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All comments by Steve Bloom
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Tough to answer. I think that I visualize the whole hand, but see it as a diagram, like in a book. But I learned from books.

Betty sees the whole hand, but actually pictures playing cards in her mind. She finds BBO very disconcerting, since she has to change the image of the hand to a three-dimensional image of cards in her mind, before she can analyze the hand.

I see the five of hearts as 5H, like a formula. She actually sees in color.
22 hours ago
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Play all my other cards first.
Aug. 18
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I am with Frances most of the way.

2NT = ridiculous. Not bidding 3 was the worst bid in the auction, and contributed the most to the disaster, so North gets a good chunk of blame.

Still, it would help to know the default rebid: What does opener rebid with 4-2-2-5 and no diamond stop? If 3 is the default rebid, then bidding three clubs to show the pattern would not work. Still, North does not have a diamond stop, so three clubs is obvious. 2NT was a major error.

3 = poor. Seems like South was catering to North rebidding 2NT on a 4-2-2-5 hand with Qx in diamonds.

3NT = ridiculous, but not clear how that kept them out of slam.

Final pass = ridiculous. But North won't cooperate, and South has to commit. South wants to be in slam opposite hands with a singleton heart and the club ace-queen, or any hand with a heart void. But South wants to avoid slam off the heart ace and the club queen. Do they have any such methods? Of course, that is worrying about partner opening some completely awful 4-1-3-5 nine or ten count. Given the hand actually opened, it is clear that South was worried about such a hand.

Initial bid = looks silly to me, and I open anything. However, particularly in the world of Drury, I don't see reaching six clubs after a pass by North.
Aug. 18
Steve Bloom edited this comment Aug. 18
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It looks very close to a toss-up. So, I might as well play for spades 3-3, with the added bonus that I make if someone started with four spades and the diamond queen-jack (or five+ diamonds). So I ruff both hearts in hand, cash winners, and run trumps from the table. In the end, if the diamond ten is not high, I play for spades 3-3 (and, of course, in that ending, I can't finesse spades anyway, unless I learn enough along the way to change my mind).
Aug. 17
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That one is tricky. Partner is a passed hand, you are outgunned, and have a ten + card spade fit. Do you really want to give them lots of room to exchange information and then bid four spades?

The likelihood that N-S were about to defend two spades went way up when partner alerted, and explained the agreement. Passing, hoping to buy it in 2X seems based on that UI.
Aug. 16
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Wouldn't takeout be for the minors when East has shown 5+ 5+ in the majors?

Sounds like North is 1-3-4-5 or 1-2-4-6.
Aug. 16
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East holds K52 in diamonds.

More practically, East with K2 or K5 might (and perhaps should) not cover the diamond queen. West should drop the nine or ten, but, against experts, declarer might go right.
Aug. 16
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Trump to the queen is almost certainly best. If North has the spade king, South rates to have almost every other card. Picture North with Kx AQJx in the majors. After spade queen, spade, ace, we strip diamonds, and exit in trumps, for an endplay.

This seems much better than playing North for KJx in trumps.

By the way, why aren't we in 3NT?
Aug. 14
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“Why are you so in a hurry to ask for Keycards.”

You lost me. Partner asked for Key Cards (if we play Kickback or Exclusion), and we have to answer.
Aug. 11
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Exactly!

Our agreement is not important, but yours is important. How would you play this with this partner?

Do you play Kickback? If so, that is logical, and you must make the bid that shows one key card over a double.

If not, do you play Exclusion? If so, that is logical, and you must make the bid that shows one key card over a double.

Otherwise, I think this is spade shortness, likely a void, with a strong hand. Pass seems logical, letting partner take the next step.

Only you can tell us your agreements, assuming partner remembered this as a strong raise.
Aug. 11
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I agree. I would assume some sort of rules apply after a double, so I show one key card, perhaps with a XX.

Of course, this might be Kickback, and again, I show my one key card, using whatever methods we play over a double.
Aug. 11
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(1) We have the agreement that double shows a hand that wants to bid on.

(2) Even with that agreement, I would probably bid five hearts with the North hand. If partner couldn't double four spades, I don't see much hope on defense.

(3) I polled my partner, and she thought it very close between double and five hearts. Pass was not an option.
Aug. 11
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Declarer had three options:
Play someone for QJ doubleton.
Hope for Ax in one hand.
Hope for singleton Q or J in one hand.
No other play would ever work.

Playing for a doubleton ace is the huge favorite among those options. I can't see any argument to play for something else, and don't see how a hesitation makes QJ tight more likely.

Declarer played South to have hesitated with Axx? No way.

Declarer played South to have ducked from Qx or Jx? No way.
Aug. 10
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I suspect he had a read on the spades from the carding. East had shown up with 2-1 in the red suits, and would have overcalled with five spades, so East was likely 4-2-1-6. Since West seemed to have the spade nine, the rest were marked.

Was this really a no problem low spade play? Seems normal to cover the six with the nine, so those 1087 won't be worth a second trick.
Aug. 10
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Of course! The penalty double of one heart is not an attempt to defend one heart doubled, it is a descriptive bid, showing some values and four hearts. Sort of like the auction 1 x 2 2.

There are lots of approaches that could work:
(1) X = four hearts, 2 = 5+ hearts.
(2) X = four + hearts, 2 = take-out.
(3) X = takeout, 2 = 4+ hearts.

Certainly, if you like the double as responsive, then, with decent hands and hearts, you have to bid two hearts. So, yeah, 2 is a bid showing a penalty double of one heart. Since they were never playing there, doubled, you haven't given up a lot.
Aug. 9
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Schwartz, when he saw evidence that his pros were cheating, asked that those championships be removed from the record.

It would be better for all if organizations like ACBL took such corrections on themselves. That won't happen.

So, we can wait for the authorities to do the right thing, or we praise Schwartz and put on some peer pressure to get great champions like Zimmermann to do the right thing.
Aug. 6
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Why in the world can I assume that? If we didn't discuss it, we don't play it!

Without discussion, I'd bid the fourth suit to force to game, or, as here, jump in diamonds, to make a slam try.
July 29
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@Chris: That gives North Q10x xxx KJxxx Qx. Who would not bid 1NT over one spade with that?
July 26
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Right! Opener frequently plays 3NT, even with a fit, on the 1NT - transfer - 3N auctions. No such room after a 2NT opening.
July 24
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More or less my take.

When I first saw the problem, where South had shown, by some mysterious process, a spade void, I thought the lack of bidding, and the failure to cover the spade king tipped the odds slightly in favor of the diamond play.

Once the actual bidding appeared, I am now leaning the other way. Knowing South is 5-6+ in the minors, with a void in either major, West might well lead the spade ace. So the spade finesse is now better than 50-50.
July 24
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