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All comments by Michael Rosenberg
ATB
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I was having a blackout when I said 80%. Was thinking of FIVE clubs - thought I could ‘lose’ a diamond.
Odds on slam depends on the defense. Say two rounds of spades. It's more like 70% - I think a little over. Even if they shift to a heart I think not much difference. But if they lead hearts on the go, it's much worse - probably less than 50%.
So apologies to Richard (et al).
Dec. 22, 2019
ATB
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The dangers of conventions. There is no such thing as Non-Serious 3N where a minor is agreed. And, when it's a major, rules should be in place so that the partnership is 100% on whether it's Natural or Non-Serious.
Dec. 22, 2019
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Bob H:

(Me) “If you raise to 3, I think you are again going to ‘lose’ 4 too often. Your opening bid is your spade suit. You need to rebid it.”

(You) “I don't think you are losing either 3N or 4.”

Funny/strange that you add 3N, implying that I said you might lose that also.
Because I considered saying 3N. I can construct hands where we could have a ‘reasonable’ auction to 3N after the 21s rebid. But I chose not to - a little worried that there might be some reverse bullseye involved.

As to 4, you can say ‘I don’t think' all you want.
But you AUTOMATICALLY lose 4 when partner control bids 4 over 3 (and that bid makes you pretty sure 4 is the best contract - frustrating!), and will often lose it if partner bids 3N (he might not sit 4 with a stiff - certainly will not with a void).

If partner bids 3 over your 3 you are better placed - at least you will get to bid spades twice. But I still don't think you'll always land there.

btw, a serious general problem with 31d is that auction does not ‘wor’ without some special methods. What does partner do with stopper but no stopper?
Some ‘experts’ will try a slow 3. Others will try a slow 3 on a doubleton. If the latter is chosen, 4 may again get ‘lost’ when they convert 4 back to 5.

I want to (re)stress that I'm NOT suggesting rebidding 2 solves all problems. In fact I'm not sure what I will bid if partner makes a ‘normal’ 2N rebid.
Maybe 4 (but maybe that should be more like Hxxx with less ‘solid’ spades. Maybe again ‘go slow’ with 3. Maybe even 3 (which I play shows minimum values) planning 4 over 3N.

I'm just unhappy taking up space and not starting to impart the main nature of my hand - spades. I can imagine auctions where I never bid and feel quite comfortable.
Dec. 22, 2019
ATB
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My comment meant that clearly South was a lot more at fault, and I would think you should know that.
Dec. 22, 2019
ATB
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Mostly South, unless Josh was North in which case mostly Josh.
Dec. 22, 2019
ATB
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I'd guess slam is over 80%. We have different devastation levels.
Dec. 22, 2019
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Yes, you can certainly try to make that guess at the table. But how does your question help? Don't you just have to make that determination at the time via ‘the seat of your pants’?
Dec. 21, 2019
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That's one holding - and is ‘cancelled’ by stiff J.
Dec. 21, 2019
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Right. That is the theoretical key. If declarer can have as few as 6 and as many as 8, the defense has no ‘good’ strategy.
In practice, declarer may be best off always losing to Ax (when they duck) or AJ offside, but pick up Jx and (when they don't duck) Ax.
Dec. 21, 2019
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Dave C: How are you ever going to know at the table, with any precision, how often a player will duck?
Dec. 21, 2019
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Before I start thinking, did you intend a 7-card suit?
Dec. 21, 2019
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Please write each of the gains and losses for initial finesse vs. low to K, low to Q.
Dec. 21, 2019
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Not related to the OP but related to Kieran's story. I walked up behind Michael Becker just as he had opening 1. He was playing with Ronnie Rubin and they were playing Ultimate Club. Ronnie passed and tabled (2-1)-xxx-10xxxxxx. Michael B. ruffed the opening lead and eventually (made (I think) 12 tricks.

Now that was REALLY the ‘Ultimate Club’…
Dec. 21, 2019
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The Ax with LHO is the key reason why low to 10 must be wrong. I already referenced this in my comment elsethread.
Dec. 20, 2019
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If you had no reason to suspect a psyche - either because you had never played with this partner before or he had never psyched before - then you are completely free to use tha AI of the the opponent's mannersims/questions as you wish.

If, on the other hand, you had some reason to suspect a psyche with this particular partner, you should be disclosing to your opponents why that is.

In other words, if you had no reason to suspect a psyche but for the opponents actions, you can act at your risk. If you had a reason to suspect it without their actions, you have an obligation to disclose it.
Dec. 20, 2019
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Correct - sorry. If more evidence was needed that I shouldn't comment on BW right after I wake up (it isn't), here it is.
Dec. 19, 2019
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I'm actually afflicted with a slamitis disease too. I blame (thank?) Zia for infecting me.
But that means when I (underlined) DON'T want to make the ‘slam bid’, it's a good sign that one probably shouldn't.
Dec. 19, 2019
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Steve B: I thought the OP specified our methods. I was going with that.

In my preferred methods I can bid 2 then 2 to show 4-card and a long minor. I've also played a structure where transfer to their M shows this hand-type.
I would do one of those if I could.
Dec. 19, 2019
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a) I don't have much of a plan. Maybe if partner bids 2N or 3 I'd jump to 4. That should depict 6-4 with good spades.
Maybe after 1M-2, 2M-2N then 4 should be 6-4 with splinter and 4 should be 6-4 with splinter. But in the 500+ hours of work I did with Chris Willenken about 2/1, we didn't get to that one.

b) The fit might never get revealed. For example if partner raises to 3 it's gone. But this hand doesn't especially need to show a fit. It needs to show good spades and (maybe) a control in clubs.
Even the presence of the J helps a little. If partner has the K, diamonds might be the best slam. But, against most opponents, the J will make the heart position 75% instead of 50%.
What is responder's holding where knowing of the fit is so critical? Mostly, I can only think of AK-sixth plus the A. It feels more likely that partner needs to know about my spades.

c) The argument against splinter is the same argument I (and you) would make against an immediate 6 bid - just not as strongly. I think splinter is an overbid and a misbid.
So I start with 2 and see. Maybe I'm destined to miss a good slam that you will easily reach. But I'm not willing to go that far (splintering) that quickly.
Dec. 19, 2019
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It's simply a matter of a priori strategy. If you always play low to K and low to Q REGARDLESS OF WHETHER THE ACE TOPS THE KING, you will succeed whenever RHO has Jx or AJ - 4 holdings. If you play low to K and low to 10, you succeed when RHO has Jx - 3 holdings.

With this strategy, there is no ‘counter-strategy’. That is how theoretical suit combimastion play works. The best theoretical strategy is one that works most often regardless of opposing strategy.

If instead you had a 3-5 fit, then correct is low to K then low to 10. you lose to AJ doubleton - one holding, but pick up AJxx and Jxxx - 3 holdings.
In both this and the OP combo, low to 10 on the first round is wrong because it fails to pick up Ax onside (plus stiff J offside).

But this is all theory. In practice the elements of the particular hand often alter how one ‘should’ play a particular combination.
Dec. 19, 2019
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