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All comments by Andy Hung
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Definitely natural to play. Exclusion is good only if your opponents promise to stay silent! Which never happens. But in practice, I've definitely had plenty of good boards where the auction went 1m-(something)-4, or 1-(1)-5 and the amount of times the fourth seat has “misjudged” was plentiful. I say “misjudged” in the sense that sometimes fourth seat has 4 or 5-card support and is more or less ‘forced’ to compete to the 5-level and it turned out to be wrong.

Of course you can still exclusion in the opponents suit on the first round.
June 1, 2019
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Putting it another way - Partner has overcalled 1, and I have AQ108 plus the K and a bit of shape (i.e. likely won't be endplayed), if 3X makes, I will quit bridge!
May 31, 2019
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Partner did well to bid 2NT, but if you were going to bid 2NT, it's probably better to start with 2 (forcing) to check on a spade fit, if partner bids 2, you can now bid 2NT.
May 31, 2019
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I'm a simple soul. Bids are natural, X is both majors, 1NT is both minors.
Here, I would just overcall 2. Just because they've shown “16+” doesn't mean I shouldn't bid with my 64. I would've overcalled if they opened a natural 1 or 1 anyway.
May 31, 2019
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I think if East is going to raise 5 to 6, it's better (and free) to bid 5 first? Just imagine if partner bids 6 next!
May 31, 2019
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Barbara does make a point though. I'm not sure if I want to bid with a void in diamonds, but if I must bid, 3C is not unreasonable because often a 2NT bid delivers a doubleton in partner's minor, so if partner has a 6-card diamond suit (quite often she will), they are more likely going to raise to 3NT and we can't set up the diamonds. The 3C bid does warn partner about our (likely?) lack of diamond support, so she can still rebid 3D if it's right, or if partner is strong enough, can still bid 3H checking for a stopper.
May 31, 2019
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I dislike them with a passion, but you do it when it seems ‘right’. E.g. Vs. suit contract and you have almost a yarborough so partner is marked with strength etc.

I remember one hand a couple of years ago where I had a very weak hand (1 or 2 points) and opp's were in 4H. I didn't have much except 9x and felt that a club was the best lead to try and beat the contract. But at the same time I had strong negative feelings about doubleton leads that I just didn't want to do it. In the end I gave in and led a club. I remember this hand very distinctly - because the club layout turned out to be:

………QJxx
….xxx…….AK108
……….9x

Just my luck :)
May 31, 2019
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Hmm I'm not convinced about the lead, I need a simulation!
I do know that partner is marked with 4-5 hearts on the auction, but with dummy bothering to show hearts, they will have a bit of strength there (probably).
I would just lead my spade. It's still possible for us to have a 5-4 spade fit, or maybe partner has AQx, or A10x and dummy has Hx, or maybe the HQ is a possible entry, or maybe it might be the safest lead.
May 31, 2019
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Very nice auction, especially the 2D bid that helped! (Though East should've show the hearts before raising diamonds)
May 31, 2019
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Definitely don't double with the North's hand - I think that's resulting a bit. You should basically just try to bid your hand and not mastermind the auction. We have six spades here, and should tell partner about it, which allows her to re-evaluate knowing that information. If we double (tends to show more points), partner may bid 3C or 3D and we are in a very uncomfortable situation (and might even miss out on a 6-2 spade fit).
May 31, 2019
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You probably don't need a ‘specific agreement’ here in this spot. Basically if the hand is good enough (with points and/or shape) to re-open at the 4-level, you do it, if not, pass!
May 31, 2019
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Yep 100% double. Too many things can go right especially when partner's an unpassed hand.
And with our 3163 shape, we can just pass whatever partner bids.

It is more difficult if South's hand was 2164 about what to do over 4H. Pass? Double? 4NT? You might bid 4NT to show 64 minors, but sometimes you don't want to commit to the 5-level especially with only KJ98xx diamonds. This type of hand did come up at the Yeh Bros and Lauria/Versace had a neat/interesting treatment. The opener did have 2164, and doubled the 4H overcall. When partner bid 4S, they now played 4NT over that as minors (not RKCB)!
May 31, 2019
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Interestingly, East did very well to pass 2 (not sure if I'd be able to resist the urge with a double fit!). That would've made it easier for N/S to bid 3 or 4.
May 31, 2019
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I think South is worth a 3 bid over the 2 at least? The 3-card support is unknown to partner, so sometimes partner has a bit of shape with the six-card spade suit and can raise 3 to 4 knowing about the fit. South can maybe think about even jumping to 4 knowing that there's probably six spade tricks, and three club tricks on a finesse, but that might be hanging partner who might have a slightly weaker hand, and/or not much shape with two diamond losers etc.

How come you guys don't play support X's or XX's? Although they're not super important, but I think it's a nice and easy treatment to use to handle competitive auctions much easier. Especially at the 1-level such as an auction of say 1-(Pass)-1-(1)-? If you play X here now as takeout, that's likely to be 2344 or 1354 etc, it means you won't be able to show 3-card support with other shapes such as 3343, 3352, but also it can be very convenient to show 3-card support with 36 hands so you can double then rebid the diamonds later. I think it's a very effective competitive bidding tool.

In terms of Support XX's, there are some auctions where I don't play Support XX's (sometimes I want to try to collect a penalty instead!). In those instances, I play a 1NT rebid is artificial and is the “Support Double” (and to keep it simple, use some sort of 2-way checkback system over it) - with a weak NT without 3-card support, at IMPs I can just pass as there's not much reason to bid 1NT.
May 31, 2019
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With North opening 1C, it seems that the CJ lead is pretty much 99% a singleton (or maybe JTx?), so it can't be right to duck the opening lead.

You can just secure the contract by drawing the necessary trumps, cash DAK to pitch a heart, and lead a club towards your Queen? You can only lose two hearts and the CK.
May 23, 2019
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If partner shows a max with clubs, you would make a slam try wouldn't you? It'd be a good slam is partner has 55 with SKQ and CK, or 54/55 with SK and CKQ and it'd be on a hook. And if partner is 55 or 5341 with diamonds, SKQ and DQ is pretty much a laydown slam provided partner doesn't have a stiff heart also.

With the opps passing and they're vul, it's unlikely that they will act over our 2NT, and we're not worried about any particular opening lead, so it seems free to ask with 2NT and reveal partner's minor.
May 23, 2019
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I think pass is right as you suggested. Also, our length in spades also suggests that if partner is short, she can still balance with a double and we can then bid hearts. If partner has 2-3 spades, then we're likely better defending.
May 23, 2019
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Was the system 2/1 or Standard? If 2/1, I'm just wondering about the rush of the 3NT bid - it makes it difficult for North to have a conversational auction if North has six hearts and extra values to show slam interest.
May 23, 2019
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Here's another example: http://bridgewinners.com/forums/read/team-australia/board-27-14-may/

Sorry, I don't mean to dig into anyone! I know Marianne had mentioned the better decisions that could've been made on this hand (I certainly make plenty of mistakes myself and I wouldn't want to write about them too!), but it's just a type of hand where if I see the opponents say "four-plus spades“, and I have a big fit, I'm going to grab a thick chunk of my bidding box and say ”good luck opp's"! :)
May 23, 2019
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Also, I've mentioned this before and I'll say it again. If your opponents are playing X or 1S as “4+S”, please please please, if you have 4-card support, jump to the 3-level and make it harder for the opposition. I understand West has a balanced hand but at least it's not 4333. Also, partner overcalled vul against not, so a 3H contract is hardly going to get slaughtered.

Say West jumps to 3H. What is North going to do? Maybe you say “well, it's an easy double”, I mean, yes it probably is, but does it guarantee three spades (is it an “extra values support double”)? Or is it just an “extra values” double where it might just be 2245 or 2236 with extra values? Maybe it could be either. Whatever it is, make life tough for the opponents! - It's their problem to deal with!
May 23, 2019
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