Join Bridge Winners
All comments by Kit Woolsey
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No, it doesn't. If West ruffs in with the jack of diamonds, I can discard a heart from dummy, discard another heart on the queen of spades, and ruff the losing heart. The opponents will be out of trumps.
7 hours ago
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Ed,

If you are implying that any time a player fails to play in tempo he should get a procedural penalty because the laws say that players are expected to play in tempo, there would be more procedural penalties than the directors could possibly handle. We might as well be playing speedball.
12 hours ago
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You can't give a procedural penalty for a player thinking. Sure, he should have been prepared. But maybe he didn't think ahead, or maybe he had thought ahead but realized that there was something involved which he hadn't thought of. There isn't a bridge player around who hasn't made this sort of mistake at some time or other. One shouldn't do it, an your side is potentially badly placed when you do it, but certainly nothing which calls for a procedural penalty.
14 hours ago
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I totally disagree. 5NT doesn't say I can't bid a grand. All it says is I don't have the king of spades.

I don't know how spiral scan works. Presumably South can now bid 6, and North can bid something (other than 6) which shows the other two kings.

The knowledge of the other two kings may allow us to get to a superior 7NT contract. Picture South with something like Kx AKxxxx Ax QJx. When South learns that North has the other two kings South will naturally bid 7NT, which is laydown if the heart suit comes in and might have chances on a bad heart split (as it does with the actual North hand). 7 isn't going to run away from North. He can always bid it later. For now, it is his job to show his kings in case his partner has another contract in mind.

I believe that bidding 7 over 5 would be a terrible call. It has everything to lose and nothing to gain vs. the 5NT call. As I have said countless times, leaping to slam is always wrong. This hand is no exception.

Of course I have no sympathy for South huddling before bidding 6. If South had planned ahead he wouldn't have had to huddle and there would have been no issue. If North had a different hand where pass is a LA, then North would be constrained to pass after the huddle. However, South lucked out since North had a hand where passing isn't a LA.
17 hours ago
Kit Woolsey edited this comment 17 hours ago
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Auction looks fine.

I would win ace of clubs and cash AQ of diamonds. Then:

If both follow, AK and ruff a spade, making unless East has xx of spades and Jxx of diamonds.

If West shows out, finesse the diamond and duck a heart, leaving many squeeze possibilities when the hearts aren't 3-3.

If East shows out, ruff a club, spade to ace, ruff a club, cash KQ of spades, ace of hearts, heart to king. If all these live, I can ruff dummy's last club with the king of diamonds and the fourth round of spades scores the 10 of diamonds en passant.
19 hours ago
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The TD was correct that you can't discuss defenses once you have seen your hand. That would permit you to choose a defense which best suits your hand.

Requiring written defenses to everything is a waste of time. One doesn't need a 5-page written defense for something like this. However, it is vital to know what double means and what 2 means.

The proper thing would be for the opponents to pre-alert this convention. That could be done quickly, and the opponents would have the opportunity to prepare the basics.

A properly constructed convention card would solve this problem. The WBF card has in front a section for bids which may require special preparation, which is perfect. The ACBL card does not, which would make it difficult to find this – a player would have to waste time reading the whole card, and still might overlook this. I don't know what convention card was in use when this actually happened.
19 hours ago
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The information gain from being able to ruff 2 diamonds is more than most players realize. Suppose the clubs are 4-1. That means that on the last trump the player with Qxxx of clubs will be forced to discard a club, since that will be all he has left.

It is true that a very sharp defender could discard a club from xx, pretending that the club discard was forced. While this is probably the right play, I don't think I have ever seen it made in real life. At any rate, I would bet that the information I can pick up more than outweighs the tiny risk of a 6-1 diamond split.

I totally don't understand drawing trumps (when trumps are 3-2) and ruffing 1 diamond. You can no longer pick up Qxxx of clubs in the West hand, since even if you take the first round finesse you won't have the needed hand entry.
20 hours ago
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The huddle before bidding 5 doesn't convey any meaningful UI. The 5 call says that South is interested in a grand.

The huddle before bidding 6 does convey meaningful UI. It says that South is still interested after finding out that North doesn't have the king of spades.

North has a trivial grand bid anyway. I can't imagine any real bridge player would think that passing is a LA.
20 hours ago
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It will make a difference if everybody refuses to play a hand against them. That might be feasible. Getting everybody to boycott the tournament simply isn't feasible.
Feb. 18
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Play small spade from dummy. If East shows out, play West for Qxx of clubs and exactly 5-2-3-3 shape, taking 6 spades, 3 clubs, 2 diamonds, 2 hearts. Else

Play spade to king. If somebody shows out, draw trumps and play hand with stiff spade for queen of clubs, taking first round finesse if playing West for queen. Else

AK diamonds, diamond ruff, heart to ace, diamond ruff, heart to king, run the trumps, and use the information I have received to guess the clubs.
Feb. 18
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While I commend Eric and Morten, I don't believe that boycotting the tournament is a practical solution to the problem. The difficulty is that most players won't go along with the boycott. I know that I wouldn't. Playing in the three North American championships is one of my greatest joys in my life. Not doing so because a pair of convicted cheaters are playing in the tournament would be an admission that the cheaters have won. My guess is that almost all players feel the same way, as indicated in Barcelona.

I believe a more effective approach is as follows: Come to the tournament, enter the event(s) as usual, but simply refuse to play a hand against the convicted cheaters. I would be happy to do that. If my pair were the only pair which did that it wouldn't be effective – we would simply get zeros on the boards and probably some kind of discipline. However, if everybody boycotted playing a hand against them, that would be another story. The ACBL would really have no choice but to kick them out of the event. I do believe that once the word got around this is the sort of boycott which most if not all players would follow.
Feb. 17
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I do not agree with Ben. When you open other than 1 you are limiting your hand and putting partner in the captain's seat. You can't afford to do this with this sort of hand, since you must be the one who takes control. When you open 1 you are announcing that you are taking control, and the auction will flow much smoother. Opening something else and then playing catch-up just doesn't work.
Feb. 17
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Exactly David. In addition, on these layouts partner would have surely led a heart rather than a club, since hearts is unbid while North opened 1. A club lead from xxxx when dummy has opened 1 isn't particularly attractive.

This illustrates why it is vital to construct exact layouts which are consistent with the bidding and play up to date when arguing that play A is inferior to play B.
Feb. 17
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Deb,

Instead of talking generalities, could you describe a specific layout which is consistent with what has happened and which fits your conditions. I'm not saying you are wrong, but I can't comment intelligently without knowing what exact layout you are referring to.
Feb. 17
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True. But sometimes players don't open light. Or declarer may have a similar hand without one of the queens or jacks.
Feb. 17
Kit Woolsey edited this comment Feb. 17
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Whatever our Monday morning quarterbacks come up with for the perfect sequence to get to the grand, it will be interesting to hear them explain how their perfect sequence would have stopped in 6 if North's hand had been AKxxxx Q10xxxx x –.
Feb. 17
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It is true that the 10 may be descriptive in the suit. Normally it definitely denies the jack, and probably shows the 9 if that might be relevant.

In this particular situation the jack is known, and the location of the 9 can't possibly make a difference. Therefore the 10 has nothing to do with holding the 9. You would make the same play of the 10 from 105432 if that is the signal you wish to give and could afford it.

I hadn't realized in my first response that dummy had AJ doubleton. This might make a difference. If partner has Kxx, he may need to unblock when you started with 6, but not if you started with 5. Thus, count could be vital for him. On the other hand, you might be ducking from K109xx if you judge that declarer has Qxx and you want to retain your entry. In that case, attitude is what matters. So, that answer to what signal you want to give is not clear. However, if it is an attitude signal you wish to give, you do so in the normal manner – highest card you can afford for high signal, lowest card for low signal.
Feb. 16
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The default signal on a suit partner leads is attitude. Unless it is totally clear from both sides of the table that the attitude interpretation makes no sense, then attitude it is.

Since your conditions are that you want to encourage, that has to mean that the attitude interpretation makes sense.
Feb. 16
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My guess would depend upon our other agreements:

If we do not play Smolen after 1NT opener, I would think partner had forgotten and is playing me for 5 spades and 4 hearts.

If we do play Smolen after 1NT opener, partner would have had to forget two things for his 4 call to make much sense, although he could have a hand where he judges a 4-3 spade it is best. More likely is that he clicked the wrong button or pulled the wrong card out of the bidding box.
Feb. 15
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Not only could the doubler have that hand, that is what the doubler is expected to have.
Feb. 15
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