Join Bridge Winners
All comments by Leonard Helfgott
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Good try! But you need to cash all 5 diamonds (pitching the club deuce) before the 3rd club. That keeps an idle card in dummy.
May 26, 2016
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How do I do that? Never posted a hand before.
May 26, 2016
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Yes, precisely! Actually the Double Guard Squeeze is a much better percentage play than the simple black suit squeeze. I like to call this the 2 1/2 suit squeeze.
May 26, 2016
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Very nice. The guard squeeze is against WEST with heart King as the extra side suit winner.
May 26, 2016
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Yes, I mentioned that is solution 2) a few minutes ago. Major suit squeeze against West or double squeeze with West holding hearts, East holding KQ clubs. There is no guard squeeze as South does not have an extra side suit winner, so East cannot be forced to discard from Jx spades with 4 hearts and KQ clubs. What did East have in clubs to play the 3?
May 26, 2016
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Personally I prefer a double negative to be 0-2 or 3 jacks, denying any controls, so I would choose 2NT.

There is an interesting subtext to this problem. My partner and I were defending. Partner is one of the best players in the club, but because he has hired a couple of top pros (and I do mean TOP Pros) over 3 decades, he's a bit stubborn and swell-headed. Dummy, the given hand, jumps to 4 spades over 2 spades (a bid that wouldn't ever enter my head in 10^316 years) and they go down 3. When declarer politely questions his partner's raise, my partner goes on a rant, saying his 2S bid absolutely promises 6+ spades (!) AND dummy's 4S call was AUTOMATIC.
Up until that session our games had been pleasant and fruitful, but this and a couple of his other forceful opinions incline me avoid in the future.
May 26, 2016
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1)The 2-loser vise squeezes are way above my pay grade, and most other humans. Even Geoff Hampson, who pulled one off (see yesterdays writeup) hadn't heard of the term beforehand. If the double dummy solution is to win the first diamond on the board, apparently killing any double squeeze chances, would ANYONE actually find that at the table?
2)On the second hand, the alternative would be to pitch a club and a spade, and after isolating the heart menace run off a Type-R double squeeze hooping that LHO has the heart length and RHO has the club guard, which seems unlikely from the club 3 at T1 unless UDCA. Of course, LHO could have AKQ clubs and spade length!:)
May 26, 2016
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Lynn: I think one of the key differences is that you can offer a known viable strain (2H) BELOW 2 spades in this case, but in the other case you would have to bypass 2S and bid to the 3 level. There appears to be comfort is a 2 level heart bid, as 4-3 fits at 2 level aren't too scary, even with suits skewed as here, but not so much with a 3 level bid, even with weak spades. I guess if the suit qualities were tweaked somewhat (weaker spades and stronger hearts here) the ratios would be different.
May 25, 2016
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2/3 is fine for a five card suit, but with A109xxx and good side tickets, I think this qualifies as a 2H positive response. If partner happens to have KQx he'll figure it out. If restrained by too strict a system, I would Texas and then ace for keys.
May 25, 2016
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Agree (and with Kieran Dyke). With 2S+3H if you KNEW that partner would pass the 2S false preference then everyone would bid 2S, so the only reason to pass 2H is to prevent partner from taking another bid, i.e. you feel that 2H might not be as good as 2S, but is more likely to go plus than 3S, 3H or even 2NT. Only a 5-6 count, maybe a very bad 7, falls into this camp, IMO.
May 25, 2016
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7C as per Kieran Dyke
May 24, 2016
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From the initial voting this one appears to be too easy or obvious. The intent was to offer a non-minimum 6S+4H hand with strong spades and weak hearts, (too strong for 2S if preferred with minimums, and too weak for 3H) primarily offering the choice between 2H and 3S. Could I have changed the suit qualities, such as AKJ10xx J9xx x AQ, to have made it a better problem? At the table, about 15 years ago, I did bid 2H with a very strong cardplayer and he passed 2H with a 2=3=4=4 8 count(enough to take a false preference), missing a game. He opined that I should have bid 3S.
May 24, 2016
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This is a tough problem as evidenced by the roughly 3:2 voting. Perhaps this could justify the anti-field position of responder bidding 2S instead of a negative double with say KJ xxx KQxx Txxx, which for my money is a bit too good to pass. If partner is 5233 then 2S should score better than 3m. If the doubler has more shape in minors, or only one spade, he can try bidding again—an agreement that 2NT=pick a minor would help, but not standard.
May 24, 2016
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I think most of the time he is either going to pass (you've already shown a minimum by not bidding 3H or otherwise) or raise. If he is too good to pass and doesn't have a diamond stop, where do you want to play? The times responder chooses something else like NT or 3D, you can pass, bid 3S or bid 3NT accordingly. Most of the time you will be in either the best or a highly playable contract. IMO
May 24, 2016
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Good article. And cashing the club ace (Vienna Coup) is necessary if WEST was the player with 4 clubs and 4 spades.
The small club in dummy would be the threat as you pitch 10x clubs from hand. Otherwise, the necessary U in Love's BLUE would not exist.
May 23, 2016
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Indeed! :)
May 23, 2016
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Many/most responders (including myself, rightly or wrongly) would NOT make a negative double with 3 spades, preferring to raise spades simply or cuebid with better hands. AND you really don't want to risk a 5-1 spade fit when a known 7 card fit is available.
May 23, 2016
Leonard Helfgott edited this comment May 23, 2016
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That's certainly a valid position playing 14-16, I don't think this hand, even with good 5 card suit is worth an upgrade to 15-17. However, call me a purist if you will, but as much as I like opening 1NT with a 5 card major ( and I do). I'd prefer 1S here with TWO unstopped suits and 93% of my HCP in the longer suits.
May 23, 2016
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I think you are missing one important point. The doubler will have one or two spades most of the time, say 1.5 on average. Since he has at least 4 hearts he will have 4 or 5 hearts most of the time, say 4.5 average. So on sverage you have a 6.5 card spade fit and 7.5 card heart fit. That's a HUGE average differential and even in the worst case scenario of both a 5-2 spade fit and a 4-3 heart fit, the 5-2 plays only slightly better in partials ( on average) at the two level.
May 23, 2016
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Of course a perfecto will always produce a game, but 3 spades in partners hand is unlikely. You could of course play Flannery and raise spades on xxx, but that's another issue. I think the maxim of avoiding misfits and getting out cheaply with extremely limited hands is valid. So with 6 HCP and a known 8 card fit go for the plus in 2H instead of trying for magic perfecto and possibly landing in a 6-1 or 6-0 fit. As others have pointed out if you have only one heart, or if your spades are so robust they could play unaided, spades are likely to be better.
May 22, 2016
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