Join Bridge Winners
All comments by Randy Thompson
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How about being in game opposite some average 6 counts? If you back your judgment and rebid 2N over pard's 1 response, he won't be passing 2N with a decent 6 or any 7, much less a dreadful 8 count. Do you want to be in 2N opposite pard's 5 count? How about 3 opposite his 5 count and 5 bad hearts? Pard will invite game with a “decent 8 count,” at least at IMPs.

I think many/most who think this is too strong for 1N plan to rebid 1, especially over a 1 response. Now, far from having shown a flat 18, the hand will have been lumped in with shapely 10 or 11 counts with 4-5 or 4-6 in the blacks. Poor partner is then being treated like a mushroom (fed BS and kept in the dark). At least 1N is respectful of partner, as it makes him captain, knowing within a jack of how many walrus points we have and knowing the location of 8 of our 13 cards.
March 20
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I guess Bridge Winners must be a weak field chock full of walruses. :) At this point, the vote is 42-16 in favor of opening 1N. Maybe everyone is out of step but Johnny? Lucky for me that when playing 2/1 these days, or when playing Meckwell Lite, my opening 1N range is 14-16, so this is a non issue.
March 19
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Rebidding 1 with this hand seems to me to be both an underbid and a misdescription of shape. 2 rebid seems both an overbid and a misdescription of shape. A 2N rebid works over a 1 response, but over a 1 response? Opening a flat 17 count with a 15-17 1N, however, just gives us a chance to have an extra ten spot in our opening bid for once in our lives. This is matchpoints, where finding a game with a bad 8 count opposite a good 17 count isn't as important as protecting our plus and staying with the field. IMO, we should try to beat them with our play, not by going all in on an anti-field opening bid choice.
March 19
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You would “go out of your way” to randomize the result being compared to other tables? Really?
March 17
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Or ignored.
March 17
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Ah, the recurring disagreement about take-out doubles and about how strong overcalls can be. :)
March 17
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What else should 2 show than a spade fit and invite+? Didn't our double say we have spades? Now the cue says we have enough power that we might have a game even opposite a hand that could only bid 1.

With other strong hands that don't have 4 spades, we might have overcalled 1N or rebid 2N here or overcalled 1 or 2 or even pass. Do we not have spades and also not have red stoppers? I see no hand where we need to cue 2 here where we shouldn't have done something other than double or couldn't do something other than cue bid now.
March 17
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You make those doubles too? :) That makes this for sure a competitive part-score hand, where it is more important than ever to raise to 2 so pard can decide what, if anything, to bid over 3/3. Shame does not relieve you of your duty to tell partner that you have 4 spades and that he is captain at the three level.
March 17
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Lesson common to these claim polls is: NEVER claim. Let them stew, even when you have all top trumps.
March 16
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2 should cover all the strong hands with 4 spades, so 2 should be a bid made in anticipation of more red suit bidding by the opponents. Thank you, pard, as now we know that the LoTT says we can be relatively safe competing to 3. The last time anyone was allowed to play 1 with a 9-card spade fit has to have been a lot of decades ago. If their 1 bidder has diamonds he wasn't willing to bid at the 3 level, but would for sure have bid at the 2 level, then partner just stole the pot. Thanks again, pard, for bidding 2 with a bare minimum double!

edited to correct a typo 1 to 2
March 16
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Did he continue a heart despite discouragement from East?
Sorry, the D couldn't have been very good if they only beat it one.
March 15
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That South opened 1 instead of 4 suggests he is kind and gentle to his opponents.
At the other table, that East bid 4N instead of the automatic pass suggests that he is new to this game. What that East deserved was for his pard to believe that the 4N bid showed both minors, likely 5-5 and bid 5. Pulling the double should only be done with the expectation of making the contract reached.

4 double all pass would happen at pretty close to all tables where experienced players were playing. The action would come over whether EW took their 5 defensive tricks or let the mice get at one of them.
March 15
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East knew that not only did he have 18 old-fashioned support points when his partner could expect only 15-17, he also knew that there were zero dead spade points among them, when one of his queens could have easily been the spade queen. Using a different analysis, East only has 5 losing tricks (old version, no idea of the new), so that is a much better hand than West will ever hope for in a 3 bid. East can also just picture West with as little as the Heart king and club Jack and know it's a game that should be bid vul at IMPs. West has enough to think about game, but IMO he won't have long run IMPs success bidding his partner's cards.
March 15
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It's all a matter of whether you want to win as a bridge player or as a bridge lawyer. These aren't close – declarer gets them all unless East-West are players I don't want as partners or teammates – and against whom I would NEVER claim.
March 15
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Local Yokels.
March 14
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Ultimate intellectual warfare.
March 8
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In or out of the Hall of Fame (and I say “in!”), Bergen changed the way bridge is played more than anyone in my 50+ years of playing. When Granovetter-Rubin won a string of Challenge the Champs bidding contests in Bridge World magazine in the 1970's using a relay system, it appeared that ultra science was winning the day. Along came Bergen with his wild and crazy weak two's and his LoTT-based bidding theories and that move to relay systems ground to a halt. The idea became to force the opponents out of their rocking chair scientific auctions and into a rough-and-tumble guessing game. The world adopted Bergen's style and has basically ignored relay systems.

I had a personal experience against Marty Bergen and Ethan Stein in a Washington regional Swiss that caused me to abandon my never-give-em-an-IMP scientific style and start tying to force the opponents to err with a more aggressive style. In that 7-board match, Bergen-Stein made my partner and me guess on 5 game decisions (all of which would have been easy had they just stayed out)! We got all 5 right, but our nerves were shot – we were under no delusion that we had been smart; it was clear we had been super lucky. (We lost the match when a mechanical error at the other table cost us.) I came away saying that, “I have seen the future of bridge, and I want to be a part of it!”

Marty Bergen deserves all of our thanks for saving us from having to memorize relay systems!
March 8
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Congrats to all, but especially to Peter. If looking for the best partner in the world, I'd start with Peter. Player? Maybe some others have a stronger claim, but if picking one player to have sitting across the table from me, it would for sure be Peter. When we lived in the Washington area at a time when world champions were plentiful, Peter was the one player whose judgment my partner and I could both accept as “right.”
March 8
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So you would play to drop the doubleton queen offside? You have no play for 13 tricks w/o having 3 spades, 4 hearts and 3 diamonds and 2 clubs in the sack, so that you are within reach of your 13 tricks if you can find a squeeze for the last one. If you don't hook the spade at T-1, you likely will hook it at T2, right?
March 8
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I would hook the spade. spade to ace, getting the news. AD. pick up the heart suit, ending in dummy. I would take approximately forever to make sure the sequence I chose would result in the double squeeze that must be there once 3 of the queens have been found. It always takes me a long long time to play out a double squeeze, so maybe someone would start pitching honors just to make the hand be over. :) At any rate, I'd try several sequences in my head before doing anything like cash the !KS or !JD. There has to be one that works and I will not spend all of my Friday free time going through the iterations ever so slowly. :)
March 8
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