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All comments by Brian Callaghan
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When I first started in my local duplicate there was a partnership of two elderly men which neatly sidestepped the problem.

“I double one heart” was penalties; “double” was takeout.
Jan. 30
Brian Callaghan edited this comment Jan. 30
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System on looks like an OK agreement. It’s not a cure‑all that you can apply to every auction, though. I remember bidding 1NT (without agreement as to its meaning) in an auction that started with the same two bids. Partner gave it mature consideration before passing.
Jan. 27
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The opponents’ convention card gives one‑level responses to 1 as: 1= 4+ hearts; 1=4+ spades; 1=no major 6–9 HCP, some other 10+ HCP, or 5 diamonds GF; 1NT=10–12 HCP.

NS have at least a seven‑card heart fit. Opener would have rebid 1NT 11–14 HCP with fewer than three hearts.
Jan. 16
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That would have been a useful method for this particular hand, but the partnership agreement when the deal came up was that double would just show a diamond suit.
Jan. 16
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In casual partnerships where I play 4 way transfers I don't have any specific agreements. In partnerships with more detailed agreements I don't play 4 way transfers, but do play that bidding shows a stopper, in an effort not to wrong-side a contract in the suit. I voted for both 2NT and 3 showing a stopper, but that is not the way to right-side a club contract. That would require both a direct and delayed 3(after partner's xx) to show a stopper. I'm coming round to bidding immediately showing a fit (3 fit and stopper, and 2NT fit and no stopper).
Dec. 31, 2017
Brian Callaghan edited this comment Dec. 31, 2017
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“Resident polymath”—you’ve let the cat out of the bag there, James. All these years I’ve been thinking that David Burn was just a regular guy like the rest of us.
Dec. 1, 2017
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There is a footnote in the paper that might be significant. It says “One technical detail is that c is generated by assuming that the player who can win more tricks in the contract is the declarer”.

So, if I understand it correctly, the evaluation does not consider right‑siding and wrong‑siding. Could there be a cost to transfer openings that this experiment has not considered? It would be interesting to see if a similar bidding system resulted when accounting for actual side from which a contract is played.
Nov. 25, 2017
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The 12-hour events are usually scheduled to run from about 11am to 11pm. I agree it's practically impossible to fit same-day international travel around this.

It's easier to fit travel around the 24-hour event. (A slightly later start and finish would be better from this perspective.)
Nov. 20, 2017
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There's a case, but there's an admittedly unlikely layout where it would be seriously wrong. Declarer might have KQ doubleton in hearts (as well as a doubleton spade) and dummy three to the ten.
Nov. 19, 2017
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The event ended at eleven. The organisers did not use the clocks going back as an excuse to torture the participants by making them play an extra hour.
Nov. 19, 2017
Brian Callaghan edited this comment Nov. 19, 2017
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I admit I much prefer the 24-hour event.
Nov. 18, 2017
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That seems a very reasonable approach to me. If I were to agree a minimum point‑count for a response, I might pick up some hand, which I hadn’t considered in advance, on which, at the time, I judge my best action is to bid. Then I would have to choose between breaking my agreement or passing when I didn’t think it was in my best interests.

Sometimes a casual partner of mine will pass a hand that I would not have, with the comment that he or she had to because the hand did not contain some number of points. Usually I just roll my eyes and shake my head. But now I’ve tracked down a half‑remembered quote from Emerson that is bound to go down well: “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.”
Oct. 24, 2017
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While I agree that it is logical for “forcing” and “forcing one round” to have distinct meanings, and that “forcing one round” should sensibly guarantee a rebid, I don’t think that is how most understand it. If I agree with a partner that some call is “forcing one round” there is a serious danger that the partnership does not actually have an agreement.

(I prefer “autoforcing” as a term for the caller guaranteeing one subsequent bid, but my suggestions on nomenclature tend not to be well‑received.)
Oct. 10, 2017
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Seems to me that with QJx in particular, when the lead is from dummy to declarer, you should not play the Q.

Reason is you might play the Q from either Q10x or AQx. If you have Q10x, you definitely do not want partner to take the ace and tell declarer what the layout is.
Oct. 9, 2017
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Yes, I play a passed hand 2 over 1 to show a 6‑card suit and a fairly wide point range. (More contentiously, I also do this over a third‑ or fourth‑seat 1 or 1 opening. It's more attractive when playing 4‑card majors.)
Sept. 3, 2017
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My preference is to play × to show a spade suit and tolerance for hearts, so my 2 would say a return to hearts was unwelcome.
Sept. 3, 2017
Brian Callaghan edited this comment Sept. 3, 2017
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I voted for “School”, but that might give the wrong impression. At my school, the pupils were forbidden from playing card games, with the exception of bridge. And only those in the sixth form (around ages 16–18) were allowed to play bridge. The prohibition had little practical effect, and my schoolfriends and I, aged about 14, took part in a regular lunchtime game of solo whist. I don’t remember why our game of choice was solo, but it was good grounding for bridge players because it involved taking tricks, and had rudimentary bidding which included the option of playing in a partnership.

In due course, we switched to the more interesting game of bridge, greatly aided by books on the subject in my father’s collection. I already knew about duplicate, because that is what my father played. (My mother didn’t play, so any bridge in the home didn't involve the whole family.) By the age of 16 or so, I and some of my friends were playing regularly in the local duplicate clubs.

By the time I went to university, I was already a relatively experienced duplicate player, but there I fell amongst better players and realised I wasn’t as experienced as I imagined. The rest is—perhaps I shouldn’t say history, because I’ve heard said that history is bunk—legend.
Aug. 3, 2017
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I've known opponents who treated 4 as always Gerber, but none of them referred to it as Norman Blackwood. Sounds like a conflation of Norman and Blackwood, both 4NT asking bids. (I don't recall ever playing against anyone who used Norman, though.)
Aug. 2, 2017
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I've played 2 this way in one of my partnerships for quite a few years. (It's allowed in some EBUland competitions.) I think I picked up the idea from the Dutch. (It is or was fairly popular in the Netherlands.) I play after 2-2NT, that 3 shows a maximum and 3 a minimum, both with the weak diamond hand. The same treatments after 2-2 and 2-2 make some sense too. I'm afraid I've never gone into any systemic detail about what to do when holding the strong version.

One effect of playing it is that it makes it more attractive to use pass-1-2 as some sort of Drury, since a natural weak 2 by a passed hand is now rarely held. (The same is true if you play weak 2 openings, of course, but you can't do that and play a Multi 2.)

Another effect is that the opponents are much less likely to pre-empt you when you have the rare strong version, because they have to optimize against the common weak version, the popular wisdom being not to pre-empt against a weak bid. (So, I agree with Louis Dekker's comment, earlier.)
June 2, 2017
Brian Callaghan edited this comment June 2, 2017
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It's a very nice construction, David, and to drop the Q under the A as defender is certainly your best chance to get declarer to go wrong, but…

Suppose declarer now cashes a high trump from hand, crosses to dummy with a diamond, and after the A, tries the now-good J. You will have to follow with a low club, and declarer, if not on autopilot, may smell a rat and wonder at this Greek gift. He can change tack and ruff the club winner high, draw the last trump and rely on the diamond suit to break,
May 23, 2017
Brian Callaghan edited this comment May 23, 2017
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