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All comments by David Burn
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Paddy, you're supposed to save against the opponents' contracts. Not your own.
6 hours ago
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What, against 5 down two? Still, I suppose compared to 5 down four it's cheap.
14 hours ago
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First four calls reasonable. Next three calls ridiculous. Final four calls beyond reproach.
14 hours ago
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5 “Can you bid a grand? If not, what kings do you have?”

5NT “No, and what's more I don't have K.”

6 “In that case I can't bid a grand.”

7 “Well, when I said no the first time I actually meant yes.”

Now, what has happened to change North's mind from “No, I can't bid a grand” to “Yes, I can bid a grand”? Couldn't have been South's tempo by any remote chance, could it?

This isn't real bridge. This is… well, it is a form of bridge in which Law 73 does not operate.
15 hours ago
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2 Michaels might be weak, perhaps.
19 hours ago
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As stated, it might. For example, is a double of 2 takeout of clubs or of diamonds?
20 hours ago
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“…the small risk of a second undertrick”

This is not vulnerable at IMPs, where if the opponents score 1510 at the other table it makes no difference whether you go down one, two, three or four. Now, if the contract were seven of a minor the second undertrick would cost an IMP.
21 hours ago
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Quite so. Of course, you should ruff one diamond, but only after drawing all the trumps.

We remark here that in positions of this kind, if you can afford to ruff only one diamond but need an inferential count you should assume that the holder of 2 has the fourth card in the suit.
Feb. 18
David Burn edited this comment Feb. 18
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A difficult probability calculation: will discovering the exact diamond count when the suit is 4-3 give you enough extra chance to guess clubs to compensate for the chance that an opponent has three spades and one diamond?
Feb. 18
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You can play 3NT as 5-4 in the majors with only game values, but how do you try for slam with this shape?
Feb. 18
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No BIT in the entire BHOT has ever suggested that partner pass.
Feb. 17
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Not clear how he can be willing to play 4 when he has denied five spades and I have guaranteed no more than none.

William of Ockham was born in a place called Ockham. “Occam” was a Latinization of his name.
Feb. 17
David Burn edited this comment Feb. 17
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Don’t hold your breath. Or, if you feel like it, do.
Feb. 16
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Some play it as forcing to 3. Many schemes are possible. You will learn about some of them, which I trust will prove beneficial.

You see, whenever you ask on BW what you might bid, they don't care who you are. They tell you what they might bid.

This is helpful when talking about bidding.

It is worse than worthless when talking about rulings, but they do it anyway to avoid the main issue.

It makes no difference at all when talking about cardplay, but they do it anyway when they don't know how to handle the cardplay.

At any rate, 3 should be forcing. Wiser heads than mine will guide you henceforth.
Feb. 15
David Burn edited this comment Feb. 15
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It is, of course, inconceivable that anyone would actually bid the major they had after 3. No one could possibly play such a terrible system.
Feb. 15
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These super slam tries might as well bid Blackwood, mightn’t they? I mean, 4 runs some risk if you’ve actually got hearts.

I recall a Gold Cup semi-final where Sheehan, to my alarm since I was on his team and watching on BBO, opened 2NT with a 6=3=3=1 shape. Having put four of his “clubs” back with his two spades, where they belonged, he attempted to recover by responding 4 to Stayman. This was eventually passed out and the opponents kicked off with two top clubs.

Following one of those spivvy control-retaining lines you learn at Oxford, Sheehan discarded on the second round. Zia, his partner, could stand it no longer.

“No clubs?” he demanded.

“No clubs” replied Sheehan with his customary imperturbability.

“And no f%*#ing trumps either?”
Feb. 15
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Well, it doesn't make total sense, because it leaves you without a call that says simply “I would have raised 1 to 2”. Playing double as stolen, or (better) playing double as “three spades or three suits”, gives you that back at the expense of lack of clarity when responder has hearts and a minor.

We remark here that playing double as takeout of hearts, if advancer bids 3 pass-or-correct then opener's double should be penalty-or-takeout.
Feb. 15
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“The Law does not say this (or anything remotely like it).”

Oh, the Law says things remotely like it. For example, the Law strongly encourages acting in tempo especially when not doing so might advantage your side.

Still, of course it isn't satisfactory when the result you get depends not on the rules but the referees. To prevent this, if you break tempo and your partner does what matches your hand when he might have done something else, you get (or keep) a bad result.

The Law doesn't say that either. But what the Law says doesn't work, and we need to do something about it.
Feb. 15
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Still, Kevin is quite right - if the club position is not flexible, then East is more relevant. With 5 and 6 interchanged, declarer must indeed play a spade first against East's 2=0=2=3 and a diamond first against East's 3=0=1=3.

To answer one of Barry's questions insofar as I understand it: I guess that to a moderately experienced solver of double-dummy problems it would indeed be “obvious” to play five rounds of hearts.
Feb. 15
David Burn edited this comment Feb. 15
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“In the former, you knock out the spade ace first before the Q of clubs”

You can do. You can also play a diamond to hand and lead either the jack or the eight of clubs.
Feb. 15
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