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All comments by Eric Kehr
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I think the implication is that allowing declarer to take advantage of hesitations etc, but not allowing defenders to fake a hesitation adds an asymmetry and is therefore “unfair” in some sense.

If you want to know where a queen is, work it out based on counting points, shape etc, or throw the opponents in or some such.

The main problem with allowing such “coffeehousing” (although if it were legal it would not actually be “coffeehousing”) is that it is too easy to thereby allow defenders to signal to each other via their mannerisms.
March 18
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Just because South might be weak is no reason to jump to 5. If you make a cue bid, South can always return to 4 if he is weak.
March 12
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I don’t know whether it helps to contrast this with the situation where the 2 and A are exchanged.

You win the opening lead in dummy, discarding J from hand while East discards as well. Now you lead a and two things can happen - west can follow so you know east has the K or west can discard a , so you know the distribution, and *you forced* the opponents to reveal that piece of information. Now you *can* use vacant places to deduce a new probability that east has the king.

Follow this up by playing a and the same thing happens. If west discards another , the probability east has the king has reduced to 6/7.

But in these cases the reduction in probability is exactly offset by the increase in probability (to 100%) when west follows to a minor suit Ace.
March 11
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You need to take restricted choice into account. In the cases where East does not have the king, he has a choice of which two cards to discard at tricks 11 and 12; with the King he has no choice as to which cards to discard.

This increases the chance he does have the King from the values you have calculated.

In effect, there are only 2 “suits” - the K, and all the small cards - and East has two possible distributions - 0-13 and 1-12. In the latter case his discards are forced on him, in the former case he has choices. At the start you KNOW he has (at least) 12 useless cards to discard, so after 12 discards you have learned no useful information.

It’s like the Monty Hall problem - you know that there is at least one unchosen door without a prize behind it, so Monty opening a door gives you no useful information about the chances you had chosen the correct door originally.
March 10
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I suspect the latter is easier to calculate than the former.
March 8
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You talk about east discarding 4 and 3, but half the time he can’t do that as West holds one of those cards. If you knew west’s 13 card was a then the odds would indeed be 6/7.
March 8
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My problem with phrase “logical alternatives” is with the word “logical”. If option A is better, in your opinion than option B, then it would be illogical of you to choose option B.
March 8
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Suppose east shows out on 3rd ?
March 5
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I can’t have a very strong hand, so to force to the three level I must either have a maximum with a long suit, or a maximum with a fit. The former bids 3, I expect. So this is the latter. Probably 2NT ought to show a maximum with 6 good and 3.
March 2
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4 instead of, say, 3 sends the message that we are interested in slam in . As such, North is easily worth a 4 control bid.

Even before the days of Italian-style cue bidding, it was felt ok to cue-bid a king in this sort of situation if you have really strong trumps. Because partner must have compensating values outside to make a slam try with weak trumps.
March 2
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Are you allowed to say something like “15-17, adding 1 point for a 5 card suit. 2 for a 6 card minor, and 1 for a preponderance of tens and nines”?

Or do the rules forbid you from disclosing your agreements in this way?
March 1
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It comes down to the question of which is more important, count or honour location? And bearing n mind that you will reveal count on the next round anyway, this probably swings the decision towards honour location.

Note that it’s not really leading the middle card, it’s leading the second highest card from rubbish, as many pairs do with longer suits.
Feb. 28
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Isn’t it time we got rid of declarer calling dummy’s cards and just have declarer play them (as they do when dummy has to leave the table)?

Not only does this prevent this sort of problem (and also 8/Ace confusions etc) but it avoids sharp-eared players at other tables learning the contents of one of the hands.
Feb. 26
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I think this is spot on. We associate ourselves with our conscious stream of thought and erroneously believe that this is what we are thinking and intending. But really this is just a tiny overlay on the myriad complicated processes going on in the brain.

Last night I had a hand with 4 to the King. Dummy on my left held AQJT. Declarer had already taken a successful finesse. He played a few more tricks in other suits and when I looked at my hand I was down to a doubleton . This came as quite a shock to me as I never intended to discard a . But I couldn’t remember or work out what I had intended to discard. Whatever thought processes and/or mechanical error led to my playing a never reached my consciousness, so who is to say what my intention was?
Feb. 26
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My guess is that the 3 bidder did not open a preempt because they have 4 and strict ideas about 2nd seat bids/preempts.

I.e they have, if anything, more playing strength than if the 3 bid was by an unpassed hand, so we are less likely to have a penalty double in this exact scenario.

I guess the most useful use is asking partner to bid 3NT with a stop, or, without one, pick some minor suit contract.
Feb. 26
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Counting this sort of thing is hard. Every hand is really the 24 hands you can make by rotating the suits (assuming you are looking at just the play rather than the bidding). And then on most of them swapping a few small cards makes literally no difference to how interesting the hand is.

When someone says “this is one of the most interesting possible hands”, are they really talking about that exact deal, or the combined set of all sufficiently similar hands such that the total range of bridge themes which exist on each hand, and how they manifest, are the same.

Although that being said, it still probably doesn't remove enough orders of magnitude to change the point you are making.
Feb. 23
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I think their description of when one can redouble is ambiguous. You might read it to mean that only the player whose last bid was doubled can redouble, whereas his partner can as well.
Feb. 22
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There's no reason N should have length. Swap the T4 with the3 5. West then has a penalty pass. And if he can't pass for penalties what should he do?
Feb. 20
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Undiscussed, I would play this as saying “Unless you have a freak hand (eg 5 6) we are playing this in or NT”.

I wouldn't expect it to be forcing to 5 if we don't have a stop but it is certainly very invitational. I think it should deny 4 or a good 5 card suit

With a stop and no slam ambition I would bid 3NT. Stronger and I'd bid 4NT. Without a stop I would generally bid 4 or 5 depending on strength. With a 5-6 hand I would bid 4 or 4 and hope partner got the message. With some slam ambition and short I would bid 4. That leaves 3 to mean “I don't know what to do” eg a 4333 hand with half a stop. But I'd hate to make this bid.
Feb. 17
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I open this sort of hand 1 and rebid 2NT.

It seems to work well. But obviously I’ve not really seen a statistically significant sample.

But at least I don’t waste any mental energy trying to work out what to do.
Feb. 17
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