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All comments by Wayne Burrows
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I voted takeout as a hand without a heart stopper and extra values has no other bid here. However, at these colours a penalty double is a reasonable alternative. You will often be able to clip 3 for 200 or more even when your side does not have a game.
Feb. 25, 2019
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In a vacuum restricted choice applies to both the 9 and 8 negating each other.

At its most basic you need hearts 2=2. Having seen a heart from both opponents they each must have one left for you to make your contract. It is exactly 50-50 which one of the two is the queen.

The only valid inferences available that take you away from 50-50 are potentially from why the opponent's defended this way? Why the club lead? Why the third club? That is is the third club more likely to have been from a hand with or without the Q. I think these questions are subjective.
Feb. 25, 2019
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The last person who asked me “Was I insane to bid 2?” received the response “Do you really want me to answer that question?”
Feb. 25, 2019
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Are there problems with 4th suit invitational when responder has a directionless game force?

For example after 1 1; 2 how do you hand a hand with four spades, two hearts, three diamonds, no club stopper and game force?
Feb. 25, 2019
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Are they there already?
Feb. 25, 2019
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And we don't play against anyone in this situation often enough to know what they always do and if we ask their partner might not know either. Therefore in practice we have a guess.

As an aside it would be much better if our game kept accurate information about these things that was available so we could at least potentially exploit non-random aspects of players games.
Feb. 25, 2019
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Is there a play for three tricks with this combination?
Feb. 24, 2019
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It seems that when you lead an ace and the king comes in the dummy, especially Kx, then consideration should be given to playing suit preference as if a singleton came in the dummy.

Here that is complicated by the fact that partner might have a stiff club.

There is also the problem of reading the 5. Given that there is a real danger of the second diamond vanishing I would play A and buy another signal from partner.

A comment on the bidding:

It seems inefficient to have two bids to show hearts, Double and 2, and no bids to show spades. Well maybe you have 2 as natural.

Having been a long time fan of (1x) P (1M) 2M as natural because 1M doesn't show much in terms of suit quality and it can be a real problem with a decent hand and five or six cards in their major, then I would much prefer to play 1 as natural when they give me the additional space by playing transfers.

Yes having a heart suit is more frequent here but that needs to be weighed against there being more danger in bidding spades so a lower natural 1 has an advantage.
Feb. 24, 2019
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LHO has QT or T9 and the T9 is diminished because LHO might have played the 9. Therefore LHO is more likely to have QT.

RHO has Q8 or 98 and the 98 is diminished because RHO might have played the 9. Therefore RHO is more likely to have the Q8.

So the finesse and the drop both work (in the long run) with both being better than 50% propositions (around 2:1).

Therein lies the flaw.
Feb. 24, 2019
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Sadly John the precedent in New Zealand is that a pair that were doing this without the aid of a card holder were not held accountable.

In an Interprovincial trial one partner was found to be sorting their cards so that there was a gap between suits so that their partner could count the distribution. Not only were they not (significantly) disciplined they were allowed to win the trial and represent their region in the Interprovincial Championships.
Feb. 24, 2019
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Ron

We have the generic agreement that over 4th suit a jump shows extra values. Here is 2 does not promise extras then our loose agreement that we are allowed to vary from based on the precise auction (usually based on the level) is that minimum NTs are weak and jumps are 15-17. If the minimum NT is 2NT then it can be 18-19 too. If the minimum NT is 3NT we would probably need a little extra to jump with most hands.


Secondly, there is a problem with this sort of hand that I have never seen anything sensible written about. Say partner bids 3NT and you do make a quantitative raise. The problem is that your xxxx does not contain a control and partner's stopper could be QJx. Partner does not know that you do not have A or K and you have no way to determine whether partner has either of those cards.

Something similar happens in many potentially quantitative auctions. It is worse in similar auctions where partner might have four card length and you have a singleton and the singleton hand wants to invite slam after no fit has been found and partner has bid NTs.
Feb. 23, 2019
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Yes there are responder's reverses. I was restricting myself to opener's reverses given the heading in the post.
Feb. 23, 2019
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There are only two (generic) auctions:

1. 1 2m; 2

2. 1 2; 2M

I treat the two cases differently.

In the first case I like this to show extra values which has the advantages that Michael Hargreaves pointed out above. In our case this is slightly complicated and more necessary because of the fact that we use 1M 2 as a three-way bid that is not completely forcing to game.

In the second case there is are competing objectives between being able to find a 4=4 major fit and being able to show stoppers for no trumps. This creates an ambiguity between when a major suit bid is showing a 4-card suit and when it is merely a probe for no trumps. In consequence relatively recently we have begun playing that 1 2; 2M shows a four card major and is silent on strength and hand type (balanced or unbalanced) and a 2 rebid is a catch all for hands without a major and unsuitable for some other action - 2NT which is balanced with both majors stopped; 3 which is a natural raise; 3 which is extra values and at most a one-loser suit; and 3M which are splinters. 3NT is also some 18-19 balanced hands typically 3=3=5=2.

My initial impression is that this works well. After a 2 or 2M rebid the responder is frequently able to rebid 2NT or 3 which allows opener room to clarify hand type.
Feb. 22, 2019
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“pass of a redouble is not for penalties in a suit the passer could have bid at the 1-level”

Frances I do not fully understand what you mean by this rule.

Does this mean that after (1c) p … that a subsequent pass directly over a redouble of any level diamond, heart, or spade contract is not to play?

For example

1c p 1s x
4s p p x
xx p

this would seem to be such a pass.
Feb. 22, 2019
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If you bid a red suit with long clubs and a second suit then what do you do with 4=4=3=2 balanced?
Feb. 18, 2019
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Why bid 1NT Phil when your best spot might be in a suit at the one level?
Feb. 18, 2019
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I am not convinced the slam is that good. The main chance seems to be a non-spade lead. On a spade lead (other than an injudicious underlead) we are worse than 50%. Depending on the auction a spade lead might be obvious. Moreover, I am unconvinced that if we bid this one we will be able to stay out of similar slams for example without the 10 that are worse.
Feb. 13, 2019
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A multi is necessarily ambiguous. So when partner says bid (at least) 3 if you have a weak two in hearts why would you persist with the ambiguity because an opponent bids something below 3 in front of you.

You have pass, double, 3 and 3 available without committing to game. When they have bid spades it makes no sense to bid (or double) to show spades. Therefore pass is needed to show spades and therefore hearts can be shown by one of the other three available calls.
Feb. 6, 2019
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Symmetric is a very easy system to use if you swap partners. For very many uncontested strong auctions there is no necessity for detailed discussion or variation of style from one partner to the other. You just relay.
Jan. 29, 2019
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Of course Ron and Nick are correct in isolation. The more well defined any bid the better. I mean if you start with a meaning and then narrow that meaning then that bid will work better.

However this is not free. If you take for example the strong balanced option out of your multi then you need to cater for that somewhere else.

So in the end it is a balancing act between what is most efficient for 2 and what is most efficient for the rest of your methods.
Jan. 23, 2019
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