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All comments by Max Schireson
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If “strong enough” means near average for the event absolutely not. If “strong enough” means comfortably stronger than many that do qualify then yes.
June 2, 2016
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Do you view both the Von Zedtwitz LM pairs and the Nail LM pairs as major events or do you view the Nail LM pairs as being more like the Silodor or Wernher? I had always viewed all the 2 day events as being similar and not as prestigious as any of the 3 day events.
June 2, 2016
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I am happy to reach for platinum pairs, 50 in 3 years will likely mean I need at least one decent overall finish which so far has been beyond my grasp - because I am not yet a good enough bridge player! By all means keep me out of that event until I earn it.

But LM is hard to get excited about. It feels like aspiring to be 48 years old - unless something really surprising happens I will get there this decade but ain't gonna happen this year.
June 2, 2016
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1. Yes, theoretically that could be a benefit, but is there an actual problem with those players entering the Silodor or Wernher open pairs where the rule doesn't exist?
2. No experience outside the US.
3. Re BRP I am living proof that even if you can get quals you don't necessarily belong! I'd just rather get them in stronger fields. I think you can get quals and not belong in an AX regional field. My guess is that most of those quals get used for the mini-blue-ribbon.
June 2, 2016
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Yes that's a good point. You can even get a red ribbon for C on an awful game. My 3rd place was with a partner who had too many masterpoints for B.
June 2, 2016
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Thanks. I can always go back to limited events/low bracket knockouts to get a blue ribbon Q but it seems ironic to do so. Hopefully I will break through in the other events so I won't have to.
June 2, 2016
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Thanks. Senior is a ways off - I view it as a 15 year training process to get read for senior trials - and I am far from fast right now but maybe I should try it (although I think it was at the end so it conflicted with the Swiss). Yes, spring is good… it's the one without life master events!
June 2, 2016
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Joanne I should say congrats to you and your team and sorry for hijacking this comment! You have inspired me in the truest sense.
June 1, 2016
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Yes, I am aware that they start as a round robin. While that might be a better experience for me, I worry that I might influence the results of the round robin; a team that got flat boards in their match against us would be materially disadvantaged. Since the goal of the event is selecting teams to represent the US I don't feel good about disrupting it. More practically, I worry that other teams would resent a team that had no chance potentially disrupting the results.

On a related note I felt awful qualifying for day two of Blue Ribbons with Sontag and Berkowitz 157th, but thankfully they got in on a scoring correction so I am not sure who wound up just below the line and thus don't need to feel guilty about it.. but every time my mistake fixed an opponent I felt badly, what if that was the difference between them qualifying and not?

The women's trial format spared the OSMO team that issue and I think realistically I would be further from the field than they were.
June 1, 2016
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I am a big believer in playing up (national Swisses on a team with 3 non-life-masters, any national pairs event they will let me enter) but have not yet tried the Vanderbilt/Spingold/Reisinger/team trials. I do have some hesitation about screwing up the event for the teams that have a chance but that's really only an issue for the Reisinger, all we would do in a knockout is create a bye for one of the strong teams.

Congrats. Maybe I'll see you at the open trials?
June 1, 2016
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I do think the heart lead stands out, if they bid to slam the chance of a club cashing feels pretty low, and it is very possible the diamonds run for heart pitches. Good chance I can get in with the SK unless they have 12 spades so I may need to set up a heart trick for partner ASAP.

If somehow I bid to 7C (unlikely because I think pard will double 6S) I am not at all confident I would find the squeeze at the table. It is infinitely easier to find it in the car while driving home away from the pressure. I do think that ruffing a heart high before drawing trump looks pretty darned attractive in 7 even if it risks down 2 so I'd expect to make but on a boring line. Not even clear the the squeeze is the better line in 7, both seem very likely to make.

By the way I think the hope of leading a low club is very slim. It works only when pard has Q and the other two are splitting 11, or if pard has a void with a trump and the others are 21, or pard is void and can overruff dummy. The greatest number of layouts are those with pard void, but them having 3 clubs seems a lot to ask for on the bidding. Anyway if pard has a trump they will probably finesse into my spade K so on most of those layouts I am beating them by cashing a club and continuing clubs and hoping to eventually score my trump. Even if I think pard doesn't have a red suit trick I still don't think I want to play a low club, really that would be mostly playing for pard to have the stiff Q and the other clubs breaking 11 with opponents holding 12 trumps.
June 1, 2016
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Jurijs,
This won't be uncontested. Say it goes on
P (1S) 2D (3D)
4D (4S) 5C (P)
5D (5S) 6C (P)
Pard will for sure go back to 6D, thinking maybe you are an extreme 2 suiter. Now after
6D (X) 7C (P) you are already in trouble.
But now your partner has maybe 5 diamonds and 1 club, 7 diamonds seems clear on that bidding, maybe you are
-
-
KQxxxxx
KQxxxx

For example, makes more sense than mixing up a simple overcall.
June 1, 2016
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Well if I had both and passed out with my cards scattered on the table I think the director would still have given me the 12 tricks I got.
May 31, 2016
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Yeah a drink to calm down was definitely in order after that auction. It would have been so much more fun to tell my partner that I'd made an overtrick and beered on a double squeeze than to just have made!
May 31, 2016
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Where is the line between “used to seeing weird bidding sequences” and fielding pshyches or having an implicit agreement that a diamond bid may be on a bunch of clubs? Since you can expect pard to have on average about 1 club, unless the opponents have all 13 diamonds it is going to be very hard to convince pard to go with my second suit.
May 31, 2016
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If no spade fit I would only make the bid if I was willing to rebid 6D over 5S. But I'm guessing.
May 31, 2016
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I don't think they had a specific agreement but presumably to show shape and values and help E evaluate slam possibilities? For me it shows eiher a monster diamond hand or a spade fit.
May 31, 2016
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Hopefully if you haven't heard of a squeeze you will try for 33 hearts at least. Interestingly 7 declarers played in clubs and nobody made 7. Some of them might have gotten spade leads but I would be surprised if I was the only one to get a diamond, perhaps others also were so happy to make they stopped thinking.
May 31, 2016
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I appreciate that logic and agonized over both bids.

In the end I would up deciding that the two most important pieces of information for me were a: whether opponents would bid at the 5 level (no need to sacrifice in 6C if they didn't) and b: whether partner thought we could beat them at the 5 level.

I may have had a trick on defense (maybe they finesse the spade?), and I may not get to hear pards opinion on their chances in 5 if LHO passes but I felt like I would still get a lot of the info I needed by bidding 5C while making a decision to compete to the 6 level harder for them and possibly buying it cheaply.

Or maybe I just couldn't bear not making my 10 card suit trumps?
May 26, 2016
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Hand 1 given the hints one line is to play RHO for JT of spades, if I play a low spade from dummy and drive out the A then I can squeeze RHO in the majors. Don't love it but it has play. I think I have to cash the diamonds and unblock the spades before playing my last club, and I have to have AT of hearts left on the board and the 9 of spades and 2 of hearts in my hand. If RHO pitches a heart then my hearts will be good and of course if I see the last spade honor I can cash my 9. Single dummy I still make on a heart break and I am just giving myself an extra chance when RHO has the spade JT. The last time I saw a transfer squeeze at the table it didn't work for the opponent in my seat so he went down while I made on an easier lead.
May 26, 2016
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