Join Bridge Winners
All comments by Mike Gill
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Almost regardless of what you think of the rest of the bidding, North's 7 seems way out of line. Shoving grand in an uncontrolled auction where who knows what's going on is just not winning bridge, even in a partnership with more than 0 boards of experience. This bid deserved to turn a board that partner already won into a 0. Small slam was going to be a fine score if it made in any field I've ever played in.

For the record I think 4 as south is pretty out there too, 3NT seems completely normal at matchpoints.
Sept. 7, 2017
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The main reason for not bidding 4 directly is that it shows a hand with a ton of spades and not much in the way of high cards. With 4 bid based on HCP you have to Q so partner can bid a slam with extras.
Sept. 7, 2017
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I agree with you at other colors where the opponents are much more likely to bid 4 as a sacrifice. Here it felt like they were done.
Sept. 6, 2017
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* 2 shows diamonds, but it's not really a “raise” given opener didn't promise any!
* Responder bids 2 with inv+ values and clubs. With less than that, he could bid 3 (xx45 or better) or maybe double with 4 hearts as well. With just clubs and less than an invitation he might have to pass and hope to get another chance
* Since 2 is unlimited, passing would be a huge position. Maybe if I had opened on Qxxx Qxx - KQJxxx and they overcalled 1 and it was matchpoints
* 2 is inv+ with hearts.
Sept. 5, 2017
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In theory I think it totally make sense in the Spinterbilt-type events. It seems a bit redundant in this event since the teams are quasi-randomized thanks to the Swiss. But I'm definitely in favor of following the rules as written to leave no ambiguity about what happens.
Sept. 5, 2017
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Frenemy has some weird implications that aren't really appropriate here. Maybe we should coin fropponents? or frivals?
Sept. 5, 2017
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I guess I'm not sure what it would accomplish. Slam seems very unlikely and I'm having trouble constructing a hand where we need to play in clubs. It might help steer the opponents to a diamond lead though.
Sept. 5, 2017
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They are showing up for me. Anyone else having this issue?
Sept. 5, 2017
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Thanks, fixed.
Sept. 5, 2017
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I would bid 2, then keycard in clubs (presumably 4 if I'm playing kickback). If I don't have a way to bid keycard in clubs, then I change my system. If partner shows 0/3 I can bid 5 to confirm all the keycards, otherwise I'm bidding 6NT. This is so much better than bidding Gerber directly - partner will know I have a slam drive with long clubs and if he has a jackless max or a source of tricks he can bid grand.
Sept. 1, 2017
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Whatever solution we choose, it should make the contract when trumps are 3-2 and we don't have 3 diamond losers. I would run the lead around to my hand, then cash the A at T2 because I think a lead from Qxxx is not totally crazy but a lead from a small singleton trump is. I'm probably in trouble if they're 4-1 but at least I'll have a shot this way. My general plan is to draw trumps if they're 3-2, unblock the A, then lead a diamond to the K. Diamonds are unlikely to be 4-1 with East having the 4 since West didn't lead a singleton. If the K loses, I will be ruffing the spade return in hand, cashing the K for a spade discard, and leading the 9 and hopefully guessing well!
Aug. 30, 2017
Mike Gill edited this comment Aug. 30, 2017
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I disagree strongly with Dave's premise here. If you are opening frequently enough with random 13s such that responder feels like he should pull it in a bit, then your range is not 14-16 and the opponents need to be clued in.
Aug. 25, 2017
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Isn't playing pass as forcing here one of those agreements that's just way better if your opponents don't know you're playing it before they bid 5? If I know my opponents have to double 5 or bid at unfav, I'm going to just blast 5 on wayyyy more hands. Slam tries, 3NT/5m decisions, borderline doubles, etc. become non-decisions when I know I'm getting to play 5DXX or double them at the 5-level red.
Aug. 18, 2017
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It sounds like the question you are getting at is “should I ever try for extra undertricks if there's some risk of letting the contract make.” Assuming I'm understanding the question correctly, I believe the short answer is that if your partner is an expert, you should be willing to occasionally take some ostensible risk of not beating the contract to get some extra undertricks, particularly if they are red. But the risk should usually be of the form “do I think partner forget how to play bridge in the last 5 minutes? No? Ok then risk it”.

On your actual hand, as others have said you have a pretty clear cT return almost regardless of the rest of the hand since partner can just let you hold the trick to play something else if he wants you to do that.
Aug. 18, 2017
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This was quite an incredible last hand for sure. What amused me was that the play developed as follows in 3HX:

Club K, winning
Club Q, winning
Spade A, winning
Spade, declarer ruffing
Diamond, South's K winning
Spade, declarer ruffing low, overruffed with the K
Club A, declarer ruffing and South pitching his other diamond
High diamond, south ruffing
High spade, declarer ruffing
High diamond, south ruffing while East pitches his last spade
Trump

At this point, the hand was claimed, but assuming declarer had led a winning diamond and south ruffed, the following would have happened:

* Dummy, holding the 65 of trumps to start, and having taken no tricks thus far, took trick 13 with the only remaining trump
* The fact that dummy held the 6 was relevant. If the Kx of hearts had been K6 and dummy held the 54, South could have played a spade instead of a trump at trick 11 to beat the contract 1100. I believe South held T97x, West AQJ8x and North Kx, where those x's are actually x's.
July 31, 2017
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Nice work!
July 31, 2017
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It's “safe” in the sense that your partner will pick the right strain knowing you have only 5 spades, but that doesn't make it safe in terms of getting you a reasonable score. South doesn't have to be stacked in hearts for double to be the winner. Sometimes people preempt in 3rd seat on some random hand with only 5 and raise to 4h anyway because they haven't discussed it well. Partner is sitting there with a 13 count and 2434 shape and everyone is just way too high. Getting the declare or defend decision right and not just giving the opponents a free top for overpreempting seems really important. If your HCP were a little less defensive with this shape (say, KQTxx - Axxx JTxx), or if you had 5053 I like 4s a lot better.
July 29, 2017
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I only didn't assign south 100% because north could have opened. While this would have led to 5HX probably that seems normal and is a better score. Passing this double seems totally crazy to me. Partner will have a void as often as not to be coming in here as a passed hand at the 4-level. Do we really want to be doubling the opponents who have half the deck, and 10-11 hearts with all the high ones?
July 29, 2017
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Meant to post this after the first win, happy to get another shot. I kibitzed these guys in the 6th session of LM pairs. After a less than stellar start, their third round opponent who was declaring a tight game contract led a club, clearly intending to ruff, but called for a diamond instead. After a solid second at least declarer realized the mistake, and John just let him take it back. Always comforting when champions practice great sportsmanship!
July 28, 2017
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A 4-4 fit doesn't rate to play very well unless the clubs are running, and even then it might be tough on a 4-1 break when I'm likely to be tapped at T2. If partner has 5+ hearts, I want to play in game even opposite a minimum, since my trumps figure to be a late entry even after taking a ruff. I really think a support double accomplishes what we want to on this type of hand, effectively getting partner to play clubs unless he has 5+ hearts.

Continuations:
* If partner signs off in 2, I will continue with 3. If he corrects that to 3 I can be confident he has 5 and I can kick it in to game.
* If partner bids any higher number of hearts (in competition or not) I can safely raise/compete in hearts/try for slam knowing he has 5
* If auction comes back to me at 3-4 I can continue with the cheapest heart bid. Partner's going to know I have short diamonds, a lot of shape (since I didn't X to offer defending), so likely 3-6 or 3-7 in hearts/clubs, and he'll go back to clubs with 4. And heck, if he decides to shoot out the 4-3 in game or something, bonus trump!
* If the auction comes back to me at 5, I'm in a tough spot, but it's not like if I had bid 2 or 3 partner would have any idea what I had. This is really only a loss if partner has a hand that could bid 5 over 5 opposite a 2/3 bid but not a support X, which seems like quite a parlay. Also, the opponents might be less likely to jack it up to 5 at equal given we haven't even shown a fit yet.
July 14, 2017
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