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All comments by Stig Holmquist
1 2 3 4
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Dean.
Please explain
Jan. 19
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Ed,
I just became aware of your article “How Experts View Gerber” in this forum 3 years ago. One poster, Bob Heitzman, wrote he had used Rkc Gerber after Stayman and
Jacoby for 40 years. But he gave no details. How might I contact him for more info?
Jan. 17
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Nikos,
At an ordinary low level club game you cannot expect every pair to bid 7NT/H or C. T
Some will bid only 6 H or C.
Thus if the Club suit does not yield 7 tricks you need the K of D for protection against a big loss if the opening lead were a D and you had bid 7 NT.

John,
If you are not willing to use Blackwood, how would you
determine what final bid is most realistic. If your partner
refuses to learn the Gerber bid or Blackwood , it would be
hard to get to a 7 contract.
Jan. 13
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I'm sorry for a typo. The hand should show a void in Diamonds and 6 Clubs, as mentioned in the text and Phil.

I'm still wondering if Blackwood should be used with a void? Perhaps it is ok if one can safely sign of in 6 C
if opener has only 2 Aces?

Unable to understand not noticing the typo.
Jan. 12
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My bidding is based on the assumption that N has at least 2 Clubs, so that the club split is 68% likely to be 3-2.
It cannot be 3-3 unless N has only 1 C. By partner ship agreement only balanced hands qualify for 1 NT, and thus N can have only 4-3-3-3, 4-4-3-2 or 5-3-3-2.

With all Aces the pair has 2 Spade tricks, 4 Heart tricks and at least 1 Diamond trick for a total of 7 tricks and
thus a Grand NT would depend on being able to take 6 Club tricks, which has 68% probability.

I seem to have read somewhere a statement about slam probability, but am unable to recall who wrote it.
Jan. 11
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All of the above comments are interesting, but none seems to address the question about 68% probability being enough
to justify a grand slam bid. The pair has an 8-fit in hearts and clubs, so I assume the probability of both
splitting worse than 3-2 is only 10%. But Grand slam depends on just clubs splitting 3-2.
How high should one expect the probability be before bidding 7 NT?
Jan. 10
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In what situation can Dummy be able to lead?
Did you mean reminding declarer before he is about to lead?
Jan. 1
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While we are discussing the Limitations, I wonder if Dummy is allowed to tell declarer from which hand the next card must be played?
My partner “fingers” one or more cards in his hand before
deciding what to play, and it might be from his hand, though the lead is actually in dummy.
How often, if at all, is Dummy allowed to remind declarer
which hand is the proper one to lead from?
Dec. 31, 2018
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Apologies,

I misstated the opening 2NT bid. It was made in 2nd seat.
Thus partner had not yet been able to bid.

The opening 2 NT hand held: AKJT-AJ83-A3-KTx.
3rd hand passed and 4th hand bid 3 NT.
Was that a sound bid?
The partnership had no agreement about at least one stopper
in every suit for a 2NT opening bid.
I
Dec. 30, 2018
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THANKS FOR THE CLARIFICATION. I WAS UNABLE TO FIND ZERO TOLERANCE IN THE acbl ENCYCLOPEDIA.
Dec. 30, 2018
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Pardon my ignorance, but what is a ZT violation?
Dec. 29, 2018
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Michal, You failed to explain what it means to “ Just play bridge and forget about magical formulas for hand evaluation”. That is an empty phrase and provides no
numerical guidance.
Better bidding must be based on better hand evaluation,
but which one do you recommend, that is not “magical”?
Nov. 1, 2018
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Mike, you seem to advocate a simple bidding system based on the KISS principle.
In the 60's the US international team used a simple system and lost to the Italians year after year in spite of playing
their cards better. They eventually realized they needed a more advanced bidding system and Ira Corn sponsored a team
that used computers to work out a better system of bidding.
Few players today use it and better systems are constantly
evolving. Maybe you think they are “magic” formulas. Surely
you must know there are various ways of hand evaluation.
None is perfect and thus searching for a better one is worth
the time spent.
This forum should be open to new ideas and not stagnate on
a simple hand evaluation. Stagnation is the last step before
decline into obsoleteness.
The basic idea of Bissell need to be re-examined to see if
one might be able to modernize it. A few attempts have been
made as pointed out by Larry Diamond in his book “ Mastering
Hand Evaluation”.
Do you really think that the Work count is all one needs?
Oct. 31, 2018
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Paul,
If you look at the Evaluator of “Thomas Bridge Fantasia”
you'll notice that he also shows the Bissell count of 14.
It is based on counting 1 pt for the 4th card in each suit.
But that was an unrealistic evaluation of the 4th card,
because it can take a trick only when the suit splits
4-3-3-3, which happens only 10% of the time. Thus the Bissell count should be reduced to 12, which divided by 3 yields 4 tricks. The hand is good for only 4.5 tricks.

It is not realistic to assume that opener's honor will
upgrade responder's honor until you know that responder
has anything of value.

In short, I think the Bissell count is more realistic for
opening bids.

In the actual bidding it turned out that responder
held two jacks only.

Opening 1 NT with only 4 Aces in a flat hand seems unwise,
especially if the hand were Axx-Axx-Axx-Axxx. That hand can take only 4 tricks and thus is better evaluated as 12 rather than 16 pts.
Oct. 29, 2018
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I must apologize for a typo. I had in mind AK instead of KQ
in the Club suit. Based on the various comments I assume
that hand would be too strong for a 1 NT opening.
But wait. The posted hand can take only 4 tricks and based on
common trick evaluation a balanced hand can take as many tricks as 1/3 of the HCP count. Thus the hand is worth only
12 HCP. It seems to me that a hand void in secondary honors
needs to be down graded.
Likewise a flat and with just 4 Ace can take only four tricks and thus would be worth only 12 HCP. But if I were to evaluate that hand as Bergen teaches it is worth 4x4.5=18.
But it cannot take 1/3 x 18=6 tricks.
So how might one adjust the nominal HCP count to take into
consideration these anomalies?

Stig
Oct. 27, 2018
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S held : T3-KT95-AQ4-K752.
After opening 2C S responded 2NT and N rebid 4Spades.
S then bid RKCB 4NT and N replied 5S, showing 2Key cards
plus Q of S. S South then knew they were missing 2 Key cards and passed.
The rebid of 4S by N would show an 8-card suit and only one side sit winner.
Even though the ACBL Yellow card allows a 2C opening bid
with just a long suit it is ordinarily considered poor
or misleading bidding with the N hand, because the hand has more fast losers than quick tricks.
The featured hand makes me question the wisdom of hand
evaluation for long strong hands.
Why start with 1S and let the opps find a sacrifice at
a low level?
July 29, 2018
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Simple calculations suggest that this hand may occur 1 per 5000 deals. So if opener uses this 3C bid as a game
forcing bid playing once per week it would take about 4
years for it to come up again. Thus it would not be a regular method of bidding. Could it be based on a void?

But this bid creates a problem of telling responder that he
has a 2nd good suit with 4 or 5 cards. How should he bid to
let responder know?
June 19, 2018
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Steve,
Please tell me why you think the opening hand qualifies
for a game forcing rebid, with 4 losing tricks.
June 15, 2018
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Do you think the hand qualifies for a game forcing bid
with 4 losers and a responder promising none?
Bidding a suit on a singleton makes it impossible to
bid a second true suit.
The 3C bid should be a mini splinter for hearts in this auction.
June 13, 2018
Stig Holmquist edited this comment June 13, 2018
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Yes Nick,
Goren never discussed a rebid of 4 D,because he did not
cover opening hands with an 8-2-2-1 pattern.
The hand in question has 4 losers and it is not realistic
to make a game forcing 3C bid expecting responder to have more than 6 pts. Openers objective should be to describe his hand as fully as possible in the hope they can reach 5D or 6D. Since Goren never discussed a rebid of 4D, one
must assume responder is asked to bid 5 D or 6D or pass
with no obvious trick in his hand. There must be any number of hands responder could hold that would cause him
to pass 4D.
June 9, 2018
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