Join Bridge Winners
All comments by Craig Biddle
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:) :)
17 hours ago
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What evidence do you have for this? I see 4333 mixed raises by the opponents all the time.
20 hours ago
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Yes I find that inwardly “vocalizing” each card as played is a great memory tool. I also try to connect the specific cards played by the defenders with what I know of their carding when I am declarer.

I try to work out shapes first, then place cards.
20 hours ago
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3NT here should show a willingness to play there if responder has no ruffing value. Since responder has one, 4 is automatic. Picture K10 KQxxx A10x AQx opposite both this hand and Qxx Axxx Qxx xxx.
21 hours ago
Craig Biddle edited this comment 20 hours ago
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The Laws permit you to ask questions.

I think discarding the 8 in the suit of the opening bid and under the opening bidder to encourage is both sabotage and suicidal. If I really trusted my partner, I'd play a heart here, but then those partners would have played 4, 3 to the first two tricks and not the other way around. If partner can't count to two, how reliable can his encouraging heart be?

I think declarer is 4=4=4=1 with a weak notrump, but I surely would have (a) checked the range of their 1NT opening, (b) asked if 2NT could have been passed, © asked if declarer would bid this way with longer diamonds and, if so, what criteria were used to decide between opening 1 and 1. Assuming that declarer indeed has a hand within these parameters.

1. Partner must have at least the J since otherwise he would have discouraged in diamonds rather than weaken his heart holding. Declarer might figure this out too, but (a) he'd have to be a good player, and (b) he'd have to think your partner was good too.
2. Partner must have at least 2 of the 3 top hearts. If partner's high cards are KQ and J, we can't beat this and must focus on holding the overtrick. The best play in this case is clearly a heart, low so partner can hope for us to have at least the 10.
3. If partner has KQ and K, we might beat this if I play a heart now; partner splits and now if declarer ducks, a spade switch cuts the link for the black suit squeeze on me and forces declarer to guess MY shape now to avoid having is get 2 and one of each. But then he will have no rational play but to lose a diamond finesse to partner while he can then safely exit in diamonds to wait for declarer to decide whether the 13th trick is won by the J or K. And if declarer wins my shift, then after he loses the finesse partner will again play a spade for the same result.
4. If partner has the AK and J, I need to exit a club while partner has a spade to pitch. Declarer should get diamonds right here, but he might not since he may assume partner has a lot of hearts. Playing a heart now basically forces partner to play a spade after winning this, then declarer has not choice but to play for the red suit strip squeeze (or somehow guess the J).

I think a heart is right, but it could easily cost if I haven't read the shapes correctly. In particular, I find it odd that declarer pitched a heart instead of a 2nd from a 4441 hand. But at least if the heart shift backfires, and partner asks me why, I can bore him to death with my answer, forestalling future similar questions.
Aug. 18
Craig Biddle edited this comment Aug. 18
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What did S show by his 2NT rebid?
Under what circumstances will they (and won't they) open a 4-card major?
What would they open with 4-4 in the majors and a balanced hand out of range for 1NT?
Are you playing UDCA or did partner just forget to give count at trick 1?
What was the significance of prtner's 8?

How can you possibly hope to be a good defender if you don't pay attention to details like this?
Aug. 18
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''When we get such a bad result, Hamman right away wants to change our bidding system, but I say no. Once you start tinkering you have to start actively remembering what you're supposed to do instead of having it come naturally. That hurts your blocking and tackling - the fundamentals of the game.''

Bobby Wolff, quoted in the NYT article on Hamman cited in a post today.
Aug. 18
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If you change your methods after every bad result your system will just get worse.
Aug. 18
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Guarantees the contract my foot. We've already lost a spade trick, if W started with Q98 we will lose another one right now. But I still finesse, since no self-respecting West would miss the chance to play 8-Q from Q98.
Aug. 17
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Agree. In 4SF auctions, it is necessary to avoid lies. Here, North's 2NT was a lie - he didn't have a stopper and should have rebid 3. Since I play that opener's more economical suit rebid is “default”, showing nothing, this 3 hows 6-4 without a diamond stopper.

It is also necessary to conserve space. South should have rebid 3, as that does not preclude partner's showing a doubleton .

Finally, South should have pulled 3N to 4. At some point, you've got to make a bid with 19 HCP and 5 AK points.

I also want to bet a lot of money that clubs won't break 5-0 on this deal.
Aug. 16
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Exactly. I had a similar ruling to make yesterday. Over a strong NT at favorable vul, East overcalled 2 for majors holding K109xx void 9xxx KQ10x. EW play together 3-4 times per month and their agreement is clearly 2 for majors, but E also plays DONT with several of his other regular partners. Partner bid 3 and E bid the 4th. Now South decided to double with xx KQxxx Jx Jxxx. 4 was made with careful play. I had to rule that there was no redress, since E did the ethical thing here and bid as though partner had a suit of his own.
Aug. 16
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“partner certainly has both missing aces for his jump to 6 hearts”

Tell that to Roy Fox and Ralph Katz, who once played 7NTX in the Cavendish pairs with the well known stopper in the enemy suit of void vs. void. Stiff J vs. void is little better.
Aug. 15
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Touching honors doubleton is the best argument for Rusinow leads. Maybe the only one for me, since I almost never lead unsupported aces, but they make this issue a non-problem.
Aug. 15
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Easiest is 2/2/2 are normal, lower half, and 2NT is upper half and GF (then 3 is Stayman again).
Aug. 15
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This is a non-problem. It's unlucky that your didn't cash and you couldn't get all 4 of your pointed suit tricks either. Blame the dealing machine.
Aug. 15
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I don't understand the failure of N to make a negative double at his first turn. Yes, he has 5 and wants a heart lead, but he needs to get all his suits into the auction. And he's likely going to be on lead anyway, so the lead issue is overrated.

i don't understand, as many others here don't, why S would want to make a penalty double here. When you've opened a minimum and the opponents seem hell-bent on playing in your best suit, let them. What equity are you trying to protect?

I don't understand why N didn't bid 3 at his 3rd turn. He has an 8-count and everybody is in the auction, it should be no surprise that the points are split evenly. And there's much more reason to expect a plus score in diamonds than spades, since partner might have 5 but won't have 5.

It looks to me like N was desperately trying to play the hand and S to stop him. This is not partnership bridge.
Aug. 15
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So USA1 and USA2 have finished 1st and 3rd in the RR - USA1 will play Singapore (who beat them) and USA2 Poland (who they beat). The girls are also in the KO's, having finished 7th. Tough finish for the Youth team, finishing 9th.
Aug. 14
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I think he has something like Axx xx KQJx Kxxx. But I thought that a PC pair would open that 1. So I think he has Axx QJx Kx KJxxx and cue bid before because he had no losers opposite the A. And he's bidding 5 now to get you to bid slam with a control.

But why didn't you bid 4 over 4?
Aug. 13
Craig Biddle edited this comment Aug. 13
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If declarer has the KJ I call the director.
Aug. 13
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This is the companion hand to my recent problem Jxxx Qx AK10xx Ax. Partner drove to game with this hand (he actually bid 3 immediately), which was aggressive, and turned out to be fatal when clubs were 4-0 and we got doubled.

If I had overcalled 2, they would have raised spades as well (responder had AK10 xxxxx xxxxx void) and he could have made a responsive double followed by 3 over my 2NT reply. We would then have been in the best spot, since he would have been warned that I was likely to have wasted values in diamonds and I would have been on a lower minimum.
Aug. 13
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