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All comments by John Portwood
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Isn't 7 on on a squeeze. Assume a spade lead. - if spades 5-2 then AK ruff spade, trump, ruff spade draw trumps coming down to
X AJ9 opposite
AKJX

There is also the possibility that just 1 spade ruff is needed ending with

X X AJ9 opposite
AKJX X with Yuan having to hold Q QXX KQ as his last 5 cards.

Of course with a lead through AKJ the squeeze is broken.
July 9, 2013
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C4H9SH - it would be nice if you could inform BBO about a psyche so it could track players. In this case surely 4 would be a splinter showing a maximum hand.
July 8, 2013
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A. Proper Communication between Partners
1. How Effected
Communication between partners during the auction and play shall be effected only by means of the calls and plays themselves.
2. Correct Manner for Calls and Plays
Calls and plays should be made without special emphasis, mannerism or inflection, and without undue hesitation or haste (however, sponsoring organizations may require mandatory pauses, as on the first round of auction, or after a skip-bid warning, or on the first trick).

B. Inappropriate Communication Between Partners
1. Gratuitous Information
Partners shall not communicate through the manner in which calls or plays are made, through extraneous remarks or gestures, through questions asked or not asked of the opponents or through alerts and explanations given or not given to them.
2. Prearranged Communications
The gravest possible offense is for a partnership to exchange information through prearranged methods of communication other than those sanctioned by these Laws. A guilty partnership risks expulsion

(part of)Law 73

Call the Director if you suspect an irregularity (after all the 2 bid might be natural under their system)
July 7, 2013
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After the usual briefing to the Rabbit after the cut “Don't bid a major, don't bid no trumps, always lead my suit even if you have a void” The Hog picked up the following Hand.

AX A432 QXXX KX.

Not liking his threadbare heart suit he opened 1NT, maximising his chances of being declarer.

After a pass from Karapet he heard 4 from the Rabbit. This had to be a “Strong Partner Transfer”. “Perfect” he thought 4 bid and made by me - and made the obvious bid - a declarer to his fingertips.

The Rabbit fidgeted, gulped down a large cherry brandy and half a dozen chocolate biscuits. 5 he bid in a squeak of thunder.

The Hog was alarmed - the Rabbit rarely made a slam try for the good reason that he rarely made 12 tricks, however, the Hog thought, he must be relying on me, as usual, to make a couple of extra tricks with my play. One could hardly blame him.

The response was obvious - bidding 5 showing the A would calm the Rabbit down and emphasise the diamond losers. Even the Rabbit would realise that the Hog didn't have Diamonds.

The Rabbit passed! Papa turned to the Kibitzers and said “Obviously the Rabbit has been dozing again and playing in a 5-level cue bid won't be a good result for them. If I double they'll bid 5 which means that I lose both the benefit of the misunderstanding AND that the Rabbit won't be playing the hand - always look ahead” - and passed.

Meanwhile the Hog was, as usual, berating the Rabbit. “Why did you pass? Didn't you hear my bid? Don't you know what it means? And at a cost of 2 champagne bottles a hundred as well!”

Holding Q9X Q87 A543 JXX the opening lead stood out a mile - the A - on which the Rabbit dropped the Jack

Looking at dummy a switch to a suit headed by a Queen looked too risky - although it seemed to matter little whether the contract went 5 Down or only 4. The safest option seemed to be to continue Diamonds.

The Rabbit won with the King, Played the K on which, to Papa's shock Karapet discarded.

The Rabbit counted the hearts - the Queen was missing and there was probably another one left and put down his hand.

“Finessing against the QH, 2 clubs, club ruff, 1 Spade, 2 Diamonds he said, putting down ”QX KJTXXX KJ AXX


July 5, 2013
John Portwood edited this comment July 5, 2013
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Perhaps partner has

Ax AXXX AJXXX XX - Some people might want to make a forward move with a hand so endowed with controls - 6 looks a fair bet opposite KXX KQJTXX KQX X

This is a version of John Portwood's rule: When 1NT is a possible bid - make it! (TIC)
July 5, 2013
John Portwood edited this comment July 5, 2013
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I always like to think in terms of tricks - partner has about 4 of them (maybe a bit more if a super fit) so unless you can see 7+ tricks in your 14 point hand you should bid 5. Of course KJTXXX is now worth 5 tricks - with partner's super accept - so if you can see three more (quite likely) then you should bid 4NT asking for Aces.
July 4, 2013
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No - we play a ‘strong 12’ to a ‘poor 15’ (notionally 4 - 4.5 playing tricks). At the low level the honours have to be working well together - typically sequences and good intermediates, at a high level we have the ‘Aces and Spaces’ type hands. i.e. not much filling in the suits.

Partner will always invite on the 10-12 hands providing he, too, can see a source of tricks. So we can reach 22 point 3NT hands - but these will be hands where one suit at least will be pretty solid for 4 (or 5) tricks.

(I think I have been doubled once in the last 12 months using this method - the greatest risk of being doubled is that it happens so rarely that partner might forget the wriggle:))

With a good 15 we'll rebid 1NT or 2NT as appropriate.
July 1, 2013
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I do not see how making an allowed bid after an insufficient bid can be regarded as being ‘unethical’. The offending side have the now authorised information (16A) that one person wanted to open 1 diamond so they are in a better position than if you had decided to reject the bid and they couldn't make a suitable overcall. In addition, of course, there are no lead penalties, nor is anyone forced to pass at their turn.

It is perfectly right and proper to request a penalty to be applied to opponents for their errors when your side hasn't gained any advantage.

I would also point out that in the situation that you describe at the top, declarer would have lost 1 trick anyway (the small club), so the cost is 1 trick.

Dumb mistakes happen - one of the deadly sins of the Dallas Aces was to avoid making mechanical errors. The laws are there to restore equity according to set rules. Like it or not they are part of the game. “Respect for the laws is the basis of civilized society” - S Bird.
June 20, 2013
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The Rabbit ducked the first spade ‘rectifying the count’ for a squeeze. (Wins the return, throws a club on Ace of spades and sets up a club for a diamond discard)

Alternatively the Ace of spades is hidden behind the five (probably done purposefully by HH) and ruefully the rabbit plays the four, only realising that the Ace is behind a bit later. He asks to change the card but the secretary Bird states that the five has been played and insisting on the law encompasses his own downfall. Variations of this theme could include the Hog ‘accidentally’ tidying up dummy after the first trick is played or even forgetting to put down the Ace, dropping it on the floor. (Quote from Karapet - “Couldn't you see declarer was dying to play the Ace - why didn't you let him die?”)

(Karapet is too good a player to omit to overtake with the King of Spades if necessary)

Other possibilities include RR leading up to the AKC - again rectifying the count for a squeeze when Karapet plays low.
June 20, 2013
John Portwood edited this comment June 20, 2013
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Well if you don't mind scoring +640 instead of +2140 . . .

You should have an agreement with partner when the partnership can deviate from ‘pure’ pre-empts (tell opponents) and then work out bidding sequences that can cater for them!

Otherwise your desire to jump into auctions can occasionally cost youu a bushel of MPS
June 12, 2013
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I've forced opponents 1 level higher than they would go under their own steam - so I hope I can get it off! 6 could be a phantom.

And why didn't I bid 5 on the first round?
June 10, 2013
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Even if partner has 2 hearts, there is a good chance of them disappearing on AKQ


June 10, 2013
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I just hate 763 - this sort of screams 3 losers. Looking at HCP then either partner has a bust or West has bid on a diamond fit as well.

If I am going for a brilliancy I'll lead 2 ow else am I going to get my diamond ruff?
June 10, 2013
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West is unlimited (other than he hasn't made a slam try) so 4 is probably bid to make. Since you need quite a lot opposite a weak 2 to make game (especially Aces and Kings as partner is usually short) I don't fancy going for 800 or 1100. (partner will REALLY be annoyed if he has spade values, which was the reason he couldn't bid over 2)

(Thank god for skip-bid pauses.)
June 10, 2013
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Can east have psyched and now trying to force you to run e.g. partner has KQJTXX and a powerhouse? If so partner would have passed 4X.

The next question is: what do I want to play in. It seems partner has a minor suit and spades so: do I want to play 1 level lower (4) on a possible 5-2 fit or go for the minors.

I'll go for the minors.
June 10, 2013
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4NT is the practical bid - the only question is to see if we could get to a spade contract. This depends on partnership agreement. If 3 would be a Fit Non Jump then everything is easy. Partner shows support if available, if not we play in N diamonds. (4<N<8)

June 10, 2013
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4NT (with my fingers crossed) - at least I can blame partner for not understanding my splinter bid if/when things go wrong. We are committed to 5 anyway and if partner has 2 Aces + Q then we had better hope he has the right one and K
June 9, 2013
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Partner reckons to have 9HCP - if he has strength in hearts we wont set up many heart tricks, if he has strength in clubs we may set up more defensive tricks. (We may get a working ruff as well)

The small heart may prove disasterous if partner has JXX for instance.
June 7, 2013
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Bob - in the UK we are actively discouraged to say what the bid might be - as it can give UI to your partner. As Steve says - we should alert a bid that might be conventional and , as we don't know the meaning we call the director. (In theory at least)
June 6, 2013
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IMHO - I would disagree - the irregularity is in not following suit - which happens before the revoke is established.

I certainly agree (now) that the director cannot stop the irregularity occurring since, until it has occurred there hasn't been an irregularity.

However the irregularity is failing to follow suit, it is not in making a revoke. So the Director may penalise the pair - by making the played card a major penalty card etc, but will prevent them from digging a deeper hole when one or more tricks may have to be transferred should the revoke be established.

The director has the right to declare a card NOT to be a penalty card under Law 50. He might have decided to apply this in the interests of equity.
June 6, 2013
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