Join Bridge Winners
All comments by Mike Gill
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I think the fact that the 7 was led matters a lot as well, though I didn't mention it specifically. I would lead the 2 if I had Jxx 1072 KJxxx Qx, since I don't want partner to lead the highest suit but I am ok with the two lower. I think you're essentially forced to give a binary signal initially since you don't know how many of your cards partner will get to see before making the critical decision. You're probably right about the 10 being more for diamonds.
Sept. 19
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North should just bid a natural, invitational 4N over 3.
Sept. 14
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Was thinking about this last night - early diamond to the J loses if LHO has say KTxxx Qxx KTx Ax and RHO AJxxx xxxxx xx K, right? That seems consistent with the bidding and lead. I guess it depends on how likely you think it is that LHO leads a trump from AK tight.
Sept. 13
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Updated the text slightly.

On deeper analysis, crossing in diamonds is essentially 100% safe for the contract if LHO has a singleton. Say he ruffs, plays a club to RHO and receives another ruff. Now I can ruff the club return and cash a high trump. If LHO shows out, I can cross to a heart in dummy, cash my diamond winner to pitch a heart (since LHO can't ruff) and take a trump finesse. If hearts were somehow 4=1 they could play a heart instead of a club to leave me a guess, but that would mean LHO has 2416 and RHO didn't raise clubs with 4-card support and a singleton in the suit we'd just bid, so that's not really possible.

If LHO led from xxxx in diamonds (which was possible on the lead), I might go down on this line if the trump finesse loses to the stiff Q. That would require LHO to have preempted on 1246 and RHO not to have a raised.
Sept. 12
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Yes, diamond to the jack early seems slightly better.

I didn't realize it at the time, but when East played the 8, my legit chances were all gone, since he couldn't really hold a tripleton 87 either. Unless he'd played the 8 as a signal from a 4-card holding without the 7, but these opponents didn't seem like the type to make that kind of error. I thought about playing Q hoping they'd ducked from the AK, but didn't think about LHO ducking from AJx.
Sept. 12
Mike Gill edited this comment Sept. 12
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Thanks, fixed.
Sept. 12
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It's totally normal to bid 5 with 3-4 in partner's suits, except maybe at matchpoints if you are planning on making a 5-level contract. So I don't think 5 really gives the opponents all that much more information than 5 does.

And who said 5 is necessarily the winning call? Give partner a totally normal x AKxxx Jx KQxxx and both contracts are down. Take away the J and they're still down when hearts are 2-2 or RHO holds the A.
Sept. 11
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Assuming 4 is natural, our diamond trick(s) is/are unlikely to be going anywhere. I think bidding 5 is clear since partner is most likely 5-5 and why wouldn't we want to play our better fit at IMPs?
Sept. 8
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I don't like bidding 3NT either. You could definitely miss a slam, but that's what happens sometimes when they preempt? Kx and a singleton in partner's suit are slam-negative enough that I don't actually feel too bad about this bid. If I had Ax x KT9x AKJT9x I might bypass 3NT.
Sept. 8
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I agree he needs a big hand (though your particular example is maybe not the best). I think the type of hand where partner would bid on is QJxx AKx AQJxx x. Maybe I would bid over 3 with that but I might just pass to see where partner is going.
Sept. 7
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If you bid 3 and partner has a stopper he has to bid 3NT on almost any hand. Over X, partner has a lot more options, and I think it depends more on the overall hand than just how strong the stopper is. He could pass with either a balanced hand and strong spades or an unbalanced hand with short diamonds and enough trump stoppers to be confident of getting some ruffs. With 3424 shape it seems normal for partner to bid 2NT on almost any hand with a stopper for lack of better options. With that shape and no stopper, I have no idea what you're supposed to do!

With my actual hand I probably would have bid 3 - partner is practically limited to 2-3 in the majors so he has to have either 6 or 3.
Sept. 7
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Certainly we agree this hand is not a mild slam try. But if KJT9xxx Qxx xx x is a direct 4 bid (what else could you bid?), then I'm not sure how partner is supposed to know whether or not to bid on with extra values.
Sept. 7
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Almost regardless of what you think of the rest of the bidding, North's 7 seems way out of line. Shoving grand in an uncontrolled auction where who knows what's going on is just not winning bridge, even in a partnership with more than 0 boards of experience. This bid deserved to turn a board that partner already won into a 0. Small slam was going to be a fine score if it made in any field I've ever played in.

For the record I think 4 as south is pretty out there too, 3NT seems completely normal at matchpoints.
Sept. 7
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The main reason for not bidding 4 directly is that it shows a hand with a ton of spades and not much in the way of high cards. With 4 bid based on HCP you have to Q so partner can bid a slam with extras.
Sept. 7
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I agree with you at other colors where the opponents are much more likely to bid 4 as a sacrifice. Here it felt like they were done.
Sept. 6
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* 2 shows diamonds, but it's not really a “raise” given opener didn't promise any!
* Responder bids 2 with inv+ values and clubs. With less than that, he could bid 3 (xx45 or better) or maybe double with 4 hearts as well. With just clubs and less than an invitation he might have to pass and hope to get another chance
* Since 2 is unlimited, passing would be a huge position. Maybe if I had opened on Qxxx Qxx - KQJxxx and they overcalled 1 and it was matchpoints
* 2 is inv+ with hearts.
Sept. 5
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In theory I think it totally make sense in the Spinterbilt-type events. It seems a bit redundant in this event since the teams are quasi-randomized thanks to the Swiss. But I'm definitely in favor of following the rules as written to leave no ambiguity about what happens.
Sept. 5
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Frenemy has some weird implications that aren't really appropriate here. Maybe we should coin fropponents? or frivals?
Sept. 5
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I guess I'm not sure what it would accomplish. Slam seems very unlikely and I'm having trouble constructing a hand where we need to play in clubs. It might help steer the opponents to a diamond lead though.
Sept. 5
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They are showing up for me. Anyone else having this issue?
Sept. 5
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