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All comments by Paul Dalley
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Double would have been penalty
June 21
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I don't think this is cheating (as the title indicates), it is more like unintentionally breaching the rules in broad daylight and clear sight - like a tennis player putting their foot over the line during their serve, and receiving a foot fault.

I disagree with the bid you made, but I would not be particularly bothered if this happened at my table because I would just call the director and present my case.

The real cheating in bridge can't normally be rectified by a director call as its deceitful, covert and difficult to prove. Including, for example, use of body language to convey information (and not-ignoring partner's body language is just as bad), or extra partnership information that is not disclosed to the opponents.

I think serious bridge players should be in a “constant state of vigilance” regarding those issues, because most of the time we have to be self-governing on those issues, and its extremely difficult and unnatural for most people to carry out the self governing role properly. Largely because in order to do it properly, we have to forget about results and “winning”, which is not-routine for adrenaline filled sport players in major events.
June 20
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That comment isn't persuasive.

Anyway, its probably a matter that a simulator could give some insight into. What would you say partners expected point count and shape is?

There are 22 points unaccounted for. Illd say North has very little to bid like that, so partner probably has 7-16. Very high chance of points outside of hearts, say 95% chance.

What is partners expected shape? At minimum 51(34), but some chance for a 6+ card spade suit or a void in hearts.

Even just taking 51(34) shapes, with 10 average points, I wonder what the EV of double vs bid 5S would be. I guess it would be hard or maybe impossible to simulate, because a large part of the upside is in bidding slam or grand slam after the 5S bid.
June 17
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3 Keycards, queen of trumps, 3 card support, decent 5 card side suit, partner high odds to have shortage in hearts - feels right to bid on.

A cool idea - After 5S, if partner has a hand, 5NT should be keycard - denying a void. For hands with a void, bid on the 6 level directly after 5S - giving a keycard answer, and it shows a void. That is probably more useful here than having 6x as natural. The idea is to not miss 7S, which is probably going to be on something like 10% of the time.
June 15
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Kxxx
x
AKxxxxx
x

That's partner's hand.
May 29
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If partner's looking at 3-4 keycards, it makes some sense to bid the suit where the keycard is lacking, i.e. 6H would convey a lot - a keycard missing in H and possibly trumps. Whereas, bidding keycards, 6C, gives 1 piece of info.

If this was the case, when you sign off in 6S, you would be denying both heart and spade keycards. Therefore, when partner passes 7H they are suggesting that they perhaps only needed 1 base covered, Ill'd take the view that they are open in hearts, not in trumps, and besides, what cards do they have to do so much bidding?? Outside of hearts there is S - AK, D- A, C- AQ. I dont think they would be suggesting 7S with 14 points, say Axxxxx xx Axx AQ, although maybe its possible. I think suggesting 7S after a 6S sign off should be a very serious concept, not a trivial/small push, given the significant stakes and the inability to be scientific. In other words, it should be asking for basically one feature, as its impossible to be more scientific than that.

In practice doubling is logical because its highly likely that the players are on different pages OR the opponents have a 13 card fit, so partner has a heart void but doesn't have a spade keycard. However, I dont a double void looks like the situation given the staggered bidding (if west had 7-8 hearts, they mightve bid more than 1H originally, or more than 5H on their second go).
April 23
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Thats a good point although I'm not sure that the hand I gave would be a clear 7S bid, maybe it should be. Maybe you have a hand like the below and 7S is off.
QJxx
K
Kx
KQxxxx
April 22
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I think partner is looking at 2 small hearts and otherwise has the nuts. Say

AKxxxx
xx
Axx
Ax

Partner probably knew you would not go to 7S over 6H looking at his cards, and was preying the auction would continue this way. I don't really know what other hand I would pass 7H with… i.e. a hand which 6H has not said it all. What would you suggest he has?

And anyway, consider the inferences of their bidding. Particularly what is west bidding 7H on? I highly doubt it contains many/any values outside of hearts.

There isn't much info given, I don't know what 5NT, 6C, 6D would convey in that particular partnership.
April 22
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Its a huge move to pass 7H, asking partner to rethink. I think they would only do this looking at 4 keycards. The passer would know that lack of keycards would obviously be a big reason not to go to 7 over 6H, despite a void, so its suggesting that a big reason is covered, and to rethink - i.e with a void and good other cards, like that hand contains (and the Q of trumps).
April 22
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I wouldn't think about bidding on this hand.

7240 I would probably rip, 7141 probably would still pass. You have approximately 1 trick in your hand, that should be more than enough to defeat it.

If bidding game was 100% going to make, you would do it. If it was 50% chance, its already not much better than our +200, and also keep in mind we might get +500 or more from the double. Now suppose game is only 30-40% (especially in light of the probable bad breaks), bidding 5S becomes hugely losing EV.
April 7
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expected partner to be 4 hearts and 4+ diamonds with 11 points for the 3D bid. What would your double in the live seat of 3S have been? I think it would've been takeout, eyeing 3NT or otherwise willing to play in 4D. I think partner just wants to compete now to 4D but is giving you the chance to leave in the double if you have a heavy spade holding, but a hand that didn't want to bid 3NT. So say, 12 points and KQJx of spades.

The alternative is that it is a penalty double, but I don't think that is possible given t hat partner has conveyed a hand that is mainly rich in the red suits, and on account of your double fit.

Ill'd bid 4D.
April 7
Paul Dalley edited this comment April 7
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Don't like this auction at all.

1. what should 3S have meant in their methods. In light of that meaning, did north bid their hand reasonably? Especially the 6D bid, was there any alternative at all to making a non-existent bid that can arguably have been made in an attempt to wake partner up?

2. I don't think south should be allowed to pass 6D, even if it might be logical to play in their shorter fit, as it is the type of decision that is not routine, both in suggesting 6D and passing 6D.

In summary, given the failure to alert, the offending pair should not be allowed to do anything out of the ordinary, they should keep the bidding as normal as it would've been if everything was alerted, AND south should continue to assume that the hearts were natural and not do anything heroic or out of the ordinary, so pretty much hearts should be the trump suit.

The 6D bid and passing 6D shouldn't be allowed given the circumstances.
March 31
Paul Dalley edited this comment March 31
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I hope partner doesn't also decide that a 4-3 fit on this hand is fine, or else it may be a 3-3 fit (and perhaps be the best spot anyway like in the later chapters of some of the T. Reese books).
March 13
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What worked on the day is only relevant to the extent that it sheds light on the winning long term card. I wouldn't be surprised at all if K is correct, even though I voted for the singleton.
March 10
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Playing a trump might also be good
Feb. 24
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First step is probably to figure out the club layout. Missing clubs are QJ93, and the first trick went A 6 7 5. If partner has the 3, what is their possible holding?

In terms of 3 card holdings, probably the only one is J73.

As for 4 card holdings containing the 3, partner would be discouraging but not willing to spare a higher card, so there are probably no holdings unless partner got stingy with J973 and treated that as a discouraging holding.

Therefore it looks like declarer has the 3, unless partner has exactly J73.

Conclusion:

Are the opponents playing that a club shows three cards in the suit? if so, partner probably has 1 or 2 clubs (4 combinations I think), or Q97 or QJ7, if not its possible that partner has QJ97. There is also the chance of exactly J73, but this is like 1 in 8 chance.

How to play?
Not sure, but I'm playing a club. It will cost when declarer has 2, and all values in hearts. Even this might still rely on holding the Q of trumps as otherwise partner can ruff in on the 3rd club which might salvage a crucial diamond trick.

When declarer has some values in diamonds, drawing trumps and pitching diamonds will not necessarily help the trick tally. For example, declarer's hand is

QJx
Q10
KQ10x
QJxx
Feb. 24
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Yea I'm definitely finessing. In summary my opinion is - its 50/50, except east with 98 might make an error, say 20% of the time, and play the 9. Therefore, always play for the finesse, be right 50/50, except when you see the 9 played on the first round by east - then play for the drop and capitalise on east's error.

And as mentioned, if west played the 10 from 108, well done.
Feb. 24
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If partner has 5 or 6 in the suit that was led, and you only have 2, I guess playing you for longer trumps makes sense.

Also, if you did have doubleton in partner's and singleton in declarer's (therefore 10 cards in the other 2 suits) there may have been a higher chance for your shape to be depicted in the bidding.
Feb. 24
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What was the tempo at the table like?

If west did start with Q10, then east should probably play the 8 from 89 on the first round (as was the card played in the description), because if east played the 9 it would mean that IF west started with the 8, then they chose to ruff with the 10 from 108, therefore a reasonable conclusion might be that the 8 is with east so play for the drop.

But, a normal instinct on the first round of trumps might be to play the highest of equals, so to play the 8 by east would be good play. Therefore, if there is nothing else to go on, play for the finesse. That is because, 100% of the time when east has Q8 they will play the 8, but say at least some of the time when they have 98 they will play the 9 (the wrong card probably), therefore it has restricted-choice qualities to it, whereby the 8 more likely comes from Q8 rather than a well played 98 holding.(by the way, if west ruffed with the 10 from 108 then well done to west also).
Feb. 24
Paul Dalley edited this comment Feb. 24
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1C all pass is probably too much of a possibility at Vul
Feb. 13
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