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All comments by Alan Frank
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Another advantage to having 1 always be a true negative is that opener can pass, as Kit illustrated in a column probably a couple of years ago. I think he had something like a 2=1=6=4 fifteen count.
14 hours ago
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And even if Kit didn't say that explicitly, the bidding is clearly from his partnership's perspective.
14 hours ago
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With a weak hand, where I am happy to hear partner pass, I would bid my stronger minor. This is a big win opposite hands like 22222=Ax=Jxx=Jxx.
July 12
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5 still has good chances even with the A offside–maybe opening leader has the A, maybe he cashes the A, or maybe the defense tries to cash two diamonds.
July 11
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I wonder what North would have done over 2 by South. (I would pass in that situation.)
July 10
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At the cost of memory strain and potential lead-directing doubles and shape leakage on some sequences, this seems to cover pretty much anything you would want to do after a one-way 2NT SA:
1NT 2 2NT
..3 Do you have a doubleton club?
…..3 No (then 3 is to play)
…..3 Yes
…..Responder can now bid a new suit to show a slam try with 5-5 and a stiff in the lower side suit or 3NT with a side void.
..3 Do you have a doubleton diamond?
…..3 No
…..3 Yes
…..Responder can now bid a minor suit to show a slam try with 5-5 and a stiff spade or 3NT with a spade void.
..3 Asks opener to bid game with a doubleton spade
..3 puppet to 3NT (except opener can bid 4 with no slam interest opposite any of the possibilities), then
…..4 spade splinter
…..4 retransfer
…..4 mild slam try, no shortness
..3NT COG
..4 or 4 splinter
..4 to play
..4 kickback
Pretty similar after a transfer to spades.
July 6
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Thanks. So five tables did not bid the heart game. Nothing you can do about those. And three tables made exactly 4. That seems a bit difficult, as you will nearly always get a ruff to set the contract on a spade lead and a pitch to make five on a different lead (unless East leads A, but only one East was on lead).

Edit, oh, I see. On a non-spade lead, declarer takes the pitch, but misguesses trump. Again, not much you can do about that, other than get a reputation as East for falsecarding (see comment below).
July 6
Alan Frank edited this comment July 6
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The chance of either singleton is not equal, as there are four diamonds out but five hearts. Assuming exactly five spades and barring any other inferences, this gives him a 66% chance of a stiff diamond, given that he has some singleton, and therefore a 20% chance in total of a stiff heart.

By the way, without any inferences West's preemptive jump, if he is known to have five spades, then there is a priori a 37% chance of a red stiff. If we assume that the four spade bid would always be made with a stiff and 40% of the time otherwise, that leads to Kit's 60% estimate.

If West holds Qxxx, I don't think any line works, so that chance should be taken out of the 75%.
July 6
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I voted other–I'd like to see the traveler.
July 6
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Yes, so if GIB somehow figures out that declarer holds KJ, it will happily discard the Q from either defensive hand.
July 6
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Withholding the K may limit damage in some lines if hearts are 4-1 and you lose to the K.
July 6
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“The ACBL implement an ACBL-wide fragrance free policy.” Strongly support. My wife, though not a bridge player, was sick for several weeks due to an encounter with fragrances, and I am sure that many bridge players are equally sensitive.
July 5
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I think the motion about NAP substitutes could use a slight tweak. It requires that “the medical condition that renders the member unable to travel to or play in the National Final stage was unknown to the member at the time of the District Final.” Suppose that at the time of the District Final, someone has a condition which precludes travel, but their PCP has assured them that they will be all better by the time of the NABC. However, the prediction is wrong. Seems unfair to not allow a substitute here.
July 5
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On both hands, E-W have defensive book in top tricks and whether the contract makes depends on a finesse against the heart king. Seems like far too fine a line to base your bidding on.
July 5
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After 1S-3S-4S, the opponents could have quite a bit of hidden strength and a double on QJT9 of trump is questionable. On the given auction, the opponents sound like they expect to take barely ten tricks on normal breaks, so a hand with a surprise is in good position to double. There is also virtually no chance of a redouble or overtricks.
July 5
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I'm guessing that declarer used Blackwood aiming toward 6 if he was missing an ace, but went with the “safer” 6NT after the 5 response. This would seem to indicate a stiff heart.
July 5
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With 4=3=3=3, I will always bid 1NT. With 4=(3-2)=4, it depends on honor dispersion.
July 5
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Generally agree, but not clear why you say “virtually 100% played by North.” If East leads low from AKxxx, West will still have a diamond to lead back if the spade finesse loses.
July 4
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I disagree with #3. A good player needs to get into the minds of his/her partner and opponents. Consider this hand: Axx xxxx Ax xxxx. Partner leads a low diamond against 4. You win, cash the trump ace, and play another diamond. Partner knows from your trump play that you have a doubleton. Or Kit's recent “induce a blockage” hand. Neither of those is amenable to solution by DD analysis.
July 4
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I wouldn't not call East an animal; with Kx instead of !Qx, I would consider an overcall normal.
July 4
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