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I recently had a close decision as declarer which turned out to be right and remarked that had it been wrong I would have kicked a sandwich.

I think the real hand has something to do with needing that crazy poker-playing, bridge-quitting guy who's always wrong to get pseudo squeezed defending a 7-level contract rather than playing for JT9 to drop missing 7 cards.

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Wafik - It seems like you'll have trouble determining the control situation if you resort to artificiality at this point in the auction. These hands could easily be off a club control and if you make a 4♣ bid to show a general slam try you'll either lose keycard or never find out the answer.

Sergey - That sounds like a cool treatment, although you run into the problem of one person either not remembering it since it sounds like a good spade suit or having so many variations on this auction come up, some of which look like 4♠ is natural that it will be very easy to have one person think that 4♠ is keycard for ♦ and the other think it is a spade suit. It seems equally scary as it does theoretically sound on this hand.

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Really cool hands, but there are lots of repeats here. The second auction for the first grand is missing, and the Grue/Cheek auction to the second grand is also missing.

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At this level, players claim to reduce the amount of time in the round. 8+ hours of bridge can easily turn into 9 when using screens (can we save the fight over bridge being a timed game for tomorrow, please?). Claiming when you know how many tricks you will take at the end helps keep the players on time. Over many years of playing, the players have built up trust in each other that they will not try to make improper and self-serving claims. Since it is difficult to prove that someone intentionally made a false claim and since these players generally trust other good declarers about how many tricks they can claim, it follows that obvious claiming errors should be able to be reversed.

Board 63 is another question entirely. Bates may have taken the heart finesse in the 3-card end position. (He held ♥ AQ ♦ x opposite ♥ x ♦ Ax) The opponents had two outstanding diamonds and four hearts. When they played a heart through him, finessing would have been wrong, but not impossible. In the play of 1 ♠ x, the defense already had six tricks and had ♠ AQ over declarer's king and was not on lead. In this position it was necessary to underplay the trump queen on the king, which (I wonder if Michael would allow this) is virtually impossible.

I know the dangers of going down the road of possible/impossible and probable/improbable, but if we do not allow for rectification in a situation such as this, the result will be a great deal more time spent by players checking for false claims and possibly some declarers attempting to claim falsely because of the high reward to risk ratio.

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How many good auctions have you had opening 2N for a sub-minimum hand with both minors? I've had it on my card before but it rarely comes up. I've seen it come up against me but it didn't do very much so long as we had a reasonable defense (3♣ = takeout, better/longer hearts, 3♦ = takeout, better/longer spades) which, come to think of it, I may have gotten from you…

Anyhow, I was wondering whether you thought it was worth the IMPs for the space (and how many IMPs it is worth when it comes up) or whether it is there simply because it's not necessary to represent a strong hand and the ACBL doesn't allow for a lot of alternative options. One legal alternative would be the “good” minors hand (x Qx AQJxx KQJxx) which could be opened 1♦ although that has a greater chance of the opponents sneaking in a 1M overcall and competing when both sides have a making partscore or they have a good sac against a game. It's much scarier for them to enter at the 3-level with points on their right and the considerable likelihood of a penalty double on their left.

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What if the suits were reversed and partner had opened 3♥ with you holding the corresponding heart cards? Might it be right to bid 4♥ over a double to create the situation for LHO to simply bid a game as the cheapest bid? A pass would allow them a jump to 4♠ whereas the “push just enough to let them bid game” might cloud the values.

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I'm sorry I didn't explain anything last night. I had to go to sleep to catch a plane in the morning. There are a whole buch of agreements you can have on one of those auctions. Some people have 4♣ as their puppet to a signoff and higher actions as one-below slam tries (following up rejections with demands for keycards). Either way, it's really good to have the ability for the partner who knows the exact shape and approximate strength of their partner to be able to captain the auction.

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I don't think Kit has the room to make an honest woman out of these 5-5 hands since one of the reasons he plays Multi is that his 2♥ opening shows the 3-suited short diamond hand and a 2♠ opening is a “good diamond preempt” (around a minimum opening hand strength with six or more good diamonds to give more context to the 2+♦ 1♦ opening). One thing Multi does is to give you one extra space for 2-level opening bids.

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Barry's Deal is crazy as well…

It appears to have been played 136 times, with only 33 tables NOT doubling a final contract (not as high a doubling ratio as the first, but still rather high)

In total, there were 9 pushes, three of which were in Group P, which had the distinction (along with group D) of doubling every single contract.

There are at least TWO scores of everything from 12 to 19.

One of the issues Barry alluded to on this hand was the heart position (KT9xxx opposite stiff Q) which was often allowed to play for zero loses by desperate defenders of 5Dx.

I'd say I wouldn't be surprised if this is the first such hand to have all the scores from 12 to 19, but really I'd just be hoping that someone finds a hand from 11 to 19 or 12 to 20 :)

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If anyone is interested in looking at the other table of the match, this is the link to the vugraph file. This hand is from the 2nd segment (of 8) of the final for USA 1 in June, 2009

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Before I try to calculate the chance for Steve's actual line (I'm sure I'll make some errors that Steve Bloom if not John H. Lindsey, II will correct) I would first like to point out that West's might have solved North-South's problem completely had the hands been different. Imagine that West bid 4♥ instead of 4♦. Bobby is more or less shut out but Steve can come back in with 4♠. No problem. But on many other hands where slam in diamonds is actually good for N/S 4♦ gives Bobby an east double, in effect ruining the preemptive value of 4♥ by allowing the opponents to legally bid 4♦ over it. Perhaps 4♦ will convince some fools at the club not to bid when you have 11 trumps and they have the balance of power and at least one fit, but it's unlikely in R16 of the Rosenblum. The only thing you can really hope for is what happened.

For Steve's actual line, if we assume that West has six hearts the chance he has a stiff diamond is 16%, but considering he bid this way we'll say he would do so one third of the 72.8 plus all of the 16%, so that's 40% of the time, so we'll say that based on the bidding he is about 40% to have a stiff diamond…That seems too low. Ok, so 33% sucks and I should strike it from the previous section but I won't. It was a high estimate and it's a bit high. Let's say that it's more like 10%, in which case we're about 2/3 to have a stiff diamond on our left. Then there's about a 50% chance that West has three clubs once we know he's 6-1 in the reds (actually 47.6%, but 2/3 was really 68.7%) so we're down to about 1/3 (actually 32.7%). So…

If the chance of a psych is high (33%) then we're about 20% for the misdefense line and 3.5% for the legit line. If the chance of a psych is low (10%) then we're about 32% for the misdefense line and 1.6% for the legit line.

This means our odds are somewhere between 6:1 and 20:1.

So what is the chance for misdefense? If the opponents are telling the truth, then they are tired, have bedbugs, have been playing 4-handed for a round robin and two KO matches where they beat some of the defending Vanderbilt champions as well as a team that was 3/4 in the Spingold (minus one player). I suppose the last part means that these people are also quite good, but they're also tired. Of course, they also told you they were tired, so if they're playing the exceedingly deep game then they've set up their psych quite nicely. They told you they were tired and had bedbugs, then they've psyched, and now you might play them for a legitimate bid compounded with a misdefense when they could have just bid 4♥ which might have given you normal problems.

If we believe that the chance of a psych was fairly low, say 20%, then we're still at 25% for the misdefense position and 3.2 for the other position, which is still about 8:1. So the question is whether we think there's a chance of misdefense around 10% of the time we have this position or not. This probably depends on speed of play as well as the defense of the opponents. Has it been rather good all day? Obviously these players are all good, but is East's defense weaker than the others?

Finally, if you lose the club and cash a spade and an honor appears from East or West, do you abandon your misdefense line to go after QJ tight of spades? I think so, but I don't really feel like thinking through this. If so, then the only stuff you're really fighting over are the QJx hands, which makes the legit line even less useful.

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This comment was too long so I had to break it up. See the next comment for the continuation.

This is a pretty cool hand because as part of the calculation of the legit line you have to estimate the chances of a psych or the chance that West didn't give East a club ruff at the onset. If West really has a stiff diamond and East has the QJ or QJx of spades (three times as likely the QJx) then that likely leaves West with three black cards and six hearts and thus East with a stiff club. On the auction it looks like N/S have a heart void and the stiff diamond honor won't look too nice to West, so holding xx KQJxxx J Axxx or some other 6-card heart suit West might lead the Ace of clubs, in which case you would never have had this problem to deal with at all!

So, what were the chances that the favorable lie existed? (NOTE the link to Richard Pavlicek's “Suit Break Calculator”)

If diamonds are splitting, spades had to be 3-2 with QJ or QJx onside. If we assume that West is 6-3 in the reds and east is 5-2, then the chance that East has: QJ = 2.4% QJx = 14.2% Total = 16.6% If East or West is 6-2 and the other is 5-3 in the reds, then the chance in spades is: QJ = 4% QJx = 12% Total = 16% If West is 5-2 and East 6-3, I suppose the chance is: QJ = 4.76 QJx = 7.2% Total = 12%

The problem with the third case is that if West is 3631 then East is 2524 and would almost definitely not have been the five over five bidder. It is also unlikely that West is 2533 or 3532. So we can really assume that West must have six hearts if we're going not play him for a stiff diamond. Even if he has five hearts and a stiff diamond there's a greater chance that he wouldn't have bid five over five because the story he already told is very close to what he has. xxx KQxxx J Axxx would also leave East with QJ AJxxxx xxxx x, which might bid 2♥ over 1♣ and if East has QJx of spades that leaves west with xx KQxxx J Axxxx and East with a lightner double of 6♦.

So let's assume that the chance of favorable spades is about 16% if we assume that diamonds are splitting. What is the chance that diamonds are splitting?

Given that West is: 1. Favorable 2. Down 17 IMPs (not huge, but something) 3a. Playing the last quarter against a strong team. 3b. That team has its two strongest pairs in. 4. Western European (thought to be more likely to psych or open offshape notrumps)

I'm going to say that there is at most a 33% chance that West would take this action holding six hearts, two or three diamonds and the Ace of clubs. Perhaps this is too high, but given his situation and the fact that he did do it, I don't feel too bad about it. The chance the diamonds split considering the hearts split is 71.8%, and taking 16% of it leaves us with about 3.5%. This is the greatest chance we're playing for. If you think the chance he psyched is 10%, then we're down to 1.2%. Either way, our legitimate line is poor.

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After cashing the ♠K could you play the ♣K? If LHO won he would have to let you have both chances. If RHO won he would return a heart, but now you can go up with the ace and play to squeeze or have a 3-3 split. If the club is ducked, you could test spades and then try the hearts. I don't know if this is the best solution, but I think having the club trick first helps.

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I clicked on your link for registration but it just redirects me to the Community/Login page. Am I doing something wrong or have you just not yet created the registration page?

Dan Wolkowitz

I think the real hand has something to do with needing that crazy poker-playing, bridge-quitting guy who's always wrong to get pseudo squeezed defending a 7-level contract rather than playing for JT9 to drop missing 7 cards.

Dan Wolkowitz

Sergey - That sounds like a cool treatment, although you run into the problem of one person either not remembering it since it sounds like a good spade suit or having so many variations on this auction come up, some of which look like 4♠ is natural that it will be very easy to have one person think that 4♠ is keycard for ♦ and the other think it is a spade suit. It seems equally scary as it does theoretically sound on this hand.

Dan Wolkowitz

Dan Wolkowitz

intentionallymade a false claim and since these players generally trust other good declarers about how many tricks they can claim, it follows that obvious claiming errors should be able to be reversed.Board 63 is another question entirely. Bates may have taken the heart finesse in the 3-card end position. (He held ♥ AQ ♦ x opposite ♥ x ♦ Ax) The opponents had two outstanding diamonds and four hearts. When they played a heart through him, finessing would have been wrong, but not impossible. In the play of 1 ♠ x, the defense already had six tricks and had ♠ AQ over declarer's king and was not on lead. In this position it was necessary to underplay the trump queen on the king, which (I wonder if Michael would allow this) is virtually impossible.

I know the dangers of going down the road of possible/impossible and probable/improbable, but if we do not allow for rectification in a situation such as this, the result will be a great deal more time spent by players checking for false claims and possibly some declarers attempting to claim falsely because of the high reward to risk ratio.

Dan Wolkowitz

Anyhow, I was wondering whether you thought it was worth the IMPs for the space (and how many IMPs it is worth when it comes up) or whether it is there simply because it's not necessary to represent a strong hand and the ACBL doesn't allow for a lot of alternative options. One legal alternative would be the “good” minors hand (x Qx AQJxx KQJxx) which could be opened 1♦ although that has a greater chance of the opponents sneaking in a 1M overcall and competing when both sides have a making partscore or they have a good sac against a game. It's much scarier for them to enter at the 3-level with points on their right and the considerable likelihood of a penalty double on their left.

Dan Wolkowitz

Dan Wolkowitz

Dan Wolkowitz

Dan Wolkowitz

Dan Wolkowitz

It appears to have been played 136 times, with only 33 tables NOT doubling a final contract (not as high a doubling ratio as the first, but still rather high)

In total, there were 9 pushes, three of which were in Group P, which had the distinction (along with group D) of doubling every single contract.

There are at least TWO scores of everything from 12 to 19.

One of the issues Barry alluded to on this hand was the heart position (KT9xxx opposite stiff Q) which was often allowed to play for zero loses by desperate defenders of 5Dx.

I'd say I wouldn't be surprised if this is the first such hand to have all the scores from 12 to 19, but really I'd just be hoping that someone finds a hand from 11 to 19 or 12 to 20 :)

Dan Wolkowitz

http://www.swangames.com/magic/magic/www.php?nsid=360&csm=Board&nt=3&nr=2&ns=1&nb=18&csh=0000000000111

Dan Wolkowitz

Dan Wolkowitz

http://www.bridgebase.com/tools/handviewer.html?linurl=http://www.bridgebase.com/tools/vugraph_linfetch.php?id=10168

Dan Wolkowitz

Dan Wolkowitz

Dan Wolkowitz

For Steve's actual line, if we assume that West has six hearts the chance he has a stiff diamond is 16%, but considering he bid this way we'll say he would do so one third of the 72.8 plus all of the 16%, so that's 40% of the time, so we'll say that based on the bidding he is about 40% to have a stiff diamond…That seems too low. Ok, so 33% sucks and I should strike it from the previous section but I won't. It was a high estimate and it's a bit high. Let's say that it's more like 10%, in which case we're about 2/3 to have a stiff diamond on our left. Then there's about a 50% chance that West has three clubs once we know he's 6-1 in the reds (actually 47.6%, but 2/3 was really 68.7%) so we're down to about 1/3 (actually 32.7%). So…

If the chance of a psych is high (33%) then we're about 20% for the misdefense line and 3.5% for the legit line.

If the chance of a psych is low (10%) then we're about 32% for the misdefense line and 1.6% for the legit line.

This means our odds are somewhere between 6:1 and 20:1.

So what is the chance for misdefense? If the opponents are telling the truth, then they are tired, have bedbugs, have been playing 4-handed for a round robin and two KO matches where they beat some of the defending Vanderbilt champions as well as a team that was 3/4 in the Spingold (minus one player). I suppose the last part means that these people are also quite good, but they're also tired. Of course, they also told you they were tired, so if they're playing the exceedingly deep game then they've set up their psych quite nicely. They told you they were tired and had bedbugs, then they've psyched, and now you might play them for a legitimate bid compounded with a misdefense when they could have just bid 4♥ which might have given you normal problems.

If we believe that the chance of a psych was fairly low, say 20%, then we're still at 25% for the misdefense position and 3.2 for the other position, which is still about 8:1. So the question is whether we think there's a chance of misdefense around 10% of the time we have this position or not. This probably depends on speed of play as well as the defense of the opponents. Has it been rather good all day? Obviously these players are all good, but is East's defense weaker than the others?

Finally, if you lose the club and cash a spade and an honor appears from East or West, do you abandon your misdefense line to go after QJ tight of spades? I think so, but I don't really feel like thinking through this. If so, then the only stuff you're really fighting over are the QJx hands, which makes the legit line even less useful.

-Dan

Dan Wolkowitz

This is a pretty cool hand because as part of the calculation of the legit line you have to estimate the chances of a psych or the chance that West didn't give East a club ruff at the onset. If West really has a stiff diamond and East has the QJ or QJx of spades (three times as likely the QJx) then that likely leaves West with three black cards and six hearts and thus East with a stiff club. On the auction it looks like N/S have a heart void and the stiff diamond honor won't look too nice to West, so holding xx KQJxxx J Axxx or some other 6-card heart suit West might lead the Ace of clubs, in which case you would never have had this problem to deal with at all!

So, what were the chances that the favorable lie existed? (NOTE the link to Richard Pavlicek's “Suit Break Calculator”)

If diamonds are splitting, spades had to be 3-2 with QJ or QJx onside. If we assume that West is 6-3 in the reds and east is 5-2, then the chance that East has:

QJ = 2.4%

QJx = 14.2%

Total = 16.6%

If East or West is 6-2 and the other is 5-3 in the reds, then the chance in spades is:

QJ = 4%

QJx = 12%

Total = 16%

If West is 5-2 and East 6-3, I suppose the chance is:

QJ = 4.76

QJx = 7.2%

Total = 12%

The problem with the third case is that if West is 3631 then East is 2524 and would almost definitely not have been the five over five bidder. It is also unlikely that West is 2533 or 3532. So we can really assume that West must have six hearts if we're going not play him for a stiff diamond. Even if he has five hearts and a stiff diamond there's a greater chance that he wouldn't have bid five over five because the story he already told is very close to what he has. xxx KQxxx J Axxx would also leave East with QJ AJxxxx xxxx x, which might bid 2♥ over 1♣ and if East has QJx of spades that leaves west with xx KQxxx J Axxxx and East with a lightner double of 6♦.

So let's assume that the chance of favorable spades is about 16% if we assume that diamonds are splitting. What is the chance that diamonds are splitting?

Given that West is:

1. Favorable

2. Down 17 IMPs (not huge, but something)

3a. Playing the last quarter against a strong team.

3b. That team has its two strongest pairs in.

4. Western European (thought to be more likely to psych or open offshape notrumps)

I'm going to say that there is at most a 33% chance that West would take this action holding six hearts, two or three diamonds and the Ace of clubs. Perhaps this is too high, but given his situation and the fact that he did do it, I don't feel too bad about it. The chance the diamonds split considering the hearts split is 71.8%, and taking 16% of it leaves us with about 3.5%. This is the greatest chance we're playing for. If you think the chance he psyched is 10%, then we're down to 1.2%. Either way, our legitimate line is poor.

Dan Wolkowitz

Dan Wolkowitz