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All comments by Barry Rigal
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Well, Frances, if you look very closely, you will see King Charles' Head silhouetted in the background.
Nov. 16
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I should clarify. One of my colleagues and I have some of the basic pdf conversion tools –these don't work with poorly written/copied documents in a pdf with hand written suit symbols.
I'm guessing to do this job properly you might need to cut and paste each deal onto a separate page and then spend time replacing false symbols.

The deals vary between easy and hard. None like Bernasconi, and remember 80 years ago what we think of as the norm (intra-finesses double squeezes) didn't have identifiers…harder to recognize and classify.

Anyway I'll pass them on.

Barry
Oct. 26
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One of the best articles written in Bridge Magazine was by Bill Pencharz, on what he named ‘overkill’. This is the phenomenon described above where playing back anything but low from four makes partner shift thinking you have an original three-card holding.
He gave other examples too.
Oct. 20
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I would have bid 4 as East. I think a singleton king in the slot equates to a small singleton and doubling 4 will get partner to pass far too often with a hand that includes a doubleton heart where one game or the other is too close for comfort.
Oct. 12
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After a set where I've done badly in a team game if I don't have choice of opponents my partner and I will switch seats.
Oct. 11
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It seems like the root problem here is that the definition of the 1/1 opening (balanced/unbalanced hands) and the raise as 3/4 trumps in those two categories leaves you in a bad place here.
Maybe if you opened all your balanced hands 1 or played 1 -1-2 as four trump you might not have this problem?
I agree that may require a major reorganization of your methods but it might be worth it?
Oct. 8
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I suppose there should come a point (but I'm not holding my breath) when after your mother tells you that ‘Everyone is out of step but our Jock’ that Jock realizes he is the one out of step.
Frankly in bridge terms I'd guess that moment will never come; but I think the arguments listed above can be augmented by adding to them the fact that the 3// calls can be better used especially in a 2/1 basis.
Now having said that and since I don't want to appear entirely negative I could imagine using 1M-2NT as limit+ with or without shortage, especially if 2 was a full relay artificial enquiry.
The Poles appear to get by without Jacoby and using 2NT as limit+. Maybe Ian should get some charitable Poles to explain their methods – maybe Jassem's current books on Polish club do that?
Oct. 8
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It is clearly superior to have some agreement than none.

Agreement number one: 2D for all game tries, 2S+ are slam tries.

Agreement number two: all calls of 2S+ equate to 2D-2H-2S+ but these are game tries not slam tries.

Agreement number three. Play reverse romex tries (step one for short suit somewhere step 2-4 long suit tries in appropriate place/order)

Whether you treat this hand as worth the club short suit game try (which might get you to spades when they are right) or not – ie pass 2 – is up to you.
Oct. 7
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I believe many more have suggested your giving it up.
Oct. 1
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A balancing 1NT because of the three-card heart suit and positional spade stop might have got the pair to 1NT and that might have scored better?
Not all 16-counts are created equal?
Sept. 30
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Right; once you know you can get 500 (or have seen the DF analysis) your mind shifts to looking for that defense. It was that area of the game that interested me; alas, too many people blew the hand by letting the cat out of the bag. It is still a relatively unusual theme even for people like me who toy with occasional DD problems. But had I not seen the statement that 9 tricks were the limit I confess I wouldn't have looked for the winning defense.

(PS the only change to the deal was the vulnerability since at any other vulnerability 5x-2 would be par).
Sept. 29
Barry Rigal edited this comment Sept. 29
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Thanks! That was where I read it. One of the best books written on bridge.
Sept. 16
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This reminded me of the Tony Lederer story where he keeps the rubber alive by spectacular defense. His partner congratulates him on the defense and he says "You've seen my card-holding skills. Wait till the next deal.
Whereupon the opponents bid and make a grand slam.
Sept. 16
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Thank you very much. You know it would never have occurred to me to call a director when a revoke took place but instead I'd expect the players to police themselves.

(Turns sarcasm font off.)

Yes the TD had the facts of the first revoke…After the diamond suit had only 12 cards we got my partner and declarer to count their cards. Both claimed to have 13 but I could see the backs of my partner's cards counted to 13 so I knew he was not the revoker.
Eventually the 13th diamond turned up in declarer's hand, after she had revoked in a second suit and I realized that if we drew the TD's attention to it and he imposed the second penalty there might be a seppuku or at least the player in question wouldn't be able to follow suit for the rest of the afternoon.
(Not that she could before this…)

Since they were playing a 4-2 fit at the two level and one down would have been a shared top the 300 we were already getting was quite enough.
Sept. 14
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The first week of the new penalty we only enforced the first of the two-trick penalties we were due. as expected that got us a top on the deal, plus convincing the TD of what had really happened would have taken too long…
Sept. 14
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Many thanks; there is truly nothing new under the sun. Maybe an example of morphic resonance?
Sept. 13
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(Text edited; I misremembered the play). Here a club back would be into the tenace
Sept. 13
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Lesley Charteris wrote some good short stories involving the Saint, and these was a splendid one involving a confidence trickster who used something like PRC in one of his cons.
His schtick was that he produced a completely bogus explanation of why PRC worked, one that was clearly false though the underlying premise was correct. Does anyone read Charteris any more?

It might be this one? (I quote:

There aren’t many Saint stories that involve mathematical probability questions, but in “The Percentage Player” Charteris makes the Saint challenge Mr. Theocritus Way, who bets on probability puzzles to fleece less-mathematically minded punters. Does Simon have the mathematical knowledge to outsmart a master player of the odds?)
Sept. 10
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Note that in 6 the club suit might offer homes for slow heart losers whether the heart finesse wins or loses. I think but I'm not sure that this makes the finesse rather more attractive in a really strong field.
In my local club I assume making slam is going to be well above average so I play safe.
Sept. 7
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I think that the unethical action is to pass 3 here, since you know partner is playing you for spades and 3S-n is cheaper than 5 doubled-n? You know 3 wont be terrible facing four don't you. Even the 3-3 fit may produce a crossruff?
But had partner alerted 2 you would have bid 4 here as your way to get out in 4. So there is a case for just doing what you would have done anyway?
But here you know partner (who has already demonstrated his unsuitability for high office by forgetting the system) is pretty unlikely to remember you have clubs now and then something really bad is going to happen.
Sept. 7
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