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All comments by Christopher Monsour
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I seem to recall there wasn't a lot of support. I'm an amateur who plays on pairs and teams with other amateurs but who would never want to play in an amateur event. I have precious little time to devote to bridge; I want to play against good competition when I play. Every time in the last 10 years that I have been talked into playing in an event where the entry was in some way limited, I have regretted it as a poor use of my time. I suspect enough others feel the same way that an “amateur” event would be the functional equivalent of a masterpoint-limited event. And we already have those.
May 8, 2016
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In fact, I suspect that lowers the odds of pinning the 8, since I think East is going to want to “waste the 4” to discourage more often than he'd want to waste it to encourage, but I realize we probably don't agree about that.
May 8, 2016
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You're right. I missed that.
May 7, 2016
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If you can't use the transfer openings, why isn't 2 weak a consideration?
May 7, 2016
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I should add that if you always pause at trick 1, you should have an easy time playing a random spot from QJ42 here, if that's your strategy (a reasonable strategy given partner is unlikely to be on lead for a while). It isn't *that* hard to work out that you can afford the 4, compared to the time you may need to plan the defense.
May 7, 2016
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Damn, yet another reason to play transfers…You really can just alert everything and not worry about these petty silly arguments.
May 7, 2016
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You said these guys were playing standard signals, though, so maybe they are among those who just assume that signalling with a 4 will be always be safe (and evidently against the declarer in question, they might be more than a bit correct).
May 7, 2016
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It's certainly legal in all ACBL competitions and always has been. (The only natural calls the ACBL prohibits are one-level opening bids on fewer than 8 HCP.) I'm not aware of anywhere that has made it illegal.

So I'm not sure how much of a question there is. What you are saying is like saying “the question is whether it's legal to agree to open one notrump with 15-17 balanced.”
May 7, 2016
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While it's off-topic for the subject header, it's important to refute these ridiculous claims that bidding a five-card major in response to a Precision 1 opening is a psych, much less a risk-free psych. Many experts would respond 1 to a standard 1 with the example hand of J10xxx xxx xxx xx. Not only is this not an illegal agreement, it's not even unusual enough to require an alert. In response to a Precision 1, it's MORE important to respond with that hand, because diamonds are more likely to be a ridiculous trump suit, especially as opener in many partnerships may have only 1 or 2 diamonds, and he's certainly more likely to have only 3 diamonds in a standard partnership.

I think the idea that whether you pass or bid with a weak hand in response to partner's non-forcing opening is directly related to your odds of improving the contract falls under “general bridge knowledge”. Responding 1 to a Precision 1 on J10xxx xxx xxx xx (or J10xxx xxx xx xxx, where doing so moves from optional to obvious territory…indeed the main reason to pass with this hand would be to hope the opponents will have difficulty reopening when they both have diamond length–so in that sense 1 is less misleading than pass) is normal, as is passing a Precision 1 opening with xx xxx KJxx Qxxx (and it's borderline with xx xxx KJxx QJxx).

The interesting question is whether responding to 1 in a three-card major is a psych or a deviation. For example, 1 on xxx QJ10 xxx xxxx. It both indicates a lead and gets to a 7+-card trump fit, where as diamonds might have been 3-2. It only deviates by one card from what was promised. And its primary purpose is not to fool the opponents, but to avoid getting overboard with a 1NT response or languishing in a silly 1. Yes, you might end up in 3 on a bad day; everything has risks.
May 7, 2016
Christopher Monsour edited this comment May 7, 2016
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I think you missed an application of Restricted Choice:

On page 5, assuming 4-2 hearts, leading the 9 from dummy in the hopes of smothering the 8 is less than a 50% chance–assuming East would not have sacrificed a trick from QJ82 or QJ84, and would have signaled from QJ42…but that you're not sure what is signal would have been. QJ82, QJ84, and QJ42 were equally likely initially; obviously QJ84 is now ruled out, but, if the signal is random, so is the 50% of the time with QJ42 that he would have played the 4. In that case the chance of smothering the 8 is 33%.

Obviously, if you *know* East would discourage hearts, it's a 50% chance to smother the 8. Also, if you *know* he would encourage hearts, it's a 0% chance to smother the 8 (since West's holding must be 104 in that case).

I would tend to think your chances are better than 33% here. Whether East should encourage from QJ42 depends a lot on his holdings in other suits, and there are a lot of minor-suit honor combinations where he would welcome a shift, and a heart continuation is not entirely safe in that it essentially gifts declarer an extra dummy entry to play through his hearts. So maybe smothering the 8 is a 40% chance or even a 45% chance. It's not a 50% chance. After all, some opponents may be playing suit preference rather than attitude when this dummy comes down on this lead, or may prefer to give you an extra entry to play the suit where you know the honor holdings rather than help you play other suits (when the minor-suit holdings are not appealing). Or they may be playing obvious shift, and encouraging hearts is the only way to get a diamond led toward a possible AJxx. Or they may be false-carding (or signalling randomly) if they think the signal will help declarer more than it will help partner.
May 7, 2016
Christopher Monsour edited this comment May 7, 2016
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Bobby,

Just to be sure I understand, do you limit your notion of convention disruption to situations where both the agreed meaning and the intended meaning are weak?
May 6, 2016
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BBQ sauce will hopefully be more appropriate…
May 6, 2016
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Rubin's comment reminds me of the exchange from _The Lion in Winter_. Henry II of England (to Philip II of France): “Your father always said ‘Be fond of stronger men’”. Philip: “No wonder he loved everyone.”
May 4, 2016
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Yes, that's what I just said. :)
May 4, 2016
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I disagree, Ian. In the first two seats, when vulnerable, at IMPs or rubber, I'd certainly be more tempted to open that hand 1♣, when playing 12-14 NT, than to open it 1NT when playing 15-17. After all, the preemptive value of 1NT is small in those situations, but partner might want to go slamming and we could easily miss a good 6♣ (or, heck, a 5♣ that is better than 3NT, or a 4-3 4M that is better than 3NT) if I open 1NT. Sometimes you have to resolve borderline cases in favor of not suppressing the most salient feature of your hand.
May 4, 2016
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Moved comment to correct position
May 4, 2016
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You can avoid looking at your partner from the time he pulls his cards out of the board until the hand is over.
May 4, 2016
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I think you misread my post.
May 4, 2016
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Bobby,

Can you let us know what precisely you mean by convention disruption? Are non-conventional bids privileged? For example, if someone bids 2 over a 1 opening on his right, and the agreement is weak jump overcalls but he forgot and had a strong jump overcall, is that convention disruption? If someone responds 2 to 1NT and the agreement is natural but he forgot and meant it as Stayman, is that convention disruption? If someone bids 4NT in a non-fit auction and he meant it as Blackwood but the agreement was natural, is that convention disruption?
May 4, 2016
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Good point. I was actually thinking (not that I stated it clearly) of what contract your teammates would get to at the other table (with other systems possibly in play), but–assuming down 2 or 3 in 1NT–that's only relevant to an IMP margin, not to matchpoints or BaM (unless they do bid and make game).
May 4, 2016
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