Really??? I expect partner to pass this maybe 10% of the time. In general, I'd expect it to be much higher, but sensible opponents at unfavorable have either high cards or lots of trumps. If the former, partner is weak, therefore unbalanced. If the latter, partner is void in spades and probably will bid.
I'd assume that
What are the chances that partner is balanced and strong? They seem pretty slender, and Mike believes his red opponents, so he just bids to prevent his partner from doing something goofy. I think he'd usually be right about that; partner almost has to have shape and is probably not very strong, either, but I'm not willing to trust the opponents. I put more stock in partner instead, rightly or wrongly.
Which of these hands would you open a 15-17 1NT?
[In later discussion, Robb's main "flaw" is that the hands are very good for hearts. I agree that's a flaw. --Jeff]
|b||7||0||3||[Mike feels "very frisky" often. --J]|
I don't, however, buy the lead argument. We would generally rather have a heart lead than a club lead, so bidding clubs isn't critical. It's not a disaster if partner leads to one of our 109 suits, either, if he thinks that's the best suit to lead.
It is the case that if the auction becomes
competitive, we'd've liked to mention our strong
five-card suit. Unfortunately, in Standard, a
The K&R counts for these hands really intrigue me. It seems to me that those of us who are amenable to "flexible" point count more or less think that (b) is just about borderline. Does that mean that a strong NT starts at 15.50 in K&R? We all think that (a) is too weak, so 15.05 is below par. I've often wondered how K&R points map to HCP; this is a pretty good indicator hand. Someday, I'll pose a problem to fine-tune the high end.
I used to assume that 15-17 mapped to 15.0-17.99, but that doesn't seem likely, frankly, as K&R ratings seem to me to be a little higher than standard point count. It wouldn't surprise me to find that K&R's 1NT range was really 15.5-18.5. BWS plays "a good 15 to a bad 18." Curious.
Remind me that if I'm ever opposite Robb or Barry, I have to count my HCP (or lie about miscounting them!) I suspect they'll take care to do that
After 2NT-6NT, you get the lead of the
The real point of the hand, however, is that we must cash
two high clubs early. Finding out the club distribution
should help us decide between these two lines. For example,
when (as it turned out was really the case) LHO shows out on
the first club, playing for the double squeeze must be grossly
against the odds. If RHO showed out on the first round of
clubs, I think I'd play for the double squeeze, as the spade
lead from three seems more likely than from four once I knew
LHO has four clubs. There's no funny restricted choice argument,
as LHO might well have the
The panel had some other ideas.
Better probably is to ... play for the spade diamond squeeze. If LHO was someone I did not like but rated, I'd go for line 1 else line 2.
It wouldn't surprise me if I'm missing a better squeeze. From these, (2) is vastly superior. If dummy had one more heart and one fewer diamond I'd like my chances better.
[The transfer squeeze would have been fun, but I can't
come up with any reason to prefer it. For what it's worth,
there's also a transfer version of the double squeeze. Too
bad LHO didn't show me her hand holding
I, too, was sure there was another squeeze lurking there. The heart suit is a clash holding, right? I don't think there's a clash squeeze there of any sort, though. In real life, I think those generally come up only in blocked suit situations.