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All comments by Mike Cassel
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Jeff, the sequence in question does need to be addressed by new partnerships. If the immediate 2N shows the invitational hand with 4 clubs, then responder's sequence to sign off in clubs has to be a jump to 3 or a twist that an xyz 2 followed by 3 is a signoff. Both of these sequences are more problematic in my mind.

When 2N is a relay to 3 for signoff you can also get creative with further bids by responder: 5 of my major, 4 of your minor + low & high singletons with slam interest. And 4 of my major, 5 of your minor + low & high singletons with slam interest. The useful space aspect of the 2N relay is USEFUL!

In my XYZ partnerships we also change the meaning of responder jumps to the 3 level. In particular, responder's jump rebid of their major is not forcing but shows a “pure” invitational hand. Jumps to 3M after going through the 2 relay show 6 card suits with scattered highly invitational values. A rebid of the major at the two level can be a 5 or 6 card suit. If 6 the hand is less promising. I'm aware this is quite nonstandard, but I contend that there are far more sequences where level and strain are more important than declaring your single-suited slam interest. And it is a coup when you are playing at the 2 level when everyone else has relayed and jumped to 3 of their major opposite a an ill-fitting minimum opener.
May 1, 2014
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I prefer the only invitation to 2N to start with 2. If I had a weak 4card major and 6 diamonds I probably would try my luck in 2M with a 4-3 fit rather than take my chances in 3 if partner breaks the relay.
Isn't one reason for the break that opener either has good 3 card support or no interest in a diamond partial?
May 1, 2014
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this is a question for pairs who play XYZ. A jump to the 3 level in a new suit is almost universally played as a strong jump shift. responder's rebid of 2, a relay to 2 starts a diamond signoff or an invitational hand.

I don't think this diamond suit and overall hand texture warrants a venture to the 3 level with no known fit.
May 1, 2014
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for Barry
The permutations of more than 3 responses are daunting. Given that South did not pass North's 2 call I was interested in the community's views only on continuations. Had I been South holding KQ97 I would have rebid 3 over the 2 relay.

I'm seeking input on who breaks the 2 relay, why & when. Also , whether any call by South over North's 2 is forcing, particularly black suit rebids. I would assume South's 2N is definitely not forcing.

I think you meant 2 over 2 shows the 4=3=1=5. I'm sure some South's might choose a 1N rebid but that is not our style. How do you find a 4-4 spade fit if North has a weakish 4=5=?-?
May 1, 2014
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Bid box looks strange. EW were silent
1 1, 1 2,2 2, 2 P was our auction
May 1, 2014
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harsh… i believe that most critics of stolen bid doubles are referring to analogs for transfers, doubling 2 of a red suit, not doubling 2 which is almost universally played as stayman.

i think a case could be made that one of the worst agreements is the lack of agreement on proceeding after your stayman bid is doubled. If you can't determine if the partnership has a club stopper or who the declarer should be you are propelled into a guessing game.
April 23, 2014
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As a formerly frequent forcing club player I loved it when the opps doubled a forcing club for majors. We then get 3 bids: pass, XX, & 1 to describe our hcp range. The double takes no space away from the auction.
The only time I will double a forcing club is with an opening hand that is exactly 4=4 in majors where I will have difficulty competing over opener's 1N rebid after a negative (1) reply.

Until I see a non-memory intensive followup to Namyats that allows responder to probe separately for side King(s) and shortness, and can ask about opener's trump solidity, etc at a safe level I will not play the convention. That people open Namyats with a side suit of xxx just asks for trouble. I recently read that someone uses 3N & 4C for Namyats. Maybe the 2under preempt, with it's second available asking step can be a winner.
April 21, 2014
Mike Cassel edited this comment April 21, 2014
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i tell my students that given the choice between playing Smith or playing Lebensohl, not that i ever have to make the choice, i would choose Smith. It comes up far more often than when opps interfere over our NT openings.

It allows for more kinds of opening leads that may hit paydirt, and as long as the partnership takes care to plan their signals at trick 1, so they aren't hesitating re. their signal at T2, it's extremely useful.

One added benefit of Smith: you no longer need to give the opps info re. your opening leads vis a vis coded Ts and 9s including the J denies gift to the declarer. Your Smith will clarify if your lead is a top of nothing or top of an interior sequence
April 21, 2014
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I have a partner. How many bidders pass if the heart suit is AJ8642? How many passers bid if the heart suit is AQJ642?
April 21, 2014
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I find it hard to believe that a partnership with 20K masterpoints doesn't employ lead directing advances (3 over 3) and more specific understandings of the double of the 4 cuebid (lead inhibiting or sacrifice-encouraging). Were these good players but only casual partners?
I have an issue with the characterization that the hesitation clearly encourages sacrificing (selection 1) so couldn't vote for it.
April 21, 2014
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If you bid 4.5 your partner, if they held 2 Aces, could move forward
April 18, 2014
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In my xfr advance structure 2 promises a constructive raise or better. When followed by 3 it promises a 3 card LR with a ruffing value. This hand is a bit strong for this sequence.

The hand would be an ideal XX promising no fit and at least 4 cards in 2 unbid suits a la Ed Manfield's “I've Got a Secret” redouble structure were it not for your hearts. After your LHO's spade response and a non double action by partner your 3 jump would come close to your values, but the stiff spade would lead me to cuebid, then raise hearts.

Therefore, I would upgrade this holding, transfer to diamonds with 2 and then jump to 3 or cuebid 3 if my LHO was cheeky enough to bid 2.

If my clubs were KJxx or KT9x I would lie and jump to 2N which is supposed to have a 4th heart.
April 14, 2014
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If I had a hand where I wanted to play 5 I would have wanted to play 3N if partner had a diamond stopper, so I would not have started with a double. If you lack support for major(s) and intend to bid 5 why not just up and bid it?

5 bidders are assuming that the 4 advance includes the A which is an assumption I'm not comfortable making opposite a bounce.

Qxxxxx xx x KJxx
You wouldn't gamble out 4 with this 6-4 hand?

I have a lot of sympathy for pass, but feel I must make a try. There are hands where partner cannot cuebid diamonds but has a control.

April 10, 2014
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I agree with Ellis re. day 1 Dallas dilution. In general I like the idea of a secondary 10K event that starts on Day 2 of a National event. Aspiring players who don't make the finals of the Imp Pairs or day 2 of the Platinum in the Spring… why not a 2 day 10K Pair event.
I don't think the Reisinger should be diluted. I like the concurrent start of the NA Swiss with a 10K Swiss to start on Saturday.
While it's true that the top 3 finishers in this year's 10K Swiss were pro teams is that a “large number” when 36 teams were competing? I see no way around this kind of professionalism tho I'm not a big fan of it.

Flighting is a fact of life and I am glad to be a part of a field where I have a fighting chance (10K events). The 10K Swiss is NOT a grass roots event. I'm all in favor of a new grass roots team event requiring club qualification that is a 10K event.

When a weeklong national KO competition is populated top to bottom with accomplished foreign players I think it is facetious to claim a 10K KO dilutes it. We may be elite players in the top 1/2 of 1% of MP holders but we are not going to make day 2 of the Vandy or Swiss without a ton of luck. Most of the elite squads are not my peers. I want to excel in competition against my peers.

The popularity of bracketed KOs would seem to lend support to the notion that many tournament players feel similarly.


April 8, 2014
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deleted
April 8, 2014
Mike Cassel edited this comment April 8, 2014
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12 of 14 pairs played in hearts. Both leads against 3N were the 5 (4th best). I inadvertently missed the spot. We were defending 4.
Neither of the NT defender-leaders were experienced players and I suspect they were thinking “longest” rather than “strongest”.
April 4, 2014
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lots of smoke and no evidence of fire.. when you get pulled over on the highway by ‘Smokey’ it's “yes sir, or yes ma'am” “whatever you say”. if it's not fair you can sort it out later with a magistrate, but you don't ignore the directive.
it's just that simple to me. make the ecig disappear and none of this would ever have happened.

David Yates' comment re declining NABC attendance deserves it's own thread. I, for one, would like to see the table count for these NABCs separated by I/N tables, NABC+ tables, & other tables. We need to bring newer players to the national venues. Are we doing so?
April 1, 2014
Mike Cassel edited this comment April 1, 2014
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Mad Hatter for American breakast: Humpty Dumpty
3 eggs any style, hash browns, toast or biscuit: $5
they did my poached eggs (no grease) perfectly
5' walk down the trolley track around the corner from the Subway
March 22, 2014
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if you pass and partner cuebids 3 are you counting on him for a full, half, or no heart stopper? With Steve's hand I think the target is likely to be 3N and I want to move forward with 2. If partner bids 3 now what do you do? It doesn't sound like partner is aiming for 3N. Mark time with 3, raise clubs with your good cover cards, make an ambiguous? 3 call?
I think if you pass with a pretty strong ‘weak notrump’ you are not as well placed for the next round. Pass with nothing to say: bare minimum opening.
March 19, 2014
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Cliff, we are in a force. Without a desire to penalize the transgressor the opener can pass and the 2 responder can bid spades his or herself.
March 18, 2014
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