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All comments by Roland Voigt
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I find the bidding at least as odd. North has no invitation and South has no acceptance imho. (As evidenced by the fact that 4 went down despite some favorable breaks.)

Why declarer failed to draw the last trump is a mystery to me. If spades had been xx opposite AKxxx, he would have blown the contract. Not likely, but I'm sure dummy would have found a word other than “cute” if that had been the case.
May 22, 2018
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What a mess.

First of all, players should learn not to leave the table just because of a misexplanation. It gives a lot of UI to partner and is unlikely to improve things in any other regard.

Next, the given explanations are inadequate in my opinion. I'm not sure what a takeout oriented X against NT is. But more importantly, “runout to clubs” is very vague and probably wrong. If XX shows clubs, simply say so. If it is the beginning of a runout sequence which can include various hand types, the explanation is MI at best, and potentially misleading. State what hand types responder can hold, not what he wants opener to bid.

Apart from that, the director must investigate what the actual EW agreements for XX are, in order to determine the presence of MI in detail. (In the first place, what matters are the real agreements, not the hands the players hold.)

Was declarer damaged by the given explanation? It seems so, although I could not say for sure without answering the questions mentioned before. If declarer expects club length with RHO, he has no chance to get the suit right, but it is not clear what he would do with a different explanation.

Finally, there is UI. East probably has UI from his partner's explanation, and West has UI from his partner leaving the table. Again, the exact amount of UI depends on the exact nature of the agreements for XX. For example, if East bid XX with the intention to show a major two-suiter this way, his UI is negligible. The OP sounds as if this wasn't the case, though.

If I have any doubts about what the agreements are and what the players intended to show, I could imagine adjusting the score to 3X or 3X minus a bunch - neither contract is fun to play if the defense starts with three rounds of spades, for example.

But it is impossible to give a full answer without the results of a thorough investigation at the table. Also, the director can conduct polls to determine what actions (e.g. a competitive 3 bid by West) are LAs; he is not supposed to just make these things up.
May 21, 2018
Roland Voigt edited this comment May 21, 2018
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That Biddy person must be fun to play with, because at her table nobody seems to notice that 2 - (2) - 2 is an insufficient bid.
May 18, 2018
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For all intents and purposes this is a 4-4-1-3 shape.
May 16, 2018
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So they haven't shown every detail of their hands yet - big deal. They already know they have opening strength plus response strength, that the suit you are preempting in is breaking badly, and that they only have to double you to collect a great score most of the time. Did you notice the vulnerability? My guess is, the only thing you are disrupting is your scoresheet.
May 16, 2018
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I don't bid a weak two hand in this situation. The purpose of a weak two is to preempt, and that doesn't work if the opponents have already told each other what they've got.

2 should be close to making if partner has a few decent cards. I'm torn between A and K but wouldn't go any lower than that.
May 16, 2018
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Not sure if I can produce a sensible route to 7. Depending on who my partner is, I would open 1 or 2, learn of the fit, then use some asking bids, and finally place the final contract.

But I wonder what the word “sensible” means anyway. For example, OP says it's “a good day for Gerber” and then jumps from 4 to 7 without inquiring further (surely the Q helps). I might at least have tried…
May 16, 2018
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Partner thinks that 4 is going down, and that it is a bad idea to bid on.
May 16, 2018
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People say I don't double enough, so here we go. Of course, bad things can still happen (e.g. dummy comes down with solid diamonds, so declarer gets rid of most of his side suit losers in time). But then, when do we ever have guarantees?
May 15, 2018
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Thank you all for your votes. I was opener when this hand was played at our table. My partner bid 1NT followed by 4 (majority votes in both polls), and I saw no reason to criticize his decision.

My hand was AQ862 AKQ4 62 84. Clearly NS will always end up in 4M. There were no foul breaks (both majors were 3-2, clubs were 3-3 with split honors), and almost everyone made eleven tricks, with either major suit as trumps.

Vulnerable at IMPs it seems reasonable to take a shot at game. However, in order to assess the 4 bid, it would be wrong to ask how often 4M can make. The critical test is how often one wants to be in game even when opener rejects an invitation. Several weeks and two polls later, I am still not sure.

A typical North hand that would decline an invitation would be Axxxx AQxx Qxx x, or maybe Axxxx AJxx Kxx x. (Notwithstanding the layout at the table, finding some useless diamond values in opener's hand is actually to be expected.)

Opposite some hands in this range, it is not entirely clear if one wants to be in game. A small change (add the 9, for example) can make a big difference. I guess in the end it is still right to bid game, but probably not as clear as I initially thought.
May 15, 2018
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Yes, there is a decent chance we have endplayed partner into raising hearts. I would have preferred a 3NT bid at our second turn - not so much because I think it must be a better contract, but because it makes things easier for him.
May 15, 2018
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We were willing to contract for seven tricks opposite a moderate hand. Partner's X says he has a moderate hand, and now we need only six tricks.
May 15, 2018
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I don't know if my partner has read the book you are talking about. I am confident, though, that his bids are primarily based on agreements, not books. And the OP clearly states that X is takeout.
May 14, 2018
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“But I have to do it this way first or I will never know if by some chance it works.”

Fortunately, in my partnership I don't have to do this. When I make a takeout double and partner has 0-1 spades, I know without trying it first that he will run.
May 14, 2018
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Thank you all for your votes. The results are about what I expected - between 1NT and 2, with a majority for 1NT. (I guess the votes might depend on opening style.)

This was just a preliminary poll. You will find the poll for the next bid here: https://bridgewinners.com/article/view/bidding-problem-2-gfiuro2u8v/
May 12, 2018
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So NS were off two aces. Didn't North know there was a tool to find these things out?

And even if aces weren't the problem. Where did North expect to find 12 tricks? Did he hope for seven solid diamonds, an ace and another filler on the side in South's hand?
May 12, 2018
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We had at some point agreed that a direct 3NT overcall is based on a long minor, while X followed by 3NT is a strong balanced hand. This helps partner to judge when to run (and when to hide).

We thought this would be more important than differentiating various strong ranges. In the end, there is of course still guesswork, especially with freak hands, and a lot of hindsight in ATB arguments.
May 11, 2018
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I think optimism is often called for in a lot of bidding problems, but playing partner for all four aces is really pushing it. If I wanted tactical 3 raises in this situation, I should not have made the agreement I currently have.
May 11, 2018
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Agree. Partner must have extras since he doubled 2NT, and very likely he has 5-5 shape (else he wouldn't bid 3 in this situation). I would bid 3NT with a hand like xx xx Qxxx KQxxx. What I have to offer for a heart contract is way better than that.
May 11, 2018
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Not sure what partner wants exactly, but the hand does not look notrumpish.
May 10, 2018
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