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All comments by Jonathan Mestel
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Defending a part score on the last board of a knockout-match, I noticed to my amusement I held the lowest two remaining cards in all 3 side suits. “There's mathematically no way my plays make any difference now,” I thought. So I switched off and played my last 6 cards at random. In so doing I revoked, costing 5 IMPs and the match.
June 14
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When you decided not to play a penalty double of a strong NT, you should have wondered what to do with a good hand. If they're vulnerable, taking them off in 100s may well be best. If they're nonvul, it may not be clear what to do, but if you decide to pass after a BIT, you are causing problems for your partner. Of course, you are not cheating; your partner's actions may be questioned. Note also that your chosen methods are encouraging opponents to psyche in this manner.
June 8
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I'm usually sympathetic to “The pause doesn't necessarily promise suitable values” arguments, but in this case, it eliminates too many of the hands where bidding is -200 on a good day. “Hogwash” is a bit strong, but “to be discounted” (I bet you know a good Latin word for that) seems appropriate.
June 8
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Misprint - I assume partner PASSES after appreciable thought.
June 8
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Lucky you! I'll bid 3 which implies a minor and suggests the lead.
April 26
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Partner didn't double 1 so he has minor length. I shall bid 4NT to offer him both.
April 26
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But he can't see the minor kings. Having used Blackwood it is hard for him to suggest 6NT without implying all the key cards. Can anyone suggest a plausible hand for him where we should pass 6?
April 24
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I had a rush of blood to my head and led Q. On reflection, my 9 may prove useful and there was no need to panic, but it's too late. 3 looks normal.
April 21
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Ah, sorry I should have guessed.
April 21
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Just so long as partner doesn't turn up with Axxxx and decide his extra length warrants bidding the grand. He will explain he had some clever reason for starting with 2, of course.
April 21
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Why so optimistic!? You might even go down in 4. But add A to that collection and 6 is massive. To me it feels with the odds to wheel out Blackwood.
It's possibly relevant that if they find the best lead we may well make a trick fewer than the room even in 4.
April 21
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..and partner should doubtless be able to read us for 2 1st round controls and a 5th trump, and can infer which major we prefer.
Isn't his last pass encouraging us to bid?

Incidentally, what's the record for the greatest number of forcing passes in an auction?
April 21
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So would I. Now we have to guess, and I guess 6.
April 21
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The idea is that if we bid 4, partner can bid 5 over 4
with x Axxx KQxx xxxx when 6 is rigid, or double 4 with x Axxx xxxx KQxx when 5 is down.
April 21
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Well, I'd be willing to invest some matchpoints to teach him not to bid 4NT on that in future. He knows by counting up to 14 I have an ace. And he can trust me not to bid just 4 with AAA K or whatever you think he was hoping to find out with 4NT. He would bid either 5 or 6 with that hand.

Partner has involved us in the decision by describing his handtype. He has Ax x (or Ax A) in the minors, either way round.

Yet the majority are passing 6. I am baffled why.
April 21
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6 could have more chances e.g. KQJxxx AJ10x x Ax, but surely at pairs 6NT is clear?
April 21
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For me, it shows a 2nd suit, so 4 must be better, involving partner in future discussions.
April 21
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I was sent this hand independently, and was informed that in fact the big hand had passed slowly. Partner felt constrained to pass.

My view was that being a passed hand, partner should act even with the UI.
April 20
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6 could well make opposite a stiff and a non- lead, but I'm content with 5, quite possibly doubled. LHO doesn't know about their heart fit. If he bids 6 I shall double, but if they reach 6 I will try 6. I don't think I should redouble 5
April 7
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Well, here's something NOT to do:

When I was younger and having an off patch at chess, on occasion I would bemoan my stupidity in front of people who, even on their best days, played considerably worse. It was only when the slump wore off that I realised my insensitivity. (For clarity - I'm not suggesting you're doing that! Just something to be wary of. This was in my original post but in square brackets, so it got missed.)

At bridge, one's bad spells correspond to simultaneously playing poorly AND being unlucky. At least one of those will wear off soon - statistics don't lie, they just get misinterpreted! So even if you do nothing, things will improve… (Cue twee motivational quotation.)
April 6
Jonathan Mestel edited this comment April 6
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