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All comments by Michael Rosenberg
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“planned to bid 4 over 3 from partner”

That's pretty crazy 4 facing a partner who showed nothing is NF

or 5 over 4 from partner.

A huge underbid. Slam rates to be good, and will ofteb missed..

“Jx QJ8xx J987 T9”

I think this hand is not strong enough to double 3.


Since I expect partner to bid 3 if I double, and since there is no longer a way to find out about aces, I think there is a case for bidding 4N over 3. In my methods, that's Straight-Ace Blackwood. Would definitely do this if I had J instead of a lower one.
March 8
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Thomas B: Even after “”Oh for goodness sakes. Of course I am leading the queen."? The possibilities are:

a) Misspoke on the claim
b) Had a total aberration and was planning to lead low AND then lied about

What would you estimate the probability of each?
March 8
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Hans: You should add 3N = diamonds, Natural
March 8
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David B: I think that's a pretty good method. However, I would have thought an honest person such as yourself would, while ‘advertising’, also point out the flaw.
March 8
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Rosalind: Just for ‘fun’, and to show how difficult it is to phrase rules, I'll provide an auction (where I can) that, in my rules, contradicts each of your rules. I think some you will agree with and want to reword your rule. Others you might want to stick with what you have.

“after letting opponents bid their hands out”
(1-1, 2-P) Double

“of a five-level bid”
(5) Double

“of a ‘balancing’ bid after we passed in our partscore at the two-level or higher”
1(P)-P(X), P(1S)-P(P) Double

of a natural notrump bid (except a 1NT reply to one of a suit)“
(1any)1other-(1N) double

”after partner’s preemptive opening bid“
I have no exceptions

”when partner’s hand is largely known (e.g., by a two-suited overcall)“
(1)2-(3) Double

”when a pass would be forcing“
2(overcall) Double

”after our ‘train the guns’ double“
Don't know what that means. Don't like the name.

”after our business redouble“
1(X)-XX(3) Double

”after our earlier penalty double“
1N(2-majors)-P(2-asking longer), X - diamonds (2)-P(P) Double
”after our penalty pass“
I have no exceptions

”after our earlier pass of the same suit (except for balancing at the two level)“
(1)P-(1M)P-(2) Double

”after we had shown a fit and they did not (except for game try double)“
1(1)-3 - Mixed(3) Double

*after we had shown a known six-card suit”
1(P)-1)1, 2(2) Double

“when system explicitly states a double as penalty.”
I have no exceptions!
March 8
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There are two things about these situations that always mystify me:

1) Why didn't declarer call for the Q instead of asking the question? In fact, if RHO has the king he will play it - and you'll probably SAVE TIME.
I guess I'd undestand the question if declarer had an ongoing bet to pay $1 for every losing finesse he physically takes…

2) Why do the opponents want this trick? Do they honestly have any doubt, after declare's answer, that he intended to play the queen?

Yes, we could go the David Burn route - absolute rule with no absolution. And I adsmit I'd rather go that route than allow things that I see as questionable; such as the AQ10x facing J9xx situation. And the truth is that I've seen rulings that have allowed declarer to get awayu with far worse.

But (shockingly) I prefer the Michael Rosenberg route. Which is to be REALLY strict but remember that pewople are human - and don't always speak perfectly. If I have no doubt about declarer's clear intention (and I don't have any doubt here), I'll allow the small error of speech. But if I have any doubt (and I'm pretty suspicious), I'll rule for the defenders.

What makes this sort of case clear to me is declarer's answer to the question.
“Oh for goodness sakes. Of course I am leading the queen”
is the ‘correct’ response. Had declarer instead said ‘Whaddya mean? Oh, I had the 10!’, then I might have thought he thought, at the time of the claim, he had only AJ tight left (the 10 being hidden). And then I'd rule against him.

Oh, I could play Devil's Advocate. As David Burn, I could argue that he thought he had AJ tight when he claimed, and ‘discovered’ the 10 between the claim and the question, and was dishonest about it.

But I simply do not believe that is what happened. What I want to do is restore what would have happened without the claim, with ANY doubt being resolved in favor of the non-offenders (which I would like to se as the General Principle for ALL our Laws.
If I think there is any chance that the claimer did not ‘know what is actually happening’ then I'm ‘David Burn strict’. But if I fee sure a declarer knows, then I'm loath to punish them for mis-speaking.
March 8
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David B: “ there is no qualitative difference between not leading the nine in this position and not leading the queen in the OP position.”

I admit I'm not sure what “qualitative” means here, but I defintely see a quantitative difference. The number of players who know to lead the Q from Qxx is far greater than the number who know to lead the 9 from J9xx.
March 8
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Harald and Nigel: No argument that's a better way to play. But, regarding the question asked in the OP, it's just a side point.
The question in the OP is how North should bid facing a possible yarborough that has denied as many as three spades.
March 8
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So then, for you, the question in the OP is what would you bid over 3 with the North hand
March 7
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Mike S: My rules agree with your first paragraph, and disagree with everything else. But, as you correctly say in the last paragraph, the important thing is that you and partner know what you are playing.
March 7
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Hmm. Seems like having two planes would make those on the ‘screened’ plane a lot safer than they are currently…
March 7
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Also one of my “Favorite Hands” - but I don't agree it's the “same theme” - or even close.
March 7
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It's a beautiful position/theme. And that's why it made it into my book - one of my fifteen “Favorite Hands”.
The J109 and 109 are all irrelevant - they could all be ‘x’s'. That's why I commented “Red Herrings”.
March 7
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I have “almost forcing” in my notes. After an overcall, I play jump advance as “almost forcing - overcaller only passes with a terrible/useless hand'.
I have another situation where I might have used the same words; Takeout double followed by jump in new suit. But there I said ”Forcing unless advancer has yarborough". Cue then suit is Forcing.
March 7
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Gerben: If you knew my history, you'd know the answer. And, at one time, it would have been not my fifth choice, but my FIRST.
March 7
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Shockingly, I've discovered that my position on this subject may not have been absolutely correct.

So my answer to the OP question, as I see it phrased, would be ‘Other - I don’t know'. Or, maybe, ‘Other - the game should split into two - substances allowed and substances not allowed’.

However, one part of my opinion has not changed. If having ‘drug control’ means that we also have the CAS (or any body of non-bridge players) having the power to make determinations such as they did with Fantoni-Nunes, I'd much sooner have players be allowed to take anything they want - with no reprisals.

Of course, we could have no IOC involvement and then make our own drug rules. If that was propsed, it would currently put me in the ‘I don’t know' category. Until a couple of days ago, I believed as Kit did. But some other smart people I respect have a different viewpoint - and I am wavering.
March 6
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If partner had a NF 4 bid it means he had a 3 bid.

The OP question would be less clear (at least to me) if the auction were (3)X-(3)X, (P)4
March 6
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With 4-4 in majors 5-7, I would either bid 1 and double 2 or double 1 and double 2. Which I did would depend on the quality of each suit. That is, if I were willing to act twice. If only willing to act once (probably because I have poor hearts and 3(+)-card ), I'd bid 1 and subside.
March 6
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Really? That's surprising - because the egos of bridge players seem to be larger than that of the general population. Which is actualy pretty strange, when one considers how humbling a game it is…
March 6
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RHo has 4-card and follows to two diamonds. When you cash the 4th , you have to pitch the last from dummy. Now you lead a and West follows. You don't know where the last heart is, so you still have a guess.

If you take the right book to bed, you might be able to sleep well. But not if you want to solve it yourself.
March 5
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