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All comments by John Portwood
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I have read the book and am concerned as to whether the results are statistically significant. I would say that I have tried the techniques and they seem at least no worse than my previous methods (a couple of hundred 3NT simulations on Bridge Baron 19). In some respect many of the rules developed are already well known, it is just that some maths has been added to illustrate them.

The danger is that people will just learn a few rules and not understand that you have to look at all your hand (and guesstimate partner's) before working out the best plan of attack.

I wonder when people play the cards as suggested in the book that they have actually told their partner!

(I play in clubs where a weak NT is played - as such it is less likely that a 5-card Major gets hidden - this presumably slightly increases the major-suit bias.)

There is also the effect of selective memory - if you lead low from KJXXX and catch your partner with AX then you get a real positive boost and as such the event will tend to stick. Should you find the suit split AXX in dummy and QX in declarer's hand then you will tend to gloss over it as ‘just one of those things’.

Getting tops is obviously a buzz - but the best overall scores are produced by consistently getting 60%+ on hands.

(It would also have been nice to have been told what an average lead and the worst lead would have done - for instance: if you are told that A defeats the contract 31% and !7S defeats the contract 28% of the time, it would be nice to know that overall the contract fails 25% of the time so that A actually doubles your additional chances compare to the !7S)
April 13, 2013
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I think that you need some help from partner. When you cash the Ace at Trick 2 both you and your partner should realise (from other discussions) that declarer has the Jack guarding the suit.

Partner is therefore in an ideal position to make a suit preference signal having several cards that have the same trick-taking capacity. (None unless an Ace is held)

Having led the 4 he has the 10,9,6,2 so could play the 10 or 2 to indicate his preferred lead (assumning Hearts can be eliminated) or the 6 being neutral.

Regular partnerships and good players should always look out for the chance to make a suit-preference signal. In this particular occasion spotting the opportunity was non-trivial.
April 12, 2013
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Well someone has underbid (7N obviously not being a good contract.) So is it the person with the <solid> diamond suit who can count 10 tricks (or more) if partner has the K or the person who has 5 controls more than they might have and heard a strong bid opposite?

It all depends on partnership agreements - I cannot think that 4 can be other than a mild slam try, why leave 3NT otherwise, which partner should accept with his useful singleton and black suit bullets.
April 9, 2013
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Could easily be psychic based on a single suit. There are many conventional bids devised over 2NT. By bidding 3NT (say on a long minor suit) this gets rid of them.

I would pass - 9 down NV is only 450, which is less than a game. If partner gets doubled (quite likely!) I would expect a redouble and then I'll have to bid 4

Memo to me: Ask partner why he bid as he did and add it to conventional bids.
April 8, 2013
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I certainly agree with 2 2 2!N 3 3

No matter how I look at it, assuming Key cards can be found, South will require North to hold AXX(X) in Diamonds to virtually assure the contract or, failing that Q to give a 50% chance. Since North has shown 11 cards (2S, 5H, 2D, 2C) by making a NT bid (assuming a Heart rebid holding 6 or a singleton) there is better than 50% chance of making the slam (1+ out of 2 unknown cards in three suits being diamond(s) and South Short in Diamonds)

SS SC CS CC fail
SD DS DD DC CD succeed - so the odds are at least 55-44
April 8, 2013
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Do you have a wriggle? The points seem to be reasonably divided so game is unlikely (their way) (assuming partner has 3 tricks for their bid you have a couple potential ones) and if you do have a wriggle it will be better playing in 2, 2 rather than 3 or 3 by using an immediate 2NT!)

I don't want to go for a large number and partner could have 5 Spades (with 13 spades in 3 hands he rates to have 4). He could also have 4 Hearts - do you want to play in 3 or 3 on a 4-2 fit?

April 5, 2013
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A lot depends on whether 2 by South should be regarded as a weak bid. Lebensohl is used by many partnerships more in defence to a weak 2 in the majors as bidding space is limited and you can then stop in 3, 3. But why force the partnership to go to 3 or 3 on a weak hand when you can stop in 2 or 2?

Perhaps a modification of Lebensohl is required so that (over a weak 2)

X : 2N
3 : 3 (or 3)

shows an invitational hand (8-11), but a direct bid

X : 3 (or 3) is game forcing. (12+)

With regards to the question, there has obviously been a breakdown in communication with South believing they had shown a weak hand (bid at 2-level and then not co-operated with the Cue bid) whereas North believed South had values (not used Lebensohl and then Jumped). North could, of course have used RKCB and perhaps should have asked themselves why did South not make a Cue bid in clubs?
April 5, 2013
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Single Game forcing 2-level bid (2C) with 2D negative
Weak 2s in three suits (think this can count as 1 convention)
Negative Doubles
RKCB
HELO defence to 1NT
Weaker 4-card Majors
Jacoby transfers over 1NT
Fourth-suit Forcing
Fit-jumps
Control-showing Cue Bids

(I could live with the 25-27 3NT but TBH there are far better things that you could do with it)
April 5, 2013
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This is one reason why I introduced the “1NT means (usually) trump support”. The next bid (at or above the 2 level of the opening bid) agrees the trump suit and allows for fit non jumps or fit jumps at the appropriate level.

e.g. 1 : 1NT : 2 : 3 = good raise to 3 with Club suit
(A good raise to 3 would be Something like QXXX X XXX AQXXX) compared with
1 : 1NT : 2 : 3 which would be more like QXXX X AXX KXXXX or
1 : 3 which would be pre-emptive QXXX X AXXX XXXX)

Example Bidding in system (occured in bridge club this week)

QTXXX KXX KQTXX - opposite KXXX QJXX JX TXX

1 : 1NT : 2 : 2 : 3 : 4 - game on 17HCP (and no Aces)!

You can include all the usual responses to a major e.g. 1 : 4 = Swiss || Splinter - (Going via 1NT the 4 would be a long suit mild slam try)

If you want to, you even have a built-in psyche. You know partner will NEVER raise 1 : 2 so you don't even need to have a fit to do it! (You should of course alert the bid as it is system agreement - “pre-emptive raise, may not have spades”)

What you do lose in the system is the ability to make responses holding a load of rubbish which (TBH) is not a great loss - if you hold 6 HCP it is very unlikely partner will hold the 8 tricks they need to make game. You also lose the chance when partner has a good 2-suited hand although you can fudge it (if you hold a long minor suit) by allowing partner to rebid another suit (other than 2) providing at least 5-5. If I hold controls e.g. an Ace and a King I usually bid at the 2 level, holding Quacks I pass, going for a pretty certain + score and knowing that in virtually every case I am not missing a game. (Oppos often protect and come unstuck, even if the pass is alerted and explained as, “Could be slightly stronger than normally expected”)

I feel that the idea would actually fit better into a precision system where there is no chance that partner has a near game-going hand when opening 1 or 1 and that 1 or 1 guarantee 5 cards.

April 5, 2013
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Where are the heart losers going?
April 4, 2013
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It helps if you know whether you play strong, intermediate or weak jump overcalls!

In my experience a simple overcall is a hand with 8 losers and my response is based on that i.e. 3. partner knows that that is how I am basing my response - if his hand is stronger then he can raise (he will know I only have 1)
April 4, 2013
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Surely partner could have bid 2 to force another bid from me? X must be business.
April 4, 2013
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If you bid you may as well play in your nice Diamond suit - you will go down much less if partner turns up with a balanced weak hand. (Partner would have strained to get into the auction with a spade suit so doesn't rate to have many)
April 4, 2013
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I'm hoping that partner can add a couple of tricks. He can't be that distributional with spades as everyone bids with them if possible (and sometime when not possible). If he is making a -ve double why should he assume that I may have spades? I am hoping for QXXX KJ9 XX AXXX
April 4, 2013
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I change partners - who on earth would come in risking 650 points at imps to gain a lousy 100, when it appears that the points are evenly split?
April 4, 2013
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5 must be a fit-showing bid so 6 or 7 looks Icy - I'll cue my A just in case partner has something like

KXX
-
AKQXX
QXXXX

If he just has strong diamonds (a possibility) then again he can bid 6 or 7, knowing I wouldn't be Cue bidding unless holding controls in the opening suit.
April 4, 2013
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And if 1N is making 1 is going off. As far as I could see game was a remote possibility and there is danger you might swap a + for a - (5 imps away)
April 4, 2013
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Since 4 looks to be safe I'll try for 3N. Partner can't really have 3 Spades so should have something in the red suits to go with AJXX
April 4, 2013
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Partner did well just opening 1. I wouldn't have responded at all! 1 gets me 58 - 69% (+ the chance that oppos jump in conceding a substantial score)

Having overbid my hand the first time I would have passed the 3 bid (yes it is technically forcing but my hand is rubbish opposite a hand that couldn't open 2) or, at a stretch raised to 4. 3 gets me 63%

Having overbid my hand the second time I would have converted 4 to 4 (partner can't have 3 five card suits) and my A looks to be wastage 4 gets me 63%

So having overbid my hand 3 times I am not surprised partner raised to 6
April 4, 2013
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I chose 6 as well for the same reason - this must show a powerhouse hand and emphasize the lack of A.
April 4, 2013
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