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All comments by Leonard Helfgott
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A tough hand but a not uncommon layout. As East has close to an opener, some would open, could he not either bid 2NT directly over 2NT or lie about the 3Rd spade with Kx and jump to 3S over 2C? Both 4S and 3NT are reasonable contracts. If west has a bit extra with 5323 or 5314 he could pattern out with 3H over 2NT so showing a 5 card heart suit seems unnecessary.
May 6, 2016
Leonard Helfgott edited this comment May 6, 2016
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Interested in the frequency West opened 2C with 3-loser 4QT hand or 1H with 3-suiter and only 21HCP. Also, for those playing in hearts, range of scores from + in game to + in partials to - in game.
May 6, 2016
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I am still concerned about the hand evaluation and choice of 10-11 oppos. 11-13. Note firstly that as frequency decrease slightly with departure from 10, slightly MORE than half of the cases (10/11, 11/11, 10/12) have a combined max of 22hcp. These are the hands much more likely to go down in 3S. Secondly, I still prefer with nondescript 4333 10 counts (and less than 3 cover cards) to give a single raise instead of a jump. This is a VERY common holding. Has it been eliminated from your 10 counts? If you eliminate these 10's and at least some of opener's balanced 11's (is that too antediluvean?) you might find that the delayed jump is worth the effort to get to game opposite some appropriate hands, although it obviously will fail some of the time.
May 5, 2016
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Perhaps ‘exploratory’ would be a better term. Not necessarily artificial or natural, just ‘tell me more’ and for the most part assuming captaincy until opener can clarify his hand further—e.g. 6th spade, 5th heart, 3rd diamond. Based on style, there are obviously other bids (like 2NT) that can sometimes do this, but with certain holdings 3C could be for choice. For example, in Bridge World Standard 3D would be passable, so something like Jx KQx AQxxxx xx would come to mind.
May 5, 2016
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Sounds like a great idea once the kinks are worked out—using a natural fragment as a 3 card game try. There may not be wiggle room between M and m as in 1H-2D or 1S-2D where 2H is presumably needed as natural. I assume this would imply the possibly old fashioned current Bridge World treatment that 1H/1S-2D-3C shows extras, and suit rebids could be occasionally with 5?
May 4, 2016
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For us old fogies who still prefer to pass with most balanced 11 counts, even with 5 spades, how about retrying this with openers' 12-13 instead of 11-13.
May 3, 2016
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see above
May 3, 2016
Leonard Helfgott edited this comment May 3, 2016
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see above
May 3, 2016
Leonard Helfgott edited this comment May 3, 2016
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This is part of the ubiquitous problem with 4th suit forcing bids, they are overloaded with ambiguity. For those who prefer to avoid a ‘Fast Arrival’ style and follow the principal that all subsequent 3-level bids are game strain explorations instead of cuebid slam explorations, perhaps hands like Mr. Kriegel's first example, with unstopped clubs and Hx or HH doubleton spade could be included in the 2 spade call along with true 3 card support. If the partnership allows for this and thereby keeps 3NT as an option, opener has the room to describe his hand with less ambiguity, i.e. 2NT with clubs stopped and 5=4=1=3 or some 5=4=2=2s, 3C with 5=4=0=4, 3D with 5=4=3=1 or some 5=4=2=2s, 3H with a 5th heart, 3S with 6 spades or some 5=4=2=2s with strong spades and unstopped clubs (no Fast arrival, just keeping 3NT in the picture, etc. To insist 100% on the 3rd spade for a 2S call seems to reduce flexibility and overload the very grey, very ambiguous 4SF call, IMHO. It also prevents the 4th suit call from being doubled for a lead (or not doubled for an implied non-lead).
Perhaps too antediluvean for the modern crowd?
May 3, 2016
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Speaking of heuristics, remember that the HAL9000 was insane!:) (for the younger set, that's the Heuristic Algorithm computer in 2001 A Space Odyssey).
Heuristics have their place, but often the subjectivity of the modeler's initial conditions creates more variance than desired to ‘solve’ the problem. I've found it best to start with a minimum number of conditions and only after seeing those results, add other conditions to see how those results change (sensitivity tests). For example, start with ‘a good 6 card suit’ and you can later try 90% for 6 and 10% for weaker 7 to see if any noticeable variance. Then try ‘one spade stopper’ instead of ‘2 spade stoppers’, then try 5-12 hcp instead of 9-11, etc.
May 2, 2016
Leonard Helfgott edited this comment May 2, 2016
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I think without specific agreements most would take the 4D raise to be 4+ diamonds with exactly 2 spades and enough interest in diamonds or concern about the other suits to bypass 3NT. If responder does not have slam ambitions (just bidding out his 5-5 or unbalanced 5-4 or equivalent) and has a good 5 card spade suit, he can always rebid the spades and play the 5-2 fit, avoiding a sometimes stopperless 3NT.
May 1, 2016
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It would be a more interesting problem if dummy held the spade 9 as well, e.g., KT9 and there was a real possibility that west could hold AJxx. Then since Axx opp. Jx counterbalances AJx opp. Xx exactly, leaving the edge to “low to the King” to win with Ax opp. Jxx, you would have to weigh the likelihood of AJxx opp. X vs. Ax opp. JXX. A priori that would be about 8.6% for the former and about 10.2% for the latter, but knowledge that West is known to hold the ace could change this. If West doubled another suit for takeout, surely AJxx is more likely. If he doubled spades for takeout, the opposite and if he opened or balanced with 1NT its a guess.
April 30, 2016
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is this really the venue for the tennis players to argue that golf is “a good walk spoiled”? You play what you like.
April 30, 2016
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I cannot even count the number of times the average club player, or even a good club player or average tournament player, has counted to 13Hcp, failed to see a 4Th heart and chosen by default to bid 3NT with Ax(x) or Kx(x) or even Qxx. It does work sometimes but if you don't lead a spade, especially red on white, and a spade is right, you can expect partner to be very upset. Your conditions seem far too restrictive. And is it clear that 2S isn't better than 1S with KQJ9xx A xxx xxx?
April 30, 2016
Leonard Helfgott edited this comment April 30, 2016
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well put, Bob. Since the club Jack is close to worthless and you haveno 5 card suit, if you choose not to open 1D then 2NT seems much better than the point counters 2C.
April 30, 2016
Leonard Helfgott edited this comment April 30, 2016
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I think for most of us there is the issue of psychological damage. That is, suppose you go for an overtrick that will work 90% of time for an IMP but will lose 8 IMPs the other 10%. On a purely math basis you will gain one-tenth of an IMP per deal over thousands of deals. But personally I would be psychologically crushed by going down in a cold contract at IMPs and it would have bad effect on my subsequent game. Perhaps the champion poker players and backgammon players could ignore this, I could not.
April 30, 2016
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conpletely agree. Partner must bid again with a 9 count. I recall surprising the club in a similar situation, going +140 against -50s for exactly these reasons. As far as the hand being perfectly sufficient for 3H, how could this hand be more minimal, take away the 10s.
April 24, 2016
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I woul prefer to bid 2D after 1S-2C with AQxxx xxx AQx Qx.
April 24, 2016
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Yes I agree. Openers 3rd bid is natural but responders 3Rd bid is cue. Also, openers 2NT sounds like a natural heart stop, so I could see the advantage of bidding 3C with KQ9xx xx AJxx KQ.
April 24, 2016
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Benoit: I agree that treatment of stiff kings is different and that it may be as good to save space and try 2 NT instead of 3H, although I still reject biding 3C as partner suggested. The hand is still mostly unbalanced so treating as balanced may have its downsides. As far as your second point, that opener can pattern out at MP, but at Imps the 3Rd suit should instead be a cue, I do not understand that logic at all. It's enuf for partners to agree on serious 3nT or non serious 3 nT without added confusion. In the actual case 3NT scores 11 tricks almost always, and 6S is against the odds, so at any form of scoring 3H is OK, IMHO.
April 23, 2016
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