Join Bridge Winners
All comments by Mike Gill
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Also why didn't partner cue clubs? Or are we assuming that would show clubs?
March 23
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I think rating this as 8+ and not bidding on are inconsistent. Not sure where the line should be, arguably 6-7 should be thinking about bidding on. Partner made a slam try knowing you had a min and you have the ace in the suit he's missing a control in and you think your hand is an 8/10 in context. Geez what do you need?
March 23
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I believe the answer to this question has to be no. Partner might have a rock-crusher with no club control, so you should cooperate. 4 says “I have a club control but my hand is not good enough to take over”. If you had substantial extras for 3NT and a club control, you should take over and bid keycard.
March 23
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I was going to go with a worse hand actually :) But then the OP said “almost all 11s” and I thought maybe I should add a twelfth point just in case.
March 22
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Richard,
* I presume 2NT would have been natural but showing stoppers. Actually this should lower my answer if anything since a lot of the hands with scattered junk would rebid that. Still I could have this hand without the Q in the specified style and that's much worse for sure.
* For me your example hand is definitely not a 4 bid. Decent trumps, honors together, 3 controls. Make it Qxxxx KQ Jxx KJx and we'll talk. “Yeah I opened ‘cause I have 5 spades and too many points to pass but geez this is terrible”. But definitely 5332 and no side aces, probably bad trumps and 8+ losers.
* KQxxxx x Axxx Ax is definitely there for me (if you would bid 2 not 2), 6133 as well. Your example hand is on the border. I just think that if you have a serious try and partner has extras, he needs to take over unless you’re missing a control/two keycards. Since if we're going to be bidding 4 with this hand and AQJxxx xxx AKx A where all we care about is that partner cue his heart control if he has one so we don't get to the 5-level unnecessarily, then we need to be able to sign off/bid last train after partner cues to say “ok I need a little extra from you”. I don't think this hand is quite good enough to have partner bid on with normal 15-16 counts.
March 22
Mike Gill edited this comment March 22
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I like the question format, although it conflates bidding style with hand evaluation. I'm not sure your goal exactly, but this actually matters a lot. Also let me add the caveat that I've been playing almost exclusively Precision the last 10 years so maybe my Standard is rusty?

Not sure what everyone else is assuming, but here's the style I like:
4M = Basically never bid this opposite an unlimited partner without the worst hand for slam you can imagine having opened
Non-serious = Almost anything less than a serious slam try
Serious = I'm interested opposite a min, please cooperate unless you want to vomit

IMO serious pretty much has to mean partner cues with a min since I might have the goods and just need a control. You can still make this bid looking for some extras as well and just sign off/bid last train if partner cues. Same for responder - if opener shows a min and responder cues, opener should cooperate with a min, but accept a signoff. The naming is somewhat unfortunate here since it often gets called a “non-serious slam try” and that implies it's a slam try. It's just leaving room for partner to make a try.

This hand is definitely way more than some rando 5332 11 count but it's still a 5332 minimum opener with no source of tricks. To me, KQxxxx Ax Axx xx is still not a serious slam try here and this hand is a trick worse than that. We can all picture partner's Axx Axx xx KQxxx and think we might make a slam opposite a dead min here, but partner hasn't promised clubs at all and chasing slams like that is a bad idea anyway. How is he supposed to know that hand is better than most 16 point hands without 5 clubs?

This ends up being a pretty awful auction for normal 2/1 agreements - opener has to evaluate within a massive range of shapes and strengths knowing almost nothing about responder's hand. Fwiw having 2 be 6+ really does help in slam auctions like this.
March 22
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Giorgio, yes, doing a full analysis would require a simulation done by someone who knows what they are doing and is taking extreme care to avoid bias. The value in polls like this is allowing you to calibrate your judgment based on an amalgamation of the experience of many good players. If everyone thinks X and you think Y you're very likely to be wrong. Experts aren't shy about disagreeing with one another and if there are experts on both sides then both calls are probably reasonable.

What you are saying about IMPs is certainly true but this wasn't IMPs and anyway people have this issue at IMPS too, arguably worse since at MPs it's “just one board”. It causes them to be too conservative about doubling part-scores and overcalling at a high level, even when the IMP odds for these actions are probably their favor.

Saying the bidder can have anywhere from 0 to all the remaining strength here is not true. Overcalled needs to have *something* to bid - playing partner for more than a defensive trick (and the value of his 4+ trumps here) seems like too much. He can't have that much after responder freely bids game without inviting!
March 19
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* You can't add a hand diagram in a comment as the functionality currently stands.
* Anecdotes are not very helpful in general for figuring out the right long-term action. This is especially true in situations like this where going for/collecting a number is much more memorable than getting a good score for going -50 in 2 instead of the opponents getting +90 in 1NT, say.
* This particular anecdote is especially unhelpful because 1) that 5-5 majors hand is MUCH worse than the one given here, which has an ace and a void and some tens - I would believe it's still right to bid at favorable but I don't think it's at all clear, and 2) the 5 bid is completely off the map when partner has promised no club support and the opponents are trying to play in their suit that's breaking at best 4-0 and more likely 5-0.
March 19
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I think the idea that we would have “an agreement” to bid or not with this hand is misguided. Whether to bid or not is purely a judgment call. I would bid over 1NT if he thought bidding rated to get us a better score than passing and I would expect my partner to do the same. I don't even know what kind of sensible agreement one could possibly make about this sort of thing.

For the record not bidding with this particular hand over 1NT white at matchpoints seems totally crazy to me.
March 19
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Seems clear to open 1 if you're going to open
March 10
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If you were looking to create some action you already missed a MUCH better opportunity.
March 9
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I agree with Arend completely. Just saying “no agreement” may be legally allowed, but I think it is entirely against the spirit of the alert procedure. The point of alerting is to remedy information asymmetry. It's not fair when you know something about the meaning of your bids that the opponents don't (obviously other than information about your hand, to which they are not entitled). Saying “no agreement” when you have information the opponents don't is willfully allowing the information asymmetry to persist. Yes you should caveat your explanation with “we haven't discussed this specifically” as Peter Boyd and Marty Harris suggested, but I don't see how giving the opponents no information when you have information they don't can be the right thing to do.
Feb. 28
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Doesn't tanking followed by the cheapest bid show this hand?
Feb. 23
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I did not play this hand but I'm confident in the veracity of the story. I figured I'd post in case both of the perpetrators miss this thread. This is by far the unlikeliest thing I've heard about happening at a bridge table. 6NT was cold (and bid!) on the K lead with:

Qxxx
J
AQJ10
Jxxx

AJ9
AK108x
Kxx
xx

Pretty sure I got the layout right. You need RHO to hold the singleton A and exactly Q9x, then to pick up spades for no losers, probably just by playing for the double finesse. The good news is that spades coming in isn't so unlikely given LHO must hold x4x6 already, but still I think our best guess was somewhere around 10000-1 against. If anyone wants to math it feel free.
Feb. 19
Mike Gill edited this comment Feb. 19
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I certainly agree the best way to *establish* 5 winners is to lead the 5-card suit. If we need to cash 5 tricks right now though…
Jan. 30
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Second round? That's actually fine as I can effectively fall back on David's line below. I think if RHO wins the K and plays a heart I can pitch my losing diamond, but as long as LHO ruffs from 5 and plays a trump I'm pretty sure I'm toast.

I was originally thinking that this defense might be unclear enough that I shouldn't commit to playing LHO for the KQ but I'm thinking David's line below is better. Certainly saying A heart was clear was an overstatement.
Jan. 11
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I'm still not convinced that I can make it on many layouts, but it seems clear to start with A and then continue a heart.
Jan. 10
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No, that would clearly be wrong. It's over LHO's 3NT bid.
Dec. 20, 2017
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I'm in the forcing with a diamond stopper camp. Stoppers in both minors are important here since they could have 5 of either. What shape would you really want to bid 2 natural on - it almost has to be 6 diamonds, and that is pretty unlikely with RHO having 4+ diamonds. And anyway the window for needing to bid 2 over 2 is so small with diamonds known to be breaking 4-x or 5-x (if RHO is sane).
Dec. 16, 2017
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To be fair before that thought my first one was “wow I'm really committed to this psych”
Dec. 16, 2017
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