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All comments by Leonard Helfgott
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Thanks Kevin. Wow, for those into game theory this is a challenge. Clearly from West's point of view East must hold the spade10 for defense to have any chance. Then 109x is 40% vs. 10xx at 60% I think. So if West plays “perfectly” the odds favor ducking, but this will fail 40% of time plus South guessing correctly. So West's side seems easier to work out than East's side, at least from the East perspective of the world class players who found this too difficult at the table. Respective percentages of ducks by West and East by degree of difficulty are relevant, I think. If you assign some probability of East “working it out” at this level, a games matrix might reveal some as yet unseen truths, … any game theory specialists out there?
5 hours ago
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While I haven't played Fishbein since I learned in the 60s, in “thinking out loud” it might make some sense only against 3C or 4C openers. Since T/O doubles of 3C/4C are in theory for 3 suits but in practice heavily focused on the majors, especially with ELC, you might care to give up the natural 3D overcall and use it for TO, partner can still bid 4D with long diamonds and you can punish the x xxx xxx Q9xxxx. 3C opener. Not saying I buy it myself, but makes more sense than Stolen Doubles.
15 hours ago
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Gerber is an excellent convention if it is not abused, as “4 clubs is always Gerber” which seems so disgustingly common. Just a jump over a quantitative NT bid, 1NT-4C, 2NT-4C, 1D-2NT-4C, 2C-2D-2NT-4C and very close analogues. That's about it and when used as such works great.
19 hours ago
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Cornelia: What does “open correctly” mean. In standard American. Opening a flat 11count in 1St/2nd is not standard. Wouldn't you want partner to protect the likely plus if you passed and partner held 11 or good 10 in 3rd?
23 hours ago
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Perhaps it is my babysitting this Saturday morning for my 2-year old beautiful and precocious granddaughter (Broadway tickets and dinner to my daughter and SIL) but i am having a slight blind spot. Since declarer is 3:2 to hold the spade 9, wouldn't West winning the ace immediately create a successful trump coup at T12. This seems orders of magnitude easier to see than the defensive smother play, and much easier to see than East rising with Axx, as neither of the expert defender' found. Of course with that logic, and lack of knowledge of my actual opponents I would ruff with the 9 on my good day(?) and go down 1 on my good (?) day. Is the trump coup an optical illusion?
June 24
ATB
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And West bidding just 2S isn't?
June 23
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UNT misused doesn't make it bad. The way some people play and misuse weak two bids, you might as well play ACOL or even Strong two bids, less room for abuse, as I did successfully with my wife when I taught her in 1973.
June 22
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Yes. While I do play 1NT-2C-x as Stayman, that's the exception if you consider that a SBD. To me it means that 1NT-2D or 2H-X is STOLEN BID when you were going to transfer to hearts/spades and your transfer bid was atolen. Will absolutely NOT play that.
June 22
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I tend to agree with you Dave, although Fishbein could probably be worked on. But you forgot Two-way Reverse Drury (why remove 2D as well as 2C). Stolen bid doubles and point step responses are awful.
June 22
ATB
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I've found it advantageous to open a weak two with An “ideal” suit for the action and a weak side 4 card major, as here. If the side major is strong then no. Or if the 6 bagger is unsuitable for your standards(e.g. Qxxxxx for me) then no. I like the 2/3rds rule. If there are 3 “opponents” with a chance to screw up over your bid (LHO, CHO, RHO) then the odds are 2/3 that your actual opponents will get it wrong.
June 22
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Let's say you are dealt QTxxx xxx Kxxx x and it goes 1D-1S-3H minisplinter. Only a 5 count but a clear acceptance to me. Partner might have KJxx x AQxxx Axx (plenty for a 3S invite without minisplinters, in my book). That's 650, or 620 on a bad day. But after 1C-1S-3D I would back off even with 9 card fit. And with only an 8 card fit, like QTxx Qxx Kjx xxx I pass the invite with 8 hcp.
After the more mundane 1C-1S-3S you might very well accept on the second hand, which is low percentage opposite a stiff diamond. Hail to short suit game tries in their varied forms.
June 22
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I completely disagree. Based on what partners holding is in your singleton, his hand can vary in value by as much a 3-4 hip, much more than the value of information leakage and the speculative and/or rare penalty doubles. It is, effectively and precisely, a “short suit game try” of sorts, allowing partner to accept games with low hop and xxx in splintered suit, and decline with moderate HCP and pictures in splintered suit. And I think it is very important at all forms of scoring but especially at Imps to think “game before slam.” I think the concept of information leakage, while not without value, is vastly overworked for unbalanced hands and describing your values and shape to partner are much more important.
June 22
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The hand has 3 cover cards plus the spade 10 which far overwhelm 4333. If he held xxx Axx Kxx Qxxx it would be a different story. and I would still bid 4S. QTx in spades is probably worth about 4hcp at least, if you want to count value, IMHO.
June 21
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Dave: My point was that all Guard squeezes are triple squeezes agInst one opponent and all Double Guard Squeezes are Essentially Compound Squeezes where one opponent squeezed in two Suits And the other in three suits, tho not at the same time. As with other Compound Squeezes the fatal discard of the triple squeezed player leads to either of two endings, here a standard double squeeze or a finesse.
June 21
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Ditch it with old partners showing significant memory loss. In addition to that, different pairs have complexifying agreements to this, such as adding splinters too strong for 1c-1S-4D and or singleton vs. void and or stiff ace vs not, etal. I love them but requires discussion and understanding.
June 21
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Very accurate analysis and nomenclature. While the ending after a spade lead is certainly tougher than after a heart lead, I'm not sure there is any difference between a “Double Guard Squeeze” and a “Compound GuardSqueeze” given that it is not hexagonal (or hedgehog according to Hugh Darwen).
June 21
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I agree completely with Dave. There are many 1S openers that could not bid 3S over 3D, either because minimal or poor suits or shaped for a double of diamonds. And bidding 3S over 3D implies a stronger more unilateral offensive hand ON AVERAGE, than a 1S opening. Hence advancer choosing to pass a 3S overcall with good trumps and 3 cover cards is clearly UI in my opinion. Just because you would “only” raise a 1S opening to 2S doesn't mean you should refrain from the obvious raise of 3S to 4S at any form of scoring.
June 19
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There must be some line where 1S-1NT-2D-2S-2NT is marginal with 1S-1NT-2NT. W
It's 1@8 I wlould vote for the latter.
June 18
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Dave: I don't understand this. Are you saying that all 5332 16 counts must open 1NT and that a 5332 18 count shouldn't raise the 1NT response to 2NT? That seems overly strict on the first count and strange on the second.
June 18
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Yes, doubling 1C with opener and 4=5=3=1 is an interesting topic
June 18
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