Join Bridge Winners
All comments by Steve Bloom
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The poll gave us too much of a wire - we knew partner wasn't sitting, and had some hearts. Let's try a new poll, where, whenever we balance, the opponents bid up to four hearts. Would there be more passers?
March 4, 2012
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Kokish relays give up a useful bid to cater to a very rare hand type. I'm not sure the gain is worth while. In our club methods, we play 1C - 1D - 2NT as 23+, forcing for one round, with a 3C response as a puppet to 3D (like Puppet Stayman). Opener breaks the relay and breaks a transfer with 25+.
This works out quite well, though we can't stop in exacly 2NT, we can stop in 3D, 3H, or 3S. Of course, responder's hand is limited by the 1D response, so this may not work out as well in standard.
You might try using 2C - 2D - 2NT as forcing, and keep 2H as natural.
March 2, 2012
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I'm with Barry, and voted for other (4NT).
March 2, 2012
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Nice problem. I chose pass, hoping that partner will reopen. It helps that partner is a passed hand, and so can balance light. If partner had not passed, I would have to act, but no bid looks very appealing.
Feb. 29, 2012
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My first instinct was that this hand would swing on the opening lead, but I changed my mind. Give partner a typical hand like AQxxxx xxx xx xx, and our chances in 5S, even on a heart lead, are very poor. Partner needs help in clubs, so I bid 4C, hoping to follow with 4S. I'll leave the five-level decision to partner.
Feb. 29, 2012
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Can we check both? 4S looks normal with West's hand, but East could (should?) have doubled 1NT, and might have bid one more with such a pure hand.
If partner opened 1S, you would show a limit raise with the West hand, and two-suited hands never turn down a limit raise. Here, West knows that partner has a two-suiter, and doesn't have the room to really invite, so West has to bid a game.
Feb. 29, 2012
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I'm a simple bidder. I bid 4H the first time, figuring I can make that. I'll take the push to 5H, and the push to 6H, and hope to play there doubled.
Feb. 27, 2012
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Playing to make is absolutely clear here. It is 100% that East does not hold Q107 in clubs (or Q1097). Thus, West holds all three clubs, and we will go down one, or West holds a singleton 10, a singleton Q, or clubs are 2-2. Playing the eight saves 7 IMPs in one of those cases, and loses 12 in all the others. This isn't close.
Feb. 26, 2012
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Tasos, partner would never bid 6D with either hand you gave. 5NT leaves room for partner to punt back with 6C. Partner should never bid 6D without a real diamond preference, i.e., four diamonds, or a stiff spade.
Feb. 25, 2012
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If 2H is a standard bid on hands like this, what are the follow-ups? Dbl, followed by a new suit, is forcing in our methods, so how does partner survive with a hand like AQxx AJxx xx xxx? Pass 2H and play a 4-2 fit?
Feb. 24, 2012
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I like this idea - 1H-1S-1NT showing diamonds, but why should it be forcing? In essence, you get a built in Gazilli bid, using 2D for various strong hands.
Or you can keep it simple: 2D shows either a 2 1/2 heart call or a 3H call with 3-card spade support. Other calls are normal.
Feb. 24, 2012
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If partner was barred, I'd guess 6S. But partner could easily have four or five diamonds and a singleton spade, so it must be right to try 5NT along the way. I'll pass 6D, bid 6S over 6C. You have a real guess over 6H. Spades will be better if partner is 2-6-2-3, while hearts is better when partner has something like x AKJxxxx Kx Jxx. Percentages seem to favor 6S over 6H.
What is the difference between 5NT and 6C? I think 5NT should suggest three places to play, while 6C only two. That's fine with this hand, since I don't want to be in diamonds unless partner really prefers that strain.
Feb. 24, 2012
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True, but I don't see why you would judge that East held 3 spades. This line loses when East is 2-2-3-6 with Q10x in diamonds.
I remember thinking at the time that East rated to have four of one of the majors (since he hadn't opened 3C). But I didn't carry my analysis far enough.
Feb. 24, 2012
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Double seems silly, since someone will run, probably partner, and I may not have a useful dummy, but double isn't likely to be very wrong, and pass is way too trusting. Sometimes, the 1NT bidder has xx xx xx QJxxxxx! Even without psyching, some 1NT openings are based on a long minor and a random 12 count. So, I double.
Feb. 23, 2012
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Rye is not a fair tournament to use as a poster-child. First, Rye is vastly overpriced. Room rates are 130+ a night, versus 70 for similar events in or around Boston. Secondly, the only (non-compact) knockout offered in Rye ran on Tuesday-Wednesday. Rye is in my district, but I did not attend, and won't until they make the schedule more appealing to IMP players.
Are Senior events killing Rye? No, District 3 management has killed Rye.
As I said, I live in District 3, but play in almost every District 25 regional, and many District 4 regionals. I avoid District 3 tournaments.
Feb. 12, 2012
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(1) Senior events are a bit silly, with the current 55+ age limit, but they are very popular. The league should strive to run popular events.
(2) Women's events were incredibly popular when I started, but draw almost no one these days. Most districts don't offer them any more, and National women's events seldom draw more than 30 tables. These should go.
(3) The poor turnout in pair games is probably because they compete against KO's. I much prefer IMP's and haven't played in a regional pair game in 30 years. In the Northeast, we have had open pairs, with no competing pair game, that are just one section. 90% of the players are in the bracketed KO's. Senior pair events are attracting a decent attendance, so …
Feb. 11, 2012
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I am assuming that the position is obvious to partner, say QJ are in dummy, so if the king holds, then partner must have the ace, and I must be looking for a ruff. From partner's perspective, this could be a singleton king, so partner must give suit preference immediately.
This mirrors a much more common situation: You open a preempt, and partner leads the king of your suit, where you can't afford to overtake. Since this lead is often a singleton, you give suit preference to that trick.
Feb. 10, 2012
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Alan, in our partnership, we play transfers over all notrump rebids, mostly for that reason (and we can also play in 2D). Transfers have their flaws, helping the opening leader, but tell less about opener's hand.
These work out fine on natural auctions, but I have no experience with them on nebulous minor auctions, where opener could have 5 of either minor (and some pairs allow opener to have five hearts in a 5-3-3-2 hand after 1m - 1S - 1NT). I suspect that these are much like weak-notrump auctions, where transfers seem to work better than two-way Stayman.
However, and this is a big however: Transfers prove their worth when the next hand might bid, and we need to uncover our fit quickly. 1NT - P is much different from 1m - P - 1M - P - 1NT - P.
In the scheme I mentioned above, after a check-back, the cheapest response shows 2 of responder's major, making 3NT a very likely contract. Responder can now describe. Other calls show 3 card support and describe. These are auctions where the final contract is likely 4M, and opener will be dummy. That is a pretty good scheme, aiming at describing the hand which rates to be dummy.
Feb. 10, 2012
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I chose 4D on the previous round, but my partner, who is usually right on these competitive hands bid 5d the first time around. As she said “too often 4S or 5D makes. Bidding right away puts them under lots of pressure, and I won't know enough not to bid 5D the next time anyway.”
Feb. 9, 2012
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No! That lost trick is just an overtrick. If you cash the spade king first and East has QJxx in spades, the spade seven wins. When you duck a diamond to rectify the count, East wins and plays another spade, destroying the squeeze.
Feb. 9, 2012
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