Join Bridge Winners
All comments by Nick Jacob
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
It's surprising that so few people have seen the auction 2NT-3NT-4M (and its ilk). I have bid 2NT-3NT-4M, I have seen my partner bid 2NT-3NT-4M, and an elite player recently used this sequence in a world championship. In none of the three cases had the opener missorted the hand. Each player judged that there was a problem in the other major because partner didn't use Stayman (regular, puppet or otherwise) so it would be better to play the 5 or 6 card major.

Of course, 2NT-3NT-4M is a tad rarer than the slightly more common 2NT-3NT-Pass. Even with screens you would be 99% sure partner didn't have a natural 2NT-3NT-4M bid and was instead playing you for what you now remember your bid to have showed.

Without screens, unfamiliarity with a natural 2NT-3NT-4M sequence is the only excuse I can find for somehow deeming that we are now legally allowed to remember that 3NT was artificial, the 3NT call having been alerted. But I wouldn't side with this argument.

I would still pass 4 behind screens. I don't like the fact that certain sequences allow you to “wake up” but other sequences don't. I feel I deserve my punishment for 4H down however many for forgetting this bit of system. At least I'll be more likely to remember it next time.

Come to think of it, one of the best things about screens is when a player tries to be a hero after waking up… but instead gooses it because partner held the so-called impossible hand, and there was nothing to wake up to. Not really plausible in the given sequence, but enjoyable when it does happen.
Oct. 31
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
If you have defined T1 as upside down count here, it's pretty easy to play a club. We know declarer doesn't hold Kxxx. Declarer also can't hold K5 with, say a 3442 shape - partner's signal is inconsistent. Partner wouldn't give odd count with this middle spot unless the top card is the king. So partner's only relevant club holdings are K1064 and K43. (K4 is not a real possibility unless declarer has been incredibly deep with 2434, and partner's spade signal would be wrong anyway.)

If you have defined T1 as upside down attitude here, it's pretty easy to play a club. Again partner won't have a doubleton without the King because declarer's play is illogical, therefore the 4 is encouraging.

If you have defined T1 as suit preference here, you're in a bit of trouble. The subsequent signal in trumps is important but not for the reasons that I've read in the comments. With a doubleton in trumps, your meanings are, generally: high-low is high suit, low-high is generic/low suit. I don't think we should be introducing a new suit to the S/P signal, just about ever. If your T1 focus is “spades or diamonds?” because clubs is logically eliminated (I don't agree, but that's why my card at T1 isn't S/P), you can't later re-introduce clubs. Partner will take the low high in trumps at face value: default, what I said at T1 holds true.

If partner holds K43 and had to play 4 because 3 would be unambiguous for diamonds, he must subsequently play high low in trumps, warning us that diamonds aren't what he meant. Yes we may think he wants spades, but there is no layout where we should play a spade instead of a club.

The idea of partner's spade play being suit preference also… Let's not go there.

Basically if we've defined T1 as S/P, I'll pay a diamond (partner should play high low in trumps with K next time). Otherwise I play a club. If we haven't defined it (whoops) I'll play a club.
Oct. 13
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
That's a shame. I thought the write up was funny and the analysis in the comments was very good. I don't know why people are upset you called Malmö dangerous. I certainly wouldn't want to risk running into Fredin on a daily basis!
Oct. 10
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
David, what Julian means is that when West holds J5 and plays the Jack, there is no guess. You will have seen the 8 and 9 on the right after playing A, 2. So now the Q107 are all equals against the King and there is no threat of a trump promotion versus an original KJ doubleton.
Oct. 8
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
West had shown the minors… You can't call that line 75% when both finesses are more likely to fail.
Oct. 6
ATB
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Whether East bids 3 or 4 at his first turn is up to you. 4 opposite a 3rd seat W/R opener could be pretty hair-raising. If you're a bit more solid in 4th (always 5 card suit etc) then 4 is maybe okay.

East probably shouldn't think partner has a red ace when North makes a grand slam try. Of course, on North's actual hand, West could have had a red ace… but that's because North doesn't have much of a 5 bid. On balance, East probably shouldn't double.

West could have doubled 6. That sounds quite encouraging for East to sacrifice. It's not lead directional because West is on lead. However it's not clear to do this. N/S could use the extra room to clarify that it is only a second round club control, whereas without the double maybe North is just about to bid a failing grand slam. Unlikely, though.

West could also have taken the sacrifice himself. He is pretty confident they can't make grand slam and he knows it will be cheap. Defensive prospects are very poor. The double didn't help, though.

So both partners could have done better. West had more opportunities to do better, but East's decision to double 5 was more impactful.
Oct. 2
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Wow, the UI is awesome. Great initiative. I really like recording players' thinking times, too. (Personally I don't see how it's fair or acceptable to use 28 minutes to play a card, or for a table to play 3 boards in an hour, as has happened in the past couple of big events. A discussion for another time, perhaps.)
Sept. 30
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Why couldn't North be 4423, 4432 or 3433 without K or Q? Grand might have zero play. I don't agree with the argument that North would bid RKCB on the actual hand but not these hands; I don't think North should bid RKCB on his actual hand. My preference would be for South to use RKCB over 3. However I don't pay spiral scan. Is it possible to investigate K and third round spade control? Obviously we don't need the spade control, however if partner holds a doubleton spade we greatly increase the chances of partner holding 4.
Sept. 23
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
FWIW I really enjoy reading different views on how to handle common hand types. I also think it's important both to experience different styles of bidding and to discuss these styles with experts. Too often discussions break down into exchanges of platitudes, but you can find some very good information with a little digging. When I was trying to read everything I could about bridge, resources like Ulf's blogs were very interesting to see how experts handled basic problems - overcall vs pass, double vs overcall etc.

On this hand (board 15 in Ulf's link above) I believe there are a number of interesting points to the auction that transpired after this hand chose to double. I don't think West should have passed over 2NT and I'm not convinced South should bid 2NT either.
Sept. 13
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
David, this action isn't Unbelievable, Bizarre or Unprecedented. It's the WBF. Grotesque is the only standard.

People don't really get it (not saying you don't - just talking generally). There are so many instances where the WBF has acted in a manner showcasing corruption, contempt for ethics and morality, and disrespect for its members, yet so many of us respond along the lines of “How could the WBF stoop so low?”

Newsflash: the WBF doesn't need to stoop because it has been crooked the whole time.

When was the last time there was even the pretence of holding a somewhat democratic election for the WBF presidency? When has the WBF taken a firm stand on cheating? (The president certainly cares a lot about cheaters: when he was president of the FIGB he used any excuse to offer them amnesty.) It's not shocking the WBF uses the Olympic movement as their moral compass because it hasn't had one since… inception?

That the WBF is corrupt at its core is a tragedy not just for the (non-cheating) players, but for all the people who do great work at these world championships. The directors, scorers, administrators, media, etc. who love bridge and work hard to make these championships run smoothly… as is often the case, their efforts are totally undermined by a few scumbags above them upholding a culture of contempt and corruption.
Sept. 13
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Lots of short honours but would still have called this a strong 1.

(Repiled to Richard's comment instead of the thread by mistake.)
Sept. 11
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
4 choice of games seems quite appropriate if you have that agreement.
Sept. 11
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Depends on your style for the double. To me, these colours put double much closer to takeout than to penalty. As a result this is an easy 4NT bid, passing 5 or converting 5 to 5.
Sept. 7
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Opening anything other than 1 is too extreme a position to be taking here. You have a good balanced hand, so treat it as such.
Aug. 29
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
This is an old hand but it's quite interesting. Try responding 2 on this. You will right side diamonds, you'll find great 4-3 slams, and you'll involve partner more. Everyone loves semi-relay 2 but it doesn't really give partner a chance to show how much he likes his minimum, especially if he patterns out at a level where you can no longer pivot. Consider partner holding 6331, 5332 etc with sharp controls. If you relay you will just about never make it past 3NT. If you respond 2 you get to have an auction like 1-2-2-2NT-3-3 - and this could be even more valuable if you have some gadgetry after the 2NT rebid.
Aug. 26
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
The amount of the money that the host NBO has to pay to the WBF for the honour of hosting a WBF event is also exorbitant. Some American bridge players could afford this by themselves, sure, but why encourage them to give money to the WBF? So a bunch of delegates can stay in the presidential suites of the most luxurious hotel in town? If you want to spend other people's money for the good of bridge, there are hundreds of things that would make the list before this venture - including the establishment of a rival world bridge organisation with its constituents' best interests at heart.
Aug. 15
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
I have seen some experts play 3 as a multi meaning bid, with one of those meanings being “I have a long weak minor that is useless for 3NT unless you have good support.” Opener bids 3NT with enough in the minors to expect responder's unknown minor to run and otherwise bids 4, pass or correct. Responder can also have some strong hands with both minors and shows this by bidding 4 or higher. As a result, their 3NT response to 2NT is to play. However this is usually combined with regular Stayman instead of Puppet Stayman.

As mentioned above, some players split the 2 ranges, opening 2NT with 22-24 and 2 with 20-21 or 25+. This is very playable but requires some changes to the approach over 2, both without interference (playing 2M response as NF for example) and with (responder clarifies range immediately; opener can make a NF pass opposite the weak range).

I expect you would be in better shape on this hand than many expert partnerships would be playing their methods. Most partnerships don't devote much system space to playing in partscores over 2NT. Most important tournaments are IMPs rather than matchpoints nowadays, though of course you can save many IMPs playing 3/4 instead of 2/3NT on this hand. Interesting hand anyway, I wouldn't have thought playing 5 was a big consideration so Richards' simulation was an eye opener.
Aug. 13
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
What's the disadvantage of starting with hearts and diamonds before either black suit? If South shows 4 you will obviously cash clubs before spades. If North shows 4 you can choose which heart+black suit squeeze to play for.

Assuming North shows up with 4, the + squeeze is more likely than the + squeeze but is that true after the lead? Richard, you seem pretty convinced North would lead J rather than guess a suit with 1435 or 1444. We know hearts are off limits, playing the diamonds will tell us something when 1435 and probably nothing when 1444, and there's a chance South has the J making a club lead less unattractive. Personally a spade lead from J109x (though we need to know south's T1 card) when 4432 feels more likely than a stiff J lead when 1435 or 1444.
Aug. 9
Nick Jacob edited this comment Aug. 9
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
There are three amazing things about David's comment:
1) That you can't ask about this 3 bid after the auction; and
2) That the only reason you could be asking implies a strong holding in clubs; and
3) That at least ten people are in agreement!

When I played in Wroclaw, the open pairs was filled with people playing Polish Club, as you might expect. I'm sure most of them operated under the same principle as David: “if we don't alert it, it has the normal meaning.” Well unfortunately I don't play Polish Club so I didn't know what the normal meaning was for many auctions. Yet to receive full and accurate information was to squeeze blood out of a stone.

In spite of this, being behind screens is generally much better for disclosure. It's easier to ask during the auction and have your screenmate write down what's happening. Without screens it's a mess. There is the inconsistency of sometimes asking versus sometimes not asking, there is the danger of giving partner UI or possibly letting the opponents profit from UI etc. In many uncontested auctions the defender not on lead may wait until dummy comes down before doing a deeper investigation. (I don't really want to argue whether this is correct behaviour or not; just pointing out something that does happen a lot.)

Let's look at the actual situation. I believe Wayne was playing without screens and in New Zealand. For those of you who haven't played here, it's a melting pot of systems. People cook up their own stuff all the time. There is no default standard system at tournaments. I say this because a number of places (including the above example of Poland and I'd add the States to this too) are much more uniform with system. In these places, there is a pretty clear expectation for what this 3 bid should show. Most people, I guess, wouldn't ask about it.

This is a pretty naive approach unless you know the opponents quite well. Off the top of my head there are at least a few different styles for this 3 rebid:

1) 2 rebid shows 6+, so you must bid 2NT or 3 with clubs and only 5;
2) 2 rebid is non forcing so you may have to bid a fragment;
3) 3 shows extra values but doesn't imply extra shape;
4) 3 shows extra shape but doesn't imply extra values;
5) 3 must have either extra shape or extra values or both.

I believe that in a number of places none of these different meanings would be alertable. So if you get burned because you didn't investigate, well I guess you'll have to use your vast tournament experience to win the appeal.

When I played I would try to give as thorough an explanation as the defenders needed but from my experience, most people don't do the same. In these cases I have 100% sympathy for defenders trying to draw blood from a stone. Defenders deserve to be told what the understanding is, not “worse clubs than you.”
Aug. 4
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Kinda amusing, if you swap partner's Q10 with declarer's J9 they will make their 6x if they run.
July 23
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
.

Bottom Home Top