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All comments by Sathya Bettadapura
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David,

May be you meant one of the rounded suits be a stiff ? If so why not bid 4X in that suit ?
July 16
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Rich,

Re-reading this thread after a long time. Yes, when declarer plays K and another, you now know that partner has a trick. But at T2 when partner returned the 9, declarer playing the King is when you had to decide whether to play a high and if so which one. So your thinking should have been “If suit runs for declarer, I need partner to have the 8 to avoid a throw-in but it probably doesn't matter which high I play now. But by some chance if partner can win an early trick, I need to signal in such a way that I can reverse myself two tricks later. So you play the Q at T2 and then discard a high on the second . Partner will think ”Ah partner is pulling a Kerry on me, he was in favor of a return before he was against it !"
July 13
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Defense against 3 is interesting. Partner's suit preference is a suggestion not a command, so you were quite right to explore the alternative of returning a instead of a semi-automatic . But regardless of whether declarer's trumps were AKxxx or AJTxx you can see a ruff, ruff, ruff and a promoting your Queen. Were you not sure partner's was stiff ? He did play the 6 (4 have been harder playing UDCA to be sure it was stiff) and that combined with the T confirms that he was dealt a stiff .

The answer to why declarer didn't pull trumps or why he risked a to dummy at T2 lies in the fact that declarer couldn't anticipate a cross ruff. He knew your partner had a stiff , but he also knew that he could not stop your partner from over-ruffing dummy. He also suspected that you didn't have a stiff as you might have led one. If you had two or more there was no danger of cross ruff and he might as well work on his side suit when everything still seemed under control.
July 7
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Allan,

You're right. There's only one way in which you can pick Q9 from the defender's s and the same is true for QJ9. Based strictly on one suit, it appears that one is just as probable as the other. I wonder if there are any other considerations that can break the tie.
May 22
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South can't have J9 doubleton any more as we've already seen Q and 9 from him. It's just between Q9 and QJ9.

But QJ9x and QJ9xx are also possibilities. Looking at dummy's void it's safe for South to play Q9 from QJ9x or even QJ9xx if he thinks it might lead the declarer astray in some way.
May 22
Sathya Bettadapura edited this comment May 22
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When you gamble a bid like 7 and land in a really poor grand, it's all about maximizing your chances however slim they are. In such instances it's more about Statistics and Probability than Bridge. But it's all your own making, opponents didn't push you to 7 after all.
May 22
Sathya Bettadapura edited this comment May 22
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I most likely have two tricks. lead could easily be their 9th trick. I’ll go passive and lead a . Declarer has utmost 3 , so I’m likely to hit parter with some s.
May 22
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People are focusing on the last deal because the match was tied after 119 boards and it was an exciting deal that provided an opportunity for declarer to shine. Imagine winning a 120-board match by executing a compound squeeze on the last board, that's what most Bridge players live for.

BTW, the entire Lall team played extremely well. In fact the biggest quarter they had on the second day to come back within 1 IMP of the other team was one where Zia-Pepsi were sitting out. Hemanth, Reese, Justin and Kevin had a phenomenal set.
May 22
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Wouldn't East continue with a small if he had led from KQTxx when the first trick held ?
May 22
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What Kit was saying was that the trump leaves you a trick short if you try cross-ruff. So the only choice is to play for a favorable lie in s. So play two trumps ending in hand and run s from the top, taking a ruffing finesse when you see Q9 dropping on your right in two rounds. There was no guarantee this line would work, but the alternate line was guaranteed to fail. BTW it was played by Meck.
May 22
Sathya Bettadapura edited this comment May 22
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Aren't you assuming that the third ruff with a small trump survives ? What if LHO follows to the that trick ?

If your plan is to cross-ruff, why not cash 3, 1, 2, 1 ruff, 1 ruff for eight tricks ending in hand. Now a small ruff in dummy makes it nine and everything is safe if red suits are 4-3. Now high ruff, high ruff makes it 11 and you still have the 98 in hand for one more trick.
April 10
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OK, it's almost April 2nd, so here goes. If you could find that lead and the play of the J at T1, the rest of the play is not all that far-fetched at MatchPoint or BAM. Granted that you might still play s to break 2-2 rather than finesse the Queen, but finessing is not a terrible play if you believe LHO has led from a 5-card suit. Greed is a good thing at MP after all.
April 2
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Jim,

You had even less information before making a critical decision compared to our table. You had to work it out from first principles. Well done and congratulations on getting to the finals of the Platinum Pairs.
March 31
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Eric,

It was a relay auction, so it wasn't clear if he'd have bid 2 instead of 2 with a 5-card suit. That'd have been a good question to ask for the opening leader. Or even South could have still asked that question when he wins the A. I'm not sure how much opponents are expected to self-alert on such unrevealing relay auctions and how much their opponents can keep asking.
March 31
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It’s the possibility of an extra undertrick that you can’t give up at MatchPoints. What was your partner’s third ? The Ten or the 8 ?
March 31
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I'm surprised that Vanderbilt and Spingold are even popular as they are. For amateur players it's largely a waste of precious time and money.

I have beaten seeds in the range 19-30 in pre-64 round in 4-way matches multiple times, but all that meant was that I got to play a top 10-seed the following day. If only I had a chance to face an aforementioned 19-30 seed team in a full 60 board match we might have had a chance to beat them and advance to R32, but we never we get that opportunity.

I still play in Vanderbilt/Spingold as I have a terrible distaste for playing in restricted events. But I'd rather be playing Platinum Pairs or Reisinger, which are just as tough, if not tougher than Vanderbilt/Spingold, but it's a level playing field for the amateur player.

If you want to play against good teams, you can always play in the 2 or 3-day Swiss team at the end of the tournament. All but the players still playing in Vanderbilt/Spingold are in the fray making it a really tough field.
March 28
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Soloway KO Soon ? Not in Hawaii though, as that's still the same old 2-2-3-3 format as before.
March 25
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No natural bids by responder at all. All part of relay.
March 22
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I don't think anyone could have written a better script for the finals. If there was one team that was capable of beating NICKELL it was FLEISHER. If there was one team that was capable of beating FLEISHER it was NICKELL. It was fitting that they met, but there could be only one winner (:-

I am in total awe of Grue-Moss. Every time they picked up their cards there was an expectation of IMPs flowing their way. Way to go guys !
March 19
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No idea how you arrived at that curious conclusion. I just made the observation that the audience was predominantly non-British. And that it is a tournament being held in North American.
March 18
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