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All comments by Randy Thompson
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Actuaries are seldom wrong about group life expectancies and I think you are right about the aging of the ACBL. Not sure what we can do about it though, other than youth programs that are already being tried. Changing the board of directors or CEO isn't going to change our demographics.
Feb. 14, 2015
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I have never yet bid over my partner's 3N in this auction and I would expect to never do so in this lifetime unless I could raise 3N to 4N or 6N or bid a suit slam on my own. If I DID bid, I doubt seriously if he would take 4 as anything other than a transfer. Partner may have 7 solid in a minor and the A and perhaps a Qx in another suit. Why would I presume that my spades were better than his minor suit or that he has more than Q or Jx in spades for me?
Feb. 13, 2015
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5 won't be exclusion RKC later. It's now or never for most of us.

The notion that 3 “should” be forcing is unsettling. I'd rather just bid 6 now than take ANY risk of getting passed in 3!

Not safe at the 5 level? Really? It must be terrifying to get out of bed in the morning if you worry about that on this hand! You can doodle up hands that go down in 5 if you work at it long enough, but at least 98% of real life hands that bid 2 here will be plenty safe in 5. I worry more about missing a grand than going down in 5. I won't be bidding a grand, so maybe I should just bid 6, but partner MIGHT have something like xx Qxxxxx Qx AQx and bid this way. I consider 5 to be a “belt and suspenders” exercise of caution to stop in 5 if partner has one of those hands. At least 80% of the time partner will have two-honors-fifth in hearts and almost all of the rest of the time he'll have one-honor sixth (given the conservative weak-two conditions of contest).
Feb. 12, 2015
Randy Thompson edited this comment Feb. 12, 2015
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If I know the answer and if the person asking isn't in the middle of a live auction or live defense where he can be giving his partner UI, and if this was his first such question of this match, I'd answer, whether required to so so or not. If in a live hand or if he kept asking time and again? I'd say “not sure,” and move on.
Feb. 8, 2015
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Who's my partner and what system are we playing? Playing Precision (where we may only have a 8 card diamond fit) with my extremely aggressive partner, this is an easy 1 response; playing 2/1 with my extremely conservative partner, this is an easy 2 response (given the conditions of contest of not losing the spade suit with the 2 response). If we for sure have an 10 card diamond fit and partner for sure has an “opener” then forcing game seems right, because we won't sell out short of 5 anyway.
Feb. 6, 2015
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My partner and I play ASTRO cue bids over 1M (opening hand, 5+ clubs and 4 of OM). We alert them because everyone assumes it's Guessing Michaels. We don't explain unless asked, and one guy, much too wise to ask, wound up declaring a contract in clubs because he thought I had diamonds and the other major. Whether you are supposed to alert or not, it seems to me the ethical thing to do when you KNOW that 95% of the opponents won't look at your card and will think it's Guessing Michaels like everyone else plays.
Feb. 6, 2015
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Hmm, I thought it was going to be a split between 1 and pass and thought the answer was clear – bid 1. I prefer all of the heart openings to pass. I wish my opponents would pass hands like this one, but they never do. In third seat, I think 4 stands out as the best choice and 2 and 3 each rate to work better than 1. In first or second seat, 2 or 3 could work – if we don't miss a club game/slam. 2 might let us bid our clubs later after someone bids spades or RHO doubles. The old adage that “A preemptor never bids again” only applies to ancient preempts that actually described a hand within a tight range of possibilities. No preempt here would describe THIS hand well and if you preempt with it, you should be planning to bid clubs later (IMO).
Feb. 6, 2015
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Sorry to hear that. He seemed very healthy when he played in the Albuquerque Regional a couple of weeks ago. He was very pleasant as his team kicked my team's butt in a couple of KO events.
Feb. 6, 2015
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Maybe it's wrong, but my KS partner and I announce our 1N rebid after a 1m opener as “15-17.” No one has ever objected. Maybe we should be alerting instead. We DO alert rebids of 2M after 1m-1M, 2M and explain when asked that it shows 4 card support and 15-17 in support of M and 3M and explain “18-19 in support of M.” We also alert 4M there as “20+ in support, counting some useful doubleton in a flat 19 count.” (No splinter and 3M would show 18-19, so that's the only hand that rebids 4M).
Feb. 4, 2015
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We pass many flat hands others would open, based on looking for 12 HCP, 2+ Quick Tricks and 7 or fewer Losing Tricks. A hand that flunks two of those three requirements isn't an opener (except that 13 HCP forgives all other flaws), and one requirement can only be missing if there is a good reason. This hand has only 6 losing tricks, has two rock-solid quick tricks in the suit opened, has all of its points in the long suits and awesome spot cards. It has the offense of a good opening bid if we find a fit in a round suit. It has two sources of tricks if partner insists on no trump. I think it's a losing style to pass and hope to show this hand later.
Feb. 4, 2015
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My 6 answer was automatic based on methods where this auction by responder is a mild slam try. With 5-5 or better in the majors, responder can transfer to 3 and rebid 3 to show LOTS of slam interest (will bid on over 4M) or NO slam interest (will pass 4M). With the in between hand, looking for magic (such as the one given here), transfer to spades and rebid 4. One-suited slam tries always start with a bid of 4X over 2N (4 = hearts, 4 = spades, 4 = clubs, 4 = diamonds). Even with no such agreements, 6 is a reasonable gamble.
Feb. 4, 2015
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Never EVER correct or raise a leap to 6 of a suit. Period. End of story. If this is wrong, it's on partner; if we mess it up, it's on us. It is insulting to partner to even hesitate before passing.
Feb. 4, 2015
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So far, you and I are the only ones who see it this way. :)
Feb. 1, 2015
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Why turn +140 into -100 – or even -200?
Jan. 31, 2015
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There is a difference between first and second seat. I'm much more likely to have a side four card major in a first seat weak two than in a second seat weak two. The chances that you are preempting partner go way up when RHO passes.

It also matters how strong your hand is in support of the major suit held. With GF in support (12+ support points), I usually pass or open it one instead of two.

In third seat, I love having a 5 card spade suit in a 2 opener – easy to rebid over double or 2 by either opponent and it means they will often lack the spade support most like to have for doubles in either seat. And, in a KO match, it can get inside the heads of opponents and make them worry about what you have even for your more disciplined auctions.
Jan. 31, 2015
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I can see how 5 (my choice) could be best.
I can see how 4N could be best (unless pard responds keycards).
I can see how double could be best.
Pass? Not me.

I wouldn't mind if partner held this hand and was wrong to bid 5 or 4N or if he belted 4 and ate it, but Pass is betting that (1) they are making 4 (mildly unlikely) and (2) we are going down TWO in 5 or 5m (impossible). I think this is a buy-it-or-belt-it hand. 60% bid SOMEthing here.
Jan. 29, 2015
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1100 last hand. 200 this hand. We are on the way to a win. BTW, for those who think Drury forgives all 3d seat sins, what is the Drury answer to the question of whether partner has a joke or an opener here?
Jan. 29, 2015
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Undiscussed, it's obviously a “Wonder Bid.” (I wonder if he has long or short spades). Don't laugh –this was a method actually tried against big club openers in the 1970's, where an overcall was either length in that suit or three-suited with shortness in that suit. It didn't work all that well (go figure) so it never caught on.

Actually, undiscussed, it should be a raise to 3N with short spades or else a plea for help from the partnership desk, or both.
Jan. 29, 2015
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2 is the hardest weak two to defend against because doubles without both majors are dangerous. Flannery 2 is MUCH harder to defend against but in events where you can't open Multi, the cost is too high.
Jan. 29, 2015
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With that shape as responder, I would have bid 2 (cheapest unbid minor) instead of 1. Partners always get excited when you bid a 3-card major; they have room to blow off steam if you bid the Red-headed Step child of suits (clubs). If going to abuse a suit, NEVER make it the unbid major. Of course, I'd have wound up in 6 on this hand, but reverse doubler's minor and that level you “saved” by bidding 1 instead of 2 would vanish in a puff of smoke as you have to field cue after cue. Note that if you bid 2 over 2 after having responded, then partner might realize you have something like this. I was a 4 bidder in the problem given, but the weakness of the method stipulated would be apparent when a bid of 2 over the 2 cue bid shows nothing about shape. If you have responded 2 and aren't weighed down by the method, then 2 would show a 3-card suit and imply the hand you have. If bothering to bid a 3-card major, then in the absence of more club bidding, this hand becomes possible.
Jan. 28, 2015
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