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All comments by Kit Woolsey
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Andy properly demonstrates the best procedure for working out this and other card combinations.
4 hours ago
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In order to have both an invite in diamonds and a signoff diamonds, you would need to either:

Play 2 over 1 as not an absolute game force.

or

Play 1NT response as 100% forcing.

I believe that the cost of taking either of these approaches outweighs the gain from having an invitational 3 of a minor call.
4 hours ago
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You say:

South decided - rightly or wrongly - that his hand warranted a raise to game.

That may or may not be the case. South's statement is self-serving and can be ignored. We can't read South's mind. What we can do is look at South's hand.

Is it so clear that South has a game drive? Not to me. Thus, if South has UI which suggests that passing 3 is right, then South should be required to pass 3.

Does South have such UI? From what I can tell, South apparently did not realize that there was a takeout double (or didn't realize that the double made a difference) and bid as though his RHO had passed. This was not a mechanical error. It was a mental error. Thus, South definitely does have the UI that North has mis-interpreted the 2 call.

Does the UI suggest bidding 4? I think it does. If North has something like xxx in spades North won't like that holding and will tend to go low if close. With South's actual hand, he would be happy if North had no spade wastage.

Therefore, I would not allow the 4 call.
April 16
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The answer is that there are no guidelines. Each case has to be analyzed separately.

There are some situations where it is obvious what is suggested by the UI. A slow penalty double indicates that the player isn't really sure. A slow signoff to partner's slam try indicates that the player doesn't have a dead minimum.

Other auctions aren't so clear as to what a quick or slow action indicates.
April 16
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I will accept that double is a logical alternative. What I don't accept is that the UI suggests bidding 6.

Suppose South had doubled, and that turned out to be the winning action. It could be argued just as easily (and more accurately IMO) that the fast 5 call indicated that North had no slam interest but just wanted to play 5, thus suggesting that South double rather than bid 6.

You can't have it both ways.
April 16
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In scenario 1, I don't think any particular inference can be drawn from partner's slowness. I can't imagine him bidding a quick 3 whatever his hand is on this auction.

In scenario 2, obviously you must pass.
April 15
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Seems to me that South has a pretty clear drive to slam. I was more wondering if we were missing a grand.

Even if South's bid were marginal, what does a “fast” 5 bid tell South other than what South already knows from the 5 call — that North has a lot of clubs and some stuff on the side.
April 15
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We have no way to invite with long diamonds – that is correct. We can sign off in 3 immediately by bidding 3. We can also choose to bid 1NT (which will usually be passed if opener is 5-3-3-2), and then bid 3 if opener's rebid doesn't lead us to a better choice.
April 14
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East would have a problem only when he has the ace of spades but not the queen, which will occur 25% of the time. And as Richard points out, he will probably get it right then. Making a trump play is far more important.
April 14
ATB
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Obviously South didn't have to get in there. But what does North have different from what he has already shown?
April 12
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There is always potentially some guesswork. The 1-3-4-5 hand might choose to bid 2NT, since the double generally contains exactly 4 hearts. That will work opposite the 4-3-3-3 hand. Your 2-5-3-3 example also has to guess – probably double, then bid 3H over 2NT but pass over 3C or 3D. It isn't perfect.
April 12
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This is a difficult problem My preference is:

When opponents are in 2 and both double and 2NT are available for takeout, then:

Double = 3-suited OR hearts and clubs OR red suits, diamonds longer.

2NT = minors OR red suits, longer or equal hearts

In response to the double, 2NT asks the doubler if he has diamonds (he bids 3 if he has the club-heart hand).

This way all distributions can be handles reasonably well, in particular this hand.
April 11
ATB
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Apparently E-W don't play transfers (opponent's 4 call is a transfer for you to bid 4).
April 11
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It is important to plan ahead rather than play one trick at a time. If your game plan is to continue diamonds without drawing trump (which I agree it should be), then you should win the first spade trick with the king of spades – this could result in a big number if declarer believes it. If your game plan is to draw trumps, then obviously you must win the jack of spades.
April 11
ATB
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I think East is supposed to have at least a doubleton spade for the double. With a singleton spade, he should bid 2NT.

Obviously West didn't have to pass, but it could have worked out well.
April 11
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I don't know anything about such rules. My rule is: When you have something to say, say it.
April 11
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I think that if declarer infers anything about East's failure to overtake, it is that East has the ace of diamonds and doesn't see any need to overtake and push a diamond through.
April 8
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I would not overtake. Partner would have a routine king of clubs lead from Kx.

There is little need to overtake and shift to a diamond. Let's suppose declarer's hand is KQ10xxxxx xx Kx x. If clubs are continued, declarer isn't going to bang out 3 rounds of hearts and risk a ruff with a small trump. Even if declarer has a stiff heart and 3 diamonds, he might judge to play trump, which is wrong only if East has the ace of trumps and West he ace of diamonds. And if declarer has only 7 trumps, there won't be a rush.

In addition, if we do overtake and shift to a diamond when a cash is necessary, after it goes king and ace West will have to guess what to cash. So I might as well make that guess now by simply encouraging in clubs.
April 8
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I play it shows exactly 4 spades. With 5 spades, I bid 2.
April 8
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I'm a little confused. Just what 7 tricks is declarer proposing to take (from the claim position), and how is he planning on taking them?

If he is planning a straight crossruff, that won't work. Spade ruff, diamond ruff, spade ruff, diamond ruff, heart ruff. East overruffs, returns a trump, and declarer is a trick short.

Is he planning on ruffing two spades, drawing trump, and setting up hearts? Spade ruff, diamond ruff, spade ruff. But now what. If he leads queen of clubs, East ducks, and declarer loses control.

Yes, declarer can make via spade ruff, club to king, spade ruff, club. But this play is far from automatic, so if not stated in claim clearly can't be permitted.
April 8
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