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All comments by Kit Woolsey
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I don't think it is just semantics. Compare with the following similar auction:

1-P-2-DBL;RDBL-P-P-3;P-P-?

Is responder permitted to pass here? No, he is not. Opener may have game-going values, but is willing to give his partner a chance to smash 3 for an even better result. Responder may double or bid as he sees fit, but he may not pass.

The difference is that the partner of the player in balancing seat is unlimited. That is why responder is not permitted to sell. However, when the partner of the player in balancing seat is limited, you can sell out even if your redouble creates a force.
8 hours ago
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An alternative is to play club to king, heart ruff low, and ace-queen of clubs pitching a spade. If everybody follows, ace and a spade and claim on a high crossruff. If RHO ruffs the third club, overruff and bank on the double spade finesse. If LHO has a doubleton club, I'm down.

It should be noted that Richard won't get to take his second spade finesse against competent defenders. If West wins the jack of spades he will return a spade, and Richard will be forced to go up ace of spades and bank on the club split.

As to which line of play is better, I really don't know. They are probably pretty close, and the answer may depend upon whether or not East is good enough to duck the first round of spades (on Richard's line) when he has the king but not the jack.
13 hours ago
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Partner will assume his pass is forcing. But that doesn't mean you have to bid anything. You might have a defensively oriented hand with which you have no interest in game or even competing 3 over 3, but enough in high cards to want to encourage partner to double the opponents if he can. A typical hand might be: Axxxx Ax AJ10x xx. You would like to hear partner double 3 or 3, but if he is unable to do so it looks best to simply defend undoubled.

Of course you might have a stronger or more offensively oriented hand for the redouble, in which case you will take some action. However, you aren't required to do so. You are in the captain's chair, and can do whatever you think is best.
13 hours ago
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Why would that be partner's first priority? He knows it isn't essential for me to continue diamonds, and if he has the critical hand he knows it is essential for me to find the right shift.
Oct. 15
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I think it is extremely likely that partner has a 5-card diamond suit. For him to have only 4 diamonds, that would mean that either he had chosen to lead from a 4-card diamond suit when he has a 4-card spade suit or that declarer opened 1NT with 5-2-4-2 distribution. It would also mean that declarer had falsecarded with the 6 of diamonds. I'll grant that the falsecard can't cost if declarer has 4 diamonds, but it isn't the sort of falsecard that most declarers make. Furthermore, if partner doesn't have 5 diamonds it is going to be difficult to defeat this contract.

While I'll grant that normally partner will routinely follow with the 2 when he has 5, on this hand if partner does have an ace and a king he will be aware of the problem and know what the correct defense is. Therefore, I would expect partner to make the suit-preference signal and hope I work it out. Of course if partner does “routinely” follow with the 2 of diamonds I'll have to follow through and shift to a club as I am planning.
Oct. 15
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Why not?
Oct. 15
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How can you not be allowed to alert playing with screens? You aren't giving your partner any UI. I cannot believe an alert is ever expressly prohibited when playing with screens. That just doesn't make sense.
Oct. 15
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If partner has 5 diamonds, a king, and an ace, it is probably necessary for me to shift to the suit in which he has the king. This could be any of the other three suits. Therefore, I will cash the ace of diamonds and shift to the suit he gives suit-preference for. He will have three diamonds smaller than the king, and these three spot cards will each be suit-preference for the corresponding suit.

Will I be able to read the signal? Partner has the 2 of diamonds left, so no problem if he has the king of clubs. If partner started with K109xx he probably would have led the interior sequence, so if he plays the 10 or the 9 that will clearly be for spades. The only ambiguous situation is if partner started with K8732 and wants a spade shift. He will play the 8, but I will take it as suit-preference for hearts, playing him for K10832 or K9832. Of course if I think declarer is incapable of falsecarding with the 9 or the 10 from 9xx or 10xx, I'll get it right anyway.

The danger with returning the 5 of diamonds is that partner won't know where the ace is. If he started with K108xx he may think declarer has A9xx, and he will shift.
Oct. 15
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I believe that full disclosure means making sure the opponents know what your bids mean. Since you were aware that West was about to mis-interpret the double, you were definitely correct to let him know that the double is a penalty double. This has nothing to do with whether or not the double is technically alertable.

I understand that there are players who would be happy to win the match by saying nothing and watch West have an accident. They believe they have done the right thing since technically the double is (apparently) not alertable. I am not one of those players, and I'm glad to see Niels isn't either.
Oct. 15
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Why should he surely have a count on the heart suit?
Oct. 15
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West isn't looking into your hand. He can't know that you have a fit with partner's diamonds and that the diamonds are ready to run. For all he knows, your hand is something like AKxxxx xx A Jxxx. I don't see how he could ever shift to a club away from the king. Therefore, going up ace of clubs is clear.
Oct. 14
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Do you play that an initial pass shows a 6-card diamond suit?
Oct. 14
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Yes, would still open 2. However, vulnerable I would open 1. The reason is that when I open 1 partner is expecting balanced 11-13 vul, but 13-15 non-vul, so if vulnerable my hand will be closer to his expectations.
Oct. 14
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West can't realistically continue diamonds if he leads a high diamond, as that could give away the contract. A spade shift looks better than a heart shift, since if partner has any honor in spades the spade shift won't cost but the heart shift could be disastrous if declarer has AJ10. West should shift to a small spade, implying that he has nothing in hearts, since if West had the king of hearts he would shift to a high spade in order to get East to return a heart. With that information, East can cash his spades, return a diamond, and they get the uppercut. East can't know his 7 of clubs will produce an effective uppercut, but there won't be anything else left to try.
Oct. 14
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Even if you aren't defined to be in a force here, it pays to listen to the bidding. When North bid 3, for all he knew that would be the end of the auction. When South passed over 3, for all he knew that would be the end of the auction. Therefore, neither North nor South thought they could make 4 with the knowledge that they have a heart fit. If they both don't think they can make 10 tricks in hearts, how can they possibly make 11 tricks in diamonds? North is definitely taking a save. Whether or not E-W should push on to 5 could be disputed, but it is clear that they should never sell to 5 undoubled.
Oct. 14
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I never said it “promised” 3+ diamonds. All I said is that bridge logic suggests that the 3 bidder will have 3+ diamonds.
Oct. 14
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When you tell me what their lead conventions are, what their signals are, what heart East played on the first round of hearts, and exactly what spades were played an in what order, then I'll give you an answer.

It is trivial to put all this information, card for card, in the hand diagram.
Oct. 13
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Just make what you think is the percentage play, taking everything you can into account. The only time you should worry about the rest of the field is when there are alternative contracts, where one play will score better against the alternative contracts than another play.
Oct. 13
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Let's apply the rule of 13

With 4 hearts, would have bid 3, so at most 3 hearts
With 3 spades, would have bid 2, so at most 2 spades
With 6 clubs, would have bid 3, so at most 5 clubs

3 + 2 + 5 = 10, so at most 10 cards outside of diamonds

13 - 10 = 3

Therefore, the 3 call will always contain at least 3 diamonds. This has nothing to do with partnership agreement. It is simple bridge logic.
Oct. 13
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If 4 isn't interpreted as a splinter for spades, you need to modify your rules on splinters.
Oct. 13
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