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All comments by Barry Rigal
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I agree David's point that my excuse in the post mortem was ‘I knew you were going to fix me later so I fixed you first.’
16 hours ago
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I do not agree. They are entitled to ask and receive an answer. But any convention card that gave space for an extra li ne or two on the shading of responsive doubles (a separate line for the double of 4m, 4, 4, five-level calls….would lose the ability to define more relevant calls.
Jeff Rubens wrote about this and won an IBPA award as the Useful Space Principle.

:)
June 1
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You may not have heard it but when I was editing some of the early books I did make that point. His valid argument was saving space; you don't have that excuse.
May 31
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Put up the ace and limit the damage; pitch a club and play a spade to the queen, hoping they cant get a D ruff.
May 31
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I wish I could answer this but you are going to be my first subject of “If a writer cant be bothered to make South declarer rather than North then I refuse to contribute.”
Seriously dude – how hard is it to help your readers if you are asking for help?
May 31
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I thought I saw 74 somewhere?
May 29
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Playing 2NT as GF except facing a doubly minimum hand is fine by me. But having the agreement that 2NT then 3 is NF – allowing opener to get out with a minimum in HCP is OK as well.
May 27
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I don't think any of those dummies compare to the flat board posted three/four weeks ago where Larry Sealy opened 1 in third seat on a 5-4-4-0 six count with AQxx and out. When his partner boosted him to 6 I doubt if he would have hesitated to settle for -300 but dummy came down with a mere A/—/KJ109xx/J109xxx
May 26
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I took 5 as hearts and a minor with some grand slam interest, 5NT as bid the minor.

I would have thought 4NT then 5 as the grand slam try.
May 26
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The NY Times is running ‘two not-touch’ puzzles right now. Check them out… it may just be the variety/novelty but I'm loving them.
May 26
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Not relevant to your story Finn but I find it very satisfying when playing with a client and we have no boards below 33%. Even better is if we have no ‘bad’ boards from partnership error.

That doesn't happen too much but when you do the best you can, it may be more satisfying than to win with a giant score where you get away with bunches of errors.

I've never had all plus scores, nor all above average.

Playing with one of this feature's re3gular correspondents Richard Fleet and I set the record % at our club, Only 78% but both of independently determined that we had only one deal where we could have done better (bidding game in the face of a NT opener that required opener to have a key card – he didn't).
That was the Monday; on the Wednesday Richard had a 77.8% game with a top UK woman international. I rang him and asked if the same comment about error-free bridge applied. “Well” he said “there was the hand where my partner's defense was predicated on there being 14 hearts…”
May 26
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Roland's work in setting up BBO vugraph will live on. Few of us will leave such a lasting record.
May 25
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That might be an indirect record in that it was the fifth call of the auction that introduced their 13-card fit. Of course an artificial call to show a long suit might achieve the same result but this seems ‘odder’. The history books are full of pairs playing Multi missing HUGE fits because one player assumes his partner has the other major. so in a way they never bid their suit; but I don't know if they include missing a 13-card fit.
May 25
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I'm pleased to hear that we are only discussing 4441 shapes.
Some 4441s are easier to bid than others. Stiff spade is the worst; 1m-1-2 is ugly but at least you have two suits in below 2NT.

1m-1-2 on 4-1-4-4 is probably going to leave you better placed than 2NT opener. 1m-1M-4om splinter is surely going to leave you better placed than 2NT opener.

And if partner passes 1m unless you have the huge major-suit fit with 0-3 HCP facing 20 you aren't clearly worse placed.

The point is that particularly if playing WJR the 6-4 fit will almost never go missing and you wouldn't have found the 4-4 fit with a hand that can't respond to 2NT (in fact 44(14) 21 facing 3442 3-count may find hearts when you open 1m and not when you open 2NT). So while you could sell me on stiff king in 1=4=4=4 21/2-count, I'm not buying any other pigs in pokes.
May 24
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I wondered if it was possible to disagree with Bob more strongly than I did on responding 1NT to a x with a four-card major. Thanks Bob for clearing a very high bar.

Opening 2NT with a singleton…please, please, Bob do it against me!

I know it is possible to use over-emotive language; I'll try to restrain myself to describing a 2NT opener with a hand with any 5-4 shape no/ matter what the singleton as losing bridge. the reason you don't open the suit with the offshape 15-17 hand is the rebid. With 5431 and some 4441 you actively enjoy your rebid (reverse/jump shift) when you have 19-22.

For the record my client partner's last 2NT opener was A/KQxx/KJxxx/AKx which went as you would expect in 3NT facing 10xx/Axx/Qxxxx/Qxx.
May 24
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I hate opening 1NT with a singleton and in a strong NT 2+ basis I haven't done it in 8 years. In a standard base my three attempts with stiff king (thanks Joel!) have yielded an ave 90% board. This is over a 16-month period so I'm not exactly seeking my chance to take this call.

To reiterate some comments: above any hand with 5M or 4 or any 17-count is out for me. The first two are easy to describe though on the third round you may have to guess whether to go high or low. I can live with that.
17-counts reverse and are happy to do so (they may not be happy with the result but..)

Some 15-counts happily downgrade with a stiff honor – is there any doubt that K/Qxxx/AQxx/KJxx is between 13 and 14 not a 15-count?

16-counts with a reversing shape and a stiff K are the perfect hands to take the call. Any other treatment will mean a likely big lie on the second round facing the probable response. Here you lie on the first round – but stiff K may be as good support as xx?

What this comes down to, I think, is that I'd rather bid my suits if my judgment tells me to do so. Opening 1NT lets you into a ‘system’ auction, opening a suit gets you into a judgment auction. And the readers of BW have good enough judgment that they should back their instincts.

Treating A/Kxx/Axxx/KQxxx the same as K/AKx/AQxx/xxxxx is not something I'd be happy with.

Note that 1-1!M-2 is a ‘good’ reversing auction. you get to bid 2NT and limit if necessary at your second turn. 1/-1-2 is far more awkward. So before taking the kneejerk decision to ope3n 1NT look at your third call after a reverse first.
May 23
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what is format for ko (if we reach it – or even if we don't I suppose)?
May 23
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I think I can top that.
After a weak 2 opener to her left Sue Picus heard the auction continue 2 from partner and 3 to her right. Your partner had promised 0/1 diamond, I assume. Sue was facing an overcall at the two level and had a mere:

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

her partner ended in 6x; and yes he had to draw a round of trump.

AJ107/xx/AK52/Kxx

After a top heart lead eight spades and a top diamond in one order or another saw declarer's RHO caught in a squeeze when holding six diamonds and the A.
He was forced to pitch a heart whereupon a club set up the 12thy trick.
May 23
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So maybe the play wasn't so remarkable but Jay made the most of his limited resources.
He pitched his diamond loser on the hearts and played the club ace and ruffed a club as the queen appeared. Now he ruffed two diamonds in hand low and two clubs high in dummy.
That promoted a trump for West but declarer played a spade to the queen and the spade ten. West could win but had only a trump and a losing club left. So Stiefel won the two tricks in hand.
So what is odd about that you may ask?
Well look at West's shape and compare it to dummy and declarer's hand. There isn't that much in common with the shape; but West followed suit throughout – bar the tricks he led to.
Maybe that isn't really unusual but I don't think it happens very often that you never discard on a hand that is played through to trick 13.
May 22
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Add my vote (loudly) to the 1 crowd – though pretending I had a balanced hand and opening a short club to rebid 1NT would be just fine too. And after 1-1-2NT we would get a spade lead into the tenace. (or a heart lead).
Give me K10954 and I'd expect the hand to be worth an extra HCP. This doesn't feel like a hand I want to insist on being declarer in game. Slam is another matter.
May 21
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