Join Bridge Winners
All comments by Mike Doecke
1 2 3
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Strongly agree that the main factor should be the opponents but I also think the format (relatively short butler matches) makes a difference.

Early in a set, or later in the set if we were leading, I'd lean fairly heavily towards passing.

However, I've been following Phil's results and he was likely losing heavily at the point in the set when this board arrived.
That would make doubling a more appealing prospect. ;)
July 24
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This kind of circular logic creates an interesting legal/ethical situation. The bottom-line is that I don't think South is obligated to divulge their methods until you explain the meaning of redouble.

If N/S has an agreement that pass shows ‘no preference’ over a strong redouble, and as a result you redouble to show “potentially weak spades”, I think any expert partnerships would recognize that as a clearly different situation and that pass over the conventional redouble must suggest defending.

If your partnership is in the habit of making ‘tactical’ choices like this with the intention of exploiting an opposition agreement, I think you need to be very careful that you fully alert your opponents to that possibility.
May 27
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I don't play much poker these days Bob - gotta get my fix at the bridge table…
April 22
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Why should partner settle for a 5/3 heart fit when they have a known 5/4 or 5/5 diamond fit?

It's a part-score board and the opponents are about to compete in spades!
April 11
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I've never had this auction before :)

I think partner has shapely maximum passed hand with diamonds, hearts and tolerance for defending. Perhaps x Kxxxx QTxxx Ax.

I'll bid 4 which hopefully sends the message that I have a good hand in context and want partner to choose between 4 and 4.
April 8
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Partner can have a lot of things for the pass and then double, but I suspect they likely have sharp values including something in hearts.

The kind of hand to pull would be something like: QJTxxxx Ax QJx x where 5C could be making and 5S is likely to be cheap.
April 8
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Making a poor or even potentially incorrect claim doesn't mean that you automatically lose all your rights.

If declarer had stated a line e.g.“crossruffing” then the rules cover the 2 card ending with an outstanding trump very clearly:

“C. There Is an Outstanding Trump
When a trump remains in one of the opponents’ hands, the Director shall award a trick or tricks to the opponents if:

1. claimer made no statement about that trump, and
2. it is at all likely that claimer at the time of his claim was unaware that a trump remained in an opponent’s hand, and
3. a trick could be lost to that trump by any normal(*) line of play.

A expert declarer who hasn't drawn any trumps isn't unaware that trumps likely remain and I think it would be ”normal" for any
declarer to cash the last trump before trying a plain suit winner.
April 8
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<misplaced>
April 8
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The cross-ruff line does work on the actual layout, when East over-ruffs and returns a club declarer's hand is high.
April 8
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I've often retold a story from many years ago when I was playing in the MTG World Championships.

I “claimed” in a position very similar to this bridge hand. MTG obviously isn't the same as bridge, but I had a short series of completely logical plays that resulted in me winning. I was going to win. My opponent knew I was going to win.

He could've asked me to clarify my line, but instead he called for a judge's ruling directly.

It turned out that my opponent had a past history of unsportsmanlike conduct and intentionally trying to gain an advantage in similar situations. As a result his request was upgraded directly to the head judge (tournament director).

Unencumbered by specific rules about how this kind of situation was handled, the judge not only upheld my claim but also ruled that my opponent was being intentionally unsportsmanlike. He was also awarded a match loss (MTG is typically best of 3).

Feels like a pretty good change to the rules of bridge…
April 6
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I'm abstaining, because I don't think the system or auction makes sense.

I can't imagine bidding 2D on the East hand, pass looks auto. If partner shows a 3C limit-raise, I'll bash 4H and hope that concealing the diamonds makes it tougher to defend.

After opener bids 2D to show a minimum distributional hand with Hearts and Diamonds, why is responder not just placing the contract?

In any sensible method, responder's 2H should be ‘TO PLAY’.

Either a limit raise that didn't improve in light of the 2D bid or one of the awkward hands similar to the one that Chris mentioned - a minimum 4225 or 5215 for example.
April 4
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I'm curious if there is any precedent for the idea that you're required to play partner for a mechanical error in a UI situation where they make an otherwise impossible bid?
April 2
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I think North is allowed to recognize 3S as an extremely unlikely choice over his intended Kokish relay. I don't have a problem with any of North's choices.

However, if the director polled players about their choice over the 6D bid - even assuming it was systemically suggesting a contract - I think they would all correct to 6H.

The 9 card fit rates to be safer, deep heart losers aren't going anywhere in 6D, and in a normal looking contract, 6H scores an extra 2 IMPs.

If South had splintered on an offbeat hand - perhaps a 1345 - or even a 1444 with chunky diamonds, passing 6D would be reasonable.

If none of the polled player's passed 6D, then I think it is reasonable to assume that the BIT did mean something *to this particular pair* and adjust the score to 6H.
April 1
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Thanks for the responses!

I was the South on this hand and doubled holding AJx Tx Q8xxx Kxx.

My double was based on table feel, the opponents' tempo and my own tendency to stretch bidding 3NT in this spot. I never even considered that it might ask for a spade lead through declarer's 6 card suit! However, the consensus pretty strongly disagrees with me!

At the table (and despite the fact that both opponents had super-max hands for the auction), any club lead scored +500.

The D9 was also winning because it would enable me to find the club switch for the same +500.

The contract is still double dummy beatable after a spade or a heart but in practice a diamond switch leads to -850.
March 14
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You phrased the description of the pass in a weird way in your OP. That isn't the way much of the world plays pass, although it does make sense at favourable.

Assuming that partner also knows what North's pass means (but you haven't discussed 2NT) then the correct answer obviously depends heavily on partnership style.

3 feels like the best option but might be ambiguous.
March 7
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What does North's pass of the double show?
March 7
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My opinion is not to overthink it.

If you legitimately believe that an action is clear-cut and that there is no alternative, you should take the action even if it is indicated by the UI. Call the director on yourself if you think others might do something different and if you suffer a negative adjustment then so be it.

I think some people modify their decisions based on UI for the wrong reason. There is often a legitimate logical alternative that isn't suggested by the UI, and in that case you should certainly take it. However, taking a ‘safe’ alternative that you would never realistically have chosen without the UI is just a way of protecting yourself from a poor result.

Maintaining a high level of ethics shouldn't be about proving yourself to others. In situations like this if you take a liberal view of what constitutes a logical alternative and are true to yourself then you will never have a problem!
Dec. 6, 2018
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My gut instinct is that it might be better to win the spade in hand and play a diamond towards the king right away.

There are definitely associated risks, but really like the fact that it conceals your trump and diamonds holdings. Starting diamonds immediately also retains flexibility on a hand where the defenders could easily go wrong!
Nov. 20, 2018
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I think partner is showing a strong 4S raise (probably balanced or semi-balanced) with diamond values. On this hand we've got an automatic 4 bid and will know to hit 5 if they take the sacrifice.
Nov. 4, 2018
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I was curious about this myself a couple of years ago. To try and find an answer, I looked over the NT defensive methods of top pairs in the world. My criteria was something like Bermuda Bowl T8, US Nats T4 and European Champs T4.

Although a variety of methods were used, almost every pair (~90-95%) used 2 to show Both Majors. That was enough to convince me!
Nov. 3, 2018
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