Join Bridge Winners
All comments by Alvin Bluthman
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With the clubs a probable seven to the left and two the right, you are less likely to get the usual 3-2 breaks in both hearts and diamonds - about 50% normally, but here less.

The usual approach to a hand in which you set up the side suit is to work on it before drawing trumps, so that the trumps are available as entries. But here, you have already lost a trump entry to dummy (should you have discarded a spade instead of ruffing?) and are likely to soon lose a second, before playing the heart queen.

I need five diamonds, three hearts, a spade and a club ruff. I have no idea how to get them without two 3-2 breaks. Can anyone help?
April 17
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Holding five hearts, I can show them in at least two ways. The way I choose will emphasize hearts when I hold AKxxx, but not when I hold xxxxx, especially as I do not want my partner to take a preference to xxxxx with a spot-card dou8bleton.
April 16
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Unless your partnership agrees otherwise,. you want your two-suited overcalls to show two approximately equal suits, so that partner will have an easy choice. Having partner consider that one suit might be substantially stronger than the pother (unless agree to consistently follow a specific rule, such as that the lower suit is an anchor - as with hand 3) -) turns his choice from an intelligent seleciton into a guessing game.
April 14
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Partner is a passed hand, so game is less likely than otherwise. And the opponents are stronger. Given that, it strikes me that 1 is the call more likely to go plus.
April 13
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Ni, That North should reopen with 3, maybe 4. With 13 HCP, North should reason that South has roughly 6-8 HCP, mostly outside of diamonds and act strongly.
April 12
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N-S could not figure the hand out until after the 5 bid,
April 8
Alvin Bluthman edited this comment April 9
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Dave:

While you are, of course, correct that not everyone has such an artificial; raise, it is widely played, and, if I recall correctly, is regarded as part of Bridge World Standard.
April 6
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Responder is limited to three-card support for opener (with 4! support, use an artificial; raise). Given that, there is a standard raise structure, not addressed above.

With a minimum (10-12 HCP) three-card raise rebid to the two level. With 13-15, rebid with a one-round jump. With more, bid the opponents' suit before raising. After the opponents' suit, a minimum raise shows a slam invitation (though no one psyches a T/O dbl anymore). The resl question (which I have not seen discussed) is whether fast arrival applies after the redouble, followed by a cue-bid, or whether picture bidding is used. Any comments?.

Also, responder's post-redouble double of the opponent's bid is for penalties (in the sample auction, a double of 1 is for penalties, so responder needs to bid 2 with the given hands. If opener then bids 2, I would bid 3 with the first hand and 4 with the second.

Note my preferences for:

New suit advances by redoubler remain a 1rnd force and the auction cannot stop below 2N or 3 minor

Redoubler's subsequent cuebid is nearly game forcing but if 3N is not in focus you can stop in 3 major or 4 minor

Also, if opener bids the opponents' suit, we definitely have a force to the four-level (even if we later agree on diamonds). This might not be the most efficient approach by we are not promising 29-30 HCP.
April 6
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You hold too many clubs, and not enough high card strength. Especially when vulnerable (though you are NV here), or when partner has passed, let the opponents play 1 or 1 sometimes; they will need to take nine or more tricks before their score the + 100 they will get for defeating your contract even one trick.
April 3
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Louis and Kieran:

Nor did partner double 3NT, which would suggest a solid or nearly-solid suit somewhere, which would inspire a spade lead. So, as on most opening leads, you are balancing the odds that partner length and has strength in the suit you choose to lead, and, after you lead, the entries to continue to play the suit.

I'm not giving up on the spade lead, even though in this instance, partner held enough strength in hearts to set up your suit. I'm comforted by the fact that sometimes, it is simply impossible to run a runnable suit.
April 3
Alvin Bluthman edited this comment April 3
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I'm for trying to set up a spade by winning the K and then ducking a spade. This wins ten tricks by giving up the lead once anytime spades are 3-3, without the risk of trying to set up the clubs,

Note that West's 2 bid is NOT a weak two bid; absent East's play to the first two tricks (which are NOT known when I win the first heart and duck a spade at trick two), overcaller could easily hold five or six hearts headed by the queen-jack=ten and one or both club honors (if one, letting East with the first round to r4eturn the suit.

Besides, most of that portion of the field who try for overtricks will do so ion clubs, and fail, making + 630 the top score.
April 2
Alvin Bluthman edited this comment April 3
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The downside of leading a heart is that declarer might hold as many as three, and dummy as many as four, leaving partner with only one. Further, ff partner cannot help run the suit on opening lead, you have no side entry to run it later. So, while partner might hold anywhere from six to twelve HCP (with higher numbers more likely than lower), the heart lead is high risk and high reward (the contract going down when you are right, but making overtricks when you are wrong.) My guess is that, at MPs, you have a greater chance of losing a trick than gaining one (or more) by leading a heart. Of course, as you have shown, it could easily be right to lead a heart.

The spade lead (where partner holds four or five, infrequently more, along with most of the partnership high card values) is probably a safer lead at MPs, and might readily be more productive, provided, of course, that partner holds strength in the spade suit.

I would lead a spade at MPs, but can understand the heart lead at IMPs.
April 1
Alvin Bluthman edited this comment April 1
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David:

That is not my point. My point is that, in a field in which no one bids a slam, it is risky (in several senses) to do so, even if you make it by outplaying the field.
March 31
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David:

Even if we take a weak game to mean that you and your partner are the best players in a weak field (and if you played in the two early morning games I play in, you might well be the strongest), that means that none of the other pairs bidding this hand will get past 3NT. So, you are risking a top against a bottom by achieving a different score than they will achieve.

Let me assure you, that. unless you are right WAY more often than you are wrong, (and even if you are . . . ) this cannot be worth it becayse there is more to playing in such a game than just scoring tops.

Consider something that happened to me a few weeks ago in my Monday morning game. I bid and made 7NT on THE WRONG SQUEEZE, when no one else bid past 4. Partner aggressively opened 2 with 19 HCP and a strong six-card spade suit; I held 13 HCP with a six-card heart suit. I was playing with a first-time partner, a youngish senior who last year was a leader in the District's 0-50 Ace of Clubs, a stronger player than most in that game, and he decided never to play with me again. So, how can you win?
March 31
Alvin Bluthman edited this comment April 1
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Once 2 does not force to game, a 2NT rebid is stronger than a minimum opening, and for some (who play a 15-17 1NT opening), would show a hand stronger than that. But what can responder do but rebid either 3 or 3NT? 12 opposite 18-19 might allow for 4!NT, but there is no way forward from there - either opener cannot hold c. 22 and responder would not want opemner to rebid 6NT with 1 “good” 19.
March 30
Alvin Bluthman edited this comment March 31
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Where does it say that 3 shows the ace in support of partner's slam try? Especially, in a weak game. Try playing in one some time with a weak partner and see how it goes. It is a really different style of bridge game from, say, a two-session regional pairs or higher.

Players in a weak game do not know how to show controls, or draw the correct inferences when their partner tries to do so. A weak North might rebid his clubs over 3, rather than bid 3. A truly weak North would pass 3, not understanding his own prior bid.

S. J. Simon described how to play in such a game. Always take the best result possible, not the best possible result.
March 29
Alvin Bluthman edited this comment March 29
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This could happen to anyone. Opener treated his hand as 18-19. in a context in which responder can bid 2 on 10/11, holding 12. To take 12 tricks, ope3ner responder needs to ruff his third heart in the South hand, or pitch it on the Q. Other than with a relay method, how can he know this is possible? So, he passes 3NT, expecting to make with overtricks.
March 29
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Were they eventually notified, and did they play?
March 28
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“ It's because of the ”sport“ aspect that he and other officials get to ride the Olympic movement.ds.”

Also, because of the “sport” aspect, European bridge organizations get money from their government. Something that the ACBL does not get, and cannot (because the U. S. Government does not finance sports).
March 28
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I'd also like a section on movements, to ask questions about the complex movements I see run at the Sephardic Community Center here in Brooklyn.
March 26
Alvin Bluthman edited this comment March 26
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