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All comments by John Portwood
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I have it! North actually has Spades and has psyched a 2 overcall to confuse the Multi bidders. East has fallen into the trap and West has decided to cut the losses hoping to make tricks in diamonds and hearts with the AC.

So you lead a Spade and record 6 off. Or you lead a club and concede.
April 22, 2013
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Actually the higher the honour card the worse the lead (Aces excepted). On this hand if you lead A partner can tell you whether they like the suit (keep going) or want a switch (go with Spades). Although blasting an Ace into thin air reduces the chance that it willcapture a King, it does give you a chance to look at dummy and perhaps get some signal from partner. Leading from JXXX into a 3 card (maximum) suit is unlikely to be too costly.

The key point with a Stayman convention when the response is 2 is that the 2 bidder has quite a few cards in the minor suits (at least 7 ((33)(43), probably 8 (32)(53|| 44))
April 22, 2013
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4 diamonds + 2 Aces < 7. Normally the best lead against 1NT is a three card major (playing for partner's 5-card suit). In this case you may be lucky with declarer holding off a couple of times - then you can switch to diamonds. Don't forget that Declarer could quite easily have QJTXX in Diamonds. If declarer has hearts then there is still time to test the Diamonds.
April 22, 2013
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The points are presumably evenly spread (probably slightly in our favour on distribution) I feel bidding 2S at imps is too optimistic (too much danger of playing in a 4-2 fit and even if we play in a 4-3 fit we are likely to get forced in Hearts.)

Knowing my luck in 2S East will underlead K expecting to find partner with the Ace and we'll take 2H, 3D, 4S and AC.
April 22, 2013
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9 losers is a single raise
April 22, 2013
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Since partner is void in Diamonds and doesn;t hold the AC, then the only way in which 7N will depend on the lead is if partner would be squeezed but isn't. Since East has (presumably) AKXX in Hearts then a squeeze could operate.,
April 21, 2013
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I fail to see the advantage of a ‘super accept’ other than a partnership saying “How clever we are”. The hand making the transfer bid can always make a 3-level game try themselves and this has the added advantage that there is no 3-level contract bid when taking out on rubbish.

The 1NT opener has limited their hand so the responder knows the combined strength within narrow limits and can therefore make a game try HOWEVER the opener does NOT know how strong the responder is and therefore is not in a position to make a game try.

(If your 1NT opening bid has a 2+ trick variance then you aren't limiting it enough)


April 21, 2013
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I voted for Double as the least worst option. However there are plenty of hands where coming in could cost a large number and loads where there is no game available. QX looks like the worst possible club holding with a potential two tricks lost followed by a trump promotion (and that's if East only has AJ,KJX or QJXX and nothing else). Since you are missing 4 honours you have to assume that East has two of them.
April 19, 2013
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I'm looking at 6 (or 7) clubs 4 (or 5) diamonds A and AK - that comes to 13 (at least) 14 on a heart lead.
April 19, 2013
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Traditionally the double of 3NT was a request for partner to lead the suit they had bid and not be put off by declarer.

What is wrong with tradition?

Partner rates to have a few points so just holding JXX is going to be sufficient. He comes in with one of the other suits (surely he must hold AXXX or KXXX otherwise he wouldn't double fearing the clubs would run) and you take your 5 tricks.
April 19, 2013
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Am not going to force my partner to bid at the 3 level when I hold a hand with pretty good defence and poor offence and partner couldn't bid at the two level. (Why do so many people automatically assume there must be a fit?)
April 19, 2013
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Although your A means that you have no Diamond losers, there is a serious danger that the club strength that partner has is going to be wasted. In a perfect world partner has AXXX in clubs and everything is fine however give him AXXX AXXX X KJXX and you may be struggling - a trump lead will leave you searching for tricks and there is also going to be a risk of a ruff.

If you get a 3 response (minimal hand) I would give serious thought to passing (at MPS).

Otherwise 4 looks better - there won't be the communication in hearts for getting a ruff.
April 18, 2013
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If you are going to bid 6S why not bid 6 first? partner could have held AQJ865 KQ532 - KX. You might as well tell him you have the outside controls.
April 17, 2013
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I also thought of 4. Of course 3-1 is more likely, but if we knew everything about each hand bridge would not hold the fascination it does.
April 13, 2013
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Unless you have a way to find the !KS (or spade singleton), I feel the best practical bid is 6 - However would partner have the strength to pass with the hand held (2 Aces, trump support)?

Playing a demand system when partner just tells you what they have is much easier.

2: 2NT (2 non-touching Aces)
3: (Kings?) 4 (King of Clubs)
5 final contract (or you can hope partner has 10 and bid 7NT, which I think is against the odds)

I know that most bidding systems have only one ‘strong’ bid available (excluding varieties of 2NT bids/ responses) because there are so few strong hands, however handling these hands depends a lot on whether they are single (where are your controls?) or multi-suited (I want to be in game+ but not sure where). The question is: is doubling the starting points worthwhile or would it be best to keep the additional (not very) pre-empt?
April 13, 2013
John Portwood edited this comment April 13, 2013
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I have read the book and am concerned as to whether the results are statistically significant. I would say that I have tried the techniques and they seem at least no worse than my previous methods (a couple of hundred 3NT simulations on Bridge Baron 19). In some respect many of the rules developed are already well known, it is just that some maths has been added to illustrate them.

The danger is that people will just learn a few rules and not understand that you have to look at all your hand (and guesstimate partner's) before working out the best plan of attack.

I wonder when people play the cards as suggested in the book that they have actually told their partner!

(I play in clubs where a weak NT is played - as such it is less likely that a 5-card Major gets hidden - this presumably slightly increases the major-suit bias.)

There is also the effect of selective memory - if you lead low from KJXXX and catch your partner with AX then you get a real positive boost and as such the event will tend to stick. Should you find the suit split AXX in dummy and QX in declarer's hand then you will tend to gloss over it as ‘just one of those things’.

Getting tops is obviously a buzz - but the best overall scores are produced by consistently getting 60%+ on hands.

(It would also have been nice to have been told what an average lead and the worst lead would have done - for instance: if you are told that A defeats the contract 31% and !7S defeats the contract 28% of the time, it would be nice to know that overall the contract fails 25% of the time so that A actually doubles your additional chances compare to the !7S)
April 13, 2013
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I think that you need some help from partner. When you cash the Ace at Trick 2 both you and your partner should realise (from other discussions) that declarer has the Jack guarding the suit.

Partner is therefore in an ideal position to make a suit preference signal having several cards that have the same trick-taking capacity. (None unless an Ace is held)

Having led the 4 he has the 10,9,6,2 so could play the 10 or 2 to indicate his preferred lead (assumning Hearts can be eliminated) or the 6 being neutral.

Regular partnerships and good players should always look out for the chance to make a suit-preference signal. In this particular occasion spotting the opportunity was non-trivial.
April 12, 2013
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Well someone has underbid (7N obviously not being a good contract.) So is it the person with the <solid> diamond suit who can count 10 tricks (or more) if partner has the K or the person who has 5 controls more than they might have and heard a strong bid opposite?

It all depends on partnership agreements - I cannot think that 4 can be other than a mild slam try, why leave 3NT otherwise, which partner should accept with his useful singleton and black suit bullets.
April 9, 2013
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Could easily be psychic based on a single suit. There are many conventional bids devised over 2NT. By bidding 3NT (say on a long minor suit) this gets rid of them.

I would pass - 9 down NV is only 450, which is less than a game. If partner gets doubled (quite likely!) I would expect a redouble and then I'll have to bid 4

Memo to me: Ask partner why he bid as he did and add it to conventional bids.
April 8, 2013
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I certainly agree with 2 2 2!N 3 3

No matter how I look at it, assuming Key cards can be found, South will require North to hold AXX(X) in Diamonds to virtually assure the contract or, failing that Q to give a 50% chance. Since North has shown 11 cards (2S, 5H, 2D, 2C) by making a NT bid (assuming a Heart rebid holding 6 or a singleton) there is better than 50% chance of making the slam (1+ out of 2 unknown cards in three suits being diamond(s) and South Short in Diamonds)

SS SC CS CC fail
SD DS DD DC CD succeed - so the odds are at least 55-44
April 8, 2013
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