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All comments by Mike Gill
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9 seems like 100%. I would never pitch a heart from 4+ hearts and I would always pitch my highest heart from 3 or fewer to let partner know what's going on, so partner will be able to count exactly how many tricks declarer has in non-spade suits. If this number is 9+, he will shift to a spade as the only chance - declarer might have xxxx x Axxxxx AQ or xxxx Jx Kxxxxx AQ. Otherwise he'll just continue clubs and clearly we have enough tricks coming there.
March 17, 2017
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This also might get LHO to go up from AQJx or QJTx/QJ9x if RHO ducked from AHx.
March 6, 2017
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This was not a 2 bid. Bidding 2 deserves to be shoved into a no play game IMO.
March 6, 2017
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I bid 3NT because it could easily be making when 3 is down?
March 2, 2017
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This is right on the line. I think by pure evaluation it's worth an upgrade, but with 3-3 in the majors 1NT is much more attractive since we'll be playing 5-3 major suit fits from my side and in either 2 or 4.
Feb. 24, 2017
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Agree, I think our spade suit is about what partner should expect for 5. I feel like if our opinion is that spades are trump no matter what we shouldn't be introducing diamonds. There just isn't enough room in these auctions to sort out “my spades are solid and oh I also have diamonds” from “I have diamonds and extra spades but I'm not sure about the strain.”

5 could make opposite the worst possible hand partner could hold and it seems wrong to worry about partner having actually nothing when two of the jacks are worth a trick for us. I'm not sure if partner will be able to muster up a slam call with, say Jx xx in my suits and out, but at least we should find slam when he has something like Jx Txxxx xx Axxx or maybe 6 opposite x Jxxxx Jxx Axxx.
Feb. 15, 2017
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The sentences for most of the pairs convicted of cheating have included lifetime bans from playing with the partner at the time of the cheating. Shouldn't these bans also include partnering anyone who has ever been convicted of collusive cheating? Would anyone feel good about, say, Fisher-Nunes partnering together when/if they are allowed to play again?
Feb. 14, 2017
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Kit,
I was surprised at your conclusion WRT the T1 decision here. While I agree that ducking the sA is good practice in principle, it seems wrong to me here. Can't partner have, say, QT8x Kxxx Qx xxx? We need to get the hA out of the way immediately so when he wins his diamond trick he can play trumps. I can't think of anything I might need to do later that seems anywhere near this likely. Am I missing something?
Feb. 5, 2017
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Anyone who answers this poll without doing some sort of calculation based on a large number of results is VASTLY overestimating their own ability to accurately detect patterns in data.
Jan. 21, 2017
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We have been playing this for years and it seems clearly better than other agreements after a natural 4m. You can also use it over Puppet auctions after a 1NT opener:

1NT 2NT (puppet) 3 (no 5M) 4m (5m, optional keycard)

1NT 2NT 3 3 (4) 3NT 4m (4m, optional keycard)

The second auction assumes you would show 4M-5m slam tries through regular stayman (if not this would just show 5m).
Jan. 10, 2017
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I held my (I think) 4th 9-bagger on Saturday night. AKJ9xxxx - QT xx. Sadly, I was teaching mini bridge where the highest HCP hand gets to be declarer, hear dummy's shape and pick the contract. Defending 2 was not a success…
Jan. 9, 2017
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A point that I don't think has been made yet: this rule, despite its faults, is still a VAST improvement on what it used to be. So let's at least recognize that. Before we were all in this position with hands where today's experts would nearly universally say open 1NT and those hands are MUCH more common IMO.
Jan. 5, 2017
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Not sure if it is standard or not, but we've always played OS is off on AK leads. I would want to be playing it here off here - no real reason declarer can't have 4531 shape and we need to get our two spades, ruff and our cK. If playing OS it would depend on your specific agreements - ours is that clubs is the OS since declarer might have only 3, but it would be diamonds if declarer were known to have 4 clubs so it depends on what system the opponents are playing.
Dec. 16, 2016
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I think it's clear to bid 4NT if it's keycard but I wouldn't risk it if partner might misinterpret.
Dec. 6, 2016
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I have mixed feelings about 3 actually, although your alternate example hand is clearly not strong enough for 3 IMO. I'm just saying that given that East chose 3, I don't see how West can not drive to slam.
Dec. 6, 2016
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At some point West just has to trust his/her partner's judgment. East's 3 says that there might be a slam opposite the right passed hand. If East doesn't want West to force to slam with a jackless 11 count with no minor honors in the splinter suit, then he doesn't have a splinter. I think West just has an auto keycard bid over 4.
Dec. 6, 2016
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If there's any chance they are having a misunderstanding, I think pass is clear. If I'm confident 2 was intended and alerted as NF I would bid 2
Nov. 1, 2016
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I think blasting game has a lot more merit if LHO is not a passed hand since it could give him a really nasty decision. Now that we've lost that horse it seems better to take the normal route.
Oct. 29, 2016
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This is a good point, Peter, and I agree that is the main difference between the two cases (actually, in our case information was freely volunteered about how the agreement had been discussed extensively as recently as right before the session). I like this interpretation and it does make the ruling in our case correct (although I don't remember ever seeing this explicitly in the rules).

However, this still leaves Hamman basically in the position of trying to guess if his opponent remembered their agreement, right? If responder actually has majors, the hand could be a total misfit and he's letting them off the hook (and possibly turning a large + into a -) by bidding anything, but passing if it was a diamond raise is asking for what actually happened. He certainly wouldn't have gotten an adjustment if he'd bid hearts and South had turned up with both majors, so he could easily be getting a 0 either way if he guesses wrong.

I think determining if your opponents have judged correctly or are over/underbidding is an interesting part of the game. Trying to guess if your opponents remembered their bidding system seems like a total crapshoot and not something that should be part of the game.
Oct. 29, 2016
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A parallel situation happened to me recently when one opponent forgot their agreement at favorable in our strong club auction and the other correctly played them to have forgotten based on also having length in the bid suit (but not enough to be sure). This frequently turns out to be a really diabolical defense. For the record, the director and subsequent committee ruled (incorrectly it now seems) in our favor.

I like the idea of not being able to profit from first-round forgets, which would have covered my situation as well. I suppose you could make some provision that in a non-competitive auction you're allowed to keep your result as long as it didn't affect your opponents' bidding. That would only be ok as long as you were required to disclose your misapprehension before the opening lead (are you?).

As a simple case, if I open 1NT with a random 13 count thinking it's a weak NT but partner correctly alerts as 15-17 then puts me in game with his 13. Can I really legally just accept my possible good result from the opponents thinking I have my bid? Seems like that would not be active ethics to me, but I'm not sure it's against the rules. Maybe I can justify this to myself since most of the time my forget would nail me to a wall and I'm entitled to get lucky once in a while right? (wow just writing that makes me want to take a shower)
Oct. 26, 2016
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