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All comments by Barry Rigal
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When Buchwald was in poor health he was admitted to a hospice but survived much longer than was expected and wrote a series of funny and moving columns.

There are a couple of other humorists (Dave Barry and Jay Leno) who have either written or spoken very movingly about their fathers and death. While not trying to be funny their columns or discussions were some of their best stuff I thought.
3 hours ago
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Obviously the diamond lead is critical in 5 and playing from South preserves your tenace.
But after a top diamond lead when South is declarer, is it ‘obvious’ what to do next? You be the judge.
Feb. 14
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I think our own personal experiences may color our view of who gets more from the transfer breaks.
Over the last 35+ years I've been playing methods espoused by Steve Lodge where opener can show a specified strong doubleton; or he can show an unspecified weak doubleton. Responder only asks if interested.
I'm not convinced opening leader knows so much from this, and surely responder guesses less badly this way quite a fair percentage of the time.
Specifically step one transfer break is codified, the next three steps specific strong doubletons.
Feb. 6
Barry Rigal edited this comment Feb. 6
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My partner was in this slam and received a spade lead.
She elected to test hearts with king and ace then could have combined chances with the top spades and a ruff to fall back on the club finesse. I thought that might have been the best combination shot but didn't give it that much thought.
Jan. 30
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Reverse Romex inverts the Rosenkranz idea of using step one over the raise as ‘unspecified short suit try’. Steps 2-4 are long suit tries. Responses to both to taste. Always make a short-suit try rather than long with a choice since partner can respond more easily without using judgment.
Jan. 28
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I think I had all four of Richard's answers and did not recommend DC for the couch.
Jan. 26
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I had understood that ‘could’ demonstrably and ‘is demonstrably’ are not synonymous.
Jan. 26
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does ‘lick vape’ anagram to Pavlicek? With vicarlike Dr Chap anagramming to Richard Pavlicek?
Jan. 26
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I played against Julian Laderman, who lived/s in the same building as Gene and told me that he invented this story and told it to Gene, who adopted it as his own. Julian was playing with…Gene's widow. I guess I got this story in just in time! I haven't seen Sandy for 2/3 years so quite a coincidence.
Jan. 22
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The late Gene Prosnitz was a fine New York player. I cant find a picture of him on-line but once seen never forgotten.
At some point I remember him saying something to the effect that he was once the best player in the Bronx but now wasn't even the best player in his building. Bobby Levin had moved into his apartment building.
Jan. 21
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I have seen and written about a fair number number (litotes) of false cards in my life and never seen anyone propose the duck with K10x as East. Thank you David; I'm going to pay off to it – if I wouldn't have found it I deserve to lose to it.
Run J at trick two. If it is covered return to hand with Q to finesse in diamonds. If it loses play diamonds from the top to guess spades at trick 12
If it holds play to the 9 and use the heart entry to finesse the K if it loses to the 10.

David: as a percentage maven can you clarify whether the difference in percentages between the two lines proposed in diamonds for three tricks (low to the Q and run J) is larger than the edge you get in spades from leaving the guess to trick 12?

I'd say with no evidence that any show-out in hearts or clubs or even diamonds might turn a 50% play for 4 tricks in spades to 100%. And that would happen…10% of the time?

So that gives me quite a few percent in the bank for delaying the spade play. Therefore unless the expected shot for 3 tricks in diamond for your line is 5% better than running the J initially, I prefer playing on diamonds.
Jan. 21
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Apologies; fixed now and footnote added.
Jan. 20
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When I saw Alan's mail I jumped to the completely wrong conclusion that it was changing the PARTNERSHIPS which would lead to one side beating the other.

eg:

Hamman/Wolff beat Hamman/Zia who beat Zia/Rosenberg who beat Rosenberg/Hamman who beat Hamman/Wolff.

This example is totally spurious (not to mention maybe libelous) but maybe we could find some examples of positive and negative chemistry at the table?
Jan. 16
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Just for the record; I expected south to have a hand like this but with K for his pause (maybe a fifth spade/K10xx). The fact that he really doesn't have much to think about does make his partner's case slightly better!

But does South have enough for a pass with his actual hand?
AKxx/—/AKJxxx/Axx

QJxx/xx/Q98x/Q10x

makes the grand slam but he cant make the grand slam facing a singleton heart and fourth club.
Jan. 15
Barry Rigal edited this comment Jan. 15
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Not quite the same as the other learned discussions above. David Burn might remember a deal I think involving GB Juniors in Plovdiv where GB made 6NT in one room and defeated 3NT in the other. The hand on lead led its long suit against 3NT and cashed out; they didn't against 6NT.


Phil Bailey has some remarkable deals along these lines, but in WC terms Meredith making 3NT in one room against a misdefense from Ellenby and the US (was it Roth?) going down in 1NT in the other was sensational.
Jan. 14
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Given the particular circumstances of this case I'd say 30-40 seconds would not count as slow here. Anything more than that… slow.

And yes the 7 bidder might well have done much better than bid 6. 4, 5 and 6 all seem sensible. I'd expect in abstract no club ace and better D/S for a 6 call.
Jan. 14
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Swinnerton-Dyer would have found a way I'm sure.
Jan. 12
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I don't play this; but I wonder if it works:

Over xx (strong) give up on defending as advancer. If they psyche they deserve to beat you.
I think pass should get partner to bid his minor when he has hearts and xx when he has spades? Now advancer bids 2m pass or correct.
That lets advancer bid 2m natural over xx.
Jan. 12
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My ideas are frequently associated with crocs in one form or another though often there is a ‘k’ in there.

Just for the record I believe in the second example North must follow with the jack on the first trump knowing that against competent declarer play he needs partner to have Q10x of spades to set the game. If he doesn't then South will put in the 10 on the second round playing partner for Kxx. Then when the 10 holds the defense is easy. If declarer does have AJ9xxx he cannot succeed, whatever he does.
Jan. 11
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I do not remember who my partner was but I think I remember my opponents. Young Chelsea c 1985-1990.

1-Pass-2-Pass
Pass-x-Pass-Pass
2NT-Pass-Pass-3
Pass-4-All Pass

Not a great spot but it made.
The auction may be close to unique for only one reason, in that all four players bid spades naturally but one of them (me) might not have had as many spades as one might have expected.
Jan. 11
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