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All comments by Leonard Helfgott
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Yes. Wasn't paying enough attention to OL
May 12, 2016
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Right. Didn't notice that
May 12, 2016
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While it would seem impractical to introduce one weak 5 card suit (spades) over a big club, it could be worthwhile to show a 2 suiter over 1C. If you play Suction ( or TWERB) you could bid 2D to show a hand that could play hearts or BOTH black suits (ability to play 2S or 3C).That would allow East to make an intelligent decision regarding a black suit sacrifice and possibly interfere with the NS auction. Showing 2 suits is generally much safer than one. Don't know how many play Suction.
May 12, 2016
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While it is barely possible that East does not hold the club ace and does have stiff diamond king (Qx QJxxx K QJ10xx) this is matchpoints and I'll payoff to that. Winning in hand, taking the normal diamond finesse and hoping for Qx QJxxx x(x) AQJx(x), much more likely.
May 12, 2016
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This could be a good hand for a Soloway Jumpshift of 3D obviously to be followed by a heart bid. But nobody plays it anymore. However, I am always showing these diamonds with 2D before a splinter or Jacoby bid. It is important to show a strong 5+ suit as a source of tricks. If partner sees the value of the diamond king, you might get to the cold grand easily. (Balanced hand with 2 black aces and 2 red kings =13 tricks)
May 12, 2016
Leonard Helfgott edited this comment May 12, 2016
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2C seems clear on first round. You can back in with hearts later.
May 12, 2016
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Didn't know you were such a naturalist, Bob. Yes I once agreed, with some consternation, to play 4S as Blackwood for hearts. First 3 times it came up all were disasters, then I refused to play it again. Never regretted it.
May 11, 2016
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Because if the heart Jack drops I can switch and use ten as entry to lead up to diamond King.
May 10, 2016
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May not be Matchpoint ideal but I would play 2 top hearts and if Jack didn't drop I'd lead the diamond King. Might go down extra but I'd give it a shot and have some fun. If they duck the diamond I will try a spade. Fun, fun.
May 10, 2016
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Yes, of course if you “knew” that clubs were 2-6 (which you don't)then there would be little room left in the East hand to hold a 3rd heart, would there? Look at it this way: ignoring other suits there are 12 spaces left in the West hand after one round of hearts and 11 spaces in the East hand. So if this were NOT an RS situation the odds would be 12:11 in favor of drop (which would be correct if missing KING and jack). However, RS cuts the 12 in half, so actual odds a priori are 11:6 in favor of finesse. If you knew with certainly that spades were 4:4 (which you don't) this would change the odds to (11-4) to 1/2*(12-4) or 7:4 still in favor of finesse. Now let's assume that East has preempted in a Black suit, say 3C, (and we'll ignore whether he would do so with 4 spades) so clubs are 2:6 or 1:7, but without a club lead, say 2:6. Now the West hand has 10 empty spaces (12-2) and the East hand has only 5 empty spaces (11-6). When you halve the 10 for RS you get an exact tie, even money. When the distribution is even more extreme you can see when (12-K) will exceed double of (11-J) where K and J are assumed filler spaces, and THEN the drop is to be preferred to restricted Choice finesse. I seem to recall Philip Martin writing an article for Bridge World circa 30-35 years ago dealing with related issues.
May 10, 2016
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But not enough less likely to ignore the nearly 2:1 edge (actually 11:6 ignoring outside suit information). Also, if you start clubs early you risk a diamond ruff. And you can take finesse before spade ruff, if it loses you still have a trump on board to do so
May 10, 2016
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It certainly does. Firstly, West might be falsecarding from QJx. Second, how can he be silent with 11 red cards?
May 9, 2016
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What I was suggesting is that since you were going to try for 3-3 spades plus QJ tight onside and guess if LHO plays quack (finesse for stiff or play for QJ tight) you might consider ducking a diamond first, then if 3-3 claim, or ifD 4-2 or worse, THEN play spade King to see if you can catch QJ tight onside or make a more intelligent guess if LHO plays a quack. Aside from the actual 3/3 spade break to cloud objectivity, playing an ‘echelon play’ of diamonds first then spades seems slightly superior, IMO.
May 8, 2016
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As Mike Lawrence said about always finding the missing queen, if you can always steer the result to par or absolute par you are from another galaxy and a better player than anyone who ever lived. Just doesn't happen.
May 8, 2016
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Oversight on my part! :). But ducking a diamond and trying diamonds 3-3 before spades might be an improvement on testing spades alone. If you can lose at least 3 tricks safely before the final decision that might tighten up the position for a squeeze of some kind.
May 8, 2016
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I always thought ‘offshape’ 1NTs were for hands with rebid problems, like 2452, 2425 and even sometimes 2245. Here there is no rebid problem, and you risk missing a long minor suit fit with no other obvious source of tricks. In addition, for those who play ‘junk/garbage Stayman’ where you can bid 1NT-2C-2D-2H to get out in a major with e.g. 4432 3 counts, you run the risk of a 4-2 fit. We all learned to open 1D and rebid 2C when we started bridge, what has changed?
May 8, 2016
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Since the probability of JT, J9 or T9 diamonds is about 9.6% (3/15 times 48%), playing on diamonds before spades brings us up to about 45%. When you combine this with a likely make on a heart lead , even at Matchpoints it could be an odds on bet.
May 8, 2016
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You almost never want to play 2nT at imps . 40% white is close enuf for game, and 35% red close enough as even 2NT is often at risk, so down 2 at 3NT or 4S sometimes loses only 2 or 3 imps instead of 5 or 6.
May 6, 2016
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No I meant 1S-1NT-2C-2nt (my typo) and if opener held something like ATxxx Qxx x AKQx he could try 3H to cater to responders actual shape.
May 6, 2016
Leonard Helfgott edited this comment May 6, 2016
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After the unusual auction 1C(?)-p-1H-1S-6C-p-p- without looking at the actual hands, what do you think of a Lightner Double for a heart lead?
May 6, 2016
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