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All comments by Barry Rigal
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Is it so clear to raise clubs as responder?

Your

X/10xxx/AKJxx/Axx might be facing

KQxx/J9/Qx/KQJxx.

There must be a case for 3 over 3 as repeat fourth-suit, – maybe planning to bid 4 over 3NT anyway I admit.

The use of PLOB (petty little odious bid, a rebid of 2S by opener to show an unmanageable hand with no heart stopper) might reassure you that partner's 3 would either have six clubs or no heart stopper.

But in any event over the actual 3NT rebid opener just might move with 4?
11 hours ago
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I'd certainly let him have this back… after the ace is called (which you wouldn't let him have back if the ace were a legal play)the jack/king are in the same thought-wave per this description.
13 hours ago
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If I had to guess, 2nd and fourth from a non-Pole would mean:

top of two, middle from three small, low from three to an honor, 2nd from four(+) small, fourth from four+ to an honor.

From a Pole I'd expect:
Low from 9x or smaller, top from Hx.
Middle from any three-card suit
Low from 4+ to an honor, 2nd from 4+ without an honor

10 may be negotiable in all these holdings.
Normal honor leads from a sequence.
Feb. 22
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I think you can safely ignore any future advice from anyone who tells you not to underlead a specific honor against no-trump.
I'd like to find my catastrophic leads on my own, thank you very much partner!
Feb. 17
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after 1M-2nt-3
(any minimum)

Responder drives to 4M (typically down one!)
asks with 3 for shape if still interested in the answer or can use
3/
3/
3N/4/

for specific hand types. (unspecified voids, unspecified singleton with extras, specific singletons no extras but still slam interest).

Since dummy defines its hand giving that information away wont be vital.
Feb. 17
ATB
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Strongly disagree with Bob's statement that 2 is expert standard as not either diamonds or better diamonds than hearts. You can play it that way –that doesn't make it standard. And hands like this exemplify what a silly treatment it is (at least in my opinion)
Feb. 12
ATB
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Agree entirely. One could defend most of the other actions.

It is worth noting when looking at North's final pass that South had constructed an auction that was entirely consistent with a single heart stopper that certainly didn't have to be the ace.
So when the opponents led hearts and knocked out the guard, (assuming partner's eg Q10x stood up) you'd need clubs to run to make 3NT. Now what hand could partner have where he had CA and better diamonds than hearts that 5/6 wouldn't be better than 3NT? None I'd say.
4 over 3NT might have conveyed the playing strength – but passing is mindless.
Feb. 12
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Agreed – but not having a mixed/preemptive raise of an unbalanced 1 opener strikes me as a downside.

But there again Richard since you come from so much an earlier vintage than I, I guess limit raises were the norm (or was it forcing raises back then?) when you were learning the game.

(Of course if you were born in UK, you never heard of anything but limit raises until at least the nineties, except over a double.)
Feb. 12
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One possibility – I'm not sure how sensible it is:

If spades are 3-3 you can play either defender for the queen. If you determine spades are 4-2 then you need to play the defender with the doubleton for the doubleton queen.

Thus Q, J, low club towards dummy. if West follows he has three clubs and you play the ten from dummy. Then S!A to K, 10, club to ace and J. If West discards early in clubs you can always change your mind.
Feb. 12
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I've been playing bridge for 46 years now; there's a scary thought. I've never seen a dummy put down in the trumps in the wrong place and not be corrected. I've seen them TRY a few hundred times but they never get past partly putting down dummy before the correction is made by more than one person – generally declarer.

Now having said that I've seen the play at no-trump be less than optimal because declarer has forgotten he isn't in the suit he wants to be, more than once but fewer than ten times.
Feb. 11
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Very nice indeed. Even after being more familiar than most with the issues of hippopotami, I didn't see it coming.
As to why its a hippopotamus squeeze?

Some people think the lead of a heart in this position is an irrelevant card. Its not irrelevant its a hippopotamus.

(C)Flanders and Swan
Feb. 11
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The advantages of 1 always being unbalanced and never having a balanced option are clear. They allow transfer rebids (no more BW death hands!) and raises with 3+ both in comp and not. So your 1 openers become far more efficient.
Is that worth the trade-off of losing definition of the minor? We think so but to each his own.
Given that you always worry when partner opens 1 whether he has one or two balanced ranges in there, the cost seems small.
I'd hate to have 1-3 preemptive/mixed and be looking at two diamonds with 17-19 balanced.

Of course you also play transfers over 1-1 since THAT can't be 5332 either. (in principle – you can open 1 and transfer to 3m/have a defined three-card raise if you want)
Feb. 11
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Question: what is the smallest change to the deal that WOULD make ducking the ‘right’ play?
Or perhaps the best play for six – to avoid all the other concerns…
Feb. 11
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Over 4NT, was the jump to 6NT well chosen? My instincts are to look for a suit slam if partner has any interest. 5 might emphasize the pattern with 13-14. now you would play 6m in the seven-card fit if partner suggested it or 5NT if he bid that.
Feb. 8
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I did toy with winning the second spade and leading a low club to the queen but I think it blocks up too many suits.
It is much harder to duck though so if that was the only consideration it might be relevant.

A holding such as

AJ7

Q103

sometimes may be best with low to J as you need to decide on a safety play in trump or not. if the Q of your side suit holds repeating the finesse might lose to a ruff.
Feb. 7
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Barry Myers tells me of a Blackpool pairs final where Jack Miezes went in tied 23/26 because of carry-forward. He had a 72% game to finish 2nd to the other pair with the same carry-forward and those two pairs were the only ones above average.
This was a 13 table final with an arrow-switch so by comparison to the other field sizes we are discussing this was a huge event!
Feb. 7
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I didn't quite manage that but recently in a reasonable sized field (9 tables or so) we pushed 2nd and third down into low very 50s while putting up something in the 70s. I was hoping to have achieved that feat; it comes but once a lifetime I suspect.
Feb. 6
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If partner has led from ace-fourth of spades I'd say he was close to even money to having three diamonds. If my partner was French he probably won't have ace-fourth of spades…
Feb. 5
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I was always taught that real men try to squash honors (ace then queen) quiche-eaters play for the drop. As already shown above, the real-man play is best here.
Feb. 5
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David

not only are you right, you should have noted that for this achievement they finished first in C (out of 2) and got .59 of a masterpoint.

I wonder if that is the lowest place finish to merit masterpoints? Swiss events don't count for this of course…
Feb. 5
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