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All comments by Kai-Ching Lin
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David, I assume your comment being sarcastic. Nevertheless. I'll try my best to answer.

My 1NT forces only one round as well. But it could contain strong balanced hands. However, it does not include weak 1-suiters. In other words, I swap 1-suiters out of classic 1NT and replace them with game-forcing balanced hands. So, sequences such as 1-1NT-2-2 (cheapest new suit) shows a strong balanced hand for me. What do I do with (weak) 1-suited diamonds? I'll bid 2 immediately over 1, which is a transfer to diamonds. Likewise, 1-2 is also a transfer to hearts.

The advantages are two-fold. One is that when responder has a strong balanced hand, our bidding level is very low, such as 2 or 2 above. Opener, who is potentially unbalanced, gets to speak 4 or even 5 times before 3NT. You don't need to play a relay system as I do; with so much space, you can pattern out and show your strength accordingly, if you have an appropriate set of agreements. The other plus is when responder has a weak 1-suiter, such as x xxx KTxxxx Axx, he gets to show his diamonds immediately over 1 with 2. Therefore, his diamonds will not be buried if opponents interfere with hearts. Sometimes, it is opener who would bid 2 or 2 over your 1NT and you have to guess if you should show your diamonds. Honestly, I never understand why people want to bid 1NT when they have a 7- or even an 8-card suit.
Feb. 19, 2018
Kai-Ching Lin edited this comment Feb. 19, 2018
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For me, this 2 would show a game-forcing balanced hand (unlimited), and start relays. Opener would often finish describing his exact distribution at the 3-level and key-card also starts at 3-level. As a result, spiral scans that follow would locate 10 or J if necessary.

The problem is that I need to find someone to play these methods with me. :)
Feb. 18, 2018
Kai-Ching Lin edited this comment Feb. 19, 2018
ATB
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Let's swap North and West hands and see what would have happened. The new West would pass the 3 preempt, I assume, and the new North would raise to 4 also.

Now East Doubles. West would pull to 4, assuming that he did not have 10. North's X ends the auction. Defense could collect 3 minor-suit tricks, a club ruff, plus a K promotion for -500. On the other hand, 4 makes for -420.

If I did not make a blunder in analysis, this hypothetical layout provides a counter-example to the success of East's X (at least at MP). Again, this is just one example. Steve's argument is still quite powerful to me. I guess a simulation on N and W hands is needed as to if east should X or not.

Is this an area that machines will have an edge over humans?
Jan. 15, 2018
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Well, now come to think of it….what if west are really 2=8 in the majors? From North's perspective, I guess the danger of West's ruffing an opening minor-suit lead outweighs East's trump promotion. So 7 as Choice of Grand Slams is still correct.
Jan. 6, 2018
Kai-Ching Lin edited this comment Jan. 6, 2018
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Not trying to spoil the excellent idea of using 7 as a Choice of Grand Slams(!), would anybody as East double 7 for a heart lead in an attempt to promote partner's 10? This is Theater of Absurd after all.
Jan. 6, 2018
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Can South bid 3 in your methods?
Jan. 5, 2018
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Do you all play Italian asking bids when opener bids a suit (2, 2, 2, 2NT = clubs) after 1-1NT (8-13)? Responder’s high-card strength and degree of support are usually opener’s main concerns. This is also the case in competition. If you use this method here after opener’s 3, I would move past 3NT when I hear a club support (3 = 8-10; 3NT = 11 -13) and key card with 4 - after all, this hand is all about King of clubs and red Aces (Q is perhaps too deep for us). If there is no club support ( 3 = 8-10; 3 = 11-13), I can still punt with 3 to check on heart stoppers - I would probably pass 3NT if he has 8-10 and move on when he has 11-13. (By the way, 3 does not need to show a suit here. It just happens that we have 4 cards.)

When heart stoppers are the top concern for opener, such as AKx xx Ax AQxxxx, I would pass first to give partner a chance to bid 2NT (and 3NT later if he has double stoppers). I won’t pass this 4=1=1=7 hand over opponent’s 2 since LHO is more likely to raise it to 3 (than the 3=2=2=6 hand above) and heart stoppers is my secondary concern.
Dec. 12, 2017
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Ask AlphaBridge Zero for the best line…I am so depressed…
Oct. 23, 2017
Kai-Ching Lin edited this comment Oct. 23, 2017
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I wrote an article, “Denial Stayman”, for Bridge Today back in 1990s, which enables 1NT responder to show all his 4+-card suits and his shortness (if he has one). Anybody interested please PM me.
Oct. 6, 2017
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A variant of Relay Precision:

2(10-15, 6+ ) - 2 (relay)
2NT (10-12, 6-4) - 3 (relay)
4 (10-12, 4-0-2-7) - 4 (RKCB in )
5 (2 with Q, no K) - 5 (J?)
6 (J, no Q) - 7

If minors are swapped:

2 (10-15, 6+) - 2 (relay)
2NT (6-4) - 3 (relay)
3 (10-12) - 3 (relay)
4 (10-12, 4-0-7-2) - 4 (RKCB in )
5 (2 with Q, no K) - 5 (J?)
6 (J, no Q) - 7

(Our 1 opening = no 5-card majors, no 6-card minors and can be void in )
May 6, 2017
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Sorry, never mind. Just noticed that Richard's example hand would produce a 6 slam. Not that I know how to get there (or even should be there.) except opening 6. :)

I was writing something, then realized that I was just arguing for arguing sake. I meant to delete it. But somehow it was sent.
April 10, 2017
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6?
April 9, 2017
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I was thinking that after seeing West's 9 and 8 (or 8 and 9), East would play back a after taking his A over declarer's Q. It does not matter if West has J or 10.
April 5, 2017
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East ducks K at T3?
April 5, 2017
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6 by responder is best - it has an additional chance when are 4-3 and a non-club lead (setting up the 5th ). How to get there is a different matter. Yuan and Michael are close.

First, you need an artificial start, like Yuan or Michael did. Then you have to have a transfer scheme like Yuan's to allow the hands declared by responder. But the level should be low enough, as in Michael's auction, to permit responder to show slam interest below the game-level. Perhaps adding a transfer scheme to Michael's late-round bidding will do the trick.

But what if opener's suit is hearts, or even a minor?
Nov. 7, 2015
MVP
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Nice article. Just wondering why we don't officially select an MVP for Trials, Spingold, or Bermuda Bowl, etc., as in Super Bowl or NBA Finals?
June 7, 2015
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Great hands and analysis, Steve. Just a few comments.

For Hand #2, if West is long in diamonds, it is not necessary for declarer to discard a spade (italicized in the text) in dummy. He can pitch a diamond on K, and play three rounds of diamonds later to endplay West. But this alternative elimination line is inferior, since it does not produce the delicate “6” avoidance play when diamonds are 3-3. If East is long in diamonds (e.g. he has 7-1-4-1), declarer can also make the contract by pitching two spades (or two diamonds) in dummy on K and third heart to endplay West.

For Hand 3, West should have shifted to a top club honor at T2 to break up the beautiful Bloom squeeze - now this squeeze has a name!. It is not that he should be able to visualize the rare endinge at such an early stage when declarer had A10 tight. But had declarer had AJ instead, declarer would have had a straightforward squeeze/endplay. So a K or Q play was indicated at T2.
May 29, 2015
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Agreed. The easiest way is perhaps for West to jump rebid 4 at his second turn, assuming that the initial strong jump shift is not available. If you use 4 to be aces asking (ie Minorwood), that is even better. You can reach 6 or 7 confidently. East may (should ?) be able to convert to 6NT at the end.
April 20, 2015
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“You play as you wish we are happy for you”.
March 24, 2015
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Rainer, your analysis of the playability of 4 based on the expectation of the number of spades in South's hand is excellent. I appreciate it.

I just want to add that South may not guarantee that he has 3+ spades when he makes an reopening X. What do you do as South if you have Ax KQxxx xx AKxx when opponent's 2 comes around to you? I bet some would X trying to capture that partner might have made a trap pass. If that hand is not strong enough for you to reopen , you can add a black Queen.

If you take all these into consideration, the expectation of number of spades in South's hand when he makes a reopening X is probably just slightly above 3 - I am guessing here. On the other hand, P-S may have some agreements that I do not know…
March 23, 2015
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