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All comments by Barry Rigal
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For some reason on BBO I find an extra ace in my hand at the start of the auction that vanishes by round two…so far my guardian angel has been working overtime and saved me from what I deserved. But this is at least three times it has happened. I have passed a 13-count too so I suspect the ace migrated from one deal to another…

IIRC
There was a ‘That Ridiculous’ feature in the Bridge World which on one day showed a newspaper column with one hand missing an ace and another separate column of the same day with the extra ace!

(I'd guess about 1983-85 for those who wish to pursue it.)
June 4
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The auction as shown has the bids wrongly aligned I think; it shows your side in 1NTx.
June 4
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It may be obvious but it might nonetheless be worth pointing out that Acol plays strong twos not Weak Twos.
June 4
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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.’
June 2
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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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