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All comments by Brian Callaghan
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I play it similar to the way Frances does. It shows a minimum, so it's not a slam try at all, just leaving room for responder to investigate if still interested (referred to in my notes as “milk train” because it comes first instead of last).
April 16
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You never have to agree to disagree.
March 24
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Well done!
March 17
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Well done!
March 17
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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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