Join Bridge Winners
All comments by Leonard Helfgott
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Martin: Nick and I disagree regularly, including on this issue. While I did hold 5 diamonds here I would also risk 3D with K xxx KQTx QTxxx. 5=3=3=2 is a specific parlay I am sometimes willing to risk.
May 29
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Craig: You are right of course. I was trying to convince my partner/ mentee that his choice of 3NT was entirely wrong. His creative logic was that so long as we were already at 3 level, why not try for the 9 trick NT game. In fact I did hold K xxx KQTxx QTxx and there are 5 cashables off the top even with club finesse onside. Of course the lesson might be only partially learned because on the run of the diamonds (they didn't find heart shift) I actually MADE 3NT via bad defense so bad habits may continue.
May 29
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Good diamonds and good hand
May 29
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I think an SJS is more suitable as a strong slam suggestion (that is willing to subside opposite trash— Frances’ example) than a hand that can bid slam on its own power (as above). IMO SJS works best as a slam invite, not a slam force.
May 27
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For the adamant 2NT bidders, would you feel that strongly with say Jxxx A AKQTxx xx? Is it the. 4Th trump that creates the issue or “only” a strong 5 card suit or “only” a suit that isnt solid 6+ source of tricks.
May 27
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If you don't p lay or don't like 2C Drury, what could 3C by a passed hand possibly be but a limit raise to 3S with club concentration/ length. This is especially obvious if you play Soloway SJSs instead of weak.
May 25
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Flip side: partner with good values and 4 spades could bid them himself/herself. While I agree that 2C overcaller “should” have 6, you simply can’t get many to raise you with Hx these days, so the tide has turned—-partner expects 3 for a raise and acts accordingly. Most of the time you will find a 4-4 spade fit.
May 25
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Sounds like the ancient Vulnerable problem: 1) A AKQ AQJT9xxxx —, 2) A AQJT9x AKQJxx —-, 3) —- QJT9xx QJT9xxx. —.
May 25
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David: Valid point, I agree. You have to decide whether hand is good enough to bid 4C over 3H before you can risk the RD. Even if good enough, you'd have a higher level problem if they bid 4H. So the adage “support with support” is generally valid.
May 25
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Looks like a fine responsive double of 2H
May 24
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Richard: Re—-need to rebid a 4 card suit ( with say 4333 yarb). Would that comment imply that over 1D-x-p- , holding xxx Qxx xxx xxxx it is preferable to bid 2C instead of 1H to avoid rebidding a 3-card suit (over a 2D cue)? This was a problem from a few months ago, and the vote was split.
May 24
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Not mainstream Steve. Consider a 3=2=4=4 20 count with no heart stop. What else could you bid but 2H? Not perfect but least evil, IMO.:)
May 23
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H-delete
May 18
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Richard: 5-6 hands are narrow targets indeed. And if partner did have 5S you would hear it over ANY rebid. I like 3S, but for other reasons.
May 16
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Michal: The choice was 3D not 2D.
May 16
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Pons Asinorum translates to “Bridge of Asses” which refers directly to Euclid's elementary geometry proof that the angles opposite equal sides of an isosceles triangle are equal. (Presumably only an ass (donkey) would be unable to cross the intellectual bridge to find this easy proof). I wonder how the 1899 book got this title.
May 11
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Greg: I recall about 40 years ago looking up and using Fisher Cornish expansion for asymmetrical distributions, and seeing articles about asymmetrical t-distributions which were beyond my scope. Frankly, I don’t recall when to divide by sqrt(N) or sqrt(N-1), but for these purposes it seemed OK.
Thanks for the information.
May 11
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Just a layman (retired actuary) trying the ERF function in Excel for normal distributions, and the estimate of 5x/1000 seems incredibly accurate.
May 11
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Jon: At the table I did choose 3D partially for the right-siding aspect but also to keep the auction more flexible and either to imply a good hand or disinclination to bid NT immediately. Half expecting a 4-6 hand and willing to raise a 3H rebid to 4H. Unfortunately partner held Kxxx AKT8 xx AJx, as Mr. Rogoff suggested, and was afraid to bypass 3NT to raise clubs, and the ice cold slam was missed. The pedestrian 2NT here might have had more success. I would mention that NO ONE in the local club game reached this slam.
May 10
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Craig: Thanks for the number crunching, always informative. Choosing to open 2NT or not does not “destine” the hand for 3NT play. As you mentioned, partner could easily be balanced and hold 5 spades or 4 hearts and be able to get to 4M, or in the latter case raise to 3NT with 3=4=3=3 pattern. Therefore I would suggest you redo some of your statistics without rejecting the 8 card major fit, as you suggested.

Bruce: I think the point Nigel (and I) has been trying to make is that when you evaluate your hand and choose an opening, you don't know whether the hand will play in NT or a suit. If you think its 50:50 which one, your choice should indicate so. So in your case if the hand were worth 19.3 specifically for 3NT only, but 20.5 or more for suit play, choosing some average of the two (like 20) not knowing in advance where it will play, might be the best bet.
Also, the thought that 4333 might in some cases be “better” is a misinterpretation of Thomas Andrews results. They show that 4333’s are slightly less likely to go down in 2NT than other shapes if partner passes, but they always have lower trick expectation—-the other shapes with equal strength may go down 1 in 2NT slightly more, but they make 3NT more often to compensate.
May 10
Leonard Helfgott edited this comment May 10
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