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All comments by Sathya Bettadapura
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In the LM pairs a little over ten years ago my LHO opened 1nt. After two passes I tried a natural 2. LHO tried 2nt! Partner doubled. After two passes, LHO tried 3. After two passes, I decided to double as I had 4. Instead of the DOUBLE card I pulled the 3 card! LHO passed quickly accepting the insufficient bid. When we called the director, he ruled that the 3 card in the bidding box wasn’t physically close enough to the PASS cards to qualify as a mechanical error and therefore the bid could not be corrected. I had the choice of playing 3 on our 4-2 fit or 3 on my 5-2 fit Vulnerable down 3. It cost us qualifying for day#2.
Feb. 27
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I know there’s screening for the virus at ports of entry. But may be it’s not a bad idea for ACBL to have additional screening for people from countries where the virus has made deeper inroads.
Feb. 26
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Apart from the excellent and exhaustive analysis, what I admire is Kit’s Gandhi-esque honesty in presenting what happened at the table regardless of the impression it creates on the readers. Most of us will never be able to play Bridge at the level of Kit and his peers but we can all try and be as honest about admitting our mistakes to our partners, teammates and ourselves.
Feb. 24
Sathya Bettadapura edited this comment Feb. 24
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At the table, nothing interesting really happened at all. I won the third , as West followed with low spots, one higher and one lower than the one he led. I mentally resigned to -1 and even that needed to behave. But I had decided to lose a trick to RHO if possible. When LHO followed low I could just play the Ten from dummy. When RHO won with the Jack and returned the 8 I had to guess again. I put up the Ace, cashed a high and ran . LHO was KJ6 J86542 xx xx. I finessed in the end and wound up making 10 tricks.

But when I looked the hand records I noticed several interesting things, some of them double-dummy. West could have easily tried the Jack on the third . At this vulnerability it should not have worked. But you see comments like “It depends on what you make of J” upthread, so you never know if everyone would dismiss the possibility of Hearts being 3-6 as Steve Bloom and Kit Woolsey did. What if next time the vulnerability were reversed? Now it’s entirely possible that RHO was dealt KT9xxx and a couple of quacks but still not able to bid 2 at unfavorable vulnerability. In this case you can still make if a black suit finesse works as long as you can play without letting RHO in. So when LHO plays the Q on the second round it would be right to duck!

On the present lay-out defense could have held the contract to 9 tricks by switching to a either at T2 or T3. If T3, then declarer can prevail by playing the Q or T. If they switch to a at T2 however you have to put up the Ace and establish while the is blocked. I don’t know if either of these plays can be found single-dummy.
Feb. 22
Sathya Bettadapura edited this comment Feb. 22
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Game is not hopeless if are 3-2 and are 4-2 with the strong hand holding doubleton. And of course then 3X is -1 but chances are the hand would not have bid 3.
Feb. 22
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In our partnership we’re allowed to open 1 with K AKJx xxx Qxxxx.
Feb. 22
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You continue s. Best East can do is give partner a ruff. Now if West returns a you pull trumps and claim. If he returns a you ruff in dummy(South), pull trumps and claim again.
Feb. 22
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Opposite a third seat 1 opener?
Feb. 22
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My choice was the Q expecting dummy to have minor suits and a honor. If I only I could do the right thing for wrong reasons more often…
Feb. 22
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What would you lead from KJxx Jxx Qx xxxx or KJxx Jxx Qxx xxx? Not to mention that there’re quite a few competent old-fashioned players who don’t overcall 2 with KJx J8xxxx Qx xx.
Feb. 22
Sathya Bettadapura edited this comment Feb. 22
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If West led from J985x, that leaves East with KTxx. Wouldn’t he return his lowest rather than the Ten with that holding?
Feb. 21
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4th best.
Feb. 21
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You still have 3, 2 and 5 trump tricks.
Feb. 21
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The problem for South to act is that partner is non-vul third seat opener. The problem for North to act is that South is a passed hand.
Feb. 21
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South did pass first though.
Feb. 21
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What if South had held QJTX AKJT9 instead? Quite a few of them would reach 6 instead of 6nt and the only way to beat it was to lead your stiff and get a ruff when declarer takes a losing finesse to partner's Kx.
Feb. 19
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Doesn't West have a stiff then? And he was on lead right?
Feb. 19
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A 3 bid might make it easy for 4th hand to double and thereafter they find their fit?
Feb. 18
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This was a deal from a local club game.When I noticed that DF said NS can make 2 I was curious.It took me a while to verify the claim, so I thought I'd share this problem.It's not a terribly complicated double-dummy problem,but as always even a simple double-dummy is hard to visualize given just two hands.

Trumps have to be 3-2 to have any chance.So it looks like they can pull dummy's trumps if you play two rounds of .

What if the lay-out was such that the second must be won by the defender who's out of trumps?

Let's assume LHO is the one with three trumps. We can extend it later to the case when LHO has two trumps.

Let's say we played a low toward the 8.If it loses to the 9 on your right and they return a trump.You have to assume that RHO has HH9.You play a second , any .RHO wins but doesn't have a trump left.Best he can do is return a if he's not looking at the Ace himself.But when you play the K LHO must duck.So you get your ruff after all!

What if 8 loses to an honor on your right and a trump came back? Now you have to make sure that RHO must win the second , which means he must have HHx. But if you play a low , LHO can jump in with the Nine and play back a trump. But when you play the J/T from hand, LHO can't play his honor as that'll result in material loss. So he must let RHO win and you get to ruff a again.

If LHO had H9xx, why couldn't he win the first with the Nine and play back a trump? Because then he couldn't win the second to play back the third trump. When defenders are trying to pull trumps, you have let the one with short trumps win the earlier rounds so they can win and play trumps.

So the lay-outs that work are Hxxx opp HH9 or H9xx opp HHx.

LHO had JTx Ax Txxx A9xx, RHO 9x xxx KQxxx KQx.

Granted it's a very specific lay-out, so some people argue that they'd rather play for a defensive error. If you play the K at T2 and the Ace happens to be on your right there's no chance of defense making a mistake as he gets count in the suit. And thereafter your chances are practically non-existent. LHO might however put up the Ace, although looking at dummy's suit he might decide not to, which is what happened at our table. Eventually defense went wrong because they believed that declarer MUST have six ! If you had bid correctly and reached 3 your chances of defensive error would be even more remote.

But regardless of what you do at the table, why not try to construct a lay-out that gives you a legitimate play in an offline setting? If you can't visualize this lay-out here what chance do you have of doing so at the table?

Congratulations to Jim Munday who found the right line, as he usually does. And also to Richard Pavlicek whose comments later indicated that he was thinking on similar lines as well.
Feb. 11
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”If East wins, they are now major-tight and the count is rectified to squeeze them.“

In that five-card ending East is 2-3-0-0, declarer is 0-3-1-1, West is 1-2-0-2 and dummy is 2-3-0-0 right? If East returns a , you win in dummy discarding a from hand, get back to hand with a to play a trump. But isn’t East guarding majors over dummy?
Feb. 10
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