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All comments by Leonard Helfgott
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A couple of weeks ago at the local club in Maywood, NJ it went 1S-1NT-2C and with a hand somewhat weaker than above Richie Schwartz (yes, THE Richie Schwartz) raised to 3C and declarer Michael Camp passed normally with 5323 and a good 13. They scored +130 for a 90% board.
June 13, 2016
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if I am sitting on 3 1/2 tricks I would rather defend 5m.
June 12, 2016
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If a bid can mean a one suiter or two other suits, the default assumption should be the one suiter. IMHO.
June 12, 2016
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Suit first, card second. If a trump is called for lead a trump.
June 12, 2016
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Your partner is either an outright resulter or has had a major lack of objectivity. Unless I am interested in slam, I would not show the opponents my clubs, just bid a simple 3NT, which I think the hand is worth.
June 12, 2016
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I think you may have misunderstood me. If you test the clubs and find 5-1 or 6-0 offside, it only matters when East has 2 or 3 or 4 diamonds. So you safely finesse the first time to cater to KQx(x) losing to an honor. Then on the next round where you would normally finesse again (restricted choice) if club position was unknown (as with 10xx/Qxx either of Q10xx either) you can use the spade information (or lack thereof) to infer that the odds of RHO holding Hxx are so small that KQ tight offside is more likely and you could play for the drop, rejecting restricted choice. For example, say West leads the 2 (fourth best) so you know spades are 4-5. Now the odds of 2-2 are so overwhelmingly greater than 1-3 that it pays to reject RC and play for the drop. You can play on hearts after the first diamond finesse, but say this tells you nothing special. Clearly, the more open spaces West has, the greater the inclination to reject the double finesse, but the first diamond finesse seems completely safe. There may be a distribution where odds of KQ tight offside is exactly double that of stiff K or Q. Then the choice to finesse or reject restricted choice would be a toss-up (undertricks ignored).
June 12, 2016
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Wow. If that isn't Ottlik-like, I don't know what is. How many humans could find that at the table?
June 12, 2016
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Yes, but East has been squeezed out of his spade guard on the prior trick when you cross to your ace of diamonds. Plays itself, but you know you are getting a top for 13 tricks in any club game. Regardless, the reneg should mean 13 tricks to declarer.
June 12, 2016
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Two finesses is a bit better after the clubs except in the case of 5-1 or 6-0 clubs offside. That's a rare case where rejecting restricted choice may be as good, since LHO has many more empty spaces. It's an exact tie when the odds of KQ tight offside are exactly equal to stiff k plus stiff q combined or double of each (I think).
June 11, 2016
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If you make every game you bid (correctly or not) you are simply not bidding enough games. We've all heard that, and it's true.
June 11, 2016
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From most of the discussions above including especially that of Michael Rosenberg, it's quite likely that a 6D contract may be best, better than 6S. With such weak spades and second round control of hearts, a 6D call is perhaps better than the 5Hcue or the signoffs. Mr. Rosenberg, what do you think?
June 11, 2016
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Both bids were 100% correct. Just plain bad luck. That's what I would say from either side at table. I hate resulters.
June 11, 2016
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Kit: Terrific article, as always. I have to admit that I would not consider passing 2H with such weak hearts and decent hand, but your pointed out LOTT. Reasons Otherwise. When I started 50 years ago with Goren, etal, responses were based purely on constructive viewpoints and “required” 6hcp.
Now with part of reason for response being blocking, obstruction, or strain improvement bids with 5Hcp or less are more common. This hand with 54 an ace and a jack seems worthy of a response, even in Precision. My question is: does this extend to the popular theory that one should always respond with an ace, regardless of shape? For example , do you also advocate 1NT with xxx xx Axxx xxxx or xxx xxx xxxx Axx? This would apparently be an anathema to theorists 40-80 years, but times have changed.
June 11, 2016
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If you are given a suit combination in a vacuum, you should assume that there are unlimited entries to either hand and all other suits and bidding are irrelevant, or they would have been offered. One where you DO need an entry is the error inducing play of J from J9xxx. in dummy with AK8xx in hand. You don't intend to pass it, but many will cover wrongly from QTx even when you've shown length in this trump suit.
June 11, 2016
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I have led from Qx and Qxx trumps when indicated, with a high degree of success. Do not be discouraged.
June 11, 2016
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dont we need to see entire hand to opine on lines of play. We are all familiar with sometimes need for ruffing high and trump elopements (en passant as in chess).
June 10, 2016
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Partner is not supposed to be doubling at 2 level with 6 HCP, so 2S=12-14, 3S=14+ to 16+ and 4S= 17-18/19. With a slammish hand for spades, you can cuebid first. Om first denies 4S and pulling 3NT to 4S is desire to play 4-3 instead of 3NT. IMHO
June 10, 2016
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Postscript: the reason diamonds first is better is that if you play AK clubs first, fail to see Q or T drop and switch to diamonds, you will fail when dismonds are unfavorable and clubs were Txx/Qxx or QTxx onside, about 32% in total
June 10, 2016
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I'm pretty decent at math and odds, and I would peg it at about 90% for the suggested line. Diamond ace will drop an honor 1/2 of 3-1s and 1/3 or 2-2s, for about 38.3% very close to the 3/8 suggested. The club play will only lose for QTxx offside (9.6%) plus QTxxx offside (about 5%) plus Qtxxxx offside (1%) so total over 84% by itself. When you add in 3/8 of remaining ~16% you get 90%.
June 10, 2016
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congrats to both of you. When I sent this to Edgar Kaplan of Bridge World in the early 90s he confirmed that this was the optimal line, although others are very close. My late bridge partner and close personal friend, Paul Quodomine (1949-2013) found the correct line at the table.
June 10, 2016
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