Join Bridge Winners
All comments by Roland Voigt
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Of course. On the other hand, before I sit down at the table, I have some agreements with my partner.

In this case I need to know if partner can have AKQJxxx K x Qxxx, or if he would bid differently earlier with this hand. Without such knowledge I can only guess. I voted for 5NT, but I consider this vote no more than a guess.
Aug. 9, 2015
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If partner was only interested in a club control, he could have bid 3S the round before, hoping to hear 4C from our side.

Unless, of course, 3S is only a mild suggestion of a trump suit, meaning that we have no systemic way to show a solid suit below the 5-level. In that case, I would rather abstain than commit myself to a call.
Aug. 8, 2015
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Even without sjs, partner could have set spades as trumps over our 3D bid?
Aug. 8, 2015
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In some partnerships, a 1D response to a 1C opening promises 10+ points (or someting alike) if responder holds a 4-card major. This would explain some of the later calls, but since no agreements of this kind were mentioned, I assume they don't exist in this particular partnership.

I can live with 1D, 1S and 2S; in fact, I wouldn't have invited as South, not even at IMPs. But I could be convinced that the hand was worth a 3S raise (obviously not by what happened next at the table).

What I don't understand at all is the 3H bid by North. Although some would have invited with the South hand, he heard his partner specifically not invite. What possessed him to move on with a flat 12 count?

Back to South. He had a maximum 2S raise, and his partner invited to game with 3H, suggesting that his values were not all clubs - which is about the best South could hope for. How can he decline the (misguided) invitation in return?

Finally, North bids 3NT knowing that his side holds a fit in spades and not enough HCP for game. Wonderful.

Who's to blame? Usually when both players refuse to talk to each other, a random contract is reached. This is exactly what happened here.
Aug. 7, 2015
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1) I might have bid 3H one round earlier, but it's close.
2) 3H looks inconsistent to me. I might have rebid 2H without five hearts (what else am I supposed to bid with a bad 3-4-2-4 hand?) so he cannot even be sure of a fit. Anyway, I think it shows extras but is not forcing.
3) 4H, and this isn't close imo.
Aug. 7, 2015
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@David: I was trying to design an example where the partnership has agreed to vary their methods following a question (in violation of the same paragraph, 40B3). At least in the ACBL, this is just as illegal as agreeing to vary them following an irregularity, like you said.
Aug. 7, 2015
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I don't think having agreements about bidding after an agreement is illegal per se. It would be not practical anyway.

Let's say you encounter an insufficient bid by your opponents and talk about the subsequent bidding with your partner; even if you only concur to use “Common Sense”, it constitutes an agreement.

Surely nobody would claim that you have just violated the laws and must pay for it for the rest of your life whenever your opponents make an insufficient bid again.

As I see it, the idea of §40B3 is not to punish anyone for agreeing to play normal bridge after an insufficient bid (or something alike).

The point is that you are not allowed to VARY your methods, that is, treating a call differently if it is reached legally or via an irregularity.
Aug. 6, 2015
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Exactly. As I see it, that is the point of §40B3: you are not allowed to use the intermediate step - an insufficient bid that was taken back and replaced by a sufficient bid - as a “switch” to a different set of agreements.

Likewise, when your partner opens 1NT, you are not allowed to bid transfers but change your methods to natural 2-level bids when the opponents ask about your 1NT strength.
Aug. 6, 2015
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For the purpose of applying the laws, it is not relevant whether the same player would have made the spade lead without the UI. There are only two questions: Does the UI point to a spade lead, and are there Logical Alternatives.
Aug. 6, 2015
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Partner has quite a lot of points; this is AI. Partner could have thought about doubling (based on his general strength) or about bidding a suit (based on a combination of strength and shape). In fact he might be just surprised about the 2NT opening on his left.

If we could be sure that he was thinking about bidding a long suit, then our own hand suggests that he probably has spades (although this is very far from certain). And in that case a successful spade lead could lead to an adjusted score.

But I simply don't believe this particular meaning of partner's hesitation stands out. I think there are a lot of players who would hesitate with something like Axx Kx Axxx KQJx. Thus the hesitation does not demonstrably suggest a spade lead.
Aug. 6, 2015
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Based on the exposition, I would say that the inquiries about the 1NT overcall were more than sufficient. Actually, I consider the response “a normal NT” questionable if not downright rude. Maybe your LHO thought that, in the absence of an alert, the meaning was clear anyway. But once an inquiry is made, he should give a full explanation like "15-17, balanced “. I wonder what one could do more (other than asking ”Are you sure?" which is not appropriate either).

Just to make this clear, I am not taking position here on whether the damage was a consequence of the misinformation and whether the score should be adjusted.
Aug. 6, 2015
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Option a) makes no sense to me because you simply give the opponents an additional level/round of bidding.
c) and d) have the usual meaning: I want / don't want to compete to 3S.
As for e), accepting the 2H bid allows you to make calls like 3m which can be interpreted as either lead-directing or invitational; I prefer the latter (in essence analogously to regular sequences).
The only benefit I see in b) is that partner gets the chance to make such a call as in e). But I doubt that he will, and given that the opponents have already announced their desire to compete to 3H, little good will come from this option.
Aug. 6, 2015
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The Law is wrong every now and then. This could be a very pure hand, and there may be more total tricks than total trumps.

For the record, I believe that there are hands for opener which are unsuitable for reopening despite a heart shortness.
Aug. 4, 2015
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You are right, “no decent bid” wasn't a fair assessment. However, I wouldn't go as far as calling 4C perfect.

And there is still the danger that 2H and 3C both make. I guess it largely depends on what kind of hand partner may hold when he decides to double in last seat.
Aug. 3, 2015
Roland Voigt edited this comment Aug. 3, 2015
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I would make a move forward, and I am willing to admit that 3C might get us overboard. On the other hand, I don't like to pass with such a good hand and a strong suit. Sometimes 2H is passed out when this hand belongs to us; sometimes partner reopens with a double and then I have no decent bid either.
Aug. 3, 2015
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I think the North hand is too strong for a 2C rebid. I wonder if South should have rebid spades. The 3NT rebid is inconsistent (besides, I like my holdings better in a suit contract). And the 4H “preference” simply escapes me.

That makes 3-4 calls I seriously disagree with, and the poll suggests I should pick one of them as my favorite. What can I do but abstain?
July 31, 2015
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Sadly, I understand only half of what you're saying. Or, let me be more precise, only half of what you're saying are arguments in favor of your methods. For example, (5) may or may not be true, but it doesn't imply in any way which methods are superior. (3) is a different situation, (2) is too vague in my opinion.

If 3S shows a heart raise with shortness, I might perhaps agree with you, but I don't think it does. As you have pointed out, it isn't a jump, and you have very few ways of raising partner with game-going values.

I don't think X shows a fit in this situation, so I would prefer to use it for strong hands without clear direction, e.g. xxx Ax AQx AKJxx. That leaves only 3S and 4H (and of course bids beyond 4H).

If 3S promises a spade shortness, you essentially only have one heart raise with game strength and without spade shortness, namely 4H. If you happen to have short spades as in this case, it may work out nicely, but it puts all the other hands in one basket. I just don't see why this one aspect makes your methods so much better than mine.
July 27, 2015
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I disagree - 3S would have shown a raise based on more HCP and 4H more shape, so I find 4H quite accurate.
July 27, 2015
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The blame goes on the lack of agreements of EW. I don't know what is considered standard here; I don't even think there must be a standard at all.

On a more general note, I disagree with the ATB concept as such, and this hand is an excellent example why I don't think it's a good idea.
July 25, 2015
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I agree with the early bidding 1H-1S-2NT, but not beyond that point. Imho, this is not about whether the auction was intelligent but about the lack of agreements of the NS pair. It seems they have not discussed the bidding after 2NT; that's why responder had to invent a suit and found himself raised to 4C for no good reason. After that, it was just random and might just as well have ended in a disaster.

For the record, I prefer to play both 3H and 3S natural and forcing after opener's 2NT rebid.
July 23, 2015
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