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Ace for attitude, King for count

#1 User is offline   ceex09 

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Posted 2011-July-23, 09:02

For playing "Ace for attitude, King for count" in suit contract,

what should i play when i hold two small cards (e.g. 8 5) if partner first leads the Ace?
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#2 User is offline   TWO4BRIDGE 

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Posted 2011-July-23, 09:09

Don't you still play Hi-Lo with a doubleton ?
Don Stenmark
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#3 User is offline   ceex09 

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Posted 2011-July-23, 09:22

View PostTWO4BRIDGE, on 2011-July-23, 09:09, said:

Don't you still play Hi-Lo with a doubleton ?


I'm confusing that whether it would mislead partner while playing Hi-Lo.

If i play 8 as encouraging, i could hold Q85 as well.

It would be a disaster if partner plays low to me if i am holding 85.
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#4 User is offline   FrancesHinden 

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Posted 2011-July-23, 09:42

You encourage with both 85 and Q85, if you can ruff the third round and it would make sense to do so.
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#5 User is offline   aguahombre 

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Posted 2011-July-23, 11:06

View Postceex09, on 2011-July-23, 09:22, said:

It would be a disaster if partner plays low to me if i am holding 85.

Yes, it would. It would be partner's disaster and you would be the victim. If he led from AK(XX), he should play the King next. If he led from Ace empty and wanted to know whether to continue, tough luck. Tell him to stop banging empty Aces.
"Bidding Spades to show spades can work well." (Kenberg)
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#6 User is offline   fromageGB 

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Posted 2011-July-24, 13:44

On the other hand, "banging empty aces" can be good strategy if it is a high level contract and the bidding leads you to believe there could be a long suit that will enable discards before you get in. You want to know "has partner got the King?". Play the 5 then.

If it is a 2 or 3 level contract, or if no other suits have been mentioned, and partner is likely to have AK, play the 8.
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#7 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2011-July-24, 22:54

At the 5 level or higher, the normal agreements for leading from AK generally get thrown out. You always lead K from AK.

#8 User is offline   gordontd 

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Posted 2011-July-25, 01:05

View Postbarmar, on 2011-July-24, 22:54, said:

At the 5 level or higher, the normal agreements for leading from AK generally get thrown out. You always lead K from AK.

...unless partner might be void.
Gordon Rainsford
London UK
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#9 User is offline   gnasher 

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Posted 2011-July-25, 01:07

View PostFrancesHinden, on 2011-July-23, 09:42, said:

You encourage with both 85 and Q85, if you can ruff the third round and it would make sense to do so.

I think this is too rigid a rule - sometimes partner needs to know which of these holdings you have. If, for example, dummy has J10xx and partner has AKxx, it isn't workable to make the same signal with both Qxx and xx. In situations of that sort, you should agree whether encouragement promises an honour, or simply asks partner to continue with the king.
... that would still not be conclusive proof, before someone wants to explain that to me as well as if I was a 5 year-old. - gwnn
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#10 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2011-July-25, 08:26

View Postgnasher, on 2011-July-25, 01:07, said:

I think this is too rigid a rule - sometimes partner needs to know which of these holdings you have. If, for example, dummy has J10xx and partner has AKxx, it isn't workable to make the same signal with both Qxx and xx. In situations of that sort, you should agree whether encouragement promises an honour, or simply asks partner to continue with the king.

I think it may be unworkable to try to get that detailed in what your signals mean. There can be any number of reasons why you want partner to continue (sometimes it's just because you can see that any switch would be worse), and there aren't enough cards in your hand to show this. So you either encourage or not, and the reason will become clear later. Partner shouldn't assume a particular reason before it's been clarified.

#11 User is offline   gnasher 

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Posted 2011-July-25, 08:38

View Postbarmar, on 2011-July-25, 08:26, said:

I think it may be unworkable to try to get that detailed in what your signals mean. There can be any number of reasons why you want partner to continue (sometimes it's just because you can see that any switch would be worse), and there aren't enough cards in your hand to show this. So you either encourage or not, and the reason will become clear later. Partner shouldn't assume a particular reason before it's been clarified.


It's not a question of assuming the reason for encouragement: it's a question of what the attitude signal asks partner to do. If an encouraging signal says "Please contnue with the king", you can encourage with xx but not with Qxx. If an encouraging signal says "Please contnue with a small one", you can encourage with Qxx but not with xx. It seems unworkable for an encouraging signal to say "I want you to do one of thoese things, but you'll have to guess which one.

Here's another situation where the same problem occurs: partner leads the ace and dummy has a doubleton. You may wish to encourage with the queen, to get partner to play a low one to you, so that you can play something through declarer, or force dummy with Qxx opposite AK10x. Or you may wish to encourage with a doubleton, to get partner to give you an overruff.
... that would still not be conclusive proof, before someone wants to explain that to me as well as if I was a 5 year-old. - gwnn
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#12 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2011-July-25, 16:54

View Postgnasher, on 2011-July-25, 08:38, said:

It's not a question of assuming the reason for encouragement: it's a question of what the attitude signal asks partner to do. If an encouraging signal says "Please contnue with the king", you can encourage with xx but not with Qxx. If an encouraging signal says "Please contnue with a small one", you can encourage with Qxx but not with xx. It seems unworkable for an encouraging signal to say "I want you to do one of thoese things, but you'll have to guess which one.


The problem is that you want partner to continue in both cases, and there aren't enough signals to distinguish them. If you decide to encourage only with Qxx, it means you won't get your ruffs. So when you lead A from AKx, and partner encourages, there's no way to know if he has xx or Qxx. Just play your K then x; if he started with xx he'll ruff, if he started with Qxx he'll win.

There are some times when you can usually tell what's being shown. If partner has raised you in the suit, encouragement obviously shows the Q.

Quote

Here's another situation where the same problem occurs: partner leads the ace and dummy has a doubleton. You may wish to encourage with the queen, to get partner to play a low one to you, so that you can play something through declarer, or force dummy with Qxx opposite AK10x. Or you may wish to encourage with a doubleton, to get partner to give you an overruff.

Playing the Q under the A is something totally different. It's specifically showing the J (unless the Q was singleton, in which case partner should have figured out to underlead his AK ;) ).

#13 User is offline   gnasher 

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Posted 2011-July-25, 17:02

When I said "encourage with the queen", I meant "encourage when holding the queen", not "encourage by playing the queen".
... that would still not be conclusive proof, before someone wants to explain that to me as well as if I was a 5 year-old. - gwnn
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#14 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2011-July-25, 17:10

In that case, the first part of my response applies. If you only encourage with the queen, you'll get those great underleads, but you won't get your overruffs.

Sometimes, you have to depend on partner to guess right. He may be able to infer from the auction whether you're likely to have a doubleton. If not, he can figure out that you're showing the queen. Or he may realize that the only way to set the contract is to get to your hand so you can lead through declarer. If dummy's trumps are high, so it's not likely you can overruff, he'll assume you're showing the queen.

It's too limiting to require the signal to show just one or the other.

#15 User is offline   fromageGB 

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Posted 2011-July-26, 04:09

View Postgnasher, on 2011-July-25, 08:38, said:

It's not a question of assuming the reason for encouragement: it's a question of what the attitude signal asks partner to do. If an encouraging signal says "Please contnue with the king", you can encourage with xx but not with Qxx. If an encouraging signal says "Please contnue with a small one", you can encourage with Qxx but not with xx. It seems unworkable for an encouraging signal to say "I want you to do one of thoese things, but you'll have to guess which one.

Here's another situation where the same problem occurs: partner leads the ace and dummy has a doubleton. You may wish to encourage with the queen, to get partner to play a low one to you, so that you can play something through declarer, or force dummy with Qxx opposite AK10x. Or you may wish to encourage with a doubleton, to get partner to give you an overruff.

I think gnasher has hit here the big problem I find with "encouraging signals". I lead the Ace and partner encourages. Am I supposed to play small next, or the King? Do the wrong one and the result can be catastrophic. Take the case where dummy has xx and partner may have Qxx or may be xx and wanting to overruff. Barmar says to play the King and then to partner's Queen or overruff. But there lies the problem : if he has the queen you have now given declarer a ruff and discard.

This and other examples lead to the idea that you never ask for encouragement, but always ask for length. But then you get the problem that you start with K (if playing K for count) from AKTx, dummy has xxx, partner shows odd by count, and declarer's bidding shows probably no shortage so a likely 3. You have to switch, as partner may have the J, but if he has the Queen then you may have lost your chance of 3 tricks. In this instance, it would be nice to lead Ace with an agreement that partner's encouragement quarantees the queen and suggests an underlead.

Is it playable to have this as the only meaning? Or can anyone suggest reliable guidelines for when encouragement requests underlead and when it requests the K?
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#16 User is offline   WellSpyder 

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Posted 2011-July-26, 04:56

View PostfromageGB, on 2011-July-26, 04:09, said:

I think gnasher has hit here the big problem I find with "encouraging signals". I lead the Ace and partner encourages. Am I supposed to play small next, or the King? Do the wrong one and the result can be catastrophic. Take the case where dummy has xx and partner may have Qxx or may be xx and wanting to overruff. Barmar says to play the King and then to partner's Queen or overruff. But there lies the problem : if he has the queen you have now given declarer a ruff and discard.

This and other examples lead to the idea that you never ask for encouragement, but always ask for length. But then you get the problem that you start with K (if playing K for count) from AKTx, dummy has xxx, partner shows odd by count, and declarer's bidding shows probably no shortage so a likely 3. You have to switch, as partner may have the J, but if he has the Queen then you may have lost your chance of 3 tricks. In this instance, it would be nice to lead Ace with an agreement that partner's encouragement quarantees the queen and suggests an underlead.

Is it playable to have this as the only meaning? Or can anyone suggest reliable guidelines for when encouragement requests underlead and when it requests the K?

When I first played "Ace for attitude, King for count" it was with a partner who insisted that attitude was about the Q not a doubleton. If you were hoping partner could ruff the third round you were supposed to lead K rather than A, since partner would discourage on A lead when holding a low doubleton. This potentially solves the problem you are worrying about, but at the expense of opening leader having to make a decision before the opening lead about what he is most likely to need to know. (I'm afraid I can't tell you anything about how well this works in practice since it never really seemed to come up!)
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#17 User is offline   whereagles 

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Posted 2011-July-26, 05:13

There are times where this is a guessing game. It's just not possible to take away the guessing all of the time.
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