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All comments by Alan Frank
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I put “other” as second choice, being 5. That should be pick-a-slam with first-round control of spades, while 5NT would be the same without that control.
On this auction, either of those bids should show primary hearts; a hand like this one with the rounded suits interchanged. With the actual hand, just bid 6 and partner can correct with the red suits.
This assumes that you evaluate the hand as a slam force. I think it's a very close call.
an hour ago
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Michael, playing without screens and without “Questions?,” when does opening leader face the lead?
an hour ago
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At the end, I think that should be “repeat the club finesse.”
an hour ago
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Yes, and if they have the first hand, you'd be happier with 2 and with the second, 2. I agree, bid your suit, but does this mean the one with length or the one with strength?
an hour ago
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I agree with Michael about “Having none?” (Though so long as the Laws allow, I will ask when partner has shown length during the auction.) But I don't see the issue with “Questions?” as long it is done consistently and after the lead is made face-down.
3 hours ago
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I don't like 4NT, given that North doesn't know what to do next. Or he can take advantage of the reprieve and pass 5*, indicating that his Blackwood call was a mistake and letting partner go on with extras.
5 hours ago
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What I don't understand is why more lefties don't bunt against the shift. I don't think that's about sportsmanship.
23 hours ago
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Start by counting top plain suit winners. Four. So we would need nine trump tricks, but there are not enough potential ruffs to accomplish this by a straight crossruff–we can get only eight. So we need to set up one more trick in a side suit.

I think some good ideas above on how to do it, but it's important to understand the challenge first.
23 hours ago
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I don't like opening 1NT with a five-card major, but North's hand here would tempt even me, so I would hate to call that choice the cause of a poor result. Having opened 1NT, I believe North has to reopen at matchpoints. Given the initial choice to suppress the hearts, perhaps it is right to continue to treat the hand as balanced; on the other hand, I've seen the guidance to bid your suit with a two-card discrepancy, and with two honors as well, that's what I'd do here. With KJx / Jxxxx / KQJ / Ax, I'd double.
Oct. 15
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Several N-S pairs found NT contracts and almost all took nine tricks, most likely when East assumed that declarer had an extra spade.
Oct. 15
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Given that we know that West bid 3 vulnerable on a bad suit with no side cards (well, maybe the Q), perhaps it is a fair guess from the beginning that he had an eight-card suit. Notwithstanding East possibly having other reasons to continue spades, the lack of a diamond return gives some support to this guess.
Oct. 14
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Suppose that the missing high cards are AKQQJ and that West would have bid the same with all of them or with a missing queen. With no distribution information, there is a 73% chance that West holds the missing queen–the four cases of West holding all three quacks or missing one of them are close to equal in probability. In order for the finesse to balance the drop, you need East to have 73% of the vacant spaces. Suppose West leads a trump (not the suit in question) and East shows out so the suit is 5-0. You also know that West holds the AK of whatever suit. So East has 13 empty spaces and west has 6. You should still play for the drop.

Based on this analysis, I think that a rule of thumb would be when one player has opened the bidding and his partner can have at most a queen, don't finesse unless you have a complete count and know it is onside; otherwise, play for the drop.
Oct. 13
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Running the 10 is, in isolation, a better way to bring in the whole suit, but it leaves you with no certain entry to the dummy for the three red winners.
Oct. 13
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I have more than once had a director come to me and say, “There is something funny in the BridgeMate. Can I see your private score, please?”
Oct. 13
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And then the directors would have to stamp and laminated the cards to keep people from getting two basic cards approved, then sitting down to start filling out their real card(s).
Oct. 13
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If South is thinking about slam out of the box, I agree with the proposed 1 call. I would not want to play 6 with this hand opposite two-card support. And if partner has a solid major, a 2 bid will start him down the wrong road to figuring out whether I have his losers covered.
Oct. 12
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I believe that in serious competition, there should be significant consequences for having no card at all and lesser consequences for having only one card. My experience in clubs is that players don't care much and I think the regulations should reflect that.
Oct. 12
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Suppose Fred and I meet at the partnership desk 30 minutes before game time. Would you prefer that we register immediately, then sit down to fill out our cards, or fill out the cards first, then register at the last minute with the other procrastinators and delay the start of the game.
Oct. 12
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There's another situation where a team might want to renounce a title. Suppose that AB, CD, and EF win at the table. Later, EG and FH are both found to have cheated as partnerships in a different event and given sufficient penalties that the RA did not have much motivation to prosecute the EF partnership, which was obviously suspect under the circumstances.

Or a religious player confesses on his deathbed, or proof of cheating is found in a player's papers after he has died.

I am sure that clever people could come up with additional scenarios, so I think that voluntary vacation should be allowed, even if someone comes up with a reason why this or that example is unlikely.
Oct. 12
Alan Frank edited this comment Oct. 12
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Yes, except that here, LOL often means something different.
Oct. 11
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