Thursday, October 8, 2009

Odds and Ends

This post is an attempt to tie a few odds and ends from previous posts.

1. Summary of strong club experience in NZ nationals.

a) Opponents interfere over almost every 1C opening.
b) Bridge has so little to do with bidding system.
c) Playing against weak players helps reinforce our prejudices.
d) Strong club is a lot of fun. Standard sucks.

2. Suit combinations we should know by heart.

1. A3 ............ J10542
Cash the Ace and duck on the way back.

2. A4 ............ Q10985
Run the queen. Counter-intuitive. Compare #4

3 32 ............ AK10987
Cash the Ace. Play low to the ten.

4. Q10943 ........ A5
Cash the Ace and lead low to the queen. Can pick doubleton jack but not doubleton king.

5. J987 ........ K654
Run the nine. Then Run the seven. Superior to intuitive low to the king and low to the nine.

6. Q10542 ........ A94
Low to the ace. Low to the ten. Bet most would "double hook". Need the 8-spot for the double-hook to be right.

7. Q1053 ......... A942
Low to the ace. Low to the ten. Need the 8-spot for the double-hook.

8. J5 .............. AK9843
Cash the Ace. Run the jack. Superior to the routine "low to the jack". Low to the jack is correct when missing the 8-spot.

9. J5 ............ AK984
Cash the Ace. Run the Jack.

10. A5 ............ KJ984
Low to ace and low to the jack (or nine)

11. 32 ............ AKJ94
For four tricks, finesse the nine. If it loses, cash the Ace and King next.

12. Q1082 ........ A953
Finally....Double- hook :)

For combinations 7 and 12, leading a small one away from the ace is better if opponents are known to always hop king from Kx.

3. Officially-disliked system by the WBF.

Ware-Whibley, representing New Zealand, submitted a forcing pass system called Crunch for the Bermuda Bowl. The system would be permitted only in the knockout phases. They were pressured by WBF officialls to withdraw the system before it was posted for the other teams to see. As far as I know, there was no greater reason than that such a system would be a pain for the Americans and Italians to prepare against. It was suggested that submitting such a system may jeopardize the two spots that zone 7 holds for the Bermuda Bowl. They were also informed, even before the appropriate committee had a look, that such a system would probably be disallowed on grounds of incomplete information. With two weeks to go to the bowl, the system was disallowed on grounds on insufficient disclosure for one opening bid. They were not given a chance to improve their documentation.

Why does the WBF bother pretending that HUM systems are legal?


  1. 12. Q1082 ........ A953
    Finally....Double- hook :)

    Whaddya mean "double hook"? Playing low from the ace IS a double hook!

  2. There are three Kx and three Kxx layouts that low from the ace pays out to.
    Conventional double hook pays out to three KJx and one KJ doubleton.

    Leading low from ace is thus superior only when they will hop from Kx, thus you pay out to only three total layouts.

  3. Well I beg to differ.

    The double hook fails in 7 holdings for fourth hand:
    KJ, KJ7, KJ6, KJ4, KJ76, KJ64, KJ74
    (did you forget about the 4-1 breaks?)

    My line, small to the 10, then if it loses to the jack finesse on the way back, fails in 8 holdings for fourth hand:
    J, J7, J6, J4, J76, J64, J74, J764

    (That last failure requires a lot of thought. You lead low from the ace, and the singleton king is taken by second hand. In theory, you cash the ace next, otherwise, you lose to three KJxx holdings.)

    So this is why a computer program will tell you to double hook: it gives you exactly a 2.82% edge.

    By the way, I hope your readers know to double hook by not starting with the queen: if you do, and next hand shows out, you really look like a goose.

    Anyway, back to real life. If the hand sitting over A9xx rises with the king, I am making in several of my theoretically failing scenarios. Moreove, if the player HESITATES and ducks, you can realistically play him for the king anyway and switch to a different ~75% chance, going up with the queen (which could of course be unfortunate if he has slowly ducked with KJxx).

    It's impossible to totally quantify, but I'm confident that the 2.82% inferiority of my line is outweighed by an order of magnitude by the psychological and people-reading aspects.

    Your theoretical double finesse play is boring, and gains NOTHING from reading the opponents. You are committed whatever happens, because the defenders have entirely automatic plays to make.

    In my opinion, it is not close.

  4. why to the 9 on hand 10? it seems to me that it shuld be low to the J

  5. hand 10, my intention was to specify that both low to the nine and low to the jack are equally effective (for getting four tricks)