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All comments by Kit Woolsey
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No.
4 hours ago
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I don't think you can describe it as game-forcing as such. The point is that the 1NT bidder is limited. This means that the takeout doubler who then Q-bids can drop the auction any time he wants, since he knows the upper limit of the combined strengths of the two hands. His partner, however, cannot drop the auction, since the takeout doubler's hand is unlimited.
6 hours ago
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70% is not almost the same as 3/1. It isn't even close. If that is the best pattern analysis can do, it is clearly worthless.

One doesn't have to throw around 4-digit numbers to come up with a decent approximation. If on this hand for some reason I had to come up with an estimate of the probability that West has 2 clubs, my thinking would go as follows:

From the bidding and defense, the only sensible distributions for East are 4-3-3-3, 3-4-3-3, and 4-4-3-2. With nothing else to go on these would be about equally likely, making the chance that West has the doubleton club 2 in 3. However, since West has 5 diamonds to East's 3, by vacant spaces that makes it a little more likely that West has a doubleton club than if there were no other information. Add a few percent to the original 66 2/3 percent, and we get an estimate of about 70% – right on the money.

I didn't need any pattern analysis to come to this result. Just a little bridge logic and common sense.
6 hours ago
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I think what is happening is that beginning players are so intent to signal correctly that they forget the fundamental principle of discarding: Keep winners, throw losers.

The expert will routinely discard a diamond. Not because he has worked out that a heart discard might blow a trick. Not because he has constructed the hand and sees what the right defense is. He will discard a diamond because it is a loser. His thinking is on the order of: I can't tell for sure what is going on the heart suit, but I know for certain that my extra diamond isn't of any value. So I'll discard it now, and see what happens.
7 hours ago
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There is no magic formula Each hand has to be assessed on its own merits, taking into account factors such as strength, distribution, trump quality, and rebid considerations as to which approach is more likely to lead to a comfortable sequence to find the best contract.
12 hours ago
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The answer is yes, if North bids 2 he promises another bid. South's hand is unlimited, so North cannot pass once he has shown a maximum 1 response. South, of course, can pass any time since North is limited.

The goal is not to stop in 2 when you have a combined minimum of 23 or 24 HCP. The goal is to find the best game. If the auction comes up so a good strain is found and an intelligent stop can be made, such as the actual hand, then you can stop short of game. Otherwise, just bid the game and try to make it.
13 hours ago
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That may be valid advice when you have that kind of control of your destiny. For example, if the enemy bidding is 1NT-3NT, an auction which figures to be duplicated at the other table, it may be unwise to make what you know is an abnormal opening lead even if you think it is slightly percentage. But that is not the case here. Anything West does may lose the board irretrievably. There is no “safe” action.
Feb. 20
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I would duck the first trick, win the likely spade continuation, and exit with a spade. Let's see what North does.
Feb. 20
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No further stipulations. I just want the straight percentages of the distributions.
Feb. 20
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No it is not possible. N-S have 24 HCP and a good 8-card spade fit. If they are to stop at the 2-level, that would require some luck of the ranges.

To illustrate, suppose you are playing 16-18 1NT openings. South would open 1NT, and North would certainly bid Stayman and then invite.

Well, this is basically what happened. South's takeout double of 1 doesn't show any extra strength. It simply shows the shape for a takeout double of hearts, which South certainly has.
Feb. 20
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We all agree that the only east distributions which are consistent (assuming West has 5 diamonds) are 4-3-3-3, 3-4-3-3, and 4-4-3-2.

Let's try a simple simulation as follows:

1) Fix the N-S hands, and fix the E-W diamond holding in a 5-3 shape. That leaves 18 cards left to be dealt out, 8 to West and 10 to East.

2) Deal out these 18 cards randomly 10,000 times. Throw out resulting distributions which aren't one of the 3 possible distributions.

3) Of the remaining deals which do fit the conditions, see what percentage of them East is 4-4-3-2.

This seems entirely fair. What does everybody predict that percentage will be?
Feb. 20
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I don't think so.
Feb. 20
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Yes. With stiff club, we bid 3NT. 3 is a specialty bid, showing an unspecified solid major.
Feb. 20
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Okay, so let's assume that North did mean his bid as minors. He knows from his partner's answer to the question that his partner thinks the 1NT overcall is natural. Now, he is asked about his partner's 2 call. What is he supposed to say?

If he says the 2 call is natural, which it would be if his 1NT call showed the minors, he would be giving his partner the UI that the 1NT call wasn't natural. By responding the way he did he did the best he could to avoid telling his partner that the 1NT call was intended to show minors, while not absolutely stating that the 2 call is a transfer since that is not what it definitionally means. Whether his partner picked up on all this I don't know.

Clearly North should have passed, since that is what he would have done if he didn't have the UI that his partner had mis-interpreted the 1NT call. I don't think North was trying to be unethical. I think he didn't realize what his ethical responsibilities were.

Furthermore, I still don't see the damage issue. South apparently was planning on playing in 2 whether North passed the double or not.

West might have not doubled 2. North pretty much told West what had happened, as if West couldn't figure it out for himself by looking at his hand. If West had passed, then of course North would be obligated to pass. By doubling West let N-S off the hook, since even if North had passed South obviously wasn't going to stay in 2 doubled.
Feb. 19
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So West completely gave up on defeating the contract in order to hold in an overtrick, and lucked out when his partner had an even stronger hand than West didn't think East could have. In addition, West tried to give away what might be a set if declarer had something like KQxx, Kx, AJx, K9xx which is quite consistent if you judge that East can't have the king of hearts. West simply doesn't know how to defend. What you did was perfectly reasonable.
Feb. 19
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It isn't obvious looking at the North hand whether he meant his 1NT call as natural or showing minors. If he meant it as natural, the his 2 call looks fine. If he meant it as minors, then of course he should pass – he was taking advantage of UI.

Where I am confused is understanding what difference all this makes. South doesn't have any UI. He thinks his partner has a 1NT overcall, and is bidding his hand that way. Right or wrong, he chose not invite for whatever reason. What do you think he would have done if North hadn't bid 2? Clearly he would have bid 2 himself. If he isn't moving when North presumably shows spade support, he certainly isn't moving when North doesn't show spade support.

The only issue is if West got MI, and if West would have acted differently without the MI. Looking at North's hand, it even clear to me that West got MI. So I don't see any reason to adjust the score.
Feb. 19
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But my philosophy is: Invite aggressively, accept aggressively.
Feb. 19
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With immediate 3-level calls. 3 and 3 for stiff black, red respectively 9-12. Higher bids for stronger.
Feb. 18
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I don't agree. South doesn't have to have 4 spades for the double, and if he has only 3 spades there will be doubt about getting to the right strain if North bids 2. After North bids 2 South will always bid 2 with 4 spades since if he had 5 spades he would have bid 1 rather than double. Thus, there will be no doubt about whether or not the partnership has an 8-card spade fit. Yes, North was going to bid 3NT over 3 or 3. That will certainly have some play, and is surely the right strain.
Feb. 18
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Michael's explanation about the best way to play this suit combination (assuming no other inferences) is quite correct.

On this hand, there is the additional assumed inference that West has 5 diamonds and East has 3 diamonds. That makes it even more likely that East has the 3-card club holding.

The only argument for declarer's line of play is that East wouldn't make a takeout double with 4-3-3-3 shape and minimal strength. Other than that, declarer simply took an anti-percentage play and got punished.
Feb. 17
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