Join Bridge Winners
All comments by Esko Pikataival
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Assuming that North is not completely desperate, s/he is bidding to make. There is a certain convention available in case North holds something like AKQJ AKQJxxx x x so one should assume that it is not the case. How about AKQJ AKQJxxx Kx void? This is possible but unlikely. AKQJ AKQJxxx void xx is a possibility. Anyway, A is a bit counterintuitive but a sane North is not assuming a cover card outside clubs from partner. If North ruffs the A, dummy's tricks should be unreachable (considering my heart holding). If North has gambled on clubs, partner might show out and get a ruff as the clubs at this vulnerability might be KQJxxx vs xx.
Oct. 4
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Edited:
That scenario might take place if RHO has xxx in clubs and xx in spades and QTxx in hearts or singleton heart and xxx in spades. After the failed club finesse, you cash the K, a high club from dummy and discard a spade on the A. If hearts are 3-2, you can set up the suit with a ruff and enjoy them with a club entry. If East has QTxx in hearts you need to go back to the ruffing finesse. Then you can play spades and ruff the fourth spade if the A is still in the West hand.

If East ruffs the A, that is with the last trump so you can take the spade ruffing finesse without ruff threat. If East discards a spade on the A, then you are in a trouble.

If West returns a trump after winning the K, you cannot set up the hearts due to the blockage but then you can take the ruffing finesse in spades without worries (and before that you should cash A and ruff a heart to test if Qx falls).
Sept. 30
Esko Pikataival edited this comment Oct. 1
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
The laws are clear and contradictory in this kind of situation. Law 20 allows you to ask. However law 16 warns that asking may create UI.

Law 20 also explicitly forbids asking to help partner or to elicit an incorrect explanation.

In an ideal case, you could just stealthily glimpse the convention card.

When the cc is not available, I would normally ask, because I would be planning my opening lead and defense during the auction. Also, the “Please, explain”, is quite neutral and, IMO, displays just general interest of the board.

In case the opponents create an UI situation out of the ask, IMO, it is solely their problem and the TD should solve it as a normal UI problem.

So, IMO, you are not constrained from asking assuming you plan to do something bridge related with the information (see law 20G2).
Sept. 10
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
@John Portwood

A slam try is a two way street. Once East makes a slam try, West has authorization to drive to slam with fitting cards; otherwise East should not have made the try.

In some sequences the “slam try” is, from East's perspective, forcing to 6 and looking for 7.

So taking both points above into account, West can take control but needs to show East if all key cards are present. In case a key card is missing, West is authorized to go to slam with suitable values.

Assume the auction starts 1NT-2-2-4 as an auto splinter. If West has for his 12-14 NT a maximum with 3 small clubs, he has the right cards or otherwise East was too optimistic. In a sequence like this, West needs to take care that a slam is reached.

In this auction, after 4, West needs to drive to slam unless there are two key cards missing (very unlikely, but worth checking).

After RCKB 4NT, West must continue with 5NT to show that all the key cards are present. East can see that grand is good in case West holds QJxx xx AKx Axxx; he should continue with 6 to show the K. However, West can see that 6 is enough as there seems to be a likely diamond loser.
Sept. 9
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
West should have bid the slam, but as it went, East should have bid 5 instead of 5.

Once West hears a 55 slam try without a diamond control, he can be pretty sure that the worst case scenario is to take the finesse for a fast diamond pitch. So after 4, West should drive to slam.
Sept. 8
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Law 16A2: “Players may also take account of their estimate of their own score, of the traits of their opponents, and any requirement of the tournament regulations.”

This does not allow undisclosed partnership agreements but allows players to use judgement based on their estimate of their own score. IMO, the wording also implies that it is ok to do this estimate together between hands.
Sept. 7
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
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
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
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
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
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
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
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
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
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
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
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
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
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
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
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
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
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
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
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
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
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
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
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
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Thanks. Fixed.
June 13
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
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
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
.

Bottom Home Top