• Comments on the bidding:
    1. N does not have an opening bid, Rule of 20 notwithstanding. You cannot count unguarded honors (except the Ace) at their full HCP value; e.g., the stiff QJ is worth at best 2 points, and the Rule of 20 count at best is thus 19.
    2. What about other hand evaluation methods? Even at the most generous count, North is…

  • Standard third-hand opening, maybe a little stronger given that the 11 HCP consisted of 2-1/2 quick tricks.

  • 4H is always down against intelligent defense. (E takes Club A-K while W plays high-low; Club ruff, Diamond A give defense 4 tricks.) Set 4D one trick, doubled (per Law of Total Trumps).

  • Made 6S. However, no credit to me! The credit goes entirely to East. At trick 2 the merest glance at Dummy begs for a Club return; East’s actual continuation of Diamonds is indefensible to the point of irresponsible – even for a computer! If E returns a Club, the contract is held to 10 tricks. But should 4S be bid? IMO yes; the bidding suggests…

  • Opened with 1H. I have found that on freak hands like this with few HCPs, it is best to consider obstructive as well as constructive tactics. Many factors need to be considered. In this case, I had 2 quick tricks, two 5-carders (one a major) with good intermediates, and a void. At the very least a 1H opening would be lead-directing. As it turned…

  • Played the hand twice. 1st time the bidding went N-P, E-1S, me-dbl, W-2S, N-dbl, followed by 3 passes. Since the computers don’t play responsive doubles, N’s double should have been for business and for that, he should have had a minimum of 4 trumps. (I can’t have more than 2 based on my takeout double.) 2Sx made, for a dreadful score. N’s proper…

  • I should add that the Law of Total Tricks was again involved in my bidding decisions (as it always should be!). I knew we had 9 trumps, and it seemed obvious that E-W had 9 trumps (making partner an odds-on favorite, BTW, for a singleton opposite my Ace), for 18 Total Tricks. If the tricks were 9-9, we were better off down one at 4H than letting…

  • Made 5H. Once I knew the trump finesse worked, I could afford a Diamond loser; so led Diamonds and finessed the 10. This won and gave me enough entries to ruff both Spade losers.

  • Bid and made 6H. Not proud of myself, because it should not have made. W got off to a good start by leading a low Club, then returned a Diamond after taking the Heart A. This inexcusably bad play allowed me to draw trumps and discard my Diamond and Club losers. But my real point in posting is @Graeme. On my first try I the bidding went 1S, 2H…

  • Re above comment – why did I go to 4H after N did bid NT? I realized that he ought to have a Heart doubleton to do that, so that was where we belonged.

  • I realized that a 3H bid wouldn’t be quite strong enough and might be passed. A 4H bid would not have been wrong, but I manufactured a jump shift in order to leave 3 NT as a possibility if partner had something in Clubs. That said, some of these results are appalling. A suit contract should make no more than 11 tricks. Any decent defender’s…

  • A borderline 2C opening just a hair shy in terms of suit solidity and HCP. My rule of thumb is is to count my quick tricks and losers; if the former outnumber the latter, I’ll go for the 2C. Here the balance is about 4 of each, so I went for the more conservative opening. I have several slam methods over competition, but I don’t know which, if…

  • (Bud 3D & made.) An interesting and tricky (no puns here!) hand on several counts that illustrates some of the intricacies of the Law of Total Tricks. Without 4 Hearts my takeout double was not ideal but at least I could stand a Heart response from partner (and a Spade would have been ideal). When bidding revealed a virtual certainty of 17 total…

  • At rubber bridge or any form thereof (Chicago, IMPs) there is no justification for a 7NT bid. 7H is far safer on the bidding; turns out it makes with ease after the opening Club lead gives you a Diamond discard. But at 7 NT, even with the favorable Club lead, you still need the Diamond finesse (Spades don’t set up, as the odds strongly suggest…

  • 12 tricks should never be made – 2 top losers in Spades and the losing Heart finesse if played in Hearts; if in NT, proper Spade play leads to 3 tricks, plus the same losing finesse. Either way, N-S are held to their contract.

    How a defender plays this hand, though, depends on whether you are playing a form of duplicate or rubber. If the latter,…

  • First I have to disagree with those who would open with a weak 2H. Even at favorable vulnerability the suit would be too weak for me – though not by much! Give me the Jack instead of the 6 or the 3 and I’d open 2H at favorable or even vulnerability.
    The choice of coming in later with a negative double is slightly misleading (after 1C – 1D it…

  • I would have opened the E hand 2C – it meets the criteria, whatever you use: 9 or 10 playing tricks (“within a trick of game”), more quick tricks (4) than losers (3), or (more than!) 21 points with a good seven card suit. The 2D response would have warned me to explore slowly and we might have stopped in game. Instead they went down two doubled.

  • Very poor bidding by the North computer. I jump-shifted into Spades (which I wouldn’t do with this suit and a human partner, but if you just bid 1Spade and jump in diamonds later, the computer is likely to leave you short of game – which would be a crime with this hand opposite an opening bid!). When I then supported Diamonds at the three level a…

  • Doubled first to see if partner had Spades, but no joy. Then forced over the 2D response, and called Blackwood over partner’s 4D – even if he showed only one Ace, I’d have chanced a slam. The 5C response allowed me to pass in a reasonable contract. Made it by playing as per banksia9.

  • Amend my above comment – “not sure the red suit controls were there for 6S”, etc.

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