Join Bridge Winners
All comments by Mark Bartusek
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
I ended up with four 8's once in a national event several years ago (I seem to remember on defense!). Some people may remember that it was written up in the NABC daily bulletin with the title of “Crazy Eights”.

Obviously 4 aces is much more difficult. Once in an NABC event I succeeded is coming down to 4 aces and 1 spare card as declarer in a game contract…unfortunately I had to play an Ace on the 9th trick.
Nov. 13
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
The recent August 2018 issue of The Bridge World (TBW) magazine contained a Master Solver’s Club (MSC) Problem H addressing the same issue.
i.e. 1NT passed out and you’re on lead with:
J986
A1074
J10
1093

The expert panel voted as follows:
Lead Score #votes
9 —- 100 —- 8
6 —– 90 —- 7
8 —– 90 —- 3
10 —- 70 —- 5
J —— 60 —- 2

Experts clearly disagree, but as long as partner can work it out the 9 handles a few more situations. The moderator said that those advocating the 9 lead made a strong case.

Note: There was also a groundbreaking article by Marshall Miles entitled “Leading the Nine” in the July 1955 issue of TBW.
Oct. 3
Mark Bartusek edited this comment Oct. 3
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Perhaps my summary was a little bit too casual regarding that…
but, it seems to me that cashing the trump Ace (as indicated by the polling) to cater to a stiff trump queen with LHO is higher percentage than immediately hooking the heart Jack at trick 2 catering specifically to a club void with RHO (i.e. not requiring the use of a club entry for the 2nd trump finesse). Additionally, this assumes LHO doubled instead of overcalling 1 with 5=1=4=3.
Sept. 26
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
As stated above
“For the purpose of this survey please assume that you do NOT play Kickback”
Sept. 25
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Thanx to everyone for voting and commenting.

Imho, you either play West’s take-out double for an extreme distribution like
4=2=6=1
5=1=5=2
or a more balanced hand like
4=3=5=1

Thus, if you play East for the heart queen it is clearly best to cash the heart ace first to cater to a stiff trump queen (and then after hooking the heart jack you get back there with a club to take a 2nd hook.
Note: you are never succeeding against 3-0 club breaks
Unfortunately Declarer played for the more balanced Take-out double.

As it turned out the West defender was 5=1=5=2.
Kxxxx
x
KQxxx
Qx

Why did West make a passed hand double instead of overcalling 1S or an unusual 1NT???
So, Heart Ace at trick 2 was the winner.

Note: Auction proceeded
4 4NT
5 5
6 6
Where the lack of clear notes led to a misunderstanding
Sept. 23
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
If you cash a high club first then both opponents follow with small clubs.
*** This information added to post after 25 people had already voted <–
Sept. 22
Mark Bartusek edited this comment Sept. 22
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
The rest of the bidding is irrelevant to the play of the hand with the opponents passing throughout. Yes, we should have gotten to 6 instead.
Sept. 21
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Thanx everyone for their votes and comments…

My view and the actual hand -
(my thoughts most closely aligned I believe with Mr. Reitman)

Imho:
1) Opponents are not going to be out of line here vulnerable, so a double here should not be penalty (especially at IMPs). It should generally be take-out, with something like a 2=3=4=4 pattern.
2) Partner could have anywhere from 0-7 HCPs (he’d have competed with 8+)
3) With your length partner is very likely to have a singleton since the auction seems to scream a 9-card fit. Partner's most likely pattern is probably 1=3=4=5 (hope he isn't 1=4=4=4). He is not going to sit for the double with a stiff spade, so a double by you is safe.
4) 3NT is extremely unlikely to have 9 tricks after your single stopper is knocked out.
5) With the vast majority of HCPs on my right most finesses are working.
6) We might even have a game if partner has the right stuff. e.g.

x Jxx xxxx Q10xxx
x xxx J10xxx Qxxx

x xxx Jxxx Axxxx

Whether we get to the game is another matter.
7) 4 of a minor rates to make with most of the key cards onside; but even if we can’t make 4/ it might be down only 1 against a making 3.

Unfortunately…..partner held:
Q
9xxxx

xxx

10xxx

Our contract was not a success going down multiple tricks vulnerable; although 3 would have made despite a trump lead.

My RHO was approximately:
Jxxx
KJ9xx
A10
Ax
Sept. 21
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Double (by partner) would show values and an interest in competing (allowing you to either pass for penalties or bid a suit). Partner probably doesn't have much though.

The actual bidding question addresses what patterns you expect partner to have and what your sides offensive / defensive prospects are.
Sept. 19
Mark Bartusek edited this comment Sept. 19
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
I would say that 5 guarantees 6+ support because you eliminate the opportunity for partner to bid a natural and non-forcing 4 over a 4 raise.

And whether you have 0, 1, or 2 s also plays a role.
Aug. 29
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Clearly this question generates added complexity if you’ve tacked on XYZ to this auction.

I believe what the OP is simply trying to ask is “what makes sense in a Walsh context without XYZ, where 4SF is required to force to game”?
Thus, to answer this carefully worded question, I would respond as follows citing a well-known bidding principle:

Higher bids (which take up bidding space) should show a more clearly defined hand. Thus, a jump to 2 should be game-forcing with 5+ s and 4+ .
Therefore, 1 is 4SF to allow as much bidding space as possible to figure out what the optimal contract is.

Note: in Max Hardy’s Standard Bidding for the 21st Century he addresses this auction and states:
“Since Responder may wish to bid notrump but not have a stopper in spades, one spade should be fourth suit forcing, and a jump to two spades should be a natural call, showing diamonds and spades and a hand with good values”.
Aug. 26
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
4NT.
Then over the expected 5 call my 5 correction will be a slam try (stronger than an immediate 5 bid by me)
Aug. 23
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
For those partnerships on firm ground a 5 bid here would be “Super Gerber” since with s one would have either raised 3 to 4 or else bid 4 right now setting the trump suit.
Aug. 20
Mark Bartusek edited this comment Aug. 21
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
This is why I dislike the invitational 3-level jump shifts unless holding shortness in partner’s major. One loses a 6-2 major suit fit too often (and sometimes a 5-3 fit when partner opens 1).

Michael Shuster even reminded us in an email a while back that in a world championship (maybe 1983?) a US pair bid 1 - 3 going down while the other team bid to 7 making.
Aug. 20
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
I play XX as showing “exactly a doubleton” in partner's suit along with decent values. I can then usually leave any follow-up action to partner, if he so desires. If holding shortness in partner’s suit then you probably would either bid another suit or trap pass.

Some players play XX is exactly Qx, Kx, or Ax in partner's suit (with or without additional values).

I’m not sure which method is better.
Aug. 20
Mark Bartusek edited this comment Aug. 21
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
As I’ve mentioned in other threads I strongly recommend
Mike Lawrence’s simple and straight-forward system:

1/1 - P - P - 1NT = 12-14 (with 15-16 you double and rebid 1NT)
1/1 - P - P - 1NT = 12-16 (with Range Stayman)

NOTE: Many years ago in The Bridge World magazine there was a study reported which analyzed a lot of World Championship hands where 4th seat balanced with 1NT. The study concluded that balancing with only 11 HCPs was a long-term losing action. So, eliminate 11 from your balancing 1NT range.
Sorry, I don't remember the specific BW back issue it was in.

…and then use Kit’s suggestion to break the responses into 3 strength ranges.
Aug. 16
Mark Bartusek edited this comment Aug. 16
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
I’m always wary of trusting the opponents bidding too much.
Leading a club is trying to defeat the contract “2 non-vul tricks”.
I’m content with down 1 and I don’t want to risk a catastrophe…
e.g.

1) North might have been ashamed of his hand or he didn’t think a jump to 5 was appropriate in his system. He might also be 3=0=2=8 or 2=0=3=8 (spade support). Note that he did try to play 6.

2) I would think that the chances of getting 2 club ruffs would be negligible since I don’t believe South is going to have more than a singleton ; so why take the risk.

JAKOB: can you tell us the whole hand in a day or two????
Aug. 14
Mark Bartusek edited this comment Aug. 14
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
King (expecting count from partner).
I'm surprised that there are 14 leaders and only 1 other leader.

We need a trick to defeat the small slam (certainly not getting a heart trick).
I can always switch to a club at trick 2 to get the ruff. The opponents might be having a mix-up regarding a control. I'd feel terrible leading a if 2 s cashed and dummy hit with 8 clubs.
Aug. 13
Mark Bartusek edited this comment Aug. 13
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Clearly that was not the issue I was addressing when I agreed with Fleet in favor of a 1NT-3NT auction at MPs. Obviously if you happen to have Puppet available (i.e. 1NT-3) then it couldn’t hurt to look for a 5-3 fit before bidding 3NT.

But, I stand by my contention that the OP auction is typically a slam try containing extra values at MPs (and the above hand clearly isn’t worth a slam try). Since 3NT is usually the best contract at MPs and the contract (and overtricks) often depend upon a blind opening lead guess, then giving the least amount of information to the opponents is essential.
Aug. 11
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
I would also have bid an immediate 3NT opposite the presumed 15-17 HCPs, but admittedly the above sequence might work out better in a small percentage of cases. The general concepts that I, my partners, and most people I’ve discussed this with adhere to are:

1) At Matchpoints this sequence guarantees sufficient values to be categorized as a slam try (because we rarely want to end up playing 5 at this form of scoring)
2) At IMPs we can bid this way without extra values to ensure that we get to the safest game.
Aug. 10
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
.

Bottom Home Top