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All comments by Leonard Helfgott
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One generic question I would have is, assuming the majority (now 20:9) has chosen not to pass, ergo to presumably compete to 3H in some matter, what would a skilled and experienced partnership consider the difference between 3H, Dbl, and the 2NT or 3m choices. I have my ideas, but would like to hear from the expert crowd.
Nov. 1
ATB
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One could argue that if North could not bid 2C over 1D, then North’s 3C over 2S could be a game try in spades opposite a known good 6 card suit. Then South could try 3H and get to 4H. Likely better than 4S. Wishful thinking?
Oct. 31
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How about Axx Axxx Axx Axx is a 52% game, and that’s a flat 16 count (well, 17 to me.:))
Oct. 31
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Wouldn’t 1H-2S-3D be less awkward, and natural unless you play NFBs. You may get wires crossed and wind up in 6D instead of 6H, but you’ll have reached a cold slam.
Oct. 31
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2 cover cards. Hence 4H. I also like getting in quickly with the “light” 1NT. Reduces decisions down the line, and this is a full spade stop!
Oct. 28
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I would think 4C KC Gerber was identical to 4C KCB. Semantics?
Oct. 27
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And just for the record, the other abstainer for this problem was my partner at the time, Nicholas France, and he suggested I post it on BW as a lead problem.
Oct. 27
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Apparently this is a very even and balanced choice between “passive” and “aggressive” which is exactly why I posed the problem. The recent books by Byrd & Anthias suggest (I believe) a “passive” defense in uninformative auctions, but suggest (I believe) a more attacking approach when dummy has shown likely overall strength and/or “source of tricks” in a side suit, as likely here. Then the issue might be: Is the KJxx club holding enough to “protect” against dummy’s putative club suit (if any) and still suggest the “passive” defense. I have no idea what is objectively right, or if there is even a “right” answer, and welcome discussion of the passive (diamond) vs. active (heart) dichotomy.
Oct. 27
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Barry: Your method of 2H bust and 2D gameforce may be popular to some, but is not within the conditions of this poll. Perhaps another poll with your conditions and similar hand type woyld be informative. I would assume that if you adhere to these conditions you would open 2C and over 2D, rebid 3C? And within that context, I would assume that (unlike Steve Moese’s suggestion) you could readily bid 3S over 3C with say 5S and 4/5H? Steve: If I have misinterpreted your comments, apologize. Barry: If I have misinterpreted your comments, same.
Oct. 27
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Certain players will never respond with 4Hcp even an ace. Some never respond with a bad 5hcp, some never respond with any 5hcp. With these you might consider 2C to pry them open, but youve got to know your subjEcts. :).
Oct. 27
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This is a really fascinating discussion for someone like me who does not direct and sees this particular situation (1m-1S-1H- (insufficient) with some frequency at the club. Since the “normal” replacement of 1H with 2H is a much more restrictive subset ( at least 5H AND at least 10hcp) which is perhaps well under 1/2 of 1H responses, there should be some restrictions/requirements on opener to commit further (raise with 3 and bid game with extras). Conversely, replacing 1H with Double, where 1H shows ONLY hearts (maybe other stuff) and Double presumably shows: 1) less than 5H or less than 10hcp, and generally 2) a second place to play (arguable), the Double would seem to be less restrictive than 2H. How directors should handle this should be clarified as it does occur with frequency.
Oct. 27
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One could argue that if you open 1C and ANYONE at the table bids at all (giving you a second chance, you have theoretically “won” the auction. Perhaps it woyld have been a more balanced problem if the hand were 1-2hcp better. 22hcp is certainly not “out of line” with a 1-bid in 2-3 suiter scenarios, and the polls seem to support this.
Oct. 26
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John: Yes. There would always be at least one door with a booby prize and Monte Hall would either choose that door or randomly between the two booby prize doors if the contestant had already chosen the winning door. So seeing a booby prize provided the contestant with absolutely NO additional information, and his chance of having picked the winning door initially remained at 1/3.
Oct. 20
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Of course. And for those who don’t get it yet, maybe a more extreme example like AKx AQx Axxxxx x. Where a 3D bid would be ludicrous.
Oct. 18
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Guaranteed 5-3 spades fit trumps specious 4-4 heart fit. And with the club ruffs in the 3 card holding….
Oct. 18
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My 92 year old partner (and ex-Nat’l Champion) has always refused to play Lebensohl in either variation. I have always considered Lebensohl 2NT over weak two’s as substantially more valuable than over 1NT. Fortunately, he has developed a structure over 1NT which isnt bad—3C is forcing Stayman (NOT puppet) and it is adequate to keep him happy. I had been trying for 25 years, unsuccessfully, to get him to play Lebensohl over weak twos. Since he is now playing with some more “modern” partners, he is showing signs of coming around. Maybe in another 5-10 years. :)
Oct. 18
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You are right.
Oct. 18
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Craig: Even for the few who still play “disciplined” and/ or the club player following 2 or top 3 rule, I think most (including conservative me) would find KQ8xxx adequate for weak 2. Look at the World Champuonshiips and the pitiful weak 2 suits. (And please don't start with “multi”. Consider that many decent players open weak 2 with utterly garbage suits, Kxxxxx, Qxxxxx and even worse, eliminating a 2/3 suit, paltry as the spots are, seems extreme. Yes you can choose to open 1S, fine, but remove an unsupported J or Q and 1S seems repellant unless y ou are playing Precision. Which was specifically excluded.

The question arose when one if my partners asked me about this. Apparently he opened 1S the when the auction became competitive he was unable or unwilling to compete to 3 level, and his partner with Ax support was unwilling or unable to compete to 3S without knowledge of the 8 card fit. Selling out to 3H with 140 available. Every hand is a fingerprint and I DO NOT know the specific details (the opponents were world class), but for a generic solution to these marginal 2S/1S issues I offered the following thought:
1. The suit qualifies (by our standards), you are aceless, you have no singletons/ voids and two unsupported quacks, so there is no shame in not opening 1S.
2. If you open 1S, which may be the “100%” call or the “85-90%” call, you may have to make one, two or even three further decisions and GET THEM ALL RIGHT, for your expectation on the board to be best.
3. Conversely, if you open 2S (as many above choose to do), whether it is the “100%” call or just the ”85-90%” call, you are done!

For the math and Bayes Theorem nuts, 0.85>> 1.00*0.90^3.
Oct. 18
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Brad: You know I’m one of the most conservative 2C bidders around, and most players I see open 2C with 2-3hcp less (frightful). I would not hesitate to open 2C with this, awkward and strong as these minor suit hands tend to be.
Oct. 16
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Partner asked for a suit and you have a 2-card discrepancy, so 3D. Having already shown this, 5C as choice of games seems obvious. 6C is just above my pay grade!
Oct. 16
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