Join Bridge Winners
All comments by Oren Kriegel
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You should alert it, since you have a relevant agreement about an analogous sequence. (Presumably, you know how you play 1 - 1 - 1NT - 2 if responder is an unpassed hand.) If asked, say, “We haven't discussed this when responder is a passed hand, but if he were unpassed…” then explain that agreement.

Often, the opponents will stop you after “we haven't discussed this when responder is a passed hand,” for fear that letting you continue will help your side. That's their prerogative.

How you continue after 2 is a matter of your bridge judgement. The way I play two-way checkback is that 2 forces 2. If partner bid an undiscussed 2 as a passed hand, I would always bid 2. What to do when partner bids 2 is a trickier question.

If you play two-way checkback differently, your considerations may be different.
Feb. 16
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If declarer doesn't wait till you've quitted your trick to play to the next one, you can use your words and tell declarer to wait. Or, as you often recommend, you can involve the director.

Declarer's behavior and/or tempo doesn't give you license vary your tempo with no bridge problem to deceive declarer.
Feb. 12
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I don't think deciding which card to play for deceptive purposes is a legitimate reason to break tempo. If you aren't ready to make your deceptive play in tempo, that's too bad.

As David points out, you had lots of time during the play to get ready. If declarer is say, David Grainger, who is playing the hand at the speed of light, you can always hold open an earlier trick while you do your thinking.
Feb. 12
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It's not “fair” for West to break tempo mid-hand without a bridge problem. What to play from xx is not a bridge problem. It is at the most generous a signalling problem and much more likely an ethical problem.

If West does hitch from xx, you deserve redress. Knowing that and taking it into account isn't improper. Whether or not you can actually convince a director about the bridge aspect of your line and whether the director actually believes you (if West is willing to hitch with xx, he's also probably willing to lie about it) are other considerations.

If West can smooth duck Hx and get you to go wrong, well done. You would never call the director in that case—this is when you've lost two tricks “fairly.”
Feb. 12
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Ian, you're knocking down a straw man. You should know as well as anyone that good methods can be used badly. After all, you've posted more than once about disasters occurring in your pet methods…
Feb. 10
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Right. I'm saying that no hand with a doubleton spade would ever jump to 4 on this auction, so I would treat 4 as a splinter, not natural.
Feb. 10
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1. I don't have strong feelings. If West would bid 2 with 5=4=4=0 distribution (I wouldn't), then 2 makes sense. I would bid 2NT.

2. 3. 4 would be a splinter for diamonds, imo. You don't fail to support spades and then jump on a doubleton.

3. No. He knows there is no good fit and he has a bare minimum with bad trump spots. Passing 3 might have a higher EV than moving toward slam.

4. I don't understand why this is Last Train instead of just a cue. OK, sure, maybe you have nothing to cue, so 4 is a bit suspect, but I wouldn't call it Last Train. Last Train usually applies when there is only one step left. Regardless of definition, 4 is fine.

5. Open whatever hands you like. I would always open the West hand.

You didn't ask, but: 6. 4NT is the worst bid I've seen today (but it's still morning).
Feb. 10
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I once saw my opponents have a keycard misunderstanding to play 5 with all five keycards. 6 was a terrible contract and had no chance as the cards lay. Naturally, my teammates bid 6, but their auction was about as good as my opponents'.
Feb. 8
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For board 4 on page 2, South should be giving count on the first round of clubs, solving the “guess,” but you did well to play it the way you did.
Feb. 4
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South's bidding is far, far too aggressive. 3 at the third turn is fine, but South has a minimum for that call. North will know that spade honors and the K are good cards and can drive to slam if he has enough of them (e.g. KQxxx xxxx KJ xx).

North's 4 is probably a little too much, with bad trumps, but South could have a that makes slam good, perhaps: AKx x AQxxx AJxx.
Jan. 30
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Incredible final segment. I was on the edge of my seat for about 13 boards straight.
Dec. 31, 2017
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Don't count on it. The USBF names its categories accurately and appropriately and that hasn't changed (at least not since I've started playing in these events). The WBF chooses its own (idiotic) category names.
Dec. 27, 2017
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A second for every card played by every player is as much as minute more per deal, plus it will disrupt the flow of the game. Not to mention what happens when someone forgets. Have you seen how long it takes some players to write down the score, move the boards, play cards, etc.?
Dec. 24, 2017
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People already complain constantly about slow play (sometimes reasonably, sometimes not). The idea of adding something to top events that takes even more time is a non-starter.
Dec. 24, 2017
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David, in a fast arrival context, which the majority of American bridge players and the vast majority of 199ers, 4 is to play. It does't show anything other than a lot of hearts and not a lot of strength.

I agree in a slow arrival context, but “no one” plays that style these days, and trying to teach that to new players is not a worthwhile use of time and will probably confuse them.
Dec. 14, 2017
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I would tell North that a jump to 3 is highly invitational but not forcing, and this hand is a little too strong for that. If you need to convince them, point out that just the K, A, or K and a couple of low clubs gives you a good play for 3NT, and partner will pass 3 with stronger hands.

I would recommend rebidding 3NT to show a trick-taking hand, in order to avoid the issues of a faux reverse into 2, which may or may not be a good bid anyway.

I would check with South to make sure he knows that 3 over 3 is forcing. If so and he just chose 4 because he didn't think about slam, I would mention that his hand is worth 1 than 3 if he was the opening bidder and opposite a partner who shows extra values, slam is very much in the picture. 4 forecloses any chance of slam, and 3 keeps it open.

Perhaps South should do something other than 3, but 3 is clearly better than 4, and the bottom line is that South should be confident bidding 3 without worrying about getting passed there. Any slam bidding will necessarily have to rest on that foundation.

If North-South play strong jump shifts—and even if they don't—you might mention that a good auction would start 1 - 2. South can later jump to 4 showing something like this, and North will be able to Blackwood into slam no problem, or just jump to 7NT if he's confident in partner's bidding.
Dec. 14, 2017
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David, thanks for the corrections. I do appreciate it when readers point out typos.

Peg, thanks for having me back.
Dec. 14, 2017
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Not surprising I made a mistake transcribing the matchpoints and contract frequencies. If you're interested in looking for yourself, Board 13 is here: http://live.acbl.org/event/NABC173/BLUE/6/board-detail/Y?board_num=13
Dec. 13, 2017
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Thanks, fixed.
Dec. 13, 2017
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Thanks, fixed.
Dec. 13, 2017
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