 4 playing Standard. But that makes the ceiling of 4 higher, which if anything argues against stretching the floor?

I suspect you're right that thinking about bidding 5 might have been an overbid. 5 *could* be a down 1 save if partner has a singleton diamond but that does seem quite a bit against the odds.
Oct. 20
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This is a reasonable approach IMO, but there are potential gains from bidding more slowly. If partner has two aces, grand is very good if partner has a heart (~80%) but should be avoided if he's void (50%). Sure he probably has a heart but he might not - on my auction I was pretty certain he didn't have one. Also, hearts doesn't have to be the right strain. If partner has solid spades and jumps to 3 over 2, then you want to play in spades not hearts since you can ruff the hearts good on any break. Give partner AKQJxxx - xxx xxx and 6 is almost cold but 6 is 50/50 on a club lead.

It seems like the gains from bidding Blackwood immediately happen if you can't get back to keycard in hearts at some point. This could conceivably have happened if partner bid 4 instead of 3NT in my auction.
Oct. 20
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-110 instead of +620 is lose 11 so if I'm committing to this not being our worst board then we're in a lot of trouble!
Oct. 20
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