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All comments by Richard Granville
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If the “expert” always plays the 8 from J8xx and his partner would play randomly from Jxxx (when the expert had the singleton 8) then your play would indeed work 75% of the time (just considering the relevant cases). The “expert” should therefore sometimes play his middle card from Jxxx.
3 hours ago
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I didn't bother with the slight difference between a specific 3-3 break and a specific 4-2 break, especially as the latter is closer to 1.7%, rather than 1.6%.

It's a restricted choice problem, but not a simple one.
3 hours ago
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The bidding is very poor, but South's 3 (instead of 3) is the worst bid by a mile. Why does South want to investigate a heart contract opposite a likely 4=1=3=5 shape?
7 hours ago
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If West has the 9 and 8 and plays them both, the order is not significant. It's true to say that from Q98 he has four possible sequences of play (8 then Q, 9 then Q, 8 then 9, 9 then 8) but it's up to him how often he plays each one.

In my third paragraph above Q98 and J98 are two distributions against the single distribution 98, but in the latter case East does indeed have a choice, so you have to halve the probability of that holding. Hence my 4 to 1 result there.

Since it's normally correct to finesse when West drops an honour on the second round, West can't do better than vary his play from Q98 and J98 so that declarer has a toss-up when he actually plays 98. If he would drop an honour on the second round from Q98 75% of the time, then when he does play the 98 you have to quarter the chance of Q98/J98, thus giving you a 1 to 1 result instead of a 4 to 1 result.

For the mathematicians amongst you, The Principle of Restricted Choice is a simple application of Bayes' Theorem and this card combination is a slightly less straightforward one.

The 1967 edition of “The Bridge Players' Encyclopedia” discusses a similar situation under the entry “Optimum Strategy”. I would expect this article to be present in later editions too.
8 hours ago
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One way to look at this spade situation is to consider the relevant distributions without reference to the cards actually played.

Our play only matters if West has Q98, J98, Q9, Q8, J9, J8 or 98. In the first two cases playing for the drop works. In the remaining five cases finessing works. If we ignore possible choices it's right to finesse, by a margin of nearly 5 to 2.

In practice it depends upon how West plays when he holds Q98 or J98. If he would always play the 9 and 8 (in either order) then it's right to play for the drop by a margin of about 4 to 1, since East has a choice when West holds 98 doubleton.

If West would always play an honour on the second round from Q98 or J98 (after playing either the 9 or the 8) then the finesse (when he doesn't play an honour) is guaranteed. If West does play an honour then finessing is correct by a margin of about 2 to 1. In that case declarer will succeed on all the five 4-2 breaks, as surmised in the second paragraph above.

West's optimal play from Q98 or J98 is to play an honour 75% of the time. Now when he does play 98 it's a toss up for declarer.

So on this hand, assuming that West follows this strategy it's better to play for the drop, with the spade squeeze in reserve. Of course, if West can take this into account too …
9 hours ago
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For me (and all of my partners) 2NT is too valuable as a bid to show diamonds.

We respond a direct 3M with (3-1)-(5-4) hands.
Aug. 14
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This is why I ensured that MOSSO fully satisfies the criteria for EBU level 4.
Aug. 14
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My guideline for WJOs is that a 3 level overcall corresponds approximately to the same bid made as a 1st seat pre-empt, at the prevailing vulnerability. I use the rule of 2, 3 and 4.

A WJO at the 2 level corresponds approximately to the same bid made as a 1st seat Weak Two, although I'll take more notice of the vulnerability than I would as dealer.

Note that these are guidelines, rather than strict rules. Overcaller will also take account of his holding in the suit bid by opener.
Aug. 13
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Opener passes 3NT regardless of his hand.
Aug. 13
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Ranges of 2-5 or 3-6 would work over a MOSSO 1 opening, but 4-7 point hands are more common. The 4-7 range also takes a little pressure off responder after 1C-1M-2C, since he's now never too weak to rebid his suit.


Incidentally a 2M response to a MOSSO 1 shows 6-9, for various reasons linked to the fact that 1 is forcing without a specific negative response.
Aug. 12
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The idea behind 2 is to give opener the chance to play the hand when responder has something like Axx Axx Txx QJ9x.

And using the 2 response to show 5 + 4 allows responder to show an awkward hand in one bid.

Even so, I still prefer to use the 2M responses to 1 as Weak Jump Shifts with about 4-7 points. Not only are they useful pre-empts, but they prevent responder from being silenced by opposition bidding after a 1 response.
Aug. 12
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It's “standard” for a 1NT advance of a takeout double not to be a weakness bid, although the precise requirements vary between partnerships, perhaps 6-10 points after a 1 opening. With no points you just bid an unbid 4+ card suit, or your cheapest 3 card suit if necessary. Partner shouldn't expect the sequence (1) dbl (P) 2 (P) to show any values - see my bidding problem https://bridgewinners.com/article/view/bidding-problem-2-reb7k4ew9t/ in which Richard Fleet's suggested hand was virtually spot-on.
Aug. 11
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In 2016 the 3m responses to a MOSSO 1 were approximately as you say, but we found that it could be difficult for opener to describe his hand when he has 17+ with 5+ spades (or when he is strong with clubs over 3). As Ronald says below (in a separate thread), 3-level bids should be even more specific.

There's really no need to jump to the 3m with a 6 card suit (or moderate 7 card suit) because you can just respond 1 and rebid 2m over the likely 1m rebid. See page 65 of “Polish Club International” for PC continuations (although we do something slightly different in MOSSO because opener's club variant could have as few as 13 points).
Aug. 11
Richard Granville edited this comment Aug. 11
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I've answered “regressive” in both auctions, but there's a case for playing the sequence (1) dbl (P) 1NT P (2) as forcing because with 5 hearts a 2 overcall would generally be preferred to a double on a moderate hand (see my recent poll https://bridgewinners.com/article/view/overcall-in-long-suit-or-double-2-z9vsx61320/ ).

By contrast, a minimum takeout double often has a 5 card minor and it seems silly to go down in 1NT when 2m is likely to be a better spot.
Aug. 10
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This isn't a good system because of the wide-ranging 2 opening. You'll lose far more with diamond hands than you'll gain with spade hands.
Aug. 10
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The MOSSO 1 opening is similar to Polish in some ways, so you might want to read http://bridgewinners.com/article/view/introduction-to-mosso-mosca-with-standard-spade-openings/ to see the issue from another angle. Page 4 shows the responses to 1.

In practice we've found (after more than 2 years of playing MOSSO) that the 3 level responses cause problems when opener is strong, so they're now only used on some tightly defined hands with a 7 card suit. I would expect these problems to be at least as serious in Polish Club.

For the record we now invert the 2 and 2 responses so that opener can more easily show long clubs when responder has diamonds, but this doesn't affect Michael's conclusion that 1-2 can't be a Weak Jump Shift.

Over a Polish 1 opening it's more helpful to follow the example of 2/1, where most people play a 2M response as weak. The full version of MOSSO now has some specialized 2 level responses to allow for the 1 opening being unbalanced, unlimited and forcing.
Aug. 10
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When I played Precision in the 70's and 80's (and also designed various enhancements to the system as it was in those days) the sequences 1C-1D-1M were indeed non-forcing, but I can now see that this is a terrible waste of two economical rebids. Nowadays I'm perfectly happy to play a 1 opening as forcing even when the minimum is about 13 points. This may appear to be ill-advised, but in practice it's rare for the forcing nature of a MOSSO 1 opening or a Precision 1M rebid to get the partnership too high when the opponents would not have competed.
Aug. 8
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Yes - I mean minimum with this particular shape and heart suit texture. Of course one can double 1 on weaker hands with 1=4=4=4 shape.
Aug. 7
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4 should make exactly 10 tricks whatever the lead, but it requires skilful play on any lead other than a spade. A heart lead is particularly challenging for the declarer.

I just thought that it was an interesting problem. My partner chose J and careful defence later resulted in one down.
Aug. 7
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I work on the principle that a minimum overcall should be based on a reasonable suit. Thus I agree with the pass on this hand, but add Q and I would venture 1, especially non-vulnerable.
Aug. 5
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