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All comments by Kit Woolsey
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The best theoretical line looks to be:

Discard diamond. Draw trumps. Cash AK of hearts. Cross to ace of diamonds. Cash club, discarding heart. Then:

If 10 of hearts is good, claim. Else,

If East has played J9 or Q9 of hearts, take ruffing finesse. Else,

Ruff heart, and cash last trump, discarding heart unless it is good.

Assuming trumps split, this makes if

Somebody has QJ doubleton of hearts

East has J9 or Q9 doubleton of hearts

Hearts 3-3 (but not if East has QJ9)

Queen of diamonds is doubleton (assuming East doesn't have QJ9 of hearts)

East has 4+ hearts and the queen of diamonds.

The best practical line looks to be:

Discard diamond (winning king of clubs). Cash 4 rounds of trumps, discarding a diamond. Cash AK of hearts. Cross to ace of diamonds. Cash jack of clubs, discarding heart. Then, if the queen of diamonds hasn't fallen and nobody has discarded a heart, try to read whether the hearts are 3-3 or the queen of diamonds is coming down.

Whether I take the theoretical or the practical line would depend upon the quality of my opposition. It would also depend upon exactly what happened in the club suit on the first 2 tricks, as that may determine whether or not one or both defenders might be concerned about guarding clubs, which will affect their discards. As always, please give ALL the information when presenting a play problem. You never know what might be important.
Feb. 26
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When I bid 4, I would have three auctions in mind.

4-P-P to me

4-DBL-P to me

P-P-4 to me

I would have decided what I was going to do for each of these three auctions. Having made that decision, I would not let UI or absence of UI affect my decision. I would take the action I had planned. If a director and/or committee disallows the action due to UI, so be it.
Feb. 26
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The rule is that you call the director rather than accept your opponent's attempt to make a ruling. My guess from what you describe is that the director would allow you to play an honor. This is what we have directors for.
Feb. 25
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If you play fast arrival jumps in GF auctions when partner is unlimited, these bids should show the worst possible hand for slam imaginable consistent with your previous auction. If you have anything even slightly better than the worst possible hand imaginable, don't make a fast arrival jump. It doesn't pay to use up valuable bidding space unless you are making a very descriptive bid by doing so.

On this hand, South clearly has much better than the worst possible hand imaginable. He should bid 3 and let nature take its course.
Feb. 25
Kit Woolsey edited this comment Feb. 25
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Undiscussed, all would clearly be invitational.

With my regular partners, we find that using 3 as fourth-suit GF is very awkward. So, we play:

2NT = “fourth suit GF”. Who needs 2NT invitational anyway?

3 = Assumed to be an invite in diamonds, hearts, or spades. Opener bids the lowest suit in which he would not accept an invite.

3, 3, 3 = all natural GF.
Feb. 25
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I have no idea what 5 is, but I know what it isn't.
Feb. 25
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That is true. For that reason, I would play East for the queen. If East doesn't have the queen, it isn't difficult for him to see the danger of leading the third round of clubs. West has to go to a deeper level of thought to see why it is wrong to ruff with the 10 from 109 or 108.

Note that if East has 109 or 108 of hearts, he should always play the 10 when the heart is led off dummy. If the defenders follow this strategy (West never playing the 10 from 109 or 108, East always playing the 10 from 109 or 108), they don't give anything away.
Feb. 24
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There is another point to consider. If West has 109 of hearts, he should always ruff with the 9. The reason is that if East started with 10x then it is correct for East to play that third round of clubs, since it gains (rather than loses) when West has QJ doubleton.

Consequently, we have the following:

If East started with 98 doubleton, he shouldn't have played the third round of clubs.

If East started with Q8 doubleton, West shouldn't have ruffed the third round with the 10.

The conclusion is that it should never go club and ruff with 10 of hearts. Since that is what happened, somebody goofed. The question, then, is which opponent made the mistake.
Feb. 24
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I think it is a matter of how people process information. Different people process information in different ways.

For some players, when you start with: “ace-jack-third, king-10-fourth” in their minds there is a picture of a bridge hand which looks like AJx, K10xx. If you had given them the spot cards, those spot cards would have replaced the x's in their mental picture. For these players, giving them the distribution and HCP in advance would be of no value. It would be extra baggage, since they will know by “looking” at their mental picture what the distribution and HCP of the hand is.

For others like myself, giving the distribution first is of value for picturing the hand. When I am given a hand I form a picture of the distribution and then fill in the cards in my mental picture. Thus, getting the distribution first saves me a step. Give me the length of the first 3 suits, and without any thought process I instinctively know the length of the fourth suit.

For others, getting the total HCP might be of value if they focus on the honors. For me it would be extra baggage, since I don't even think about the HCP until I have a full picture of the hand. Thus, if you told me he HCP and gave me the first three suits, I wouldn't know the HCP of the fourth suit instinctively. That is not the way my mind processes the information.

As they say, different strokes for different folks.
Feb. 24
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I would lead the ace of diamonds, continuing if partner encourages but going back to clubs if partner discourages. This will probably defeat the contract if partner has the king of diamonds or a singleton club. If I do anything else, I may be letting the contract make when partner has the king of diamonds.
Feb. 24
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The only two relevant holdings are when East has Q8 doubleton of hearts and when he has 98 doubleton of hearts.

If East has Q8 doubleton, he will always play a third round of clubs.

If East has 98 doubleton, he might not do so. West might have Q3 doubleton and have to ruff with the queen, giving declarer a guess he might have gotten wrong. More important, West might have QJ doubleton. In that case, left to his own devices declarer would definitely have gone wrong, but after the “uppercut” declarer will have no choice but to go right.

It is important that declarer doesn't know that East has 6 clubs, so when East doesn't play a third round of clubs declarer doesn't know the uppercut potential is there. If declarer knew about the 6-2 club split (say East has overcalled in clubs), then it would be another story. Now East must play a third round of clubs in all variations, since if he doesn't do so that is a giveaway that he didn't start with Qx of hearts.
Feb. 24
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Michal has it right. Bruce's statement would be accurate if it were:

On hands where one has a real choice between bidding a game and not bidding it, then the game should be down more often than not.

For example, if partner opens a 15-17 1NT vulnerable and you have a relatively balanced 8 or 9-count, it is likely right to bid game even though on average game will go down more often than not. However, it is also right to bid game on a relatively balanced 12-count, in which case game will be a big favorite to make.
Feb. 24
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Thanks. Fixed.
Feb. 24
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Probably about the same as the gain from defenders going all out to defeat the contract.
Feb. 23
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All you say is true regarding the defenders knowing more about declarer's hand and their ability to convey crucial information. However this is all overshadowed by one thing: The opening lead. The opening lead is on balance the most important card played for the entire hand, and the lead is made with less knowledge than the rest of the cards played. If the defenders can survive the opening lead without blowing one or more tricks vs. the double-dummy lead, I agree with you that it will be defender's advantage after that. However, the cost of the wrong opening lead makes it declarer's advantage.
Feb. 23
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I'm not a statistics expert, but I do have a very good feel for this sort of thing. I am convinced that, for this sort of problem, a sample size of over 500 deals figures to be quite sufficient to get in the ballpark – at least to determine whether there is a “declarer advantage” or a “defender's advantage”.

Perhaps some statistics expert can answer the question: If there is “no advantage”, what is the probability of getting the results that I got with 500 deals? I understand that the result will depend upon the average deviation per hand, which I don't have the data for. For the sake of argument, assume 1/2 trick is the average swing per hand (i.e. the difference between the double-dummy result and the number of tricks actually taken).
Feb. 23
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I should have been clearer. After he bids 6, what would your bids mean? Would your bids be showing specific kings, or would they be asking about other specific kings. Obviously if a keycard is missing and you just needed the queen of trumps for slam, you will sign off regardless of your hand, as is the case here.

My point is that partner might have a hand where if he can find you with the right red king he can bid the grand. For example, he might have something like: AQJxx KQ AQxx Ax. If you bid 6 over 6 and that shows the king of diamonds (and of course the missing keycards), he can confidently bid the grand. He has enough secondary stuff in the red suits that he was willing to lie about the king of clubs, gambling that showing that king wouldn't cause you to bid a bad grand.

If your follow-up bids would show specific kings, that is what I think he is doing. If not, perhaps he chose to treat a stiff ace as having the king.
Feb. 23
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I would have to know the entire king-showing structure (i.e. what does 5NT, 6, and 6 show) before I could come to a sensible conclusion.
Feb. 23
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I'm going to continues spades. If North was foolish enough to duck the first spade, I'm betting that he won't then cash his spades since he will know that will establish a trick for me. If I am right, I can then safely play North for the queen of hearts.
Feb. 23
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Several years ago I analyzed all the hands I played at a Fall Nationals (over 500 deals). These were all at matchpoints or BAM, which figures to be most meaningful with every trick potentially important. This isn't a huge sample, but it figures to be large enough for a decent approximation. I compared the table result with the double-dummy result for the same contract.

I don't have the data any more, but as I remember the overall results were that for the table results declarer averaged about .2 tricks better than the double-dummy result.
Feb. 23
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