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All comments by Max Schireson
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If E was planning to pass 4S, he has to tell N immediately that he thinks the agreemwnt may not be solid and W could have C+S. Otherwise N is deprived of his chance to double, based on misinformation that E+W have an agreement that 4C is C+H. From the auction it is clear that they have no such agreement. They may have discussed it, or discussed similar auctions, but neither of them is bidding like they have an agreement.

Whether there was actually damage is a different issue. I would say maybe. Should north have protected himself by asking after the pass? Yes. Was misdefense largely responsible for the result? Yes. Would I adjust? No. But did N have misinformation, in my opinion yes.

The only thing that would convince me there was no MI would be if E was having a seizure after the 4S call and had intended to grab 5H but lost control of his hand. Then maybe they have what I would call an agreemwnt.

Even if I saw a videotape of them doscussing this specific auction and agreeing to play it as H+C, and E reminding W not to screw it up again, I would say E still has to say something about the implicit agreement derived from him seeing W screw it up that it could be H+S and he will pass 4S. I can forgive the first explanation but he must correct it if he plans to pass 4S.
2 hours ago
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I have gotten an unfavorable ruling on an MI case due to my own egregious misdefense so I understand. Directors are human and may not want to bail out someone who screwed up.

But it is preposterous for E to claim the agreement is C+H then pass 4S. Even if I felt like I owned the outcome for misdefense, I would have trouble in principle with “no MI”.

I could much more easily accept serious error, or failure to protect myself.
7 hours ago
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I missed that the notes were about a different auction. That makes this ruling even harder for me to comprehend, even if I would still rule MI had the notes directly supported E's explanation of this exact auction.
11 hours ago
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I should add that the notes seem to apply to a different auction, but even if it was this auction specifically I would still say there was MI.
11 hours ago
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Neal,

You are assuming the notes actually represent the agreement.

If that is the case why did E pass 4 spades? If E thinks it likely enough that W has the black suits that he will pass 4S, he needs to give that info to N.
11 hours ago
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IMO this seems like a crock of *hit perpetrated by your opponenents.


Whatever the notes say, if E is uncertain enough about the agreement that he will pass 4S, he can't just tell your partner H+C. He needs to say that he has reason to suspect that pard might also have misbid with S+C. The words in the notes do not constitute the whole agreement, in this case it seems that the actual agreement as played by both sides is C+major, notes nonwithstanding. Yes, notes are enough to rebut the presumption of misbid by one partner, but when it is smoothly fielded by the other partner, the totality of evidence tells me the notes aren't really followed.

That said, when E passes the “cue bid”, N has to know something is up. After the end of the auction, did N ask E why he passed given that agreement, and in particular did he think it likely W had forgotten their agreement? This is a case where perhaps N should have protected themselves.

Still, that is not a ruling of no MI, that is a ruling that partner failed to protect themselves.
11 hours ago
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Keiran,
Agree with Michael, so I think its a moot point, but if S for whatever reason switches to a spade and W doesn't put in the Q and N puts in the J, to me that seems totally consistent with AKJ… Anyway after S's tank you can expect the spade to be ruffed, so play like someone with nothing in clubs and AKJ spades. Possible I am missing something, and anyway moot because it all becomes clear in the ending, esp if N doesn't signal for a club.
June 25
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North's carding on the diamonds should deny shortness.

I agree that a passive diamond continuation still seems safe. But even if south continues diamonds, if N requested a spade on the second diamond S will still be able to read that the clubs are split in the end position. But also a spade for declarer to ruff also seems safe, apart from the possibility of declarer giving away the black card honor situation by winning the A. Since this line was suggested by others, it seemed a reasonable enough possibility to be worth pointing out what declarer would know in the end position.

I agree there is a lot of merit to the club switch. That said, if N is a similar caliber of player to S who can reason out the defense and find the club switch relaibly, the 5S is worth an immediate suspension. Lesser players may still switch to the club sometimes, but I think it is far from automatic. And if N is strong enough to work out the hand and signal for a club here, the 5S call is beyond the pale.
June 25
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A few thoughts:
1. I first thought 5H was down so no damage. On further thought I think an expert declarer (not me!) would have a very very good chance to make. Say it starts with AK of diamonds. Now N signals for a spade. Whatever happens on the spade trick, declarer ruffs, draws trump, cashes the diamond, ruff a second spade back to hand and runs hearts. Now in a 2 card ending, N has to keep the CK, and S has to keep the SK to keep it hidden. If N pitches a diamond, then he started either 6241 or 7240, but in the second case he would have asked for a club switch not a spade switch. This leaves N with a spade and a club and S with a spade and a club, so the drop is working. Meanwhile if N keeps a diamond, he must pitch all his spades. But S must keep the SK; now again we are down to 2 clubs out, but S can't have both of them or again N would have asked for a club on the second diamond. Even if declarer doesn't learn anything from the first spade trick, the lack of a request for a club gives the game away. It seems that only an immediate club shift has much chance to beat the contract if a top class declarer is really paying attention.

2. As far as whether bidding on is indicated, or could be, by the slow pass, it seems that the possibility that S was considering a double is a bit of a red herring. Certainly passing is a LA. What we know is that S was considering an action other than P. In my view, this makes both 5S and X more likely to be right than when S passes in tempo. Both calls can be suggested over pass, even if it is not clear which of those actions is indicated over the other. The one thing you know is less likely to be the case is that 5H is making easily and a sacrifice in 5S is unprofitable. Since this is a scenario where pass is good and 5S is bad, having this scenario reduced in likelyhood clearly improves 5S relative to pass.

3. That said when S is a passed hand and N preempts and S raises the preempt, imo it is more likely E bid to make, and S was considering 5S. Even if that isn't always the case, look at North's hand. You have two trumps, which makes S less likely to have much there, so less likely to be contsidering a double. Meanwhile you have one less trump than you might have had, so it is possible S thinks your side has more than you do; I think this makes it more likely S is consodering 5S. If in contrast N is looking at 7033, I think there is much more ambiguity about what S was considering during the tank.
June 25
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I really can't tell from the audio.

I think the delay from dummy being turned over argues against thank you.

On the other hand, dummy didn't hear it as king please, declarer seemed to correct it fairly immediately and rho should not have played the K.

While it is ambiguous, I would rule the K is not played.
June 23
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If your partner says they can't remember a bid, the discussion should be over. People forget enough bids they claim they can remember, don't push them past that.
June 22
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I agree with the other suggestions as being possible, but it also could be 6 bad hearts with spade support, perhaps with most of the values in spades. If anything I lean towards 6, since with 5 hearts, raising spades looks reasonable.
June 19
ATB
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Ok, I have to retract my previous comments where I was somehow hallucinating S as declarer (which makes no sense simce E was on lead).

With N as declarer and 3 spades in dummy, it is possible opening leader has led from Kx of spades. I am not overtaking and it is up to opening leader to continue a spade.

Sorry for the complete reversal.
June 12
ATB
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From the bidding spades do look attractive to lead.

What is the layout where you gain by leading the unsupported K rather than leading low?
June 12
ATB
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My bad, I was hallucinating the S hand as the closed hand which makes no sense. Retract my comment. I am in the habit of seeing S as declarer, which obviously isn't the case here so my comments make no sense.
June 12
ATB
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David,
I saw your explanation, but if declarer has the A instead of the A, I think it doesn't hurt to duck the first spade, and may help. Do you disagree? If so please explain why it hurts to duck the spade on that layout.
June 12
ATB
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I am not so sure you can be certain partner holds the A.

If declarer has the A instead of the A as I suggested upthead, he does get a club pitch on a spade after losing a spade either way. But I think there is a good argument to duck; the club switch is probably even easier to find later than it is now, or at least not harder. If you need defense to go wrong, put them to the test with less information. Anyway this is a declarer who bid 6 on that hand, which seeks very dubious to me, so even if the duck is always wrong for some reason not obvious to me, I would not be so certain that means S didn't have the A.
June 11
ATB
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Fwiw while I can't see how the trump switch is right, if declarer has the A instead of the A, and pard continues spades, declarer wins cheaply, draws trump, pitches dummy's club on a spade and makes the contract. A spade continuation isn't so automatic imo without relying on partner's attitude signal.
June 11
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As the schmuck wbo declared 4, to add insult to injury I will say that we were making 6.

I took the 4 contract as an opportunity to practice not giving away that I had made a mistake by my manner at the table, and to not let it effect the next board.

If you want another, last week in a cold 6 contract, which was making 7 if clubs were no worse than 41, I saw my RHO's spade as a club, thought clubs were breaking 32 and I didn't have to ruff out the J, and claimed based on that confusion. Down 1. Would have made the overtrick if I had just noticed RHO not following.
June 11
ATB
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How about 100% for each of E and W, and another 100% for south's bidding?
June 11
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