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All comments by Barry Rigal
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Here Eric Kokish (from an article flags and scrambles) published IPBM about 30 years ago suggests:
4// = I have a super side suit (playable for four tricks facing an honor).
3NT I have a good but not great source of tricks – ask me or re-transfer.

Both guarantee fit for spades (four-card IIRC).
Jan. 17
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I agree with Richard. I would raise 1NT to 2NT and not look for 5-3 spades. If spades were right partner might already have raised me.
Jan. 16
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I think this asks for heart control.
Could you have a 6-2-5-0 with very good two suiter and no heart control?
If the hand opposite could be QJxxxx and a heart card or CAQJxxx then how is opener to know which he is facing?

Aside: use 2NT as a semi-positive in clubs to avoid some of these issues. Or use transfer positives?
Jan. 16
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My record (written up in The Bridge World) is to get a ruff from a six-card suit. Not only that, BOTH defenders got a ruff in the same suit.

I defended a 2 opener holding the West cards and saw this dummy on the lead of the K. (Apologies –the top 13 cards are dummy the lower 13 mine).

Dealer S N/S Vul

A 9 8 7
A 9 7 5
J
Q 10 8 6
K 4
J 4
4 3 2
A J 9 5 3 2

Declarer won the lead and contemplated for a while before playing the king of hearts and a heart to the ace. Having duly considered the significance of my jack of hearts for a while, she studiously ruffed a heart with the five of diamonds. Resigned to my fate, I pitched a club.
Now came the jack of spades, and partner won and led a top heart, trumped with the seven of diamonds as I pitched another club.
When declarer led a club from hand I won the ace, gave partner a ruff, with 6 and back came a top spade, trumped by the nine of diamonds as I pitched a third club.
At this point declarer led a diamond to dummy’s jack and partner's queen. A fifth heart now let me discard a club for the fourth time, while declarer ruffed yet again.
So when declarer led the king of clubs from hand I could trump it, letting partner take the ace of diamonds at trick 13.
So I managed to beat the hand by taking a club ruff.
And yes partner was 5-5-3-0 and had passed when 2 came round to her.
Jan. 15
Barry Rigal edited this comment Jan. 15
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I thought of making things less rather than more easy to understand by commenting that it's Dave's title but my wife…

What I MEAN to say is that Dave is truly not to blame for any of this. It's my wife who was the victim of the snarky comment. I told her every expert who had discussed

1-(2)-P-(P)
x-(P)-2NT

as Lebensohl. She disagreed.

I could have run that auction but then there would have been no scrambling 2NT implications.

So I amended the auction to take account of that; I'm not sure I made things better.
Jan. 15
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After 1-P-1-1
I used to play 1 was natural but an unbalanced hand, double four spades in a balanced hand.
Jan. 14
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What a great article.
Magnus you should send this to the ACBL – bridge encyclopedia dept. – in case in the next edition they want to update their history section.
Jan. 14
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The 6 call seems premature, since 5 (or 5) would get 6 and now North would respect a 6 sign-off. But if North had K instead of A you might reach the grand slam and make it.
Really in answer to the question as to who is to blame, it is clearly south. He was playing in a rubber game where I would hazard a guess that he knew his fellow players. And if he didn't know by now that West was capable of underleading a king against a grand…he does now.
Jan. 13
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I must be miscounting tricks because it looks to me that even if the heart queen comes down in 2/3 we only have 6, 4, 1 so we need spade finesse. Thus on spade lead we run it to hand and claim a few seconds later.
Jan. 13
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Funny, I'm one for one with Mike Passell too.
We won the morning KO in Pasadena 1992 (I think Georg Rosenkranz and Eddie Wold or Miguel Reygadas were at the other table –25 years is a long time to remember teammates.

I think I heard Mike making that comment about having me as a partner ('just bid one more and Barry will make it') or it could have been me saying that. I just don't remember.
Jan. 13
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Al Levy ran a hand in The Bridge World where a computer declarer misplayed a 100% combination in the trump suit such as (maybe?) K10xxx facing AQ9x by leading to the king because it ‘knew’ it was a 100% combination in that if Jxxx was onside it could finesse.
That was this year I think…the machines may take over but not yet.
Jan. 13
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Is there any opportunity for West to lead anyone down the garden path by following with 10 from K108x?
When East produces the nine a club shift wont do any good to break up squeeze will it?
Jan. 12
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3NT felt right to me at the table. My partner bid 2 as a game try, doubled, ad we defended 3x down 300 for all the MP. (Against my wife no less, so double MP). Thanks pard!
Jan. 11
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This position led to Dave Caprera ‘sleeping on the couch’ as I recall so it has come up in real life with a defender blowing his trump trick.
Jan. 11
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Alternative. Responses:
None low high worst.
You get to distinguish between the slammish balanced hands
(4-2-2-5 and 4-2-3-4 in range for the action).
Jan. 11
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Thanks everyone. I'm assuming it is even clearer to play on diamonds if the first one is covered, rather than playing even one round of trumps?
Jan. 10
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Michael

Funnily enough this was the combination that did it for me too.
The Bulletins to the 1989 European championships in Turku (a Shek/Calderwood hand) and it might even have been me writing it up.
Jan. 9
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Stefan. Maybe? Low to the nine low to the king only loses (in general) when you could have done better if AQ10 are all in the same hand. Whereas other strategies lose when one (or two)specific honors are wrong for your line.
Jan. 7
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Was that Beijing 1995 wc finals against Canada. Kokish saved for some number like 2600?
Jan. 7
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Alvin took the words out of my mouth.
(Except that I might have called it a hand not a ha)
Jan. 7
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