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All comments by Raghu Rajkumar
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If 3 was natural, I think it is an error to bid 3, and not 3. It has been discussed elsethread that the third round spade loser is of particular concern, and this clues partner in to that. Finding a spade fit would be great, but showing spades is important even otherwise. (I think it is more important than finding the fit, but I could be wrong).

That being said, bids of 3, 3, and 3 would show shortness in many systems.
June 15, 2018
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I wouldn't rule out a raise on a stiff K either. Not many reasonable constructions, but maybe RHO has 8 spades.
Nov. 2, 2017
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Yes, I will miss games or slams. I am not talking in the context of John's old-Precision 13-15, but in the context of wide-ranging pre-empts. I'm willing to write those losses off, and I consider them unlikely compared to possible gains. I'm also way more worried about partner taking a phantom than about any missed games.

One of the effects of a 3 bid is that any bid that LHO makes is a wide-ranging bid (as well). For instance, he may have to double with KQxxx AKx Qxxx x, and may bid 3 with both KTx AKxxxx xxx x and KTx AKxxxx KQx x

If the hand is a partscore one (the most likely scenario), the opponents either have to sell out or compete with just one chance at finding (guessing) their best fit.
July 31, 2016
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Playing precision, I recently opened a similar hand (Jx AKx xx AQT9xx) 3. I don't have enough table experience to know if this can work in the long run.

My argument is this: What would one open if partner were magically barred from the auction? With light openings partner would have opened most hands where we have game. I would open 3 as that gets me to a spot I am happy ending up at while the opponents can begin to figure out where they want to end up.
July 29, 2016
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3. I'm bidding 7 if partner has a heart control. Otherwise, a risk of a heart ruff seems too great.

Edit: Fixed typo
Jan. 29, 2016
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To be more succinct, I have learned here that neither ignorance nor purity of intentions makes an action less unethical.
Nov. 5, 2015
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My question was with reference to the particular hand (should have mentioned that).

I agree entirely with Manoj. My earlier wavering was because of uncertainty about the meaning of “unethical.” According to Wikipedia (the best authority on everything) ethics relates to “right and wrong conduct.” I understand that a person's intentions have no bearing on whether or not an action is ethical.

I posit that a major distinction between cheating and unethical behavior is one's intentions. Since we daren't utter the C-word, and all cheating actions are unethical, “unethical” is often used to refer to actions of cheating. This has caused me to wrongly view the use of “unethical” as an assertion of malicious intentions.
Nov. 5, 2015
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"So, when North makes his slow pass… should ethically bend over backwards to NOT take advantage."
Is it unethical to make the suggested bid, or merely illegal?
Nov. 4, 2015
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I caused this whopper about a year ago: I had something like xxxx xxx xxxx xx perhaps with stray Queens and Jacks. In an auction where the opponents were in a game force, partner bid 4NT for the minors and RHO doubled. I wanted to “right-side” 5, so I redoubled. Partner bid 5 and RHO doubled again, and I redoubled again (in what I thought was an obvious their-hand situation).
All pass and -3400. IMPs. Last round of swiss. Cost us qualification. Partner and I were able to laugh it off. Somehow.
Forgive me, for I have right-sinned the contract.

Edited: Typo
Nov. 3, 2015
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If someone dislikes a post, they are free to post without articulating why (and IME they often do). The dislike button would allow them to express their, er, dislike without adding noise to the discussion.
Oct. 29, 2015
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Let me try to draw a parallel between UI and this problem. (I am not a director or an expert in the laws).

1. If a player takes an action suggested by UI, it is illegal but not necessarily unethical.
2. The director can restore equity to the non-offending side if it was damaged.
3. If the offending pair engages in this behavior repeatedly, they may be seen as unethical.

1. If a player hitches where (s)he did not have a demonstrable bridge reason to do so, it is illegal and unethical if it was in an attempt to mislead. Otherwise, an innocent hitch is neither illegal nor unethical.
2. Regardless of the player's intentions, the director can restore equity to the non-offending side if it was damaged.

Personally, I believe that laws that depend on the intent of a player are flawed.
Oct. 15, 2015
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I had a similar, more defensive hand in an identical auction in 2012. This was in a high-level tournament with me unwell and my brain working poorly. I took a while to consider various hands for partner before deciding I had a clear pass.
Oct. 15, 2015
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Nice article, Yuan. I like the SOW principle a lot, but being unable to bid a mixed 3M does seem to be a deal-breaker for me. I'm also biased by deal 37 from the Spingold final.

http://www.bridgebase.com/tools/handviewer.html?linurl=http://www.bridgebase.com/tools/vugraph_linfetch.php?id=34653
Aug. 6, 2014
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Thank you, Jan. It shouldn't be permissible for a hypothetical pair to produce a written defense only if they needed it for that particular board.
Aug. 6, 2014
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I haven't thought this out thoroughly, but I think there would be very few lies where the contract could be made when the K is offside
Aug. 5, 2014
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I'm not convinced that A at trick two is necessarily inferior. For instance, East may have played a suit-preference 2 at trick one, which could make it the indicated line of play.

Also, in the case where East has AT9xxxx of spades and no kings, I believe playing the A and low club (if no honor appears) would close-to-guarantee the contract.
- If west has Kxx, you score 2 spade ruffs, 3 top hearts, 1 club, 1 club ruff, and 3 diamonds (since west will get endplayed).
- If west has Kx, dummy's clubs are set up. You take a spade ruff and run clubs, and West scores only 2 hearts and 1 club.
- If west has K, you take you take a ruffing finesse in clubs at trick 3 (taking a later club ruff if East ducks this). The play proceeds similar to the second case, and west scores only 2 or 3 trump tricks.
- One hopes west does not have KJxx.

Aug. 5, 2014
Raghu Rajkumar edited this comment Aug. 5, 2014
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Could you please explain the flaw in the logic? The similarity is not apparent to me.

June 11, 2014
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Your method seems pretty good, and perhaps just what the doctor ordered. The task seems to be that of determining whether it is easier to run 9 tricks, or to avoid 4 losers.

Playing standard methods, it wasn't obvious to me whether choosing to play in hearts is an intelligent action, or adhering to a rule of thumb like “second hand low.”

(Sorry, I cannot ascertain the outcome of your bet. I cannot remember who my opponent was :)
June 11, 2014
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Interesting to note that one of K/J onside is 76%, not 75%. I can vaguely recall a vacant spaces argument for this in Boris Schapiro's book.
June 10, 2014
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