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All comments by Steve Bloom
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Easier to spot if missing the queen and jack of clubs. As it was, I would call it a guard show-up squeeze.
13 hours ago
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The play had nothing to do with running trumps. North was counted out for a 3-6-2-2 hand. To make, North needs either J10 doubleton in clubs, or, more likely, any doubleton king. Start clubs from dummy, and play the eight if North plays low.

The first club lead must come from dummy. Running trumps first would cost the contract if North started with K10 or KJ in clubs.

One of the problems, relying on GIB, is that, as the cards lay, the hand was cold by running trumps. GIB does not notice that this would be a serious error.

Indeed, it would be a mistake to play four rounds of trumps, ending on the table. Club lead, king, ace, and declarer has to guess on the second round. No guess if declarer keeps a trump entry to hand.
13 hours ago
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Low heart seems clear. Less clear is my play after winning the second heart. Then I have to decide if declarer's fourth heart will establish (so I must play a spade), or if South passed AQ K K, and I must play a heart.
15 hours ago
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Right! To take the club finesse, you need three dummy entries, one to take the finesse, a second to drive out the club king if your first finesse wins (and the king is not onside short), and a third to get back to dummy. Entries are diamond queen, spade ace, and, maybe, the diamond nine. Have to test diamonds first.
May 21
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But JP wants to attach a 50% weight to South saving in seven clubs. I don't see that happening.
May 20
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Is there any evidence that South knew of the double fit? Sounds like South forgot, and thought North showed diamonds.

E-W are entitled to the proper explanation, South is not.
May 20
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Slam seems trivial to bid, unless N-S quickly jam the auction. I'd start with a double, to show diamonds. Bid Key Card next (if we have a way to do that without getting too high). What is hard about that?

Why would a director ever weight this result? E-W are likely to get to six diamonds, and will be guessing only if N-S manage to bid to five clubs before it gets back to East. Yes, that might happen, and that auction would require some weighting, but why would I allow N-S to make the best of all possible bids after their infraction?
May 20
Steve Bloom edited this comment May 20
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Because, without “diamonds” bid naturally, East would likely choose a strong sequence, set diamonds as trump, and key card, or simply Blackwood right away, and gamble out six diamonds. East would not bother with spades.
May 20
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Yes. +1370, E-W.
May 19
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Good catch. Fixed.
May 18
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Thanks.
May 18
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Thanks. Fixed.
May 17
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4NT here is quantitative. The convention card says they play KC in some auctions. That does not mean that they play KC in this auction.

Six clubs is natural, but likely only four clubs (with no four club call).

The remark is out of line, but I have no idea what the remark signifies. Sounds like they were going to end up in 6NT whatever the ruling. Are you hoping to get a ruling where they have to play in six spades, in some 4-2 fit?
May 16
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Forget the four-triple-three hands. In general, 5-3-3-2 hands facing balanced hands with three card support, are more likely to make 3NT than they are four of the major.

Many simulations have backed this up, and many, many IMPs are won and lost by judging when to play 3NT and when to play 4M with two balanced hands.

To me, it is vital, absolutely vital, to tell partner whether you are 5-3-3-2 or not.
May 15
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I like 5NT over a four heart call, but calling this hand easy? Not even close. East has two goals: Get to seven if the trumps are solid. Avoid a spade lead if they are not.

5NT works out great when partner has the heart ace and king, but screams diamond void, and greatly increases the chances they find a spade lead when you stop at six.

Same problem at Kit's table, facing a three heart call. Five diamonds, exclusion, looks automatic, but that call makes finding a spade lead way too easy.
May 15
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Sure - if I bid 2NT for lack of any other call on a shapely hand. Now, the fit makes game more likely. Such hands arise, particularly if you can't show a two-suited invite over 1NT. But not on a 5-3-3-2. That's a bit nuts.
May 13
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If “game instantly gets a lot better” then this one must have been awful. Swap the minors and game goes down if there is a club ruff, and, avoiding that, still needs a finesse.

As to raising hearts once a fit is found, I find that very poor strategy. The East hand was worth more than nine because of those spot cards, but the heart ten is less useful once we have found a fit. More importantly, in the universe of all hands partner can hold, game rates to make a fair portion of the time. In the universe of hands where partner has turned down an invite, game can't be great. You asked partner's opinion, heard it, and then said, “Of course, I know what your opinion is really worth …” If you think that little of partner, get a different partner.
May 13
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Pass, if weak. No reason to bid with some length in their suit if partner won't reopen. Transfer to notrump with inv+ values. Can show hearts later, but we may subside in 2NT when a heart partial was better.

We traded in the negative double for these transfers years ago. Occasionally, we really miss them, but, on balance, transfers gain on many, many more auctions.
May 12
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Or double = 5+ diamonds and 2 = 5+ hearts. That's what we play.
May 12
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Let's talk theory.

2/1 is not so hot, theoretically, for one simple reason - it puts much too much stuff into the one notrump response, and it is virtually impossible to sort all of that out if the auction turns competitive.

In practice, it works reasonably well, because (1) it makes the game forcing auctions easier, and (2) since you have gotten by one bad guy, the auction is less likely to turn competitive.

All these arguments go the other way when someone overcalls. Now, competition is very likely, and some of it has already occurred. Making 2/1 responses game forcing means you have to throw most other hands into a double, and as little as a simple raise will leave you guessing and guessing and guessing.

Shape before strength is a good theoretical guideline.

Shape before strength is a crucial practical guideline in competitive auctions.
May 12
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