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All comments by Kit Woolsey
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I think it is vital to play 2 of their minor as natural. You will hold this hand often, and when you do the overcall describes your hand and can make life difficult for the opponents.

I also think it is a waste to play any kind of Michaels. You don't need a Michaels bid, since you can always overcall 1 and then bid 2. A weak jump overcall hand is more common, as well as more effective.
11 hours ago
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I think that you were an out-of-towner presumably playing against a regular customer explains it all.
12 hours ago
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Nicolas,

I believe you are reading something into the regulations which is not there.

Suppose I am playing 10-12 1NT openings. If I choose to open 1NT on QJx QJx QJx KJxx because I choose to downgrade this to a 12-count, I am perfectly free to do so. If I choose to open 1 and rebid 1NT on xx A10x A109xx A10x (showing 13-15) because I choose to upgrade this to a 13-count, I am perfectly free to do so. I am not deviating from anything. My partner doesn't know anything more about my hand or my bidding than the opponents know – all he knows is that I have an IQ above room temperature and am capable of making sensible decisions for myself rather than being a slave to the 4-3-2-1 count. If an opponent places me with a card I don't have due to my action and gets the hand wrong, that's life in the big city.
Feb. 21
Kit Woolsey edited this comment Feb. 21
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He might go wrong if he can construct a layout where playing the 10 is necessary to defeat the contract and declarer wouldn't have gone up queen when he has ace-doubleton. Not very likely. It is far more likely that declarer will misguess the club position.

Understand that I'm not advocating a club lead in the first place. But if one is going to lead a club, leading small is considerably better than leading the ace.
Feb. 20
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On the other hand, you are definitely permitted to see an opponent's hand after the play of the hand is completed. I can't imagine where you read that your opponent may decline to show you his hand.
Feb. 20
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Nicolas,

What ACBL rule is there which requires you to open 1NT with your three aces hand if your notrump range is 10-12, as opposed to opening 1 and rebidding 1NT (which shows 13-15)? I have never heard of such a thing, and I have been playing 10-12 1NT openings Non-vul 1/2 seat for 20 years (and making appropriate upgrades and downgrades as I see fit). You certainly are allowed to use bridge judgment. I have been using my judgment all my life on things like that, as do all experts, and I have never had any kind of complaint.

As far as I know the only true “point count” restriction of the ACBL is that if you happen to open 1NT on a 9-count that is automatically deemed to be part of your range, and if you play such a range you are not permitted to use any conventions. Silly, of course, and I believe that may be in the process of being changed.

The ACBL rules don't prevent you from using judgment. Of course, what action you take on a hand may reflect what your real methods are. Suppose you are playing 14-16 1NT openings. If you open 1NT on QJx KJx QJxx Kxx, it is quite clear that you aren't playing 14-16 – your real range is 13-16. However, if you open 1NT on xx K10x AK109x QJ10, that doesn't mean your real range is 13-16, as it is clear that this hand is worth some kind of upgrade.
Feb. 20
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Looking at the GCC under responses and rebids which are allowed, the first entry is:

ONE DIAMOND as a forcing, artificial response to one club.

This doesn't say to an artificial 1. It says to 1. Thus, unless I am misreading it, your 1 on your 3-3-2-5 (or on anything) is quite legal.
Feb. 19
Kit Woolsey edited this comment Feb. 19
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I think saying it would not be among your top choices is an understatement. For me, it would be my thirteenth choice. A club would be the last suit I would lead. And if somebody pointed a gun to my head and forced me to lead a club, I would certainly lead a small club rather than the ace – quite safe (compared to leading the ace), as declarer can't have a singleton club.
Feb. 19
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Since the only upside to the club lead even if partner has ace-doubleton is getting a ruff, I don't think partner would lead a club from Ax if he has Jxxx of trumps.
Feb. 19
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1. Dummy bid clubs, so the club lead may establish dummy's club suit for a red-suit discard.

2. Aces were meant to capture kings and queens, not 2's and 3's.

3. There is nothing in the auction which remotely suggests that dummy has strong red suits on which club losers may be discarded.

4. Declarer is known to have only 5 spades, so need for a cashout is extremely unlikely.

5. Partner is known to have no diamond honors, so a diamond lead is perfectly safe.

6. A red-suit lead may establish a trick for the defense.

I'm running out of reasons, but I'm sure there are more.
Feb. 19
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I could not imagine partner leading a club from Axx on this auction.
Feb. 19
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The danger with playing the jack of diamonds is that partner, holding AK10xx of diamonds and a trump trick, might decide you are giving count from Jxxx and lead a club, playing you for the king of clubs. Of course if your agreements are to always signal with second highest from four, then playing the jack is fine.

We weren't told what spot declarer played. If declarer played the 2 you are quite safe playing the 5, as this cannot be from a 4-card holding so partner will always continue the suit. Now you can follow with the 4, and if declarer thinks you have a doubleton maybe something good will happen. Also, if your agreement is to always signal with the highest card you can afford (i.e. highest from 4), then playing the 5 will work as partner will know you don't have 4 diamonds.

As a practical matter, unless you and your partner are on very solid ground it is probably best to just show him count and not worry about deceiving declarer.
Feb. 18
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We play:

1-1NT;2-2 = forces 2NT, prelude to an invite in a minor.

1-1NT;3-3 = choice between 3NT and 4.
Feb. 18
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Our rule is that a king lead in the middle of the hand asks for kount.
Feb. 18
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I don't know that partner would underlead the ace of diamonds. If he has a stiff club, a club shift (after cashing the ace of diamonds and getting a discouraging signal) will defeat the contract if West has ace of clubs and a spade trick.
Feb. 18
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So you took a normal line of play and went down on a bad split. What's the big deal?
Feb. 18
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I'm afraid I don't see the issue. The opening leader can ask all the questions he wants. There could be some UI to his partner on some wording of the questions, but that obviously isn't going to be relevant here. I don't see what there is to be upset about.

As to the play of the hand, straightforward is to cash a high spade, and if both opponents follow small cross to dummy with a club and lead a spade to the jack. However, if North doesn't produce the king of diamonds at trick 1 there is good reason to believe he doesn't have the king of hearts either, since if he did he likely would have doubled 4. If you are very confident about that assumption, your safest cross to dummy is the heart finesse.
Feb. 17
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For those of us who play kickback, this is nothing new. The general principle is that the cheapest bid above 4 of the trump suit which is not needed as natural is RKC. If the bidding had gone 3-4-P-?, then 4 would be RKC since both 4 and 4 are needed as natural.

As to the best meaning for 4NT, that can be debated. Most pairs play 4NT as natural, which obviously is ideal on your example hand. My preference is to play it as a slam try in partner's suit, which can come in handy since the overcall can have quite a wide range. This gives up on playing in 4NT, but my experience is that it is rare that you can make exactly 10 tricks in notrump and exactly 10 tricks in partner's minor, and be able to make that decision intelligently with so little information to go on.
Feb. 17
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What I said was wrong. If East has a singleton club, it could easily be right to shift to a club which will defeat the contract if West has ace of clubs and king of spades. Therefore, West must encourage in diamonds, and since the third round of diamonds doesn't matter he should encourage as loudly as possible with the jack. The jack of diamonds isn't needed for the overruff threat.
Feb. 17
Kit Woolsey edited this comment Feb. 17
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Obviously East could have taken control, but it was not unreasonable to be concerned about the diamond problem. West could have something like Kxx AKx Qxx AQJx which would certainly justify his 4 call. Bidding 4, planning on following with 5 if West signs off in 4, is a very reasonable approach which focuses on the diamond problem.

West's queen ask does not guarantee all the keycards. West might be off an ace and have been looking for a small slam if East has the queen of spades.

It was West's duty to bid 6 of a red suit (which one depends on partnership agreements, although it wouldn't have mattered here) to show that all the keycards are accounted for and that West has some grand interest. East would then have no trouble bidding the grand.
Feb. 17
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