Join Bridge Winners
All comments by Jonathan Mestel
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As a teenager, I once led Q from QJx against Paul Hackett's 3NT. To my dismay, A108x appeared in dummy. But when Paul rose with the ace, my card-reading skills were up to continuing the suit when I got in, hitting partner's K9xx. It felt good.

About a year later, I declared 3NT from West with something like
Qx xxx
Qxx AKJx
A109xxx QJx
Kx A10x

North led Q and, feeling really clever, I rose with the ace and ran Q. To my dismay, North won and cashed 4 spade tricks.
“How did you know to switch?” I asked. “Well, not only didn't you hold up, but also partner played a discouraging card.” Seeing my face, he added kindly “Don't worry, you didn't blow anything - there were only ever 8 tricks.”

So, an early Aha! There is much still to learn.
Aug. 18, 2016
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7 for me. I think partner should hold A to bid like this, and a loser is more likely than a loser. Sometimes they don't lead a anyway, which could be amusing.
Aug. 18, 2016
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Thanks for votes and comments so far. As I write it's 3:1 in favour of passing. I think it's tough; we have normal defence and more offence than promised. Both LHO and partner knew the vulnerability before their calls.
Partner was in a forcing pass position. Any hand with Kxx would at least consider doubling, be it a strong NT or a minimum. Most strong NTs give good play for slam. Even with maximal spade wastage KQx Axxx AQxx xx it may depend on the lead.
At the table, both 4 and 5 were down 1, partner having KJx xx AQxxxx Qx, and the spade bidder AQ109xx AKJx x xx. The TNT of 21 with a secondary heart fit overestimates by 2.
For what it's worth, the room was flat in 5-1 apart one 5x-1 and one rogue 5x making(!!)

I bid 5. Partner thought this was wrong, and the good news he has most of BW to search for a replacement!
Aug. 18, 2016
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If partner has J10xxx the 9 can work wonders. Declarer will win the ace, knock out partner's presumed A, and will probably guess wrong when partner plays J.
K is only necessary when we can cash spades, but of course it does prevent partner going wrong, which has much to be said for it.
Aug. 18, 2016
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Agreed, hence the approximation. I was querying the use of simple restricted choice arguments'
Aug. 17, 2016
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8-4 seems most likely. We need West to hold Q, and with K as well he would have dredged up a 2 raise. So we need to endplay East who's 2128 or 1138. Either seems possible, but ruffing a spade with A won't help him.
We have the UI that East misdefended - this can only be by not playing 9?
I'm forgetting the chance of a stiff K. So ideally we do want to lead trumps from hand. OK. As others have said, C ruff, K, J.
Even if RHO had played 9 at trick 1, I think ruff, A and a low off table is best. with 9x Ax K AKQxxxxx East will surely rise with A to avoid being endplayed.
And if he doesn't, well, I have the most tolerant and understanding of partners,
Aug. 17, 2016
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Yes..you have to extend that to deal with the K lead, however.
Aug. 16, 2016
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Really? I often make a bid expecting to be one off for -50. Occasionally I find that I go for 1000% of this. Admittedly, when I do, partner often doesn't agree with my bid even 10%.
Aug. 16, 2016
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A big problem with double is that partner will bid a Lebensohl 2NT a lot of the time. What then?
I think 2NT is the better call. Not least because we have oodles of system over it.
Aug. 16, 2016
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I disagree very strongly with doubling on a hand like this with so much potential. The main advantage of such doubles is to reach 2x when we have nowhere in particular to go. If we are happy for opener to reopen with a double or bid 2NT we should pass, in my view.
Aug. 16, 2016
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Well well. Pass never entered my head. Even my first pass was an effort.
Aug. 16, 2016
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What did declarer play at trick 1? I'll assume the 3.
Assuming he has 6 clubs, I should play him for a doubleton spade or diamond. If he has a doubleton diamond I return a club, win A on the first round and lead another club. He will now have a guess for the contract. Seems simpler just to play for KQ.
Aug. 16, 2016
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“…if he plays the queen or jack it's more likely to be a singleton than a doubleton.”

Is that right? Approximately, half of (J10 or QJ) is about the same as stiff J.

But it's more complicated now I think about it. Can he play the Q from Q10 half the time? Seems unlikely, which means he shouldn't play the Q and J with equal probability from QJ.
Aug. 16, 2016
Jonathan Mestel edited this comment Aug. 16, 2016
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You mean “righty” not “lefty”? What form of scoring?
At first glance if lefty is 5224 or 5134 I want to do different things.
Aug. 16, 2016
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Oh, I missorted my hand. It's better for the digestion.
Aug. 15, 2016
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I was envisaging “I'm all shook up: Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy…”
Aug. 15, 2016
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Yes, probably it is. If 10 is stiff on the left, we get to ruff a heart your way. I didn't see the ace of trumps was an entry…
Aug. 15, 2016
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I think I prefer k, A and AK. If they split, A, ruff and I think ruff (rather than the 2nd heart as above.)

If LHO has a stiff honour we're still alive.
Aug. 15, 2016
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LHO can see that his K might disappear, so I'll show him A and then low to the 10.

Of course, if it turns out I'm actually playing in no trumps I'll go down more this way.
Aug. 15, 2016
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I dont understand why 4 guaranteed a control, unless 4 actually denied one. AQJxxx Kxx Kx xx? But I'll answer according to the stated conditions. I assume 3 was NF as we're not told otherwise, so Frances' fear is unfounded.
Aug. 14, 2016
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