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All comments by John Torrey
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The hand is from Winning Suit Contract Leads, by David Bird and Taf Anthias (page 71 in my edition). West has

8 2
A 9 6 3
7 5
K Q 8 5 4

“..let's follow the play in 2 when West makes the approved lead of the 7. South wins East's J with the A…” Routine defense beats the contract from this point.

The deal has two interesting play points for me: first, the duck by South at the first trick. The second is the sharp counter by East of the K at the second trick. I have found many twin-problems like this and never found a good way to pose them both.

Solvers who considered hands where West has the KJxxxx of clubs and Axx pf hearts might have known that this would not exist in Winning Suit Contract Leads, which uses double-dummy analysis by computer. If this is West's hand the defense has no double-dummy chance.
March 2, 2019
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Bracketed KO.
Round 1: 3-way small win, big loss
Round 2: 3-way small win (beating the team we lost to in round 1), big loss.
Round 3 close win head-up vs team that blitzed us in round 2.
Round 4 loss.

Second overall, with one net-winning session and net-plus vs one opposing team (in round 1).

Charlotte NC regional, 2007.
Feb. 22, 2019
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ACBLScore: First the movement should be changed (EDMove) to have the pairs actually playing the board as oppnents for that board. (It will ask if this is a “partial round adjustment”. It is.)

The correct pair that did not get to play should get the equivalent of average plus, possibly through Adj. This could be tricky, because ACBLscore probably wants to factor them up according to their percentage on their remaining boards.

(For this part I'm assuming that the NS pair that played the board was supposed to play it, but got the wrong opponent…) The wrong EW pair that did play the board was probably scheduled to play it later, against an innocent NS who will be deprived of their own chance to play it. This NS should get average plus. In the old days directors would figure out how to let this NS play the hand against the “correct” EW pair for the current round. One way to handle this pair and the correct pair under the current laws, is to change the movement make them opponents on this board, and then give them both average plus. If I did all this as director, I would feel that I had done my job.
Feb. 12, 2019
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Using 3 to get to 3NT may give information to the defense. Evsn

2NT 3
3 3NT

gives such information, as do auctions with other opener rebids.

In addition, the artificial 3NT response may be forgotten - not so bad when opener forgets and passes, but really bad when responder wants to sign off and opener bails to 4.
Jan. 22, 2019
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Suppose that the original West became ill after East had won the ace of hearts and dropped the deuce. You (a bystander with no knowledge of the play so far) fill in for the original West. You are told that the two of hearts is a minor penalty card. You are allowed to inspect the previous trick.

I would argue that you have no UI, because you know nothing about the circumstances under which the 2 became a minor penalty card. You are free to return a diamond.
Jan. 15, 2019
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My recollection is different. I found that almost - perhaps all - the questions came from the bridge literature, with many from the Bridge World's Master Solver's Club. I got an issue and entered, after doing extensive research. One was a lead problem: you hold

A Q 10 6 2
K 7 6
8 6 5
6 4

RHO opened 1, passed to partner, who doubled. You passed for penalties and LHO bid 1NT, removed to 2 by RHO. You doubled this and all passed. What do you lead?

I remember thinking that my double was…quirky. This thought led me to Terence Reese's book, Develop Your Bidding Judgement, where the hand is presented as a bidding problem. Reese recommends the double, and comments that he would lead a club rather than a trump, because he expects partner to use his trumps for over-ruffs.

I was ready to very well in the quiz I entered, but Contest Bridge folded with that issue and I lost out.
Jan. 3, 2019
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The ACBL has director-guidelines that (as I recall) would disallow your pass as a “mechanical error.” (Different part of the bid-box, etc.) But Law 25A makes no mention of mechanical error: the test is whether the call was unintended when made. I believe your pass was unintended and would rule accordingly, but most competent directors likely would not. I recognize my personal departure from “director-standard” in this case.

The director-guidelines also specify that a call selected fro m the box is not final unless it meets the standards for a declarer's played card: face up, on or near the table, or in a played position. I think your Pass did meet this standard, based on your statement that you were surprised to see the Pass when you looked down. Doesn't mean it was or was not intended.
Dec. 19, 2018
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Right. Diamond to dummy, then spade to king if East plays low.
Dec. 16, 2018
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At double dummy, South can make by leading a spade to the king at trick two, then a club to the king. East wins and drives out the remaining heart winner. Now South can make by playing a spade (West has no more hearts) or a club. Either way, East has no good answer to the king of diamonds. The play selected is clearly better if you aren't peeking.
Dec. 16, 2018
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My error. The box now shows the correct auction.
Dec. 10, 2018
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The text says the 7 was second best. Partner has K73 or Q73.
Dec. 8, 2018
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I face similar situations from time to time. Robb makes an excellent suggestion, but one that might not be available always.

The director in this position should tell his opponents at the start of the hand (or as soon as he becomes aware of it). In this case, you can say that you saw bidding, but no cards. I would typically say that I will bid and play only as long as I can make unpolluted decisions. If this becomes impossible, assign A+ to your opponents, A to your side. Tell the opponents that if they have a problem after the hand is played, you encourage them to bring it up.
Dec. 8, 2018
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My unpublished approach takes your last option: transfers start with 2. 2 can be bid with hands interested in notrump, where we may want to put the overcaller on lead, and 2 is the bid with clubs. You can't get to 2 this way, but the possibility of a natural 2NT between the transfer and 3 compensates for the higher level.

I have not played this under fire, but it seemed to work well in simulation exercises.
Dec. 6, 2018
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Correct! To have an adjustment there must be an infraction. In this case the infraction might be Misinformation (MI). There is MI if the explanation is incorrect with respect to the pair's agreements. The explanation said Drury and the agreement IS Drury, so there was no MI. Case closed.
Dec. 4, 2018
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I'm not sure of the definition, but it feels right to say that a play in which you score your long trumps by ruffing instead of drawing trump is an elopement. (It's a kind of “dummy reversal” in which trumps are never drawn.) Say your trumps are AKxxx and you have aces in side suits with entries to the dummy. If you manage to score your small trumps by ruffing, that is an elopement. Typically, the defense is left with redundant trumps and side-suit winners. In this understanding, an elopement involves more than one small trump scored by ruffing.
Nov. 20, 2018
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I would suggest that non-bridgeplayers would have no way to know this from the Hool rules on the net. Since non-bridgeplayrs are a big part of the population you would like to reach, the rules should be clarified.
Nov. 14, 2018
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I'd like to play Hool with my (non-bridge-playing) family, but the rules as stated seem incomplete. Two questions:

when bids are compared, do the suits have rank? (Is 3 a higher bid then 3?)

How much must you bid to earn a game bonus?
Nov. 13, 2018
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I guess if you disagreed about the length of the club or diamond suit you bid, it would be a minor disagreement.
Oct. 22, 2018
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East played the jack at trick 1.

West was the director and East was the guaranteed partner (not an experienced player). It was the first round, and North-South could have heard them agree to play DONT (but can't be assumed to be paying attention to that discussion).
Sept. 22, 2018
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My original error, now corrected. Good catch, Gary. Sorry, others who answered.
May 24, 2018
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