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All comments by Andy Bowles
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If declarer has Axx KQxx Kx Kxxx, he already has ten tricks, and he has also seen West's signals. Hence he won't play low on a spade switch, regardless of which one you play. It's hard to see how he can go wrong on any defence.
Oct. 21
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With AKxxxx Jx Axx xx opener would rebid 3 over 3. He might have done with that even with the hand in the original post.
Oct. 21
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Opener's bid spades three times, so he's likely to have a decent trump holding. If he has something like AQxxxx x Axx xxx we'll have to play 5, which might be a bit uncomfortable but will usually make.

Having said that, there's a hand on Facebook where some very good players bid the same way with Axxxxx A xxx Axx, so maybe the good trumps aren't guaranteed.

I think opener isn't obliged to cooperate after 4, but usually he will.
Oct. 21
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Partner knows for certain that you have three hearts. If you have only two, that gives declarer five, and he would have responded 1.
Oct. 21
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Those examples aren't possible, because we know that declarer has four hearts. His shape is almost certainly 3424.

Is Kxx KQxx Kx KQxx in range for declarer? For me it's inconceivable that I'd be trying to guess his range at the table, instead of simply asking. In fact, I'd have asked before partner led.
Oct. 21
Andy Bowles edited this comment Oct. 21
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In the auction in the original post, after 3 responder has an obvious 4 cue-bid. Then after opener cue-bids 4, responder might reasonably drive slam.

Obviously either player could have done something different earlier in the auction.
Oct. 21
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I'd expect double to be 5314, because with four hearts I can just bid them.
Oct. 21
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1 1 1M 3; dbl is takeout, not making a specific promise about the other major or about 3-card support, but responder will assume he's opposite a 5431 15-count until he hears otherwise. Sometimes opener will in fact have a one-suiter where he's hoping to hear 3NT, but responder won't usually cater for this.

Supporting partner's major shows 4-card support, and could just be a weak notrump. With anything better you drive game.

In the auction where responder has shown five spades, double is still ostensibly takeout, but the one-suiter looking for 3NT has become a lot more likely.

You can make your life easier by playing better methods over 1. For example, if responder has denied holding a 6-card suit, but then bids 3M or 4M opposite a double, opener will have a better idea about whether to go back to clubs.

I don't think anyone plays 1x (1y) 1z (3y) as a value raise (or at least not anyone that I want to play against). If they did, I wouldn't change my methods.

If you play a weak notrump the best solution is not to face this auction.
Oct. 21
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Was partner supposed to do something different with A98xx AKxx x Qxx or A98xx KJxxx x Qx?
Oct. 20
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100% seems an overbid. Ax AKQJxxxx xx A would be a 2 opener for most of us, and that's without using any side queens.
Oct. 17
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It's the i-word. If you look at the page source, you'll find that the list of bad words is quite short, so for example you could have used “cretin”, “imbecile”, “simpleton”, “fool”, “twit” or one of many different words for human reproductive organs.
Oct. 16
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This deal generated three polls on BridgeWinners before it was even 24 hours old. Maybe it's difficult?
Oct. 12
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Another thing that may have happened at the other table is that the opponents faced the auction 1-4 and misguessed.

What does an invitational hand with a shortage actually look like?
Oct. 12
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Richard, I said it “seems obvious to me”. I didn't say I expected it to be obvious to you.

And I used the word “trivial” in the context of a conversation that began:
Brad: “As far as balancing 2♠ goes, I wonder what we'd be saying …”
Andy: “I'd be saying ‘+110’”

Note the use of first person pronoun. Again, I wasn't suggesting that it would be trivial for you.
Oct. 11
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If you had offered a poll option that read simply “More South than North”, I would have voted for that.

I would also have voted for an option that read “More South than North. North's decision to leave in the double was unwise with such poor trump spots, but the alternatives are also unattractive: 2 might well be a 3-3 fit, and scrambling with 2NT would work poorly opposite a 4=1=4=4 shape. South's action was more clearly wrong, because he could have bid 2 showing this hand-type. A delayed takeout double covers a wide-range of hands, so it is best avoided when you have a good alternative.”
Oct. 11
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I think partner is more likely to make a good decision if I make a descriptive call. I have a hand which is well described by the phrase “four spades and a longer minor”. I have available a bid that shows four spades and a longer minor. Why should I expect a better result if I make a call that shows some other hand?
Oct. 11
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Getting to 3 after balancing with 2 is trivial. Partner bids 2nt asking for my minor, and I bid 3.
Oct. 10
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Sorry,I thought it was obvious. I don't vote in polls where each poll option includes a verbal justification (or, more commonly, inanity), so that voting requires me to choose from a set of opinions none of which I wholly agree with. If the poll options had been simply “100% North”, “More North than South”, etc, I would have voted.

I don't think that there was any risk of creating a sense of ill-defined self-doubt in the original poster. The final poll option makes it obvious that he understands why some people will choose not to participate.
Oct. 10
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“As far as balancing 2 goes, I wonder what we'd be saying about that choice if the round kings were switched and North lacked the 9.”

I'd be saying “plus 110”. Moving the kings around doesn't make 3 any less cold.
Oct. 10
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I didn't vote, because I never vote in polls of this type. That's not a complaint, but simply a statement of fact.
Oct. 10
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