Join Bridge Winners
All comments by Mike Gill
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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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I think passing is totally reasonable and obviously anything could work on this one. My preference is to open a weak two with this sort of hand then bid again. If I bid 2 then bid 4 over 4, partner will know I have 6 and a lot of extra shape. Even though I would normally do this I think this is close to passing anyway because the hand is so weak and because I don't really want a spade lead.
Oct. 5, 2016
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Yeah this is why I posted the discussion. It seems like this is a common enough situation that the rules should be clear on your obligations on alerting as well as how you must bid. Nobody so far seems to have found anything definitive in the rules (and I couldn't either). I'm happy to believe I've been doing this one wrong.
Sept. 28, 2016
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I would have replicated your actions and I think they are all clear. Given what he showed, partner had about the worst hand he could have an grand was still really good.
Sept. 18, 2016
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I must admit I am surprised at Pass being the majority vote as well. Seems like 5 has way more horses going for it - it might make (varying degrees of unlikely depending on partner's style but definitely possible), it could be a good save against 4= (and they might not even double - we have two aces and partner is likely to hold a third), and best of all the favorable opponents might easily judge to take out insurance in 5 knowing it will be cheap. Clearly going -100 or -200 if they double when 4 is -1 is a likely result, so I might even pass at Matchpoints, but seems like the gains from bidding outweigh this possibility.
Sept. 1, 2016
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I think this is clearly correct with 4-6 shape where you know you're going to bid over 3. I actually did consider it anyway, but I think the issue with this is that partner might have a normal 3 bid over 3 and now you have to guess what to do on your own.
Aug. 31, 2016
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Ron, I think 3 hearts is virtually marked because partner didn't try for game over 2. Pretty hard to construct hands that are good enough to double 3 but that aren't good enough to try for game unless partner is worried about a 4-3.
Aug. 31, 2016
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No, I'm quite happy making a LR actually. I think would still make a limit raise with JTxx AQxxx Qx xx, but it's close.
Aug. 24, 2016
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Are the doubleton quacks pulling their full weight? Of course not, but this is just still a normal LR IMO. The 5th trump is definitely an asset, even if it doesn't lower the loser count. x Kxxxx xxx AKxx is a cold game even with all of our quacks completely wasted and that's not even an opening hand much less an accept of a 4-card constructive raise.

I don't understand the statement that the hand is essentially unchanged if you subtract the J or make the Q the J. Those changes *might not* let you take any more tricks but they might!
For the record I think JTxx AQxxx Qx xx is certainly on the border of a LR if not over (I would for sure make a LR if I didn't have a mixed raise available or at IMPs) but JTxx AJxxx Qx xx is clearly not a LR.
Aug. 23, 2016
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I don't think this is clear. If opponents are solid citizens, partner is likely to have 4324 shape and both part scores could be making. Even -1 against 140 or vice versa is a nontrivial win. If my opponents were aggressive, I would pass since I think both contracts -1 is too likely a result
Aug. 22, 2016
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I think it was at most mildly aggressive and certainly not desperate. Remember partner knows it's likely you have a good hand because
1) you balanced R/W
2) you have the spade length (else the opponents didn't compete to 3 at favorable with a 9-fit, which seems unlikely)
3) your suit can't be all that great since he has the KJ9.
Aug. 9, 2016
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