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All comments by Paul Dalley
1 2
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You can tell quite a bit from the bidding

Declarer is 24(34) or 2434 exactly, depending on opponents methods. Hearts are 5521. Pard has say 4 points on a good day. It doesn't look like a highly aggressive lead is called for, particularly because hearts are sitting badly and declarer is balanced. Ill'd lead the A to look at table and also to avoid a later “endplay” issue, as passive play this hand might be best.

Despite it being a lot of bidding that is quite informative, it all only feels like a slightly educated guess at best anyway!
May 26
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If you can make 8 tricks you are risking 220, not 100!
May 18
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Both approaches (3 as forcing or not forcing) pay a price. If your bidding system is geared towards achieving the best results in competitive auctions then I would assume NF will do better. However this means that you will have to cue or jump to force as opener, so you will pay a price in constructive auctions.


Ill'd say the correct way to analyse this would be as follows:

how much you gain COMPARED WITH how much you lose, in each auction (constructive and competitive). Then consider that in light of the frequency of each hand (my guess is that it is significantly more likely that you will have a competitive/weaker hand rather than constructive/stronger hand, both due to general principles and in light of the auction).

In summary: there is absolutely no doubt that each approach has advantages and disadvantages.
May 18
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Problem with the A is that the opponents at some point can play another . If the North hand has to ruff then its unlikely it will have entries for winners unless the suit is distributed in a very friendly fashion. Probably entries to the North hand is the biggest concern/threat to the contract.
May 14
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Oh not sure if my previous comment is relevant anymore, it was in response to a different line which might have been edited before I finished posting. (Playing 3 rounds of 's immediately, pitching a ).

Edit: nvm you still mention that. In both the lines you mentioned I don't see 10 tricks. Anyway, time to sleep.
May 13
Paul Dalley edited this comment May 13
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Hmm interesting like but does it work?

So, suppose you start the first 3 tricks as you said, is returned which you win, you play the J which gets ruffed, pitching a . If the opponents return a you are in trouble if the player with 2 trumps ruffed. But even stronger is if they return a . You ruff in dummy, draw a trump and then return another ! Your hopes of setting up a 5th are gone now (both your ruffs in dummy have gone to fending off 's).

If they hit you with that brutal line then even if the player with 3 trumps ruffed the J, you will only make 5 trumps in total, 2's, 1, and 1. You will lose 1 , 1, 1 ruff - and then you will just have a loser at the end of the hand, probably your 4th .
(Its late here, sorry if what I'm saying turns out to be nonsense)
May 13
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Even though it might not look intuitive, I think the correct line is to draw trumps. Overall, to the J at trick 2.

Without going to deep into it, there are enough tricks most of the time if you don't incur undue ruffs. This is certainly true if trumps break 3-2, but even if they don't I think you are still good chances to make the contract.

(Say they break - you can lose 1 trick in each suit outside of 's. The tricks you will likely make - 4 trumps in total, 2 , 2, 1 and very high chances to set up a 10th trick in 's)

Suppose trumps don't break, you will probably lose 2 trumps, and will have to contain it to 1 in the reds, which is very doable. You will however need 1 extra trick (since 1 trick will be ruffed). The extra trick will probably have to come from 's treating you reasonably (3-3 or a player with 10x).

So, it seems like the hand will need to draw 1-3 rounds of trumps (depending on how trick 2 goes, and how the second round of trumps goes - in fact if trick 2 holds with the J and the finesse then works, you might be home without drawing any more trumps - just aiming to lose 3 ruffs). Without drawing, there could easily be lots of danger.
May 13
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By the way, if the opener doubles 3NT, redouble in my opinion looks like rescue, which would have to have 's as the longest suit… Because, If you had both majors you could have bid 4 originally or after 3NT (over the double) if you wanted to scramble, and if you had a single 4 card M, prob would've bid it on the 3 level (and not gambled bidding 3NT on a weak hand).
May 9
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I'm well thanks! Yes I did mean rebid. Thanks for the very interesting point of view.
May 8
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Hi Marshall, how are you?
What hand would you overcall 2N with? Also, if it is too weak for 2NT, what is wrong with 1NT? I see that you called it a glorified pass, can you clarify what you think the problem is with bidding 1NT?
May 7
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If partner wanted to communicate 3 cards he does NOT need to discard the 2 on the 3rd round of Hearts. Instead he could just follow with the 2 on the first round of Spades and things would be crystal clear. What about if partner had a 4 card suit? Well, if he played high on the first round of Spades, you wouldn't know whether partner had 2 or 4, both are plausable and both require different action by you.

In summary, partner's 2 is a card that gives context to the subsequent card (suit pref is unnecessary anyway, the whole hand is clear enough to both players in light of the 1NT bid etc). Partner's 5 is natural present count from 3 present cards. If partner originally had a doubleton then that carding would be silly. In other words, partner has differentiated from 2 cards (which he would not discard a spade, rather just play a high spade on the first round of spades being played) and from 4 cards - which he has played like that. So its all based on the simple fact that partner would just follow suit in 's normally with 3 cards.

But seriously, its a bit difficult to expect that signal to work without discussion, unless you take 3-5 minutes to think and have an expert partner that would do this sort of thing (and also assume you would pick it up).

But the whole hand is a bit strange, like why didn't declarer try ruff 's - (even if it wasn't going to work, it will force return which could be bad if the opponents had A109x)? What does declarer's hand look like?

It can't be this because partner would've led a singleton
10
QJxxxx
xxxx
Kx

Maybe it is this, but even so I think I might play a off dummy at trick 2.
10
QJxxxx
xx
KQxx

So it seems more natural that declarer has something like the below, which I would probably assume overall (which is contrary to the interpretation of the signal, but the signal is probably too too vague/deep without discussion).

10x
QJxxxx
xxx
Kx
May 6
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It certainly looks like a slam hand to me. Give partner a good 13-15 points and you will be in a high percentage slam. 4-4 fit with a good 5 card side suit, and a shortage… Point count doesn't work at all with these hands in order to analyse whether slam is good or not. In my opinion you have to visualise cards and play, although there is probably an easier or simpler “counting” style method, but it certainly isn't point count. With all that said, I am very much for taking + scores so I have some sympathy for passing, but it looks too wrong.

Choice is between 4NT and 6D but I'm not sure if a contract would be better even with a 5-4 fit

edit: don't feel like working it out, but probably it is easy to work out - e.g. contract has more going for it if partner has a long suit. So maybe if P opened on 4144 shape. With 4243 there is no gain I don't think.

2nd edit: even then its probably not better, unless you needed to draw trumps before ruffing 's or something. More realistically your hand can be used for ruffing value and suit tricks. If you play with as trump then you take away the ruffing value, and only have suit tricks.

Although there must be situations where 's are better, e.g. if P has Axxx Ax Kxxx AKQx - you could easily have 2 losers which you can get rid of in 6
May 4
Paul Dalley edited this comment May 4
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2 if that is invitational checkback, otherwise 2NT. Hopefully if partner is something like 4351 shape then you have the methods to finish in 's
May 4
Paul Dalley edited this comment May 4
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Richard I don't see any implications of your rhetorical question. Partner would bid with appropriate shape or pass with shape that is inappropriate to make a bid. Competing when your side has half the points is reasonable a lot of the time.
April 29
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I'm not convinced of that, I think there are lots of hands that it would be correct to pass twice with that aren't hopeless. Keep in mind that the 18-19 NT hand could easily be something like 3433 shape, so responder would have to pass twice with most normal hands. If in fact the NT bidder was 4243 for example, there would be a lot more potential for your side to declare, hence the idea of reopening with a takeout double.

Its not either clear by the poll that the 1NT bid denied any particular shape (e.g. 4 's). Perhaps in the methods being used, for example, reopening with an X shows a weaker balancing hand.
April 29
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In the regard that you are talking about in the first paragraph, I don't think it is different to a 1NT opener contributing a takeout double with partner having not acted, which is a reasonably common thing to do. It is true that in the poll example you might get in trouble from reopening if you partner had something like 3433 shape and a yarborough, however, I don't think that risk is much different to a normal balancing situation.

“How many times does someone have to pass to stop partner from again rebidding the same values?” - My passes are never designed to stop partner from bidding their hand. And its not really rebidding the same values, its balancing in a fairly normal way. Partner's pass would just be casual on something like 4342 shape and a few points

As for letting the 6-0 fit go undoubled (in the event of exactly a 6430 break), the arguments you are making apply to takeout doubles in general. Far more likely you are letting the opponents play in 2 and conceding a bad score because you cannot make a normal takeout double. My guess is that it is about 20-30 times more likely.

And what has the opponent rebid 2 on? KJxxxx? Really? I dont think Q10xx is even a possible holding unless the 2 bid is an unsound one. Making that bid, particularly in the live seat, should be serious in my view.
April 29
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By the way, the 18-19 NT bidder would reopen the bidding a lot of the time with an X, e.g. with 4243 shape, so if you miraculously had length and the appropriate hand to penalise the 2 bid you could just pass (in tempo). Its a pretty normal auction really..
April 29
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If it was penalty it would be because the original pass was penalty orientated. More likely partner did not originally want to do anything with their weak hand (0-6 or so) but now thinks it is correct to compete opposite 18-19.

edit: On a side note, partner's expected count is probably 5 at most. 18-19 is accounted for, + at least say 12-14 for the 2 bid, leaving maximum 10 in the pack between 2 hands.
April 28
Paul Dalley edited this comment April 28
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Its not clear that slam is a good spot. Even give partner a very good hand and things aren't clear, for example this hand needs trumps breaking and a finesse working.
?
KQxxx
AKxxx
?

I think the correct bid is probably 4, if partner does not take initiative and bid 4NT either directly or after a cue, e.g. ….4 4 (cue); 4 4NT; then I prob wouldn't push the hand. Your aces and 3 card support are the most relevant features of the hand - you have shown the support and your 3 aces are discoverable by partner through 4NT.

edit: come to think of it, its not clear that 's is even the correct contract, NT or even H's could be, e.g. could make 5 's, 4 's, 1 and 2 's in NT opposite something like Kx KQxxx Axxxxx x where 6 is a hopeless contract- hopefully the partnership would somehow judge that 's were bare and bid 6NT if slam was ventured on such cards

It could however be the best contract opposite something that needs heart ruffs and/or doesn't have Diamond losers eg xx Kxxxx AKQxx x
April 25
Paul Dalley edited this comment April 25
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4
1. Keep it simple and probably good
2. Not a particularly strong auction, leading a might be too active.
April 17
1 2
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