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All comments by Phil Clayton
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I would bid 4, but many would not so once 4 appears on your mental radar screen as an option, its reasonable to give it a few seconds consideration above and beyond over the skip bid pause.

A tank of 20-30 seconds seems like coffeehousing however, and I would not be happy with an opponent who hitched for a long time and passed, especially if it created damage to my side.

If 4 wouldn't occur to you at all, then passing slowly is very deceitful, although its hard to measure intent.
Oct. 8, 2012
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Doesn't it matter if responder bids 2 or 2?
Oct. 5, 2012
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DONT is slightly less offensive than Ham/Cap.

7N = abstain.
Oct. 4, 2012
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Yes I stand corrected. Edited above.
Oct. 3, 2012
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Edited. Sorry.
Oct. 3, 2012
Phil Clayton edited this comment Oct. 3, 2012
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Interesting. Obviously this depends on your definition of ‘ability’. There are players with 200 MPs that are quite good, just as though there are players with 3,000 MPs that have never counted a hand in their life.

Overall, I would have to say that there is a level that even bad players get to that declares they are competent. Even if you never read a book, took a class, or hung around with good players, you'll just improve by trial and error or osmosis.

I used to think it was 2,000, but with masterpoint inflation it might be 5,000. There's always that some that do not qualify outside of the 95.4% that do :)

I'll lay some long odds on this one however - that A player under 40 with ‘x’ masterpoints is better than B player over 60 with the same number.

Similarly, there might be a ‘platinum factor’ where a certain % of your plat points to the total is directly correlated to skill level and is a reasonable lithmus test.
Oct. 3, 2012
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Don't many of us see a dichotomy in ACBL-land?

Group 1 constitute the vast majority and play in club games. They might support the local sectional, but will go to regionals simply to obtain their gold points. When they do come to a NABC, its to play in bracketed KO's with their friends and the trip isn't always about the bridge. Some of these players are quite good, and many have amassed a lot of points. Most of them are not that experienced but still greatly enjoy the game. As an aside, I think this group is more tolerant about ethical breaches and things like table talk than the 2nd group. This group is largely intimidated by weird treatments and prefer to play in GCC events.

Group 2 is a minority, and I would expect most on Bridgewinners qualify. They take the game more seriously, and their focus is on NABC's and maybe certain events at regionals. They are more open minded to new treatments, but they have little tolerance for poor ethics.

When the two groups come into contact, there can be conflicts. Group 1 hates playing against the ‘sharks’ and will occasionally propose things like barring professional players from events or at least requiring registration. They are also resistant to systemic ideas that Group 2 likes and will want to limit treatments they view as being hard to play against.

There's no reason that these two entities can't peacefully co-exist. In club games, sectionals and KO's with less than 2,000 MPs per person, make all games GCC based, or even more restrictive like Tim Goodwin suggests.

In all other games, including all NABCs that are not limited by masterpoints, make the mid-chart broader, but most of all make the approval of new treatments easier. I'm not sure I would advocate an ‘anything-goes’ approach because if I'm playing against the Gogarty 2 opening showing a spade prrempt or a 20+ 4441 short in spades, I'd want to know about it through the online registry and discuss a suggested defense with my partner before I go and play in an important event.
Oct. 3, 2012
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Stopping short of game is taking a big view. LHO passed the double and RHO has stopped bidding, so I do not expect partner to have a yarb and three hearts.

4 shows this hand type. Five trump, a lot of playing strength, but the overall sense that slam is an underdog. I expect game to be anywhere from a mild underdog to frigid, although its awkward for partner to make a positive move over 4. For slam to be right, partner would need short or great spades and there doesn't seem to be any way to figure that out.
Oct. 3, 2012
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Hi Jan:

Thanks for checking in on this. You say,

“I'd also like to point out that there is a relevant difference between an opening transfer and a transfer response - the transfer response happens after our side has shown an opening bid and at least one player from the other side has passed, so it is really quite likely that the hand belongs to us”.

'Quite likely' is a big overbid. Pairs that play Transfer Walsh (and variants) normally respond to 1 on very weak hands (and this is seldom pre-disclosed), because 1 is usually short, and responder knows that opener won't hang responder. Our 1N rebid after 1 - 1 (or 1) was 17+ - 19, we had a way to show a powerhouse hand with a fit below 3M, and even reverses aren't 100% forcing in the traditional sense.

Bidding 1 over 1 is expected with hands like xxxxx xxx xxx xx or Qxxx xxx xxxx xx. While 1 isn't forcing, per se, in practice responder passes maybe one time in 200.

With a transfer opening like TOSR or MOSCITO, it is true that 1 and 1 are limited to 15-16 (as I understand), but responder hasn't been defined yet either. Therefore, I would characterize a transfer response after 1 to be ‘slightly’ more likely that the hand belongs to the opening side.
Oct. 2, 2012
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Paul, I disagree with this. I think the BOD is (mostly) made up volunteers who have passed through the ranks and realize they do not have the experience to determine whether or not a certain treatment should be legal, much less figure out if a defense has merit. Even the top directors give a lot of deference to C and C. Maybe too much.

There's a very easy way to get something approved for midchart. Just get Meckwell to agree to play it. :)

Oct. 1, 2012
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* * unless specifically listed below, methods are disallowed * *
Sept. 27, 2012
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We have a cramped auction so 3 can show a litany of hands, although some agreements about what types of hands a direct 3 shows helps here. In addition, 3 is also ill-defined, although I would expect it to exclude hands with a heart stop, hands with a 5th spade and extras, or hands with a side 5 card minor.

If I bid 4, what kinds of hands does partner need to move beyond 4? Or is 4 simply a choice-of-games cue with a big 3244 for instance?

At the table, I'd content myself with 4. we can talk about the nuances at the bar later.

Sept. 27, 2012
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If LHO has Q2 (or longer), I was always down (and still am).

If LHO has 92 I need to ruff with the J, enter dummy with a club, and squash the 9.

If LHO has 962, I need to ruff with the 8 and do not care what happens next. If LHO has 62, ruffing with the 8 also works.

Therefore, ruffing with the 8 looks best.

Side note: If LHO had followed with the 6, would it change things?

Sept. 27, 2012
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Disgusting problem. This hand wants to play in a suit, and K8xx and stiff A scream for going low.

2 but I'm not really happy about it, since a club fit and a side king give us 9 in NT.
Sept. 27, 2012
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In spite of its positional advantage, I am strongly opposed to 2N.

LHO will have long diamonds or a 15-17 NT, both of which look bad for us to make 2N on power, since we have no obvious trick source and its quite possible we have to knock out at least two cards. While the major suit hooks rate to work, our hand looks a little slow. I also doubt RHO is messing around too much at these colors, so partner rates to be on the light side.

We have two major suits which partner based their double on. With a 15-17, LHO is selling out to 2M, and with long diamonds, LHO is probably re-raising. I don't think this is a Vondracek hand and I do not want a spade lead, so 2 for me.
Sept. 27, 2012
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Exactly. The Laws of Duplicate Bridge take about 90 minutes to read, and even though it is a dry read I don't why someone wouldn't take the time to read them. However, most laws are mechanical in nature, and any competent director knows what to do with penalty cards, revokes, POOTs and BOOTs.

The Casebooks are far more interesting, and more important to understand if you are a serious player.
Sept. 26, 2012
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Can I transfer to clubs and bid 4 to show a 5-6?
Sept. 25, 2012
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I think its standard that the discard of the J simply shows the T, probably the 9, and denies the Q. It is neutral as far as the A and/or K is concerned.

I, (like many) play the lead of a T and 9 after trick one to show 0 or 2 higher, along with J denies. This is especially useful leading through declarer with the Q in dummy.

I have experimented with one partner where a J/T/9 discard also “denies / shows 0 or 2 higher”, but I don't have a large enough data set to conclusively say this if this is a good idea or not.
Sept. 24, 2012
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Even if I were playing 3 as an invite, I would still bid 2.
Sept. 23, 2012
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I hope this thread doesn't degenerate into the sins of Smith echo. Anyone experienced is familiar with the ethical issues of this method, and don't need to be reminded about it.

We play Smith by 3rd seat to strictly clarify the holding in the original suit. It does not impart any interest or tolerance in another suit.

By opening leader, I think its more sensible to play a non-Smith as “not only did I not like my lead, but there's another suit I want you to switch to”. A positive Smith would be neutral toward the opening led suit but would indicate there isn't a desirable switch.

As far as the actual question, I'll punt since I would rather see the actual hand. I also think form of scoring is relevant.
Sept. 22, 2012
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