Join Bridge Winners
All comments by Craig Biddle
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How about the Beckers and the Seamons?
Oct. 22
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The best way to understand bluffing in chess is to study the games of Mikhail Tal. Many of his most famous victories were in positions where the opponent had a more than adequate defense.
Oct. 21
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How could E pass over 3 with 3 aces and a known fit for partner?
Oct. 21
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There is also the “if he had THAT, he would have done X, while if he had ”This“ he would have done Y”. I think it will be a long time before a computer can pick up on that.

Not to mention that, even though they all 3 play Precision, Stewart-Woolsey, Greco-Hampson, and Meckwell often have wildly divergent auctions on the same deals. This is even true when they eventually end up in the same contract. Explain THAT to a computer!
Oct. 21
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I have always avoided opening 2 with a void when playing control steps. Partner is not always so obliging as to have all the ones you don't. In other cases it can be problematic to decide whether partner has the right controls.
Oct. 16
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What is “almost any hand”?

If you have the agreement that 2 is a GF without any 5-card suit other than clubs:

The only patterns where a grand is in danger are 2=3, 3=3, 1=4, 2=4, and 3=4 in the red suits when partner does not have the J (or the J dropping and making his 10 a winner). Assuming that you can't create a pitch in your hand by ruffing out (or taking a ruffing finesse for) the K:

a. In the 2=3 case, the grand needs a 4-2 break.

b. In the 3=3 case, the grand needs a 3-2 break.

c. In the 1=4 case, the grand needs a 4-3 break.

d. In the 2=4 case, the grand needs a 4-2 break.

e. In the 3=4 case (and also 4=3 in the red suits), the grand is hopeless even if hearts run.

In all of the non-hopeless cases, I think a dummy reversal may be possible to combat a bad spade break if partner has 3+, hearts can be run without a ruff (thus 1=4 doesn't work), and dummy's trumps are good enough to handle whatever break exists.

As far as honors go, unless your opening bids are sound enough that a balanced hand with AKxx and A is sufficient to force to game, then partner has some subset of the J, QJ, and QJ as well. How many of those does he need to force to game?

Partner is enormously likely to have 3+. Given that he has 4 spades, his total possible hands are 31C9 (total combinations of 9 cards from a pack of 31 where order does not matter) and his number of hands with exactly 2 clubs are (12C2 x 19C7). This is about 16.5% I suppose hands with club shortness are also possible under different agreements. And of course partner can have as many as 8 spades. But all those are outliers.

Still, the 16.5% gives pause, as to have a 70% overall chance you would have to be making about 5 times out of 6 when partner has 3+. The odds of partner having various club lengths opposite this hand when they hold 4 are:

0 0.46%
1 4.5%
2 16.5%
3 29.6%
4 28.6%
5 15.2%
6 4.4%
7+ 0.72%

And if partner can't have a side singleton, the odds get even worse since the hands where partner has long clubs are excluded. At best, if you can make 7 ANY TIME partner has 3+, the grand is only about 78.5%. I seriously doubt that this 78.5% can further withstand the possibility of there being a defensive ruff available, or 4-0 trumps, or nasty breaks in hearts. Unless, of course, you are in a situation where you are happy to bid a 57% grand.
Oct. 15
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Yes, this was one of the funniest things I have read here.
Oct. 15
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Berlin, Connecticut
Oct. 14
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In any given club game you are given about 6-10 opportunities to make a heads I win tails I break even play. There's little point in accepting only 11:9 odds with a complicated play that you know is not going to be found elsewhere.

Similar logic suggests that playing 14-16 1NT openings in a weak field is a bad idea. You are probably only getting 6:5 odds on the 14's and giving some of that back on the 17's that you have to rebid 2NT on.
Oct. 13
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Yu, this was clearly presented as a hypothetical problem. Peter lives in Australia, it's highly unlikely that he and I would ever meet. There was no director call.
Oct. 13
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This was one of only two deals in the first session of our District NAP qualifier where my partner and I had as many as 26 HCP. And we ended up -300 on it by playing in a suit. On the other deal where we had 26 HCP we were +1010 when the defense gave away a side J on lead which let me pitch both of my losers from my side suit of Axx (one was covered without the free winner). We also declared 2 twice, making 2 and 4.

On the other 20 deals (8 1/2 tables and 3 board rounds), we were at the mercy of the opponents and they did well in general. All 3 qualifiers from our district sat the other direction from us in the first session. Such are the vagaries of pairs movements. We had a total of 391 HCP for our 24 deals, which is slightly less than 16.3 per deal for our pair.

And BTW my double was pretty much in tempo, since I had a 4=2=3=4 17 count. The winning decision for me, with Q98x KJ KQJx AJx, was to pass 3. Go figure.
Oct. 12
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Richard Pavlicek's site (www.rpbridge.net) is an excellent reference for squeeze nomenclature, although you have to wade through a lot of diagrams before you find one that fits.
Oct. 12
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In the first session of our NAP final last weekend, my partner and I had a total of 391 HCP in 24 deals, an average just under 16.3 HCP per deal. We declared 4 hands (one of which led to a bidding/lead problem that I have posted), bidding and making a total of 10 spades with two overtricks. 2= 2+1, and 6+1

We scored 51% for the set. All 3 pairs that qualified for the Nationals were in the other direction for this set. But of course we could have qualified easily by erasing any two of our coulda shoulda's.
Oct. 12
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4NT - natural.
Oct. 12
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So will Oren. Welcome to the club, Oren! I was carded in a Friday's when I was almost 60.
Oct. 12
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Pass must be forcing here. Partner forced to game. But you need 3 of 4 of the K, K, A, and A (or void) from partner to even consider bidding a slam. So pass is a standout to me. What to do if partner doubles is another problem. Look for it over the weekend.
Oct. 11
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Only lead to beat it is a trump. Holds declarer to one diamond ruff; if he can get 2 he makes the hand.
Oct. 10
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The whole concept of “comparable calls” is ridiculous in this day and age of complexity in the auction. Whatever committee dreamed it up should go back to designing camels.

Your partner should buy a white horse and a suit of highly polished armor. His neighbors would probably frown on the lance though.
Oct. 9
Craig Biddle edited this comment Oct. 9
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I don't think Marty's weak 2's were exactly the norm. You don't either.
Oct. 9
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Maybe I should make it a lead problem against 3X. That's a good one, too. In fact I did post this as a lead problem. Feel free to answer that even if you don't pass.
Oct. 9
Craig Biddle edited this comment Oct. 9
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