Join Bridge Winners
All comments by Michael Shuster
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You think 3 will be doubled by a player who can have at most the queen of trumps with no spots, so you choose to defend 3 with a 5.5 loser hand. Meanwhile you don't give partner credit with doubling the opponents with 9HCP, a stiff in our suit and four trumps with two secondary honors? In that world, both people are just doing their own thing. And there is nothing about this auction to indicate a bad heart split. RHO overcalled, he didn't double, so he'll have heart length. Replace RHO's 2 call with a X and bidding would be more dangerous (but I'd still bid).
Sept. 10, 2012
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exactly not this. The evaluation programs work in a vacuum, not by evaluated card placement.
Sept. 10, 2012
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they have 9 trumps; there is no way they are doubling 3m. They might not even play the double as natural there. And Gavin just said that doubling was dumb - not bidding.
Sept. 8, 2012
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This is an in-and-out evaluation problem. The spade queen and the club ace is worth approximately double what the club queen and the spade ace would be worth. For me, this is an easy accept.
Sept. 8, 2012
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That is nothing like what a 3 raise looks like.
Sept. 8, 2012
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I disagree. Partner should have close about 7-10 HCP, but DIDN'T DOUBLE. So partner's values won't be in clubs. The actual hand is not a surprise, even slightly. This is a 5.5 loser hand and can play opposite a void. I don't understand all the fear of bidding here.
Sept. 8, 2012
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55 cowards so far. Not double again with only 3 hearts. Not 3NT with this spade holding. Since clubs is the right strain opposite shapes like 3-4-2-4, someone had better bid the suit. Why shouldn't partner have xxx, QJx, Kxx(x), Qxx(x). LHO is of the opinion we can make something.
Sept. 6, 2012
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To be honest, I'd've bid 4 at each of the previous two turns, but having taken the low road twice, I'd bid 3 here.
Sept. 6, 2012
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You can't really give any blame to 1, since the alternative is 2NT. Given the 1 overcall, I'm OK with North trying to improve things (my experience is that when you hold no HCP, 2 trumps and a stiff is that you never get to score any ruffs).
South could have passed 1, but I don't have a problem with 2. After that, I'm ok with 2 as well.

But South has to pass 2 X. He's already shown his suits and for partner to suggest playing in his LHO's known suit opposite known shortness, he needs a massive diamond holding. His actual diamond holding is a disappointment, yet 2 will take at least 4 tricks.

Sept. 2, 2012
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I play slow arrival in many auction, but that doesn't mean the slow bid is weaker than the alternatives, just that is unsuitable. For slow arrival, the jump to 4 would show good trumps. For me though, this hand would qualify for frivolous 3NT.
Sept. 2, 2012
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Notwithstanding the spoiler for the actual hand, I don't really see a downside to double. You do have support for all the unbid suits and enough extra offense to bid spades.
Sept. 2, 2012
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I think you misunderstand - 3NT is surely intended as natural, But it is self-alerting that there was a misunderstanding. The AI duplicates the UI.
Aug. 23, 2012
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I disagree about the first hand, too. If partner had such a balanced stopper'd hand that he wanted to play NT regardless of facing a shortness in a 4-4 fit, he would have bid 2 earlier in the auction to avert any chance of playing a 4-4 fit.

I think the 3NT bid itself is prima facia evidence of a misunderstanding and the hand is free to bid as it pleases. But I suppose I could be wrong :)

The other hands are excellent examples; thanks for putting those examples to print - they need to be out there.
Aug. 23, 2012
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I'd bid 2. A six card suit is so much more likely to be right than a 4 card suit. Bidding your suits in a natural order is necessary for the partnership to make effective later decisions.

At this point it is just guesswork. 3 is going to be a 5 or 6 card suit, so unless partner is overloaded in diamonds, he will have a fit. We won't be able to figure out which suit should be trumps because of the boneheaded 1 call, but such is life. Defending when balanced minimums produce easy games is bad bridge. It isn't hard to construct slam hands: xxx, Kx, AKxx, Kxxx
Aug. 18, 2012
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Oh, come on. If you do this every time a defender thinks, you will be a VERY unpopular player. I doubt you'd be able to find a partner and the director would just laugh at you.
Aug. 4, 2012
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IMO, this isn't an opening bid. 8 of your 11 HCP are in your shortness. 5-5 is an easy shape to show later - it is more important to be aggressive when your suit is hearts or your shape is 5431. Once you choose to open, you should probably just raise hearts… Passing could get you into tempo issues.

Had I chosen to open (ick), and pass over 3D (ick), I'd be consistent with my previous auction and pass the double.
Aug. 4, 2012
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You might not think this hand is strong enough for 2, but that doesn't mean it isn't strong enough in this partnership.

Bidding 4 over a 4 opener is dangerous. I've taken the opponents for 1100 at the one-level after they've opened their 5-card major. Is your solution to never make a dangerous call?

Not bidding 2 because with 6-4 shape because you are afraid of going for a number is generally not expert style. Would x, AKxxxx, Axxx, xx meet your standard? That hand is arguably more likely to go for a number in 2, as responder is less likely to have the values for a negative double or 3NT call and more likely to have to gamble a pass.
(Think these two responder hands: xx, AQxx, AQxx, Qxx and Jx, QJxx, KJxx, Qxx. The first hand will just bid 3NT over 2 while the second will pass and later play 2 doubled)
Aug. 2, 2012
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The whole “Too light for a vul overcall” is just not right. It is a matter of partnership style whether the West hand is acceptable. Just because it isn't in your partnership doesn't mean that it is wrong for this partnership. 2 is very obstructive over 1 and I understand a partnership agreement that this hand is in-range.

To properly assess blame, you need partnership style as well as conventions. How close 2 is to being in range has a lot to do with who is at fault.

Also North had his hand in the pot, too. Most would just make a negative double and then you'd probably get to 2 N/S and no story.
Aug. 1, 2012
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Thanks for this insightful look. It is hard to talk about specifics without stepping on anyone's toes, but suffice to say there is a great deal of skill spread among sponsors. I've played against some sponsors (Nick Nickel for one) who are terrific players in their own right.

The issues are complex, but I want to thank you for being out there fighting the good fight.
July 31, 2012
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Chris, stop trolling.
July 31, 2012
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