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All comments by Steve Bloom
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“If you have some reason to think that hearts are not 6-2, the heart play makes sense before clubs, lest you establish them a club to go with their four heart tricks.”

Not my choice in a matchpoint game. If clubs run, I have eleven tricks and chances for twelve. Testing clubs costs only when the five hearts has the club guard.
Nov. 9, 2018
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Bot East wins the third heart and plays a heart. You throw a club, test spades, and, finding out East had 8 major suit cards, cash the club ace, and run the diamond ten.

A club shift also breaks up the double squeeze, and, again, an early count makes the diamond finesse the percentage play.
Nov. 9, 2018
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Not particularly double dummy. Say the defense starts heart jack, queen, ace, heart back. Test clubs, ending in hand. When those don't behave, conceding a heart makes lots of sense.
Nov. 8, 2018
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So both doubles are support?

To me, South has simply bid spades, and North has denied a spade raise, very long hearts, and other typical hands. A call like 2 by South is simply competitive, not forcing. With a strong hand, South starts with a double or with 3. Double includes hands where South is happy if North converts to penalties. So double is not penalties, and it is not purely take-out. South would start with a double on most game forcing hands with 2+ clubs, and some game-forcing hands short in clubs.
Nov. 5, 2018
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What is their carding? What does the spade 5-3 play signify?

For the record, I start diamonds at trick two, where I expect East's first discard to be completely honest. Not so sure after I show them my tricks.
Nov. 5, 2018
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How would that work in the KO stage?
Nov. 5, 2018
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What problems? You kept us entertained for days.
Nov. 5, 2018
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Thanks, MR, for your input on the ethics here. I really wished we had called over the director at the table.

As to the level of error - hard for me to judge. Clearly, declarer is about to claim 11 tricks if the trump queen is not covered. Given that, I can't imagine failing to cover. The contract was going down two, on a diamond lead, or on a club lead, with this line. It would make on a heart lead. So I don't see how they were damaged by being lulled into a club lead, rather than a red suit lead.

Thanks also for your probability guess - the “legitimate” line works if clubs are 3-2 or if the heart finesse is on - excellent chances. Will the swindle work more than that? I like your estimate.
Nov. 2, 2018
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Well, if you read on two more pages, you'll find this was fictional - we weren't in six. Three world class declarers, on vu-graph, were in six spades on a club lead, and all three won in hand.

Maybe, if they had more complicated notes, they'd have thought more about trick one.
Nov. 1, 2018
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Sorry, the parenthesis meant “when West started with K10x or K10xx in trumps.” I'll clarify with an edit.
Nov. 1, 2018
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Good question. That is one of the reasons that we coded our Exclusion auctions. Well, it seemed like a good reason when we made our notes. Memory strain, however …
Nov. 1, 2018
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Yep. See page 11.

Will this get a misdefense often enough to give up on legitimate chances? I suspect so.
Nov. 1, 2018
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I am losing two clubs no matter what I do. I have a trump loser (barring stiff king on my left). So I need the heart finesse, I need trumps three-two, and I need four diamond tricks.

I am using one of my hand entries to lead a diamond to the nine. That pretty much rules out using hand entries to play a trump to the ten.

So, I start spade ace, and lead a spade. Nine looks like best guess.
Oct. 31, 2018
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All this is partnership agreement. With Betty, double of two clubs = clubs, so I double. With Jeff, double of two clubs = take-out, so I pass, and double two hearts.

Sitting West, I would probably defend two hearts doubled, and lead a trump. We'll see where it goes from there.
Oct. 30, 2018
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North had three choices over one spade - raise, 1NT, or 2. 2 would be my third choice, but they are all reasonable.

South had two choices over two clubs, show hearts, then diamonds, or show diamonds, then hearts. Both reasonable. I'd go with hearts.

Showing one of the suits, then passing two spades? Not at option. So South gets 100% in my book.
Oct. 30, 2018
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Today, Robot partner held xx Qxxx xxx Kxxx.

Auction: 1 X 2 by Robot. Good bid. 2 by fourth hand.

2 3 P (Another good bid) P
4 p

Try to guess bot's bid.

Big hint: It rhymes with four maids.

I retreated to five clubs, which would fail by a trick. Try to guess bot's bid (which rhymes with five maids).

Now try to imagine our post-mortem discussion.
Oct. 22, 2018
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Thanks. Nice post.

It took me a while to figure out your 67%, when, if partner holds 6 hearts and three diamonds, partner is a 3-1 favorite to hold the seven.

One picky point, though. The defense is completely logical when West started with seven hearts. Then ducking the six of diamonds blows two tricks.
Oct. 22, 2018
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Since I haven't seen West's hand, I can't ridicule West. And I certainly wouldn't be mocking a West who was walking the dog with an 11-bagger.
Oct. 18, 2018
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Good for you. I try very hard, when hit with UI, to choose the least attractive logical bid. Here, only 5 is logical, so that is my choice. However, I would be much happier with a teammate who passed than with one who chose 6.
Oct. 17, 2018
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Give us a weaker slam try, and we stop in four spades. This hand, where we know we have 33 highs, and shape, is not quitting below 5, unless four spades systemically denies a club control.
Oct. 17, 2018
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