Join Bridge Winners
All comments by Steve Bloom
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Then force with 3NT.
Sept. 27
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
The early heart ruff seems premature - clearly West doubled for penalties based on a strong heart suit, with at least the spade ace and the diamond king. South was looking for some obscure endplay, which wasn't happening even if the double was penalties.

It looks normal to play a club to hand and a spade to the king, and things go badly that way too, though declarer might guess the ending and still make.

It looks reasonable, after a DONT double and that lead, to try a diamond finesse next. Not clear what happens next, and South may still go down, but rates to win eight tricks.

The penalty double assured the spade ace was onside, while the DONT auction suggests the spade ace would be offside. That makes a big difference in the play.
Sept. 25
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Was South bidding a slam facing two? How do you check for a club control?

3 should set up a game force, and South must bid 3S. No cue-bid, no slam move.

If by some bizarre reason, 3S could be passed, then bid 3NT to start cue-bidding.

Clearly South has no reason to take over this auction. South knows very little about partner's hand, and can describe the South hand fairly easily - splinter over one spade.

So, I hate the 2NT bid, hate four hearts, and really dread the decision next.
Sept. 25
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Nonetheless, it is clearly best to cash a high trump, cross in diamonds, and lead a trump for a “finesse”.

Remember, robots think you are playing double-dummy. With the finesse onside, they often fly with the doomed queen anyway.

If Robot East does not play queen, you don't finesse, and try the club line.
Sept. 22
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Reminds me of a Linhart story. He cheated a bit and opened one heart, with a client, holding only AKQJ tight.

After an overcall, his partner, who virtually never counted out a hand, started counting. Stared up at the sky. Counted again. Stared up at the sky. Counted again. Finally smiled, and passed. Yep. Nine card support - so she knew he had psyched.
Sept. 21
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Change the heart king to the heart two, and South would bid four hearts over three clubs. Isn't this hand a little better?

Having probed for 3NT, and holding bad spades, why would South ever want to play in a 5-2 spade fit? Over four spades, South should bid five clubs, or, if available, punt with 4NT.
Sept. 20
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Two spades says I think winning eight tricks with spades as trumps is easier than winning six tricks with hearts as trumps.
Sept. 20
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
So, we seem to be down around 8 IMPs. That said, the obvious way to push to a thin game is to open my hand in first seat. So, down a bunch, I do not pass.

Having passed originally, the next shot is to try to steal the pot. I don't have such a hand, but partner might. Down a large swing, one board to go, and we must win - I go quietly. Maybe partner picked off their fit - we hold two spades to eight tricks in their 4-3 fit, with five hearts easy. There's eight IMPs!

I almost never hope that partner psyched, but here … No other hope, is there?
Sept. 20
Steve Bloom edited this comment Sept. 20
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
First call: X or 1NT?

X could easily get us too high on a normal part-score hand, while 1NT could miss a decent game. White, those two losses cost about the same. So going low is reasonable. Add to that, partner might not deliver a great hand for a third seat opener, I think 1NT is about right.

Second call: When partner passes two spades, we don't have a game on power. Now the hand has become a part-score battle. Could 2S and 2NT both make? Possible, but not likely. Could 2S and 3 of a suit both make? Yes? Feels like they have eight trumps and we have seven to eight. So defending is Law appropriate.

Conclusion: Both actions chosen were marginal, but percentage.
Sept. 20
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
I've played 2 Puppet for about thirty years. The benefits are numerous, and we actually respond with 2, even holding a five-card major.

We use Puppet to (1) play in diamonds (2) free up extra room for some hand patterns (3) describe dummy and keep declarer's hand unknown. Locating the five card major is such a low priority we gave up showing it.
Sept. 20
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Nice sentiment, but complete nonsense. Picture Baze, who played quite rapidly, faced with no chance at all for an overtrick, unless the weak opponents fall for some silly pseudo-squeeze.

Option A: He would claim, and concede that trick?

Option B: He would play out his cards at some lightning pace and hope for the silly blunder?

I'll let you choose either Option, but I'll give you a hint: It is not A.
Sept. 19
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Disclosure is tricky. We often have this type of discussion at the table: 1NT range is …, but we are very aggressive against a white third seat opener, so it might be shaded.
Sept. 19
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Personally, I think you should thank your opponents on this one. They forced you to think about many important aspects of bidding.

Lesson 1: The auction goes 1D X 1H X. What is that second double? You probably haven't talked about it. Good, sit down with your partner and discuss it.

Lesson 2: The auction goes 1C 1D X 1H X. What is that second double? You probably haven't talked about it. Good, sit down with your partner and discuss it.

Lesson 3: A negative double after 1C 1D shows 4-4- in the majors. If you have a five card major, you bid it. Why? Because partner will never work out that you have a five card suit! A few days ago, practicing for Orlando, against a first rate pair, one of them violated that rule, and doubled one diamond with 5-4 in the majors, figuring he'd have time to sort things out if they belonged in spades. Of course, he didn't have time - we bid quickly to three diamonds, which was cold, as was three spades in their 5-3 fit.

Every time you play, you learn things, and you get better. Bridge is tough, and fascinating, when your opponents jam your auctions, and make it tough. Learning how to cope will make you a better player. Learning how to cope will increase your love and fascination with this great game.
Sept. 19
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Imagine how much fun it would be to play an hours worth of tennis against Roger Federer.

Now picture how #*%&#^$* disgusting that would be if he held his racket with his foot the whole time, so I wouldn't feel so bad.

You want to play against Zia, but you don't want Zia to try to win? I don't get it.
Sept. 19
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
While we are at it, it is profoundly unethical, and stupid, and unnecessary, to make a contract against an inexperienced player via a squeeze.

Bidding a slam based on fit, with less than 33 high card points, will result in a full board penalty. You will be barred at your second offense.

And don't you dare falsecard, or make some contract by deceptive means. Six months banned from bridge.

In my St. Louis days, some club owner took me aside and said, “don't ever false-card again in my club.” I obliged. Of course, I never returned and never played there again.
Sept. 18
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
“realized that 1NT had been an error” … I admit it takes a bit longer to realize that passing was an error. The auction continues 1N P 2C P P P. You set that an easy 3 tricks, and don't find that you lost 10 IMPs until the comparison.

Given what people open in third seat, white, passing is very dangerous. But so is overcalling. Lots of IMPs can swing by taking either the high road or by taking the low road.
Sept. 18
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
How can we go off if we rise?
Sept. 17
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
If trumps are 4-0 and clubs 4-0 the other way, the hand can never be made.

If I cash the club ace, and someone trumps it from two or three trumps, I am likely still home.

So, cashing the club ace can not really hurt.

How does it gain? OK, say I exit a trump, losing to an honor on my left. Back comes a club. I win, exit in trumps, and and RHO wins two more trumps. Now comes a club. Do I finesse?

Notice, had I cashed one club, and exited to the singleton honor by South, a club can't hurt me. And anything else gets me to dummy.
Sept. 17
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Claim is not really appropriate. Say the finesse loses, surprisingly, to the ten. The hand is not over, and you haven't gone down yet.
Sept. 17
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
@Kevin: It is clear from the comment above that the signal, in your partnership, meant “I like diamonds.” So, when asked, say that. That is not giving declarer a lesson, that is describing your agreements - discard shows attitude (and not count), and low = positive.
Sept. 17
.

Bottom Home Top