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All comments by Bob Heitzman
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Suggestion: How about a preliminary online individual tournament to determine some or all of the 16 at-large spots?
10 hours ago
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I suppose I might kibitz a few deals, but I'd much rather play in such an event. Also, if I did play I'd prefer to keep my winnings.
March 28
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Unless 2 is some sort of gazzilli variant, there is no good way to describe this hand, so I have to guess. Bidding a non-forcing 2 is not appealing, in part because even if partner doesn't pass it may not help us get to the right spot. 2 is not on my menu so we're down to 2N or 3. 2N is more flexible and more descriptive.
March 28
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To me, this is a clear opening bid, but I guess I can answer the question posed as passing is not off the charts. Why would you not bid at these colors? Not that passing could never work, but imo it is masterminding.
March 26
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I think these reported results can be interpreted in different ways. Ime, most people seem to overrate 5-3 major suit fits vs. notrump, so I'm not that worried about passing opener's 1N rebid when I have a 5-card major as responder.
March 22
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Sounds like you would have won the K/O had you just passed.
March 22
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The textbook meaning is penalty. But I search my memory banks for deals where the penalty interpretation was lucrative, and I come up empty. I can remember lots of deals where a delayed takeout double would have been useful. Conclusion: yet another low-level double that is best played as takeout. Of course takeout doubles can always be converted.

Why didn't I double the first time? Direct seat doubles when partner is an unpassed hand should be sound. So either I'm weaker than I'd like to be or my hand is flawed. A likely flaw is club shortness. 3316 is not possible as I'd have been in there with 2.
March 22
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I'm pretty sure David and Larry were also old-school on this issue.

The given hand was J AQT Kxxxx Qxxx. Bobby, if you switch the minors, were you ever so old-school that you would have opened 1 and rebid 2 with 1=3=4=5?

Just curious. Although I think that would be very bad, I'm sure if and when you did it, it worked out well. That's the way it goes for naturals.
March 21
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My experience is that your best strategy is to pass doubles like this with balanced weak hands rather than pull. However, when the choice is to defend 1N redoubled at imp pairs, the strategy has to be scrapped. Therefore, either play a different system or run initially.

You didn't say what the direct bids would mean. I think it is much better to play system on.
March 21
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Well done Jorge! I believe when the revised history of bridge is written in a decade or two, these seminal online tournaments will be recognized as much more significant than they are now.
March 21
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This might be true if our strain was hearts but ime opponents are often reluctant to save against 3N.
March 19
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If playing with a bot against bots, I will rebid the appropriate number of notrump with 5332, 5422, and probably other shapes–e.g., 5431 with a stiff king. Playing with a human, my Bols bridge tip would be to rebid your suit when you have 5 spades. This includes when the choice is opening 1 or 2N. Hence no need for puppet.

The reason for this is that you usually will have the space to explore both strains and with these very strong hands slam is not far off. Usually, slam bidding is facilitated if you find your fits quickly.

As for second negative, my experience is that this is a useless convention. 2-2-2-3 is “suspect”. It might be a real suit or it might be a waiting bid, perhaps with 4 hearts. Thus 2-2-2-3 implies 5+ hearts.
March 19
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For some of us, this is much more devastating news than that the spring nationals will be canceled, which I'm sure we will hear about shortly.
March 12
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My personal vote would be for 2N to show a stopper in their suit. I realize this is not a popular treatment in today's world, but ime it is the most useful. Good/bad would not occur to me unless discussed, and if discussed I would resist it. I would assume 2N is intended as some kind of scramble if undiscussed.

My first serious partner was a very good theorist who often said that if he ever wrote a book on bridge it would be called “Two Notrump”.
March 12
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With 4-by-3, I usually just look for a place to hide. 3 seems like the best option in that regard. 2n as a scramble is ok I guess if that's what it is. Pass is not in my playbook.
March 10
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Invite conservatively, accept conservatively at mps.

Invite conservatively, accept aggressively white at imps.

Invite aggressively, accept aggressively red at imps.

These are of course generalizations and there are many other factors to take into account, including who the opponents are and the state of the match.
March 10
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Also usually a bad idea when you are void in trumps.
March 10
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Aside from the word “gurantees”, which I'd replace with “implies”, I agree that this agreement is standard and useful when your partner is on the same wavelength. It is one of the exceptions to Benito's Rule (lead your singleton).
March 10
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Btw, imo the 3 call was pitiful, and to make such a call out of tempo is really poor bridge. I would feel much more uncomfortable bidding only 3 with the North hand than passing it with the South hand.
March 10
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I agree the South hand is prime for an 11-count and I would feel uncomfortable passing 3 at the table, but I would certainly think it's a logical alternative. So if partner broke tempo, i'd have to pass.
March 10
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