Join Bridge Winners
All comments by Phillip Martin
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
In this case, there may not be much difference between -100 and +90. Either score beats the -110s and loses to the +110s, so all that is at stake is .5 matchpoints for every other pair who also plays one notrump. Cashing guarantees beating all the pairs who are minus 110. In addition, cashing is your only chance to beat the pairs playing 2 your way. If you finesse, you will always lose to those pairs whether the finesse wins or loses. If you cash, you will beat them if the queen happens to drop.
July 2, 2012
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
It's impossible that I gain no information from the opponents' discards, hence my abstention. But if this is meant to be a general question about matchpoint strategy rather than a specific question about this deal, then the answer is you must take your percentage play. As long as everyone is faced with the same problem as you, it doesn't even matter what everyone else does. If you finesse and you are right, you gain a half a matchpoint from everyone in the field (tying those who also finessed instead of losing to them, beating those who didn't finesse instead of tying them). So, if the finesse is indeed the percentage play, your expectation is positive.
July 2, 2012
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
How about 4NT? That ought to confuse them.
June 30, 2012
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
I don't have that kind of imagination. Lowenthal executed that against Terence Reese in a rubber bridge game. Then, after collecting his number, quoted Reese's own book back to him: “A pre-empt that is known to be weak is a blunt sword.”
June 30, 2012
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
The last time I heard anyone bid like this, he had psyched his pre-empt with a 16-count. One guess who that was.
June 29, 2012
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Our teammates are indeed playing Jack, but they are not “also” playing Jack. Our opponents' system varies from match to match. These opponents play Dutch Doubleton. (I'm not even sure what that is.)

Getting to 4, however, would seem to be a matter of judgment rather than of system. As I understand it, Jack exercises judgment by dealing random hands consistent with auction to date and choosing the action that works most often. His judgment will depend on which random hands he generates, so he doesn't always do the same thing in the same circumstances.

A weakness of this approach is that it leads to too many unilateral decisions, a weakness that manifests itself in this deal. Even assuming it's true that 4 makes more often than not, that doesn't mean you should bid it. You may still increase your expectation by soliciting partner's cooperation. Jack's programming does not appear to allow him to take that fact into account.
June 27, 2012
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
3NT. I wouldn't invite in clubs even if that were an option. I know it's a minority view, but I think the minor-suit invitation is more useful if it shows a weak suit (looking for length) rather than a strong suit (looking for a fitting honor). The idea is to discover a fit like Jxxxxx opposite xxxx, where you can take four tricks with only one high-card point.
June 27, 2012
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Yes, the first “suit” bid by opener was notrump. But the first suit bid by opener was clubs.
June 27, 2012
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Against Zia, I'd bid 2NT. Only because I did that to him years ago in the Cavendish Invitational and it worked (he ducked with ace-king sixth at trick one). If I got him a second time, it would really drive him nuts.
June 26, 2012
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
I have a firm agreement that first suit bid by a 2 opener is always natural.
June 26, 2012
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
I second Henry's comment. I wouldn't be surprised to hear RHO double 4. If he didn't think he had a fair shot to beat a game, he would have raised pre-emptively on the first round.
June 26, 2012
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Looks like an opening one-bid to me. I have pretty good defensive strength against a heart contract.
June 26, 2012
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Take away South's A and, even though he still has his cue-bid, he wouldn't be too surprised to see 5 go down. In a pressure situation, partner may stretch, hoping you have a little bit extra. So, to go on to 6, South needs not just an ace more than a minimum for his auction but an ace more than the little bit extra his partner is playing him for. I give North a small share of the blame because he might have passed (if it is forcing). He has good defense and a lot of losers, so it might be right to defend 4 if that is responder's preference.
June 26, 2012
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
If anyone underbid it was West (who might have bid the same way with the black suits reversed). But, as a general rule, I think games when you are missing the kings of your two critical suits are particularly hard to bid. This hand illustrates why. If you were East and were told that partner had neither the club king nor the diamond king, you would probably bid five. If you were told he had at least one of those cards, you would probably decide you were high enough.
June 25, 2012
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Without discussion, 2NT shows a hand you would have bid 3NT on had partner responded 1NT, i.e., solid spades and about 16-18 HCP. I should hope that discussion would not change that fact, since it is a sensible agreement. In general, one prefers not to use bids as take-out, since bidding takes away your option to defend. Using doubles as take-out gives partner the option of defending on a misfit. On this deal, a misfit is a serious possibility.
June 20, 2012
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Obviously it would be nice if double meant “take-out of hearts.” And that's probably what it should mean, since doubling to emphasize spades is of limited value. But, to my knowledge, that's not standard.
June 19, 2012
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
I smiled on reading this, because I anticipated your “in a general way” objection. I must take issue with your overbid in the last sentence, however. “Whatever it meant”? Come, now.
June 17, 2012
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Jeff: Obviously North must bid three spades on many hands where he would have bid only two had his RHO passed. Accordingly, he must bid four on some hands where he would have bid only three had RHO passed. But I don't think this hand qualifies. As uncontested three spade bids go, it is easily in the bottom quartile. This particular North seems to disagree with my assessment. His five spade bid suggests he thinks this is a “good” three spade bid. If that's what he thinks, I would certainly prefer he bid four spades the first time than bid three, then five, which, as far as I'm concerned, is not legal with any hand.
June 17, 2012
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Barry and John: I'm not sure about this reasoning. The only reason North's club honors are good for defense is because partner has undisclosed diamond support. What if he had long clubs? If you double, should he pull on the basis that you've shown club cards? Certainly I would double with this hand if partner had bid four diamonds instead of four spades. But when I have bid two suits and partner has bid only one, I tend to base my pass or double decision almost exclusively on my holding in the opponents' suit. I double with two hearts and pass with a singleton. In a slightly different auction, I would criticize South for not bidding 4. But obviously no one expects a 5 bid on this auction, so 4 would be a slam try, not an attempt to help partner with his five-level decision.
June 17, 2012
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Journalist Leads by Rosler & Rubens is the definitive source. (3/5 is a subset of Journalist leads, so the book covers other leads as well that you may or may not care about.) It is worth reading, since it covers many wrinkles that are typically ignored in most summaries that you will find. It appears to be out of print, but I did see some used copies available on Amazon.
June 16, 2012
.

Bottom Home Top