Join Bridge Winners
All comments by Marty Harris
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 ... 76 77 78 79
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
“Obviously, on this deal, we were both nuts to bid again after my preempt.”

Why is West nuts to bid again? At these colors, with NS each introducing a new suit at the 5 level, there's no way THEY're saving. It's highly likely that partner bid 5H with a weak, shapely fit.

We could have had as few as 7 hearts at these colors, yet we actually have 9!! At Fav. Vul., as West I can't imagine selling out to 5S (or even 6S) after partner saved in 5H. Sure, if you play slam negative doubles, it's better to X than to bid 7H on your own. But looking only at our hand and hearing partner's raise, it's a pretty safe bet we'll take 9 trump tricks playing in hearts. That's -500 in 6HX, which is less than the value of their Vul. GAME, let alone their Vul. slam! How can you NOT save in those circumstances?

The only thing that surprises me is you sold out to 6S, which makes, for -1,430, when you had a cheap -800 save available in 7H.
Oct. 7
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
I would double over 3C, but not over 4C.

However, after I pass 4C, when partner has enough to reopen at the 4-level, I'm worth a slam try so I cuebid 5C.
Oct. 7
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
My first instinct was to double, but our only realistic shot at game is in 4H. If I X, we'll miss a 5-3 heart fit. Therefore, although it's risky, I'm inclined to overcall 3H.

The one thing I'm absolutely not doing is passing. I can live with either X or 3H, but never with pass here.
Oct. 6
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Trick 6 is the wrong time to be deciding what we're going to pitch on the 5th club. No one forced us to run clubs right away (after the suit was established). Before running them, we must decide what we'll pitch. If we conclude that running clubs will squeeze our hand too badly, then we should have attacked some other suit first and run the clubs later. For example, if we lead a spade up to the king after winning the second round of clubs, we'll find out whether we can afford to discard a spade from our hand.

Also, I don't understand why we flew Ace on the first round of diamonds. We can afford to pitch 1 or 2 spades from dummy, so why didn't we hold up our Ace until the third round, hoping to cut communications if the suit breaks 5-3?
Oct. 6
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
So? With 5-5 shape, ending in 2S or 3C seems better, on average, than ending in 1NT. If you're going to pass 1NT with this hand because you're afraid of ending up in 3C, you can't play Gazilli. Passing with 5-2-2-4 shape is reasonable, but it's crazy with 5521.
Oct. 6
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
IMO, South should have checked for a 5-3 heart fit. Not only is there a potential issue in spades, but if West holds the diamond Ace or King, in 3NT there may not be a side entry to reach dummy to cash the last two hearts after the suit is established. Further, South had no reason to believe North is 4333. North is looking at North's cards, but South is just guessing.

Had South used checkback, North would have rebid 3H. Now South can continue with 3NT, offering a choice of games. North might or might not choose 4H with his actual hand, but at least North would be making an informed judgment instead of South simply guessing.
Oct. 6
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Responder has a much wider range of shapes. Clearly 2-2-4-5 and 2-1-4-6 are possible, but so are 2-2-3-6 and 2-1-3-7. Depending on your style, even 2-3-3-5 with xxx in hearts may be possible, although I would rebid 2NT with that hand.

Can he be 3-1-4-5? IMO, many players would splinter by jumping to 4H with that hand on round two, but some would probably bid out the shape this way. If you're playing with a pickup partner, I don't think you can rule this out.

Does Responder have extras? That depends on how you play the 2S rebid. If it promised 6 spades, then yes, Responder should have extras; with a minimum, he would have raised to 3S on round two.

However, if Opener's 2S rebid could show any minimum with 5 spades, then Responder isn't showing any extras. In that scenario, Responder didn't know that Opener really has 6 spades until Opener bid 4D, so he couldn't have raised spades sooner on Hx.
Oct. 6
Marty Harris edited this comment Oct. 6
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Opener has a weak 6-4 hand. With only 5-4, I can't see any reason to rebid 2S instead of 2D, especially with a hand whose diamonds are good enough to raise to 4D.
Oct. 6
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
I agree with RR. North knows we have at least a 4-4 diamond fit and at most a 5-3 heart fit. We need to ruff clubs at least once, probably twice, in the long heart hand. AND North has weak hearts. Given all that, a diamond contract rates to play better than hearts from his perspective.

Looking at both hands, you'd still prefer to play FOUR hearts over FIVE diamonds, but getting to game in diamonds seems very reasonable.
Oct. 6
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Alan W., that EBU guidance is very interesting. The “tunnel vision” explanation strikes me as likely an accurate description of how many players (sometimes including me) think once we have a firm picture in our heads. Once you're “sure” from the bidding that LHO has 5 hearts or 4 spades or whatever it is, it can be incredibly hard to get that picture out of your head.

Maybe that's why the “unrelated to” language is in the Law. I'd never considered that rationale for it before, but in light of that EBU guidance, it makes sense.

However, I wonder if it still becomes a “serious error” when you play an opponent to hold 15 or 17 cards (not just 14), AND you overlook that he “overcalled in diamonds” despite being known to hold KQJTxx of hearts? IMO that crosses the line.

I would leave NS stuck with down 1 for the serious error, but would adjust the EW score to 4S making.
Oct. 3
ATB
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
I hate both of East's bids. I'm not familiar with how this partnership defines “weak” for the “weak or strong” option, but I assume you mean 3H shows either a mixed raise or a GF. If you're truly playing that it shows a complete garbage preemptive raise, WHY??? Just make the natural preemptive raise without giving the opps extra calls (such as X, or pass and then bid) to sort out their values.

IMO, East is only worth 3S, not 4S, but in either case, he has a preemptive raise. East has nothing close to a mixed raise. He's worth about 5 points on offense and has less than zero defense.

Likewise, I don't like his X. By agreement, X says don't lead spades. That should mean there's a lead he'd like in one of the minors. I don't see one. Sure, you'd love a diamond lead IF partner has a red Ace, but there's no reason to believe partner has either of those cards, and East can't stand a minor suit lead without it.

Further, I'm not sure how partner is supposed to know that X asks for a diamond instead of a club. To me, X also discourages a sacrifice; it suggests we can beat their slam with the right lead. At these colors, with East's hand and the Opps probing for a grand, I'd welcome a sacrifice if partner is willing to bid.

Finally, at this high level, I'd prefer an agreement that X of our suit suggests saving, without regard to leads. At lower levels, I play the “don't lead me” convention, but I don't think it's as great an idea at the slam level.
Oct. 3
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Craig, I'm with you on this one. I find that ELC makes competing a LOT easier. Further, I don't find that it makes it terribly difficult to bid strong hands.

For example, I'm not worried about the auction Michael brought up, where LHO raises to 2H and then partner freely bids 3C. By bidding voluntarily, he promises some values. Thus, if I had a big hand with diamonds, I'd have a relatively easy 3H Q-bid. With the actual hand, I'd just correct to 3D.

My partners don't bury me on these ELC auctions. For example, I'd expect partner to have at least 5 clubs as well as some values to freely bid 3C, since he knows I could be short in clubs. Maybe Michael has had different experiences – although it sounds like he's saying he's actually gotten pretty decent results with ELC, but he still thinks it's theoretically unsound.
Oct. 3
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
If the opening had been 3H or 3S, I'd play 4NT as “pick a minor.” Game before slam.

But after 3C or 3D, that meaning makes no sense; I could more cheaply Q-bid 4m to ask partner to “pick a Major.” Therefore, in these auctions 4NT should be a natural, quantitative invite in NT.
Oct. 1
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Kit, I've made exactly the same judgment call in my system on this issue. There's a tradeoff between what's slightly superior theoretically and what causes a much bigger risk of forgetting. With multiple partners over the years, I've found that the single thing they're most likely to forget is complicated key card rules.
Sept. 30
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
No, clearly I overlooked that. :) Opposite an overcall, for me this is only worth a mixed raise.
Sept. 30
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
p.s., there's one other thing that should influence your standards for a limit raise: do you open 1M or 1NT with 15-17 HCP and a 5 card major (5332 or 5422)? If you usually or always open 1NT, then treating 10 support points as a limit raise makes far less sense (a 1M Opener rarely has 15). But if you usually open 1M with those hands, defining a limit raise as 10-11 support points is reasonable.
Sept. 30
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Donald, I evaluate this hand as worth 10 support points. It starts with 10 HCP, add 1 point for 4 trumps and a doubleton, but subtract 1 point for having KQ tight and being quacky.

However, that doesn't answer your question (yet). In fact, there's no way to intelligently answer your question until we know how light you open as a partnership (or, if it's a pickup partnership, how light your partner opens). That, in turn, determines what constitutes a limit raise.

For example, since I open 1M very light (almost all 10 counts), my partner needs 12-13 support points for a limit raise. This hand comes nowhere close, so I'd make a mixed raise without thinking twice.

OTOH, if you play sound openers (almost never less than 12 HCP), then a limit raise is 10-11 support points. This hand qualifies for a limit raise under that standard.

If your opening standards are in between those extremes, such as “Rule of 20” (i.e., when balanced you need 12 HCP to open, but with some shape you can open with a little less HCP), then a limit raise should show 11-12 support points. In my judgment, this hand doesn't quite qualify, so I'd make a mixed raise.

If I knew nothing about my partner, I'd probably assume “rule of 20,” since that seems to be mainstream these days. However, IMO, once you agree on a general system (2/1 vs. SAYC vs. Precision, etc.) and on leads & carding, this is THE next most important thing to discuss with a new partner. It's far more important than discussing specific conventions such as NT structure, Bergen raises, inverted minors, etc.
Sept. 30
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
IMO, it must be right to play a spade. The auction suggests declarer has 13+ to 15 HCP, so partner probably has 5 to 7, and we've already seen 2 of them in clubs. We should assume declarer the heart Ace, as most people would not rebid 2H on 97xxxx (not to mention he's a 6:1 favorite to hold that card even without this inference). So, for us to have a chance to beat this, partner has either the spade king or the diamond ace.

If declarer has Qx, Axxxxx, Ax, Axx, our spade trick will disappear (on a diamond pitch) unless we lead spades now. A diamond lead would obviously be fatal if that's the layout, while leading a low trump allows declarer to set up diamonds for the pitch before partner gets his spade king.

By contrast, I can't come up with a layout where a spade shift costs the contract. If we find out partner doesn't have the spade king (based on his play or signal when we lead the J), we'll have time to cash the diamond A + K (and maybe get a diamond ruff, too). Declarer has at least 4 cards in spades + diamonds. Even if he has KQ tight in spades, making dummy's 10 good, we can ruff the third spade (while declarer pitches 1 of his 2 diamonds). Then we cash one diamond to go with our club, our ruff, and our trump king.
Sept. 29
Marty Harris edited this comment Sept. 29
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Paul,

Some conventions only work well within the context of certain systems. In other words, you need to change a bunch of other sequences to accommodate that convention. I think that's what you're referring to with “hundreds of pages of notes.” Flannery is a good example (it changes the meaning of your 1H - 1S sequence, and it's often played in conjunction with Kaplan Inversion).

But 2-way NMF is not one of those; it's easy to “plug-and-play” into any system. I've played it without problems with online pickup partners after literally no more discussion than this:

“2-way NMF?”

“OK.”
Sept. 29
Marty Harris edited this comment Sept. 29
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
If you're not worried about memory issues, the best rule is probably: dearer Q-bid shows the raise, UNLESS the dearer Q is above 3-of-Opener's-suit while the cheaper Q is below 3-of-Opener's-suit. If that's the case, then the cheaper Q becomes the raise.
Sept. 29
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 ... 76 77 78 79
.

Bottom Home Top