Join Bridge Winners
All comments by Nick Hughes
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Added the “just bridge” option.
Sept. 6
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I like my garbage, particularly opposite weaker notrumps.
There are tweaks for 1NT - 2 - 2 - 2.

Mike Lawrence advocated this as weakish unbalanced, often with a singleton heart. Responder might have

KTxx x xx KTxxxx

Too good to ignore spades, so Stayman then 2 over 2/, planning to remove opener's 2NT to 3, to play.

Another treatment for 2 - 2 - 2 is to show a hand unsuited to transferring, say

ATxxx x xxx KTxx

A hand with game interest, though not keen on notrumps. A spade partscore will go better than 2NT.
Aug. 22
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Yes, it would be a fancy play indeed from T-8-7.
Still …
July 10
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True, only winning defence.

Another issue is the correct line of declarer play single dummy.
Say declarer does the right things early on,
then leads 9-J-?
It COULD be right to ruff this, playing East for 5-3-1-4.
Against the odds on the auction but unclear if East-West had passed throughout.
That line does not need the K onside.
Note there is some restricted choice in the trump pips.
July 9
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This is not simple in the low standard club game, where I direct. The key phrase could indeed be

“West plays a card on the table”

By REVEALING a card, West could simply be saying to the table “This is the one I should have played. It was stuck behind the whatever. Can we go back?”

So that West may not have intentionally played to the next trick. “Too bad” you say. Maybe.

A common occurrence is a declarer who ruffs a heart, then immediately “leads” one back. In my experience, s/he is sometimes revealing, not leading. Of course, declarer should have said “Hang on, I've got a heart” but they don't think to do that.
July 3
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Looks normal to wind back to 4.
If East alerts 2, they make 3NT but I assume North gets to receive the correct information at the most favourable time, when he's about to bid 4. Is that right?

South did some strange things but are they silly enough? Did he stop playing bridge? Over 4, “pass = s, X = s” is normal but not that clear in the absence of an agreement.
Redouble is daft but irrelevant.
June 28
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Khokan, maybe the control-rich East hand with 4-4 majors is too strong for 1NT? (despite no intermediates). There is a view - Beauchamp? - that this shape with 17 points is too much.
June 18
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I also wonder whether a program would cash A after the A, then take the heart finesse, correctly reasoning that it costs nothing to check for a singleton K.
May 9
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9 lead was not a success

N QT843

W J E AK75

S 962

How do I post the complete layout in a poll?
May 9
Nick Hughes edited this comment May 9
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I guess so, in a top game. As a simple soul, if I saw North - who seems to have five major cards - pitch two spades I would think he had the K.
May 8
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Depends whether you think four tricks is enough.
Q picks up Kx & Kxx for all five club tricks, then you can relax.
May 7
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North has a few early choices. K or J. Is one the default? Which? Then the second diamond lead might be a middle one, since all are aware of declarer's problem.

Declarer rates to have two A-Qs though I guess AKJ QJx is possible.

Baring K is probably okay but note that declarer has the option of playing North for both major kings, in which case one will be bare. If South is pitching count, that might reveal North's shape.

If you pitch 3, should it be heart then spade or other way round?
May 7
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Okay, fixed
May 7
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The difference being that a transfer might lead to 4 by South, with West less likely to swing A.
May 6
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I ran this through Win BGen, which is a bit crude.
32 hands assuming West had 5-4, East K.

25 times a heart worked, 6 times West had stiff A so South had to lead a spade.

With our side having eight hearts, 5-1-4-3 is a bit more common that 5-3-4-1.
May 6
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Okay, seems clear by the votes a heart is right. I still think it's close.
Playing 5 looks like it needs hearts to break, plus the club finesse.
Playing 7 needs Kxx exactly onside.

In practice a spade is the winning play.

Opener had
Axxxx A Kxxx xxx

Opener having 5-4 increases the chance of stiff A, perhaps not by enough.
May 6
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After a diamond lead, did he make it?
May 6
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I think a bad habit some people have is being fixated - even mesmerised - by dummy. I've fallen into this at times as declarer. Tunnel vision has caused me to miss peripheral cards completely. Did East follow to the first trump?
Likewise as defender, if you stare at dummy all the time, your brain can push the vital cards played by partner and declarer into the background. In fact, it is better to look at your own cards than dummy's, bearing in mind that looking pointedly at partners' hand is probably slotting.
April 17
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I have aphantasia, meaning “no mind's eye”. That means I have virtually no ability to form internal images. Peter Gill, a top Australian player, has the same condition.

For instance, when I was young and had difficulty getting to sleep, I heard people say “Try counting sheep”. I had no ideas what that entailed.

Anyway, it may seem like a big disadvantage but I am able to “imagine” a layout, just not visually. It's hard to explain. I play a decent game of chess and can play blindfold, though not well. Najdorf played 40 simultaneous games blindfold. I imagine he was able to draw up a picture of each of the 40 layouts.
April 16
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Ian & Al,

there are other gains in “suits & shortages top down, canap√© first”: when you lose steps, and with some freaky shapes.

Take a black 6511. If the bid to show this is 3,
opener can bid 3 to ask, if prepared to play 3NT opposite 5-1-1-6 (canape first) and 4 opposite 6-1-1-5.

A bit obscure. More common are hands after 1 - 1 - 1, where the structure is Up 2. Then the bid to show x-4-4-x happens to be 3 for us.
Give opener something like 5-2-3-3.
Now relaying with 3 is safe, planning to pass 3NT, else play 4 if partner bids 4 to show 3-4-4-2.

PS. We zoom straight off with 1-suiters. Useful if the auction is not GF.
Our 1 opening denies four s

1 - 1

1NT = , 2 = bal,
2 = >, 2 = >=
2 = 6+, HS, etc
April 16
Nick Hughes edited this comment April 16
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