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All comments by John Portwood
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Eric - the terms of the 3NT overcall have been changed - it was for the minor suits.
April 30, 2013
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Pass seems obvious - if partner goes 4 or 5 down in 3NT then it won't be a disaster (and could be cheaper than going 3 down doubled when they get forced and forced and forced). If he gets doubled and doesn't bid himself then I can redouble and he'll get the message that it is up to him to pick the escape suit.
April 30, 2013
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I bid it half jokingly - don't worry about undos or anything - however I do like to open people's minds up to think outside the box.

Opposite a passed partner (where game is pretty problematical) I think that 2 strikes a reasonable balance between offence and defence. As a general rule I consider a 1-level overcall safe on an 8-loser hand and a 6 card suit can always be bid at the 2-level. On this hand there are 7 losers or so. (Holding a 6-card suit there are 7 out, the most likely distribution is 3-2-2 so partner reckons to have 2 card support - to those who believe in it, The Law protects me.)

Personally I think that there is far too much barrage bidding which causes problems for partners when they do have a fit for you or reasonable defence. All my pre-emptive bids are constructive in nature! How else can partner work out what is happening?)

You may like to see what T Reese had to say on the matter: http://www.bridgeace.com/Lessons/BOLS/1992_Reese_Idiocies.pdf
April 30, 2013
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1. Advanced
2. Not in ACBL
3. Usually none

EBU NGS ranking = “Q” (57.92) this means there are 39,600 players of lower rank, 1754 the same rank (57.00 - 58.99) and 1795 of higher rank. https://www.ebu.co.uk/ngs/?stats=1

EBU rank = ***** Master (low rank due (I hope!) to not attending congresses etc, play exclusively in club)
April 30, 2013
John Portwood edited this comment April 30, 2013
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You could bid 1 and then claim it was by mistake. These days no one plays penalties of suit bids at the 1 level so this seems to be a 100% safe psyche.

However you do have an above average hand and a reasonable suit. The fact that partner has passed doesn't mean that he has a Yarborough. It is quite possible that the final contract will be a bidding war between 2 | 3 and your 2. (Hearts could be breaking pretty badly as well which would jeopordise 4

So you might as well bid 2 then let the opponents have all the problems.
April 29, 2013
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Trick 2 ruff club, draw two rounds of trumps and lead KD ditching a loser.

Eventually you exit with A and Q and ruff your remaining loser with 4

After A lead west must switch to a heart to defeat the contract.
April 28, 2013
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South's bid is undisciplined - he has a partner that hasn't spoken and pre-empted him with this ludicrous punt.

North can assume that partner has a running minor suit (Diamonds!) but there is no way he can deduce whether South has club protection or not. (Give South QXX instead of QX and 3N looks pretty solid)
April 27, 2013
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Pass - I still have a partner. This must show a minimum hand.
April 27, 2013
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In Acol you have the 4NT opening bid asking for specific Aces - it would be nice to get a 6 or 5 reply and you can convert 5 and 5 to 5. I personally play 2 as a more precise instrument. So I have to assume this question is posed by someone whose system doesn't allow for Ace responses over a bid.

You may consider passing 1st time round - with 4 Aces somewhere and two KQs there is a good chance that, especially in today's aggressive bidding, someone will open and this would give you chance to estimate where are the Aces. The danger of this is all to obvious - but it makes a good magazine article when it comes off! (This hand would not even equal the record for the hand with fewest losers to pass 1st time round)

Perhaps a good bid would be 5 - at least if partner has A you will be in 6.

April 27, 2013
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Can anyone explain what is the point of the 3 response?

If partner has 7 reasonable diamonds then 6 looks solid - lots of controls, nice suit to set up (at worst having to ditch clubs on spades) so I create a bid and ask him. (Actually I play 4 of the other minor is a general slam try opposite a minor-suit pre-empt)

Of course if you play wider ranging pre-empts then you may find you get too high, but it is unlikely. (even XXXXXXX may play for 2 losers only!)

http://www.bridgeace.com/Lessons/BOLS/1992_Van_De_%20Pas_Play_Yourself.pdf
April 27, 2013
John Portwood edited this comment April 30, 2013
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I think the West hand is too weak offensively to consider 5 - yes you have 2 Aces and a singleton club, but you have nothing else. Suppose that you make your two aces and a club ruff (OK here you don't but you know partner probably only has 2 clubs) where will the remaining 8 tricks come from?. Give partner his 5 hearts and you need 3 more - but if you take those 3 more (and they can only be from strength) then they should score against 5C! In which case there is a good chance of 5X going 4 off. If you can only make 1 or 2 more then 5 and 5 are going off and you have indulged in a phantom.

Here is the original BOLS tip: http://www.bridgeace.com/Lessons/BOLS/1987_Manfield_Five_Level.pdf
April 27, 2013
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We didn't have any agreement - In theory yes we should have been playing forcing pass situation, but in the absence of such I felt a double was the best way to show doubt. Partner of course has a whale of a hand compared to what he might have had and some voters have recognized it. It would have been nice if he had bid 6 - if only for the amended diagram that would have appeared!
April 25, 2013
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Now for the gruesome bit (a tale against myself).

When the hand came up South was dealer - but North tried to open the bidding out of turn with 1! I saw this, forestalled it and decided to waive the penalty. Bidding then reverted to South. Of course I thought my partner had seen this action by North (Authorized Information) so that I had to be showing a strong 5=5 major suit fit. Unfortunately partner later confirmed that he hadn't noticed the attempt to open out of turn!

Partner passed the double and led a diamond, which ran to declarer's Queen. Declarer led a trump which partner won with the Ace and led a Spade to my AK (on which declarer played the Queen).

I stupidly tried to cash the A - and that was -550 as declarer ruffed (QX - QXXX QJXXXXX) drew the last trump and ran the diamonds. I say stupid because anyone can see that partner can't have more spades than hearts so the second spade must have a better chance to stand up!
April 25, 2013
John Portwood edited this comment April 25, 2013
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Pretty good: yes AKJXX AQJXX X XX. I doubled 5 as I had 2 club losers (partner could have had a flat 4-3-3-3 for his bid) but 6 does make as you can see - providing you drop the Q offside.
April 25, 2013
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Well done - on your defence you are going for - 650 as 5 X makes +1.

To be fair when you put down the A you see the following dummy. It might make you change your defence at trick 2.

TX J43 AKJ753 K8
April 25, 2013
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Isn't that the same as 1N 2 2 2N - now what? Going to the three level when you have minmum values? Obviously simulations would help but there is a lot to be said for being a level lower.
April 24, 2013
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Same thing could happen if you relayed to 2 or 2 on a 4=1=4=4 or 1=4=4=4
April 24, 2013
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Who said West was a weak opener? He found two cuebids! In the UK the Multi has to have 1 strong meaning (which comes up reasonably frequently). Could he have

AJXX
X
AKQX
AJXX

opposite

QX
AKQTX
JTXXXX
-

Since strong 4441 hands are one of the options available. (Of course if the multi has to be a weak 6-card major then I will have to reconsider)
April 22, 2013
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One plan is to play a double of a small slam as showing no defensive tricks.

However east is a passed hand and West could only make an overcall. So my first question would be: What does West's pass over 5 mean. Could East be trying to bounce you into 7 failing

I would double, lead J and someone will rack up the points.
April 22, 2013
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A heart - assuming partner has 5 weak hearts and (just about feasible) KX in Spades. If you don't lead a heart declarer takes AC, 6 Diamonds and AS squeezing partner between KS and JXXXX when dummy holds AKQTX and declarer holds 8XXX X - -. Partner must expect a heart lead (he bid the suit) and I don't think the double would be Lightner.
April 22, 2013
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