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All comments by Kit Woolsey
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It suggests that you pass. Partner may have had slam ambitions if you didn't have wastage in diamonds, but once you have that wastage he judged there is no slam. If he were still interested in slam after hearing your 3NT call, he had other bids than 4 available.
Feb. 4
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They can't make 5. Even with the hearts 3-1 and the AQ of clubs in the North hand, all they make is 10 tricks. The defense always gets 1 spade trick, 1 heart trick, and the diamond ruff.

You seem to be forgetting that you get a diamond ruff when partner has the king of hearts entry. Given that, it looks to me as though their chances of making 4 are at best 30%, perhaps less. In addition, if you get 2 heart tricks they will often be down 2 (or even 3 if partner has K10xx of hearts). I don't think they are close to 50-50 to make.
Feb. 4
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I think that is being very double-dummy. Suppose you could see partner's hand, and had heard the auction. Would you prefer to save in 5 or defend 4. I would prefer to defend 4. That contract will go down if the hearts are 2-2, or if your king of clubs scores. West was unlucky that the hearts were 3-1 and that the AQ of clubs both happened to be in dummy. Any change in the N-S hands would mean that 4 is going down and that 5 is a phantom save.
Feb. 4
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If the opening bid were a minor, I would play it as natural. We have the rule that we don't play in the opening bidder's suit if he opens 1 of a major.
Feb. 3
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I don't totally agree with Michael about getting rid of written defenses, particularly for high-level team events. The reason is that if we do so, the powers that be may start banning too many conventions.

What I would like to get rid of is the requirement of supplying defenses. If a pair wishes to make up their own defense and bring it along, fine. However, the business of supplying the written defenses to every pair causes nothing but problems, often more problems for the players who are trying to use the defenses. If they aren't familiar with them, they aren't going to learn them with a 30 second study. One player may read something which his partner fails to read in the defenses, and this causes them to have a mixup. They would be better off with no defenses.
Feb. 3
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There is always something which might get picked up. Anyway, this is all irrelevant. As I said, they don't redouble. If they are making 2 overtricks I guarantee you there will be no redouble when they know there is a relatively cheap save.

If you believe the danger of overtricks is significant, that is a good argument against doubling. As I said, I think the chance of down 2 is far greater than the chance of an overtrick. This is my judgment, and if you disagree then not doubling would be correct for you. But the possibility of a redouble simply isn't part of the equation. If I am that wrong, the -990 is going to cost a ton of IMPs anyway. It isn't the redouble which will cost the IMPs. It is the double in the first place.
Feb. 3
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Has nothing to do with this situation.
Feb. 3
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Maybe. I'm at the table, and I will let my table presence be the deciding factor. I am glad to have the opportunity to use this table presence to get a better result, an opportunity I wouldn't have had if there had been no redouble.
Feb. 3
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Why do we have “at most 1 heart trick”. Is there a law which says the enemy hearts can't be 2-2?
Feb. 3
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Perhaps it is UI when they don't look. Also, if they look only when they have a possible action (which one can't know unless on a previous hand they didn't look) that is UI also. However, my attitude is to forget about it. When I'm playing something which is deemed complicated enough to need a written defense, I don't think the opponents should have the additional burden of being required to look all the time. Most players will know what the initial bids mean without having to look, so they don't really need to look before deciding on the initial action anyway. So, I just let them have their UI for whatever good it will do them.
Feb. 3
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How big were my chances that 4 would make and they would let us play there? Pretty decent. West has a lot of high cards, and the opponents may be concerned about going for 200 or 500 when 4 wasn't making in the first place.

The point is that bidding 4 goes after getting a plus score, either by making or by pushing the opponents to 4 down 1 when 3 was making. Passing is much more likely to result in a minus score. Plus scores win the IMPs.

As to whether or not the double is a good bet, that is a judgment call. I think it is. But whether or not the double is a good bet, letting the opponents buy it for 3 has to be a bad bet.
Feb. 3
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I don't agree. West can take care of himself, and if he needs the king of hearts in East's hand to defeat the contract he will play for it. East knows that West must have the king of clubs for the double.
Feb. 3
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You can always construct hands. However, the diamond lead is a direct route to defeating the contract, while any other lead requires a parlay. The secret to success on opening leads is simplicity. Go after the simplest way you can see to defeat the contract rather than a path which requires several things.
Feb. 3
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You can talk about the semi-psychic redouble all you want, but in practice it never happens. And it probably shouldn't. The point is that West knows whether or not his double is speculative or solid, and if speculative West can choose to run in which case the redouble will be very costly since the penalty against 5H won't be nearly as much as making 4 doubled. If West's double is sound, the redouble just throws away a lot of points. Thus, it is probably wrong for North to redouble both when he has the goodies and when he doesn't.

Of course you can always choose to play poker with the opponents. However, West knows what his double is based on, so he is more likely to go right than not when you redouble.
Feb. 3
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I can't go along with “too good” to pass 3NT. Might simply be too distributional to pass 3NT.
Feb. 3
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I would play small from dummy.

If East plays the king (which East will have to play if he has the king but not the 10), I can play a heart to the jack and double finesse the spades.

Otherwise, I'll ruff the third round of hearts in dummy, and lead a spade to the queen.

I could go up jack of hearts, with the plan of taking a double finesse if the jack holds. The problem with this is if I lead a spade to the 10 and it wins I won't know what to do next, since West might be ducking from Kxx. Since it is awkward to pick up KJxx on my right, I don't think this approach is best.
Feb. 2
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Whatever North should have done, Gerber would be absurd. In fact, playing 4 Gerber on this auction is absurd.
Feb. 1
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The argument goes both ways. For passing to be right you need to take exactly the same number of tricks in the suit contract that you can take in notrump.
Jan. 31
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Obviously we can't know for sure. But with RHO balanced and us balanced, the odds are that partner is balanced. And even if he isn't balanced, that may be a better argument for bidding 2 if we catch him with a 4-card major.

Yes, we might catch partner with 2-2 in the majors. But we also might catch partner with a 4-card major, where both they make 1NT and we make 2 of a major. Or we might push the opponents to 3 of a minor where we can defeat them. We don't figure to get rich at any form of scoring by passing 1NT.
Jan. 31
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Sorry about that. However, it doesn't really affect my argument significantly.
Jan. 31
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