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All comments by Kit Woolsey
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You suspect strongly that he does so in an attempt to get a read on the opponents. After 5 minutes of tanking he guesses the distribution correctly.

I don't see any basis at all for this conclusion. Declarer simply is thinking about what play to make. He isn't required to play quickly because if he tanks the opponents might give something away. And if they do give something away and declarer reads it, he is certainly entitled to try to take advantage of his read (which of course might be wrong).
10 hours ago
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Yes, it does apply here. It is true that the 1 opener doesn't have a real minimal 1-suiter. That helps the odds somewhat on the 2 response.
Sept. 15
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Keep in mind that partner might have xx in diamonds.
Sept. 15
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Sorry, didn't mean to come across that way. I was simply saying that all you know about the 5 call is that it shows clubs. It doesn't necessarily convey any of the other special meanings included in the poll.
Sept. 12
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Shows clubs. Period.
Sept. 12
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Simplest is play all doubles of P/C bids are negative/takeout – pretend the bidding went (2M)-overcall or double-(3M)-?

I'm not saying it is perfect, but for any partnership which hasn't put in hours to find the “perfect” multi defense this will usually be adequate. Yes, bad things can happen – but that is true with any methods if you get the wrong hands for them.
Sept. 12
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When Steve Robinson and I played in the Senior world championships in 2000, multi was legal and you could not bring written defenses. Our 2 minute discussion of multi defense was basically what Martin describes:

The European standard defense is to play double as either a strong hand or an intermediate balanced hand (13-15).

About 2/3 of our opponents played multi, and it came up perhaps a dozen times. It was a total non-event. While of course we didn't always take the winning action, we were always in the ball park and never had any kind of mid-understanding.

Boy did our feared Flannery 2 opening throw our opponents for a loop. Nobody was prepared for that.

Defense to multi just isn't a big deal. Sure, a partnership may choose to work out a super-powered complicated defense if they want to put in the time and effort. However, for the average pair, what is described above is perfectly adequate.
Sept. 11
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You know something is wrong when multi is allowed in the top bracket of a regional knockout, but not allowed in the Reisinger BAM teams.
Sept. 11
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Samuel

Yes, it is possible that there is a conflict which opener can't resolve. If that happens and it makes a difference, opener simply has to make a percentage guess. You would be surprised how seldom this is a problem.

Ronald,

2 doesn't set anything. It is simply a relay. Opener can always sign off anywhere he wants by not relaying. However, if responder has shown a 6+ card suit, we define game and slam bids in that suit as signoffs rather than relays. This seems to work out better on balance.
Sept. 10
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Yes, for the same reason – a lot (if not most) of the field isn't going to get to slam. A typical auction would be: 1-1NT;3-4.
Sept. 9
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Our relay structure would be as follows:

1 1NT (a)
2 2 (b)
2NT 3 ©
3 3 (d)
3 4 (e)
4 5 (f)
5 5 (g)
5 5NT (h)
6 Pass

a) Club suit, no major, positive response
b) No second suit, spade shortness
c) Doubleton spade, 6-3-2-2
d) Exactly 2=2=3=6
e) 3 controls (A=2, K=1)
f) A/K clubs, A/K diamonds, Q clubs, no Q diamonds
g) No Q spades
h) No Q hearts

We barely run out of room to find out about the jack of clubs. However, even if I knew partner had it, I would settle for 6 because there it too great a chance that the other table will stop in game, and on a spade the grand needs a heart split. Yes, I understand that this might be a 5 or 7 hand on a spade lead. If I were sure slam would be bid at the other table, then I would bid 7.
Sept. 9
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I don't understand
Sept. 9
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Let's suppose E-W could see their partner's hand (but not the opponents hands). Would they prefer to defend 5 doubled or declarer 5 of a major?
Sept. 9
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You could win the lead in hand, so as not to block the diamonds, and play a trump to the king and a trump to the ace. If the queen appears you make six. If West has queen third, you’re down one.

That simply isn't true. West doesn't have x-ray vision. If you win the diamond lead with the ace, West is not going to play you for AKQJx of diamonds. He will think you have stiff ace, AK doubleton, or AKQ, and that his partner didn't play an honor because there was no need to do so. West will be nervous about breaking the club suit, and will probably lead a heart.
Sept. 9
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That is exactly how I explain the bid. It is “to play”. Nothing more, nothing less.

The point is that 3 is not an informational call. It is an instructional call. It instructs the opening bidder to shut up. Logically it is the same as if responder had bid 3NT, which would also instruct opener to shut up.

Of course there are inferences about the type of hand responder is likely to have. He presumably isn't strong enough to have any game interest opposite a 10-12 1NT opening. He presumably has 6+ hearts, since he is unilaterally driving to the 3-level opposite what might be a doubleton. But these are bridge logic inferences, not partnership agreements. The 3 bidder may have anything he wants. If he chooses to make the bid on something like AQJ Kxxxxx Kx xx (where there might be a game) in the hope of enticing the opponents to enter, that is his business. If he chooses to make the bid on something like x KQJ10x xxxx xxx due to the heart solidity and stiff spade even though he has only 5 hearts, that is his business. Any attempt to say more about the 3 call other than “to play” would be misleading, and if you describe something else and responder has some offbeat 3 call which doesn't fit the parameters of what you describe you may be in for a MI adjustment.
Sept. 8
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Probably for exactly that reason. There is no particular upside for leading the queen vs. the 10.
Sept. 8
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The diamonds appear to be 6-4. Since nobody led or shifted to clubs, the clubs appear to be 2-2. This makes it more likely that West has queen of spades. Therefore, the percentage play is to ride the jack of spades.

We can't put too much stock in West having the queen of diamonds. East could easily have AKQJxx and play the king at trick 1. No competent player would play the jack, telling us about the whole suit.

It is true we could safely play a round of clubs first. However, it is not true that we can safely play a second round if the first round is ducked. The opponents win, return a heart, and now we cannot play West for Qxx of spades if we want to because we will not have a way off dummy after we win heart in hand, ride jack of spades, and lead a spade to the ace.
Sept. 7
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Michael,

You did the right thing. The director doesn't know what he is talking about.
Sept. 7
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Playing single dummy we are not allowed to know about the bad trump split until we see it, and of course we will draw two rounds of trumps before risking any enemy ruffs since the hand is cold if the trumps are 3-2. So, king of spades, club ruff, heart to ace, club ruff, heart to king (getting the news), club ruff. Presumably from the lead, West has Jx of spades. So:

If West's shape is 2=4=3=4, we can play 3 rounds of diamonds ending in dummy, ruff another club, and that is 10 tricks.

If West's shape is 2=4=4=3, we can cash 4 diamonds. We can't test the diamonds, since we need to win the third round of diamonds in hand if ruffing the fourth club.

East is a passed hand. If West's shape is 2=4=4=3, East's hand would be AQxx 10 xx AJxxxx. That is a clear opening bid, so East doesn't have that. Therefore, play West for AQxx of clubs, so ruff the fourth round of clubs.
Sept. 4
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What you say is true. In practice, I've never seen declarer misread this not uncommon end position.
Sept. 3
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