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All comments by Esko Pikataival
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Venn diagram for comparable calls:
http://www.kolumbus.fi/memmu1/piv/bridge/comparable_call.png

The following case shows the marginally comparable call:
Offender passes on partner's turn to call. Partner opens 1 and offender bids 1NT (marginally comparable). In most cases the call stays comparable, but the boundary gets exceeded if e.g. opener bids 2 and responder continues with 3. Without the POOT, the 3 call might contain a hand suitable for initial 3 preempt. POOT rules this out.
Aug. 10
Esko Pikataival edited this comment Aug. 10
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Bridge World August 2018 Swiss match spoiler alert!




Similar squeeze was presented in one of the problems in Bridge World August 2018 Swiss match; it was a defensive problem and as in all vice squeezes, the defense is to keep winners and throw losers i.e. keep a long card in a different suit.
Aug. 9
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IMO, the squeeze belongs to the vice family. Reverse vice sounds like a proper designation. My understanding of vice is that the stuff between the low menace and the high menace gets crushed.
Aug. 9
Esko Pikataival edited this comment Aug. 9
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This looks like vice to me. Give West QJ and South the K of hearts the position would be essentially the same as in vice except the two card menace would be reversed.

The basic matching vice position would be
…..
…..Q9
…..
…..T
………
JT…….A86
………
A……..
…..2
…..2
…..
…..J

West needs bulkier hearts; otherwise this would be just a finesse position.
Aug. 9
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In this setup (5+3), East unblocks the K or exits with the K and West cashes a diamond (as South has run out of stoppers), I think. Note that South will be squeezed out of a major suit card on the run of the clubs.
July 31
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Duck the spade lead, win the forced minor suit switch and pass the J. Later squeeze East in the majors from South (cash clubs and diamonds) or from North (cash diamonds and clubs) depending on which entry West breaks. On a lead this can be repeated (duck spade high, pass the J) and the lead is self-explanatory.

I cannot see how to make it with a diamond lead as EW can play a second round of diamonds after the spade duck and then a heart to kill the squeeze entry in hearts. If South tries to cash 5 rounds of clubs after the lead, East goes up with K in certain variations to give South a choice to make 2 heart tricks or the 3rd but not both.

I have no DD tool right now; analysis can be totally borken.
July 31
Esko Pikataival edited this comment July 31
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The only time partner needs to play the 2 from QJ92 is when he holds the K. Proof below:

1. Signalling with the 9 lets declarer build a diamond trick from KT6x.
2. Declarer needs to surrender round 3 to get round 4 diamond winner.
3. Declarer needs to pitch a black 3rd round loser on round 3 of diamonds.
4. When in with the , the defense can cash any 1st round loser.

The only profitable discard sequence for declarer is to pitch both 3rd round loser and 2nd round loser from the same suit. With Q and QJ in the dummy, only spades can have both 2nd round and 3rd round losers; this can take place only when partner has the K (and the full hand is like A9x, AQxxx, KT6x, x).

With K, partner needs to signal with 2. In all other cases (including JTx, xx, QJ92, Kxxx) partner can and should signal with D9 to show that diamonds are not providing discards.
July 14
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Just corroborates that the club ruff line is not feasible. It looks like my play should not matter but to cover against a bad line by declarer, I should now try to cash out. In most universes declarer holds one black king in ?xx AQxxx KQx ?x.
July 14
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I would like the explanation for 3 before making any plays.

However, partner's card shows that declarer and dummy do not have mirror distributions meaning that there is not going to be a third round spade loser.

Partner's card also shows that at least one fast discard is coming on the diamonds meaning that I cannot sneak attack spades with a low one trying to induce a misguess with another low spade later (e.g. Q87 vs K9x).

To guard against ?x AQxxx KQJx ?x the defense needs to cash out now. I start with A because partner is likely to hold more spots in spades than in clubs and can give a readable signal.

If partner encourages in spades, I cash A and play a spade. If partner discourages in spades, I cash A and continue clubs.

Generally, it looks like my play now does not matter much, because with four fast diamond tricks and two fast black losers, declarer should have cashed the A and and continued with 4 rounds of diamonds if the K did not drop. Similarly, if declarer holds x AQxxx KQx Kxxx, he should have cashed the A to prevent a club ruff.

The explanation of 3 might have given some extra information to rule out some of the impossible hands.
July 14
Esko Pikataival edited this comment July 14
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Based on the bidding it is very likely that West has a red singleton (any 5332 would be so featureless that preemptive 3 on equal vulnerability looks more right).

My bidding has shown lots of red cards but I have not guaranteed spade void, because 6 was the only bid, which shows that I want to play red suit at six level. (I don't agree with 2 but that's out of scope.)

Would West lead his singleton diamond? Maybe, because that would beat the hand if East had a red ace. My guess would be that West would lead his singleton close to 50% probability suggesting that heart shortage is more likely.

Assuming that West has a red singleton, playing for the drop in hearts works better only when West has an equivalent of xxxxx Qx x xxxxx or xxxxx Qxx x xxxx. Playing for the drop loses to xxxxx x xx xxxxx or xxxxx x xxx Kxxx. Note that finessing works any time East has the Q (excl. 5-0 break).

I would cash the A unblocking the 8 and then go to dummy with K and then lead and pass the T.

Unblocking the 8 is necessary to be able to take two heart finesses ending in hand after the 2nd finesse (to pick up Q9xx from East).
July 6
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Actually I considered it. The reason why I thought he would lead the diamond was that he, at that point, was holding only diamonds in his hand and the laws require him to play something.
June 13
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One of the drivers towards 6-4 was the possibility of RHO showing both majors with 5-4 even though his hearts were better. With 6-4 RHO would surely bid the hand as a one-suiter. My guess was something like 40-60 against showing majors with 5-4 as his spades were so bad.

As the defenders' identity was disclosed below, you probably can understand how hard it was for me to picture that LHO still had a heart in his hand. Against many other players the A would have been a no-brainer.
June 13
Esko Pikataival edited this comment June 13
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Thanks. Fixed.
June 13
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There is a limited set of combinations, where there is a balanced frozen suit threat for the defenders, leading to a situation where declarer can either solve the suit or endplay the defenders. AFAIU, the conditions are the following:
* both defenders need to keep the same number of cards to have a combined stopper in the suit
* the declarer distribution cannot lead to a position where declarer gets endplayed
* the loser count and distribution must be such that the defense cannot cash out too many tricks (with one loser it's a sure thing; with 2 losers declarer needs to exit in the suit where there are 3 cards remaining to prevent discard on the first suit and transport and cashing of two in the other)

At least the following combinations qualify:
—-QJ9
Txx —- Kxx
—-Axx

—-J9x
Txx —- Kxx
—-AQx

—-AJx
Txx —- Qxx
—-K9x

—QT
Jx — Kx
—Ax

As long as the declarer can reach a position where they have the combination and one loser, the declarer wins either by exiting with a loser or by solving the suit, if the defense has weakened the position. There is no way the defense can attack the position as the suit is frozen. For multiple losers the success depends.

Note that AQ9 vs Jxx has the same characteristics but the defense can survive the endplay by locking declarer into their hand by leading from West and ducking to the 9. However, this could be reduced to the the initial KJ position by taking the Q finesse earlier. Similarly all the KT-related positions above can be reduced to the initial KJ position by taking an early finesse.
June 2
Esko Pikataival edited this comment June 2
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1st/2nd position: 4m opening
3rd/4th position: requests partner to display another green card
May 29
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I met Margie at the bridge table at the time when the boards were manually duplicated. The tournament was probably some Fall Nationals side game in 1995 and I was playing with the late Raija Reisig. We were newbies in the ACBL etiquette and when facing an obvious pro client pair sitting NS we probably broke the code when we duplicated the boards as EW.

Margie thanked us and later we had a chat and she told a bit about the pro life. I can still remember her telling about the visits to multiple cities, where she had watched so much the hotel channels presenting the attractions of the venues that her feet hurt.

Short moment, lasting memories.
May 23
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If the treatment of 1NT would be the cornerstone, the rest of the framework should rest on that.

What about 1NT as unlimited relay to 1M opening; that would leave natural suit responses as NF (or something conventional or whatever).

However, in many frameworks the 1NT structure is forced - it needs to cover certain holes in the rest of the framework. It seldom becomes an independent choice or matter of style.
May 17
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The full context matters as systems should be harmonized frameworks instead of collections of random conventions and/or treatments.

When I play 2/1 type of system, single jump 3x is invitational with 6+ cards and 2/1 is FG without exceptions. In this context I play 1NT as forcing; it can include a balanced 3 card support FG hand.

When I play weak openings with 4 card majors with 2/1 F1R, I play 1NT as NF.

Without the full system context, this poll is quite meaningless, unless you consider this specific sequence as the cornerstone for the framework building.
May 17
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From 1993 Europeans:

I held ATxxxx - AKxxxxx - and opened with one Precision diamond. LHO bid 4 and the tray went to the other side. When it came back, partner had found 4. I raised to 7 and LHO tore a sheet from the explanation pad and wrote 8 on that and placed it above his 4 and pushed the tray to the other side.

At that point I knew that he was not going to ruff a diamond lead. :)
May 15
Esko Pikataival edited this comment May 15
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Copy-paste from some of my old comments:
—-
The late Eric Jannersten (the guy behind bidding box manufacturing and the founder of the largest bridge equipment manufacturer in Europe) tried to popularize Rex Bridge in the 1950's.

In Rex Bridge, there was an additional denomination Rex between spades and NT. Rex was like NT but aces were the lowest cards of the deck. In addition you get bonus for bidding and making 4NT or 5M; going one down undoubled was partly free; you could bid 8 or 9 etc…
—-
For bidding and making 7 in NT/Rex you get 3200; for going one down undoubled in 8 the declaring side gets 2600; in case of a doubled undertrick 200/300 is deducted from the score depending on vulnerability. One down in 7 still scores 1950.

Declaring side goes minus in case the contract goes two or more down. Undoubled undertricks cost 200/300 for 2, 300/450 for 3, and thereafter 150 more per undertrick. Doubled undertricks double the score.

So against making 7NT (3200) one can take a 7 down sac for 1800 in 8 of suit. Against the 1800 sac it is profitable to go one down doubled in 8NT to score 2400 (nv) against which it is still profitable to take 8 down sac of 9 of a suit for 2100.
Jan. 25, 2017
May 15
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