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All comments by Randy Thompson
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I take it you weren't on lead? Pity. That is one of the upsides of passing – when the opponents have no idea that there is a threat of losing the first five tricks in 3N.
Feb. 24
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I wanted to answer 5/6 yes, 1/6 no. :) Playing Meckwell Lite or a version of 2/1 where we open flat 11 counts unless they are a quackery, opening 1 is automatic – and I would sort of have “extras.” In my K-S partnership, I'd have to open this 1N if I chose to open (because if I opened 1 and raised pard's hearts to 2, he'd alert and tell them I have 15-17 in support of hearts). Unfavorable at matchpoints is not a time to go playing in traffic with a 12-15 1N, but the state of my usual matchpoint game is bad enough that I probably would open 1N at least half the time. So, half the time in 1/3 of my partnerships I'd pass, but would open the rest of the time – hence 5/6 yes, 1/6 no. TMI? sorry. :)
Feb. 24
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You can use pass and redouble for all escapes (regardless of meaning of double, so no memory strain). Redouble commands 2 with some 5+ suit and <invite values. Pass with other escape hands (opener then bids a 5 card suit if he has one, passes if 4-3-3-3 or redoubles with 2 or 3 4-card suits. That makes system on available for all constructive auctions. Or, you can use Jacoby transfers as the way to get into a 5+ major with any strength and use the redouble only to run out to a 5+ minor (making opener declarer on all but diamonds). In either case, Stayman or minor transfers should have invite+ values.
Feb. 22
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Congrats, James & Maria.

So, what would/could they do if every pair refused to play against cheaters? You aren't the problem – all the sheep who played against them w/o objection are the problem.
Feb. 21
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Minors, equal length (5-5 or 6-6).
With minors, unequal length (6-5 or 7-6,) bid 4.
4m is 5+ hearts and 5+ of m (non-leaping Michaels).
If you aren't playing non-leaping Michaels, then 4N could also be hearts and diamonds and very strong or even hearts and clubs and super strong.
Feb. 20
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I prefer 5 at each of my 3 turns to bid (open 5, rebid 5 instead of 2 and over 3N). Nothing shows a great 8 card suit like bidding 5 of it w/o any notion of support from partner. We could be going down in 3N while cold for slam in diamonds. Passing 3N is betting the ranch that pard not only has the A but also another diamond.
Feb. 20
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“A preemptor never bids again” is a maxim from the days when preempts were very descriptive. But, North is close enough to what partner should expect that (s)he should let South make the decision here. IMO, it is right for South to pass 4 – the one contract they are “sure” to defeat. With horrible defense against 5, you don't want to poke the beast with a double. Once it gets up to 5, then just double double double and hope you can beat 6 if they run to it.
Feb. 20
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“I don't believe your doubles guarantee 3+ spades.”

Believe it. Don't believe it. That's the way it is. I make some other error than double with a strong hand and only 2 spades. Something has to be inviolable and this is it.

“Do you not double on a balanced 19-count?”

Not with only two spades. If the 19 is prime I may bid 3N, if not I may bid 1N.

“Or a 2551 20-count?”

This one is EASY – bid Unusual 2N and raise or bid 4 to show these two suits and force game if that is available to you (as it is to me with my most established partnership).
Feb. 19
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More spades than points. Classic would be Qxxxxx of spades and trash. With 7 spades, as in the example, a 4 bid would be a better choice. 7-2-2-2 might bid 3 instead of 4, or unfavorable vul might make a 7 card suit bid only 3.

Some of this depends on what your take-out doubles promise. Mine guarantee 3+ spades. If yours don't, then you must have ways of dealing with the problems your double-cross doubles give partner. 3 and 4 here just get us to the LAWful level (assuming doubler has 3+ support) quickly with weak hands.
Feb. 19
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I would never buy the explanation that the partner of the slow sign-off player was “always” going to bid the grand, but just bid something at the 6 level “for practice.” I would not tell them that they are lying – only that it isn't a story anyone can ever believe, regardless of the high character and morals of the person telling it. When NO information other than the huddle is passed on by the 6 bid, then this is a classic “hesitation Blackwood” case.
Feb. 18
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Anyone willing to sit at the same table with a consumer of lutefisk will be the big loser (or at least so my Minnesota friends have told me).
Feb. 18
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How about another C: “Charity.” No one allowed back in after cheating may play professionally in any event.
Feb. 17
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CbgLgso6sSM

Illegitimum non carborundum;
Domine salvum fac.
Illegitimum non Carborundum;
Domine salvum fac.
Gaudeamus igitur!
Veritas non sequitur?
Illegitimum non carborundum – ipso facto!
Feb. 17
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“Never give them two bites at the apple” is a maxim I learned from an Edgar Kaplan book that has held up for over 45 years. Hard to say whether 4 or 5 was right at your first turn, but bidding 4 then 5 is bad long-run strategy. I was going to have an overwhelming urge to bid over 5 –which is why I bid 5 at my first turn. It is almost certain that they will bid their vul game over4. Can they make a slam? Maybe. Maybe not. If so, then the 4 bid has worked, so passing 5 now stands out as the best long run strategy. If you bid 5 now, a pass lets them try for slam when that ship had sailed as of their 5 bid. Turning -620 into -1370 will give your teammates a problem at the compare (avoiding a zero tolerance penalty for going upside your head!)
Feb. 16
Randy Thompson edited this comment Feb. 16
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It can get even worse. I preempted 2 and when we wound up doubled in a slam, I discovered that the 2N card had been on top of the pile at my first bid. I blamed a faulty bidding box rather than a faulty thumb. :)
Feb. 15
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If you bid 3 over 2 with this hand, you won't play 3 – you'll play 8 (4 doubled).
Feb. 14
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It's a losing style to look for games without a BIG fit for partner over a 15-17 1N opener. You should pass a 2 correction – and hope to make it. Bidding 2 with only a 5 card major and some points isn't my idea of a good game plan. That sounds to me like a hand that should lead the major vs 1N.
Feb. 14
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Want to tell us who is up first?
Feb. 11
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IMO, continuations are all natural in (perhaps desperate) search of a plus score. 3 would say “I didn't understand the auction up until now, help me out.”
Feb. 10
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I buy into Marty Bergen's “OBAR” bids in this auction. Any time they open the bidding 1X and the opening bid is raised to 2X, all bids are “as if balancing,” even in direct seat, even by an un-passed hand. This may or may not be best against hyper-aggressive opponents, but works very well in “real life.” Once your mind is freed of dreams of game, the hand short in their suit can get us into the auction comfortably and frequently. When they have a fit, we have a fit, and the LAW protects the bold. What it doesn't protect us from is a CHO who doesn't treat our bid (especially double) as a balance. If pard can't get with the program and keeps passing our take-out doubles for minus scores ending in 70 or bidding games down two doubled, well, then we can't use OBAR bids with that pard. Just as you can't hang pard for balancing, you can't hang him for pre-balancing. It is exactly the same situation.
Feb. 10
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