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All comments by Phillip Martin
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I must discard the heart nine. I need the ten, and the all the spots except the nine are known to be hearts. The nine of hearts, however, might be a diamond, so I must play it to avoid revoking.
Oct. 25, 2018
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Unfortunately the auction took an unexpected turn when partner chose one of my suits. If only the auction had gone as planned, I would know what to do.
Oct. 24, 2018
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The initial pass was normal. When you subsequently bid diamonds, partner will know you have a good hand, since you wouldn't fail to bid the cheapest strain with a bad hand. The fact that the auction took an unexpected turn is unlucky.

As for what to do now, note that partner doesn't even have to have four diamonds. He thought we were in a scramble, so 1D with 4-4-3-2, intending to redouble if they double, was his correct bid. In other words, I'm pretty much in the same position as if RHO had bid 4S on the previous round. I would pass then, so I'm passing now.
Oct. 22, 2018
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I once saw Marshall Miles make a grand with AKQ10xxx of trumps opposite two small with Jxxx offside. He led low from dummy, and when his RHO showed out, he played the 10 in tempo. It helped that his left-hand opponent had the nickname of “Rocket.”
Oct. 20, 2018
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As usual, rather than calculate percentages, it is easier (and only slightly less accurate) simply to count the cases where each play succeeds and the other fails. The heart finesse is necessary if the heart king is doubleton onside and clubs don't split. Clubs will not split roughly 2/3 of the time and there are two ways for South to have Kx, so there are a total of 4/3 cases where you must take the heart finesse. Cashing the heart ace is necessary when the king is doubleton offside and clubs do split (2/3 cases) and when the king is singleton offside (1 case), for a total of 5/3 cases. So, ignoring any inferences from the defense or from the opponents' carding when you cash the first club, cashing the heart ace is the percentage line.
Oct. 16, 2018
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It depends on what you mean by “weakest.” Both are weak. But pass shows better defense than offense and 3 shows the opposite.
Oct. 11, 2018
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I approve of the double, by the way. I know some like to play double promises four spades; others, it denies four spades. My own preference is neither. It just shows support for the unbid suits.
Sept. 27, 2018
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The rest of the bidding is ittrelevsnt to the play? It’s always relevant. I’ll be happy to answer if you give me the rest of the auction, but I’m not going to answer blind.
Sept. 23, 2018
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This should be a four-card heart suit and logically forcing since I have no reason to believe hearts is a playable spot. With longer hearts, if I had a good enough hand to bid now, I would have bid 2 on the previous round,
Sept. 21, 2018
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I've raised on better hands than this, and it hasn't been right yet.
Sept. 13, 2018
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Edited - I changed my mind. King and nine of spades should work. If partner can't run five spades and holds the Q, he should find a heart shift.
Sept. 6, 2018
Phillip Martin edited this comment Sept. 6, 2018
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One of the many reasons you should bid 2 on the second round. Now, over 2NT, you can bid 3.
Sept. 4, 2018
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Interesting. On your shift, the jack of spades becomes the setting trick. After Michael's jack of spades shift, the jack of clubs becomes the setting trick.
Sept. 1, 2018
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If partner wanted my assistance at the 5-level, he would have chosen some action other than 4. He already knows what he wants to do over 5, so I should act only to suggest whatever he has in mind might be wrong. With this hand, I suspect that whatever he has in mind is probably right. If he is planning on doubling, I have good defense. If he is planning on bidding, I have good offense and no club wastage. I have no reason to try to change his mind.
Aug. 31, 2018
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I think some of those who chose 3 are bidding it precisely because the hearts are weak. They would bid 2NT with good hearts, as in your example.
Aug. 30, 2018
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“Well, partner, I knew good and well continuing diamonds offered no chance of beating the contract. But I did have the queen of diamonds after all, and I couldn't, in good conscience, lie about it.”
Aug. 30, 2018
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2NT, 3C, and 3D are to play. 3H and 3S are forcing, showing doubt about 3NT. Since responder is limited, I see no reason to give up a natural, non-forcing 2NT.
Aug. 30, 2018
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I suspect 6 would make from my side.
Aug. 29, 2018
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A diamond to the queen and a club through is needed to beat it two tricks, not to beat it. (Actually, I suspect I would go for the two trick set, even at IMPs, if partner plays the nine as some have suggested, since I would know that declarer's remaining diamond “must” be the ten.)
Aug. 29, 2018
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To think this way is to adopt the same mindset that caused East to err at trick two. In signaling, as well as in choosing a line of defense, one must consider the entire hand, not just one suit. “Positive attitude” need not promise an honor in the suit led. It should simply say, “All things considered, continuing this suit looks better to me than does shifting.”

And, by the way, I would never play the nine whatever I thought my signal meant. Signals should be as loud as possible. Any high signal should deny the higher touching card.
Aug. 29, 2018
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