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All comments by Craig Biddle
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I was prepared to run the 7 since I couldn't make the hand if W had the 8 in addition to his very likely 2 honors. But even if E had NOT split from HH4 or HH2 I was dead no matter what I did. And, as Jim Munday says above, playing the 8 from HH8 would have been the final straw in a defensive debacle.
13 hours ago
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Exactly. Splitting an honor from HH8 both prevents me from scoring an overtrick when I started with AK10xx and beats me when I started with A10xxx or K10xxx. It must be the right play.
13 hours ago
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If W has K?? and E has J8?, doesn't that make it 2:1 that W has the Q? Or any other heart outstanding? And, like I said, I trusted W's defense much more than E's when deciding what to do in the ending.
13 hours ago
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I see what you are saying, but he had an ace that he had to decide whether to try to cash or not. Even with a doubleton club, most people would think about that.
13 hours ago
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I believe that it was originally copyrighted by the architect for the second Pyramid. And it has been faithfully renewed ever since.
13 hours ago
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“The Code of Jest”, May 2006.
13 hours ago
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1. I don't remember all the defensive spots in the side suits. The ones I have given them are approximate.

2. Yes, I have good table feel, and E was an easy read. But I had a reason for wanting to have the 7 rather than the 9 in dummy. See other comments below.

3. I hardly would call this ending a “predicament”, I have good chances to make what started out as a total no-play contract. I fact, when I led the 5 I was virtually sure I was going to make the hand, even though I was aware of the trump promotion available by leading a “sive”.

4. If W started with QJ742, he would know his spots were irrelevant because of partner's potential overruff threats and the fact that there are only 13 clubs in the deck. If I had 5 of them, then his partner surely had 3 and could ruff any club spot I might establish. And, as I said, he played very slowly to this trick, he had had more than enough time to think through all the angles.
21 hours ago
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I am shocked by the number of votes for the 3. It's only necessary when E has the stiff Q left; it loses to the stiff 4 in either hand.

The real issue, which so far only Kevin Dwyer noticed when I told him about the hand, was that if all the hearts are in one hand it is mandatory to lead a “sive.” I thought, on the play, that there was NO chance of this, since I was sure that W had a quack left and E the A10. But jut to be super safe, I led the 5 since someone might conceivably have forgotten that the 7 had been in dummy and that their play didn't matter, with me holding 765.

Yes, this read on the distribution means that my play of a “sive” or the 3 was a 50-50 guess, but (a) I've been wrong before, and (b) this would mean that E hadn't split from QJ8 in a situation where he knew I could only take one finesse and might have begun life with AK10xx. So it wasn't, really, even money.
23 hours ago
Craig Biddle edited this comment 22 hours ago
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Like I said in the article, I think RHO was afraid that his partner had the missing diamond and didn't want to let me ruff a diamond. He may also have thought that I had played the 10 from QJ10. Instead I was just following Oren Kriegel's tip to “duck high!” Memo to Oren - it worked again!

Opponents were rather shell-shocked by this point, the match had not gone well for them.

Also, I would have expected E to split from QJ8 so I thought there was no chance he could win the “sive”.

And if W has Q4 in the ending, he will know that partner has no uppercut card available at trick 12.
23 hours ago
Craig Biddle edited this comment 23 hours ago
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W was one of the best players in the district, fully capable of concealing a random club spot from me. And I desperately needed hearts 3-3 or some sort of defensive error in the suit. I thought it more likely that E would waste the 8 than a face card.
23 hours ago
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He hung around until the auction was over. For the record, I accepted the IB and bid 5, hoping to stampede W into bidding 5. He did, but I made a questionable defensive play and declarer guessed how to make it. E had “responded” to 1 on a 4-count with 4=4=3=2 shape.

I ended up putting the last guess onto my own head. After cashing the A on lead and getting a SP card from partner, I shifted. I really needed club count here; partner had preempted on 2-1-4-6 shape and the right defense was to tap dummy at trick 2. This would have beaten the contract by force, since it would have killed a late entry to declarer's hand. Plus, the SP tipped off declarer to the location of the Q, and he dropped it.

In retrospect, I should have refused to accept the IB. Corollary to Goldwater's Rule, “If they don't know what the last bid was, how could they have made a sensible one of their own?”
23 hours ago
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Why?
Jan. 15
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yes
Jan. 15
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My smartphone has a camera. I can take a picture of a hand record and embed it in a text message. I suppose there is a photo editor app if you want to crop your pic down to just one hand.
Jan. 15
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Al Roth and his doppelganger must have been your opponents. :)
Jan. 14
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I play mini-maxi and I would overcall 1 with this hand. first mission - make sure they don't bid 3NT.
Jan. 13
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Also, Steve, in your line, N should pitch a club on the last diamond, then the defense is trivial.
Jan. 13
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There was a bridge player named Richard Halperin who could go through a deck of 51 cards one at a time in about 30 seconds and tell you which one was missing. He had a secret.

Aces were 1, spots were face value, Jacks 11, Q's 12, and K's 13. Spades were 3, hearts 2, diamonds 1, and clubs 0. He could keep the two running totals simultaneously and subtract, respectively, from 364 and 78 at the end.
Jan. 12
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http://bridgewinners.com/article/view/a-better-smolen/

This details a method where Smolen easily handles 55+ in the majors.
Jan. 12
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Focusing on diamonds is the wrong train of thought. It's right to think about hearts.

If W has 5 hearts to the Q, you can't make it against a 3-0 break either way. If W has all 3 diamonds, he only has 5 black cards and you can't get 3 ruffs in dummy.

If E has 5 hearts to the Q, Then

A. If E also has 3 diamonds, you must ruff a heart at trick 2 and start diamonds with the K from hand.

B. If W has the three diamonds, you must start with the A. When you see the break, you play K, ruff. When you see that E has 5 to the Q, you play A, K pitching a spade, ruff. You need to save the A as an entry for one of the black suit ruffs since you need to take only 2 ruffs in hand in order to be able to pick up the Q. Finally, you finish with A, ruff, ruff, and whichever black suit ruff looks safest. You can go wrong in choosing the last black suit ruff, since you will only have a sure count when E has a doubleton club.

Since B is much more likely than A (almost a 3:1 favorite), and when hearts are 4-3 you have a pure guess, you get a slight edge by going with line B here and starting with the A. This is correct if you think you will guess the ending at least 2/3 of the time.
Jan. 9
Craig Biddle edited this comment Jan. 9
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