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All comments by Robin Hillyard
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North at least got one bid right: 2
15 hours ago
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Most unknown quotes get attributed to (you pick): Mark Twain, Winston Churchill or Groucho Marx.
15 hours ago
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This is close (8 hcp, no aces, only four spades) but the auction won't end with me bidding 1. I will have another chance to bid one of the minors if I want to.
15 hours ago
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I abstained. I think there are several factors at play here. I don't believe any call by responder is forcing, except for 3. 2 tends to show five but minimum hands might bid 2 with only four because it's dangerous to double unless we know our side has the balance of power. So, at the time of the X or 2 call, there is some ambiguity but if this hand makes a later non-forced bid or double, then the 5-card suit is confirmed.
July 12
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Ah yes, good point. I should have said about 12 seconds. Of course the skip bid requirement of 10 seconds is incredibly silly in this case (and in so many other cases). We are vulnerable, my partner has not bid so far (but passed twice), so the chances of her bidding over 6 are vanishingly small. But the law says wait and I'm sure there was a pause (although I don't actually recall at this point).
July 11
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Indeed, Ed. The penalty would be quite severe for a 4 bid that (unexpectedly) bars partner.
July 9
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IF 3 means (a) I have a game-forcing hand; (b) I don't feel I can bid 3NT myself; © I have tolerance for your suit (spades) but can't directly raise…. AND IF 4 means (a) I have a game-forcing hand; (b) this is not a hand for 3NT; © I have tolerance for your suit (spades) but can't directly raise… THEN it seems to me that the calls are compatible. If by “Western cue” is meant something more specific than what I've shown for 3 (but if so I don't know what), then the calls would be incompatible. If 4 is a splinter in support of spades and interested in slam (which should have been noted by the OP but which we can only guess at), then the calls are incompatible.
July 9
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East and West both played as if they had four hearts so, unless they're playing a very deep game, I think we can reasonably assume 4-4.
July 9
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At matchpoints, shouldn't we be putting the most likely hand in partner's hand? There are six outstanding spades, the most likely number of spades is two (right?). Assuming partner is in the 5 to 11 range, the most likely number of points partner should have is nine (right?). There are three aces, two kings, three queens and four knaves available, so partner might reasonably have a random collection of four of those cards. Taking one from each class seems reasonable, and might give partner something like xx Qxxx Ax KJxxx although xx Jxxx Qx Axxxx is also possible obviously. Clearly, a full analysis would be much more complicated (but could be done via simulation). My point is that your sample hand is, I think, a bit on the pessimistic side.
July 6
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Paul, good observation. Unfortunately, I covered the club as it seemed more likely that partner would show up with a useful high card in clubs than a third trump.
July 6
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Thanks for all your comments. The hand was #16 from this set (I hope you can access this): http://live.acbl.org/handrecords/1807028/07041400. As you can see, X is the winning option because dummy will come down with no trumps so my K cannot be finessed. My partner did lead a spade but of course, it did no good since the declarer had a stiff. He took an immediate club finesse and it makes no difference whether my hand covers or not. If the J holds the trick, he can repeat the finesse against the queen.

However, as a result of this auction, I'm now of the opinion that I should have doubled, despite all of the excellent points that I and some of the commentators above made: our hand holds all of our side's assets; we are happy to get a spade lead; our K will be finessible by one lead only, etc.

Here are the reasons that I think I'm going to double next time: on this auction and in this field, it's quite likely that 6H making undoubled with an overtrick will get about 5 mps out of 15. Therefore, if we double and it still makes we may lose, say, 4 mps. But if we double and it's the only way to set the contract, we will likely get 14 out of 15 (or better). So, the odds are something like 9 to 4 in favor of doubling.

There's another consideration which is basically what will partner think a non-double means? Clearly, partner has a lot of diamonds and must be thinking of the possibility that we are void. If we don't double, it basically says “I'm not void and so please go ahead and lead a spade.” This is likely to give up an overtrick which could be significant because many of the players won't assume that lack of double means no void.

So, it's a complicated situation and one that is hard to figure out in the few seconds available. But next time I'm in any doubt, I'm doubling.
July 5
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Ralph, that was my reasoning precisely.
July 5
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That's the big question ;)
July 5
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Kit,

I'd like to think it was wrong. Indeed I thought it was wrong. But it was made very clear to me that it was I that was wrong when I questioned the director's ruling on exactly these circumstances.
June 30
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My understanding from personal experience at an NABC is that (in the ACBL at least) 3rd hand can think for as long as he likes, regardless of whether declarer took the customary 30 seconds and regardless of whether his card is a singleton.
June 30
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1C in 1st/2nd but 1NT 3rd/4th
June 30
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Agree 100%. A little bit of logic and probability is a far cry from “math” which conjures up images of statistics, calculus, trigonometry, etc.Not the way to entice kids!
June 16
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Michael, I didn't want to give too many options. I apparently did leave off quite a few reasonable choices.
June 16
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I did consider making this a general article because of the complication of too many possible poll options.
June 16
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Craig, I might have done that with the 9. But my highest card other than the K was the 7. I wasn't at all sure that that was high enough to be obvious.
June 16
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