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All comments by Randy Thompson
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Okay, so we have opinions here that pass is suggested by the UI and opinions that 5 is suggested by the UI. Perfect! In order to know what we “must” do, we need to know which will work out worst, as that will be the choice we “must” make in today's environment. Assume partner had alerted and passed your 3N and had given the “gambling” explanation. Is there a clear bid here? That is the one you should make. Uh, what if there is no clear bid? Am I allowed to think about what I “must” do or will that huddle give partner UI? If we pass (fast or slow), there is no chance partner will also pass if he thinks we have 25-27, our pass is forcing, so can we pull 4 doubled to 5 or must we eat the double with overtricks. I think this auction where I have what I said I had belongs to pard and I'll pass now and pass again when partner goes into the Valley of Death with a double. If he does anything else, I can likely afford to bid 5 and go for 300 or 500. Hopefully, eating 4 doubled with an overtrick or two will be enough of a disaster to satisfy the bridge lawyers amongst us.
April 16
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Got this problem on a napkin at dinner in Memphis. Flunked it. :)
April 10
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How about Grand LM Rush national events?
April 10
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Poker that isn't for money isn't poker. Back in law school, a guy who claimed to have put himself through Stanford undergrad playing table stakes poker refused to play in our nickel-dime-quarter game. His reason? He said, “That's not poker; I'd pay a nickel to see chickens ****. It became an idiom in our game, when making a loose call, to announce, ”Bring on the chickens!“ Poker, with bridge, chess and go, are the great intellectual warfare games (of our time anyway), but it's a lot easier to avoid having as many tells when the stakes mean nothing. It's the stress of having money that is serious (to you, not in an abstract sense), riding on it that makes poker what it is – a game of reading and being read. I found out early on that I was welcome in everyone's poker games – I could read others and had a decent senses of what hand ”should" win the pot, but could not avoid what must be many tells of my own.
April 10
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“Money doesn't talk; it swears.” Robert Zimmerman
The entire concept of Gold Rush Pairs is based on selling masterpoints and related rankings to the highest bidders. It makes “life master” an attendance award that can be achieved without ever playing anyone beyond novice level. Are we a bridge organization or a for-profit con game? (Rhetorical question)
April 8
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I like to play a 3m rebid after a transfer as invite+ (forcing to 3M). Nonforcing? Never have heard of anyone playing that.
April 8
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IMO, this hand is too good to splinter. With any hand that will give you the powerful urge to bid on after partner tries to sign off over a splinter, I think you should not splinter. Don't ask partner for an opinion you may ignore. We play that 2N shows a very strong raise – 16+ HCP if flat, 14+ HCP if a splinter on steroids or a hybrid hand with 3 card support and a singleton. That way, we only force declarer to describe his hand when we have at least moderate slam interest.

This auction presents a recurring theme with no clear answer (to all but the most dogmatic) – do you treat a stiff ace as a singleton or as a control to cue? (My partner and I often disagree about this but neither of us has a body of evidence to prove his position right.) If your choices are a self-preemptive 4 or a 3 that claims “extras,” then bidding 3 is a very reasonable choice, regardless of your feelings about stiff aces. Then a cue of 4 would either be the stiff ace or a void and would deny a spade control. North can take over at that point. Once South passed up 4, I think partnership bridge was over. He might have had QJx QJxxxx KQJ, x and North has to believe South has what he says he has and not what he “must” have to have opened.

So, within the agreements of this partnership, South seems to me to be the culprit. That said, the partnership needs some better methods to make these hands easier. If looking for an element to fix, focus on that 4M rebid and find another use for it, so that this hand could rebid 3 if you wanted to treat it as flat and then use Frivolous 3N by either partner as a way to try to avoid cue bidding when it will only help the opponents. I learned that here at Bridge Winners – we used to use fast-arrival self preemptive methods.
April 8
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I have held this hand so often that it gives me the creeps to see it. This was a theme at one nationals. For about 7 or 8 times in a row, I doubled and got a bad board every time. Either 1 or 1N will let you find a 5-3 major suit fit (at least some of the time), but double will goose pard into bidding 4 card suits until he runs out of them. I've seen this movie and it has a bad ending. Put me down for 1 with second choice 1N (at imps, I'd probably rate them the other way). Not that I think double won't work in some parallel universe, but in the one I inhabit, I have given up on it ever working for me.
April 7
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Short hand doubles; long hand leaves it in.
April 6
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I prefer to play transfers over their 1-level take-out doubles. Here I would redouble to show 4+ diamonds and then bid 1 over their 1 if partner passed it unless our agreement is that the diamonds-then-a-major sequence forced game, in which case I'd have bid 1 to show 4+ spades instead of showing the diamonds. Over the diamonds-showing redouble, partner likely would have bid 1 with 3 diamonds, 2 with four, 1 with four if they passed. Over 1 it goes exactly as it would have gone had I bid 1, forcing and natural. I stop the transfers at a transfer to 1N (showing 6-8 OR 12+ HCP). Bidding 1N can be a way to show 9-11 constructive. Transferring to 1N then rebidding a lower-ranking suit (or taking any free bid in a competitive auction) is the way to force game with length in that lower ranking suit. This replaces the power-showing redouble, at least when your length is in a lower ranking suit or you have no length worth showing.
April 6
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I have been accused of “bidding like an illegal alien” (no green card). And now I'm trying to convince my nationals partner that we need to open flat hands one HCP lighter than now because we pass too many hands. :)
April 5
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Is the partnership desk still open?
April 5
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We play 2N is Minors (weak or strong) or diamonds (strong). We learned it with 2S “size or clubs” as “Boston Jacoby” back in the early 1970's. Good idea – but not original.
March 28
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No.
March 28
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Wow– we just went back to Westy's to have their catfish for the second night in a row and it was fantastic. We remembered it from 2012 as fantastic. But food poisoning is scary.
March 25
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If you are going to bid 3N with only Qx in LHO's bid suit, you have to be able to do it “in tempo.” I'm not saying faster than usual, but I am saying that if you do it slowly, it won't work.
March 24
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Warm, but not the boiling hot that our age group often demands. VERY good room for playing, BTW. Quiet, enough space, enough light, bathrooms close and adequate to handle the demand, free coffee and temperature is bearably warm.
March 24
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Overcaller is the only one in the partnership who knows whether he bid 4 to make. Impossible for him to force a preemptive raiser in that context!
March 22
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“I've Been Living on the Wrong Side of Memphis” by Trisha Yearwood is a favorite of mine.
March 21
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“Chicken EHAA” used 3 as a strong forcing bid. Or you can just bid games at the go. Or you can play that 1X is forcing but not necessarily strong?
March 21
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