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All comments by Phil Clayton
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I'm going off of memory (I don't play it), but in essence you assume that opener has the big balanced. There is a way to unwind the hand types, and pretend like you are responding to 2N. I just do not remember how. A friend of mine, David Wei Chuan wrote up a summary in the bulletin a few years ago under the column that discussed interesting bidding ideas. I played with him once since the article was published but of course it never came up.

2 as an immediate negative works fine. You usually have to show a 2nd negative after a 2 response, anyway. The only real drawback is wrong siding hearts. Frankly I do not have strong feelings about it, and if had a partner that wanted to play 2 automatic or waiting I'd bend.

What I do not like are controls. I have seen so many train wrecks when opener has a balanced hand and responder has shape, extra values and suddenly needs to be captain. Players stopped responding with controls over a strong club years ago, so I do not understand why many still insist on it over 2 now.
Sept. 14, 2012
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There's several playable methods. Your choice should depend on your willingness to trade precision for simplicity.

1. 2 waiting and 2 bust. Probably the most common method in play. You can play Kokish after 2, but it functions differently - 2 is a GF balanced or just spades.

1A. On top of “A”, you can add in the following:

- 2 = balanced 8-10. Gitelman / Moss play this and it clarifies later sequences.
- 2N to 3 are positives and transfers. Opener ‘accepts’ with some level of support, and bidding is streamlined thereafter.

2. My preference is similar to how Rasmus plays above; where a 2N opening is 22-23 and 2 includes a 20-21. All responses except 2 are various negatives catering to the 20-21 hand.
Sept. 14, 2012
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Congratulations to USA. The finish, like so many Ryder Cups, could not have been scripted any better.

Since we are closing the 2012 phase of this “project”, its time to analyze “lessons learned”. The purpose of this isn't to point fingers, but rather to improve the processes so quality of the 2014 and 2016 competitions exceed 2012's.

In reviewing the website for the Buffett Cup, I cannot tell who the point person is for the organization. Patrick Jourdain ran the event in 2010 (he is listed), but there doesn't appear to be anyone in charge for 2012. Was it a volunteer from Omaha? Someone from Berkshire Hathaway? Mr. Buffett himself? I would suggest having a visible and accountable point of contact.

For the contact information, it is useful to provide email addresses. However, I would put the 2012 tournament organizer as a contact for media requests. Its great the Cup made the NY Times on September 7th. What if another media outlet picked up on this story and wanted to run an interview? Maybe Donna can discuss if she had any other requests.

Dale Burrell is listed as the webmaster. Did he understand his role, and the need to update scores on the Buffet Cup website? I would suggest at least providing a link back to Bridge Winners.

Peg and Donna did a nice job on some of the Bulletins and if anyone takes the time to read them, you can see that the Omaha volunteers did a wonderful job hosting the players. However, with Bulletins from the NABC's and WBF competitions, people have come to expect some of the hands from the play, as well as the running score. The Daily Bulletins show the day's schedule, and some pictures, but the Bulletins might well have been prepared in advance.

There are “newsletters” (written by the captains) on the website that do have the results. Why wasn't this information included in the Bulletins?

Once again, Brdgewinners stepped up and provided outstanding video commentary and live scores. This took a lot of work and even though it was done at the last minute, it came together and looked great. Gavin, Chris and some of the players onsite like Joel and Sontag really added a lot of color to the broadcast. I hope this continues for future events.
Sept. 14, 2012
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Well, what a nice surprise! I turn on BW and Gavin and Chris are doing LIVE video commentary of the last segment.

What could have been a frightfully dismal week for vugraph has ended on a very positive note.

I hope we get more of these in the future.

PS: Gavin - try to make the hand diagram larger.
Sept. 13, 2012
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It might be the camera angle, but based on Peg's pictures the vugraph operators are positioned about 10' from the table.

They need to be a lot closer, and their desks need to be higher as well. Otherwise, how can they possibly be expected to see the play?
Sept. 13, 2012
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A few points. Our w/r opponents have unexpectedly gone dark. While they might both be balanced, this points to partner having a non-yarb.

Partner had Qx Qxxx Jxx JTxx. I suppose over 1 partner bids 1N, and you can complete the description with 3. Partner would realize the strength of the QQ and bid game.

I simply bid 3 and partner passed. +200 was an average, since in spades you cannot pick up the AJ on your right, and plenty of pairs played 1.

I do not know what happens if you cuebid. Are the cue bidders raising hearts next? If yes, why is that better than a direct 3?
Sept. 13, 2012
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But in this case we are probably beating 3N on any lead. Furthermore, doubling gives them reason to run if they get squeamish into a better contract possibly making.

The delta between partner finding the right lead against 3N versus maximizing our penalty in a contract already failing doesn't seem close to me.
Sept. 11, 2012
Phil Clayton edited this comment Sept. 11, 2012
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3 sounds like a great way to lose a game swing.
Sept. 10, 2012
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I played in this event and my opponents made the completely obvious 2 overcall and his partner (with the other hand) made the completely obvious raise to 4 over my partner's 4.

After the hand the overcaller said something about ‘their bidding helped us bid our 21 (sic) point game’.
Sept. 10, 2012
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Good discussion.

The only thing I would like to add is that a 4 splinter needs to be slammish, since there is no LTTC available. A working 14 / 5 losers as a minimum seems about right: Qxx AJxxx x AKxx?

If our RHO had opened 1 and our minors were switched, its more playable for 4 to be wider ranging since we could last train with the OP hand and partner could sign off with the above hand type missing a club card.

If I had these agreements, I would bid 4.
Sept. 10, 2012
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In addition to what Henry says, entries to my hand are going to be few and far between since the defense will lock me in dummy at every opportunity with club ruffs.
Sept. 7, 2012
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Easy double.

I'm not that concerned what it asks for other than “don't lead a spade”.
Sept. 7, 2012
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I like 3
I do!! I like 3, Sam-I-am!
And I would bid it with a client!
And I would bid it with a pro…
And I will as the favorite…
And as the 'nderdog…
And in a close match, and one not-so-close…
It is a good bid so good so good you see!
Sept. 6, 2012
Phil Clayton edited this comment Sept. 6, 2012
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How were spades?
Sept. 6, 2012
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Yes, pass is forcing by extension. So Barry is right that partner should double on any hand dreading another call.

Close between 5 and 6 for me.
Sept. 3, 2012
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2 + 1 + 4 + 3 = 10, so we would spades to behave better than hearts would in 6N (: H, Hx / Hxx / HH (any length) on our right). Too lazy to work out the exact calcs, but Suitplay says this works 60.6% of the time.

I make 4 tricks in hearts when the suit is 3-2, or 4-1 on my left and I can also switch back to spades if I see hearts are 4-1 on my right - and pick up all but the HH on my right. In addition, I'll make 13 when hearts are very friendly, which is how the heart declarers will play.
Sept. 3, 2012
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You did the right thing.
Sept. 3, 2012
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Never and always are strong terms. I'd pass with xxxxx QTx QTx Qx.
Sept. 3, 2012
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4 / 5 should be cues for diamonds and 4N is ‘go away’.

Still, I've thought about this hand more and its pretty nice. Opposite Kxxxx plus a spade card, we have a play for 6.
Sept. 3, 2012
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3, unless its non-serious.

I originally asked, “was this a UI case” but deleted the comment.

Sept. 2, 2012
Phil Clayton edited this comment Sept. 3, 2012
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