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All comments by Phillip Martin
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I agree with Ian. “2NT showing the lowest 2 unbid suits” is a fine choice. “2NT, showing the lowest 2 unbid suits,” however, I would have to take issue with.
Aug. 6, 2018
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What if declarer ruffs the second club? I bet you'd be wishing you'd suggested at heart shift at trick two then. The club deuce at trick one looks exactly right to me.
Aug. 4, 2018
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A heart, attacking the entry to the double threat.
Aug. 4, 2018
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I found the article. The theoretically correct play is to return a low card 70% of time: https://sites.google.com/site/psmartinsite/Home/bridge-articles/a-suit-combination
Aug. 4, 2018
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This is actually a game-theoretical problem. You should lead low from the J some percentage of the time, because declarer might have Q9x. If it turns out he has Q8x, he will, in many cases, not accept the gift, thinking you would have led the jack if you had it. I worked out the correct percentages at one point, but I decided, as a practical matter, it is better to forget the “correct” percentages and lead low almost all the time against a declarer you trust. Looking at the comments above, calling leading low a “mistake” and “misdefence,” convinces me I'm right about that.
Aug. 4, 2018
Phillip Martin edited this comment Aug. 4, 2018
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East can't afford to try to cash a diamond, because he doesn't know it's cashing. If declarer ruffs the diamond, he can now establish a pitch.
Aug. 4, 2018
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Interesting conditions. So both partner and LHO are marked with 9-11 HCP. While you could make 3NT if partner has the right hand, it seems against the odds. So I should pass or bid 3 depending on which I think is more likely to lead to a plus score.
Aug. 4, 2018
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Actually, Frances, A10x is not a possible holding for you if the 4 is indeed fourth best. Of course, West could easily miss that fact.
Aug. 3, 2018
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If you are correct that a card played in tempo would be interpreted as count, then that's a serious matter. But why do you assume that's the case? Some partnerships never give count except in very specific, defined situations. If this partnership is one of those, no matter how quickly or slowly West played to this trick, the card would be interpreted as suit preference. (Although a slow play obviously transmits the UI that West is unsure of which suit to signal for.) Without knowing the full hand, we don't know what West was thinking about. But it is quite plausible that he was disinclined to give suit preference for an offside doubleton queen. Perhaps he was afraid declarer would drop it. But then he decided that giving suit preference for the lower suit was more dangerous for one reason or another.
July 26, 2018
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Other: Both players for agreeing to play Kickback without establishing clear, unambiguous rules for when it applies.
July 26, 2018
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I like Edgar's take on this issue. He claimed that English does have a genderless singular pronoun: “he.” “He” is genderless; “she” is feminine. What's missing is a masculine singular pronoun. If anyone should be offended by the sexist structure of the English language, it should be men, who don't have a pronoun of their own. I don't know if that argument flies or not, but it is pure Edgar.
July 25, 2018
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That “but misinformed” remark sounds pretty self-righteous to me. For the record, I am perfectly well-informed about the movement to legitimize the singular “their.” I just don't agree with it.
July 24, 2018
Phillip Martin edited this comment July 24, 2018
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I don't think of the second card in a suit you have led as being a count signal at all. It's simply a clarification of your lead. If you led fourth best from a five-card suit, for example, and wish to clarify your length on the next play, you would play your lowest card regardless of your count methodology. You aren't giving a count signal per se. You are simply playing the card that makes your original lead readable. Similarly, if you led fourth best from six, you should clarify your lead by playing a higher card next, just to do something different than you would do with a five-card suit. (You assume partner will have an easier time distinguishing six from four than distinguishing six from five.) I suppose some might call that “standard original count,” but I find that confusing. You are simply playing the card that logically clarifies your length.
July 24, 2018
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“Ely Culbertson and Sidney Lenz, each bringing their own dubbed play style…” If you're going to plagiarize that line, you could at least correct “their” to “his.”
July 24, 2018
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I have to admit, I found Kit's argument persuasive at first. But you've convinced me I was wrong.
July 22, 2018
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I don't know of a theoretical reason for one agreement or the other, but present count seems more natural. And it seems less accident prone. Hopefully I always know what pattern I started with, but I can be even more certain I know what cards I'm looking at right now.
July 22, 2018
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Whether it is right to lead an unprotected honor when declarer is expected to have a singleton is a complicated question. Sometimes, as above, it is critical. Switch the ace and queen, however, and it is a mistake. In this particular auction, the ace is more likely to be in dummy. But sometimes it's a toss-up. Another scenario where it is wrong is when you establish a ruffing finesse against partner's honor. Suppose dummy has QJX, for example. If you lead a low one, not only do you avoid the ruffing finesse but you also retain the option of partner's continuing the suit for a tap (should it happen that declarer has no useful pitch at trick two). On the other hand, if dummy has the singleton and declarer has QJx, you must lead the king. As some of you know, I have been on the receiving end of many of these leads, some spectacularly right and some just as spectacularly wrong.
July 21, 2018
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Whatever is going on, partner couldn't have forgotten system. If he did, he would have thought we were off the spade queen and wouldn't be thinking about a grand.
July 20, 2018
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Play whatever you play over an opening weak 2-bid.
July 19, 2018
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This is attitude, not count, since partner is trying to find my entry. The question is whether encouraging requests an underlead or shows a doubleton and a trump honor. (Surely you would discourage with neither, which is why the “count” answers surprise me. Does partner really care that you have a doubleton club if you don't have a trump honor?) So there are two possible solutions: (A) Encouraging says I have the Q. If I discourage, partner has to guess whether I have a doubleton club and a trump honor or the cashing diamond ace. (B) Encouraging shows the ability to ruff the third round. If I discourage, partner has to guess between a club underlead or a diamond shift. (A) makes more sense to me, because if partner is going to underlead the club, he has to do so on the very next trick. It seems logical that my signal tells him what to do on the next trick rather than what to do on the trick after that. Further, if partner has to guess what to do, I'd rather he guess after seeing one more trick than guess now. It's hard to see how one more round of clubs will help him, but this seems like a good general principle in any event.
July 18, 2018
Phillip Martin edited this comment July 18, 2018
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