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All comments by Jonathan Mestel
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I think he has a side suit. But if he wants to bid on, I see no reason not to. I considered 5C for the lead, but it doesn't feel right.
Oct. 12
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So you're down if he's Jx Qxx AKQxxx xx. Not very likely, I admit.
July 26
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If J loses and a 3rd trump comes back, you have to guess whether West has x or Jx(x) don't you? This is why I prefer to play spades before A.
July 26
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One evening at our club Mr X was partnering Mrs Y, and Mrs X partnering Mr Y. Both were moving pairs, and when they met, the X's sat opposite each other as did the Y's. They all looked at their hands, I think one bid was made and then Mr X noticed. Amid some hilarity, the slightly caustic director cancelled the board.
July 25
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I'd play AK earlier, I think. Even if LHO ruffs K I'm alive.

On the given line, if I run J to Qxx I could be down. If I played that way, I would then rise with K and claim if West follows. West's failure to continue diamonds suggests he has seven, and no stiff heart,
July 25
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Even as declarer?

Kxx……….Axx
AKQJ10x……xx
x…………AK10
xxx……….AKxxx

1-2; 2-3; 3NT P

Cross-IMPs Spade lead. Obviously you and partner are going to have words later, and he'll be somewhat caustic if you don't even make the 4th overtrick. But don't opponents deserve to be told you're hoping to hold the loss to 12 IMPs and need to work out a compound squeeze? They may have better things to think about.
July 25
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Obviously (in my view) South is more to blame than North in that he might have doubled, but 3 is well within a “normal call” range. South expects to be able to double 3 and be ideally placed. Sometimes, as here, double works better. Swap the minors, and double is more attractive.
July 25
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What contract do you want to be in opposite xxxx xxx xx xxxx, especially with a likely -lead? Or say change a x to 10.
You get J lead against 4.

My point is partner has done something a bit strange - he's allowed to; but that doesn't mean we have to throw our toys out of the pram when he later asks us to use our judgement.
June 26
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I don't see what all the fuss is about. Partner bid 3NT when we might be xxxx xxx xx xxxx. He bid 5S when we confessed to xxxxx xxxxx x xx. He now expects us to use our judgement - is our hand good in context? A major Q or a sixth spade? (typo edited)

We may suspect he's misbid, but he plays with us because we (usually) don't. Who knows what he has - AKxx AK AQJ10 AQx? Not our problem.
June 23
Jonathan Mestel edited this comment June 23
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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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