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All comments by Ben Thompson
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Off the ethics topic, but I don't get the 2 bid. Partner can be better than this, and (hopefully) can't be much worse.

First swap partner's black suits per your methods (to Jxxx KJxxx Kxx x). 3 is a strong favourite to make, and I wouldn't mind my chances if I could play 4 from my hand. Curses on partner for getting the 's in first.

Now add one useful something to partner's hand (eg turn a small into a small ). An invite ask is the order of the day.

On the ethics topic, that you don't have an agreement for some bid doesn't mean that partner isn't trying to do something sensible and helpful. There are clearly sensible and helpful things partner might be trying to convey with 3 (eg naturalish game try) so you have to pick one and act accordingly.

You CAN field a system forget when the auction develops in a completely implausible way. For example, say you bid 4 over 3 and partner bid 5. Well, in isolation you might imagine partner with something like Axxxx AKxxxx xx - and they're looking for you to have control to go with your apparently excellent major cards. But would they have risked 3 with that hand? Wildly implausible in this auction, and so I would say 5 would now be fieldable (as 55+ in + with bugger all )

Incidentally, that Axxxx AKxxxx xx - leaves opener an actual strong 1NT AND 5 would be a good bid if you had jumped to 4 over 2.
7 hours ago
Ben Thompson edited this comment 7 hours ago
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On methods sometimes being more or less suited to the hands - that is the choice you make when you set your system. If you choose a system that is “slow” (eg complex or unmemorable or poorly defined) then you have imposed that slowness on yourself - and the rest of the world. Slow play fines are an incentive to choose “faster” methods (eg more internally consistent, or better defined).

I reckon slow play is almost always NOT slow play per se. Slow players would routinely finish on time if they:
- didn't waste time talking about things that don't matter (ie do your post mortems in the bar)
- did their admin (eg scoring) in dead time (eg while dummy, or while waiting for the other sons-of-slow-players to do something)
- claimed (ie I really am not going to throw the A and keep the 2)
Oct. 10
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I think declarer would have a choice between:
a) play Michael for the sole guard (ie QJ10x) - win K, cash KA, run the 's squeezing Michael in the majors; or
b) play Michael for 2 honours - win K, cash AK (can do this later), run the 's, executing the guard squeeze

… and should choose the more likely major suit squeeze.

Still, they both feel like poor odds against 3-2 or stiff J/10 offside (I'm pretty sure the restricted choice argument gets up with the majors divided 9-5), given the risk of losing an unnecessary trick
Oct. 10
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Yes, Michael did start with Q. He bid too - overcalling the 1 opening with 2 to show both majors; when that got doubled, Rose bid 2 which no doubt helped Michael find the good lead and subsequent defence.
Oct. 10
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If only there were more than 100% blame available. East's bidding is A-grade mad, bad and dangerous but West could have pulled it out of the fire. 2 and a fraction defensive tricks (that holding is unlikely to score) opposite a “constructive” hand says 2 is a big favourite to make. The IMP upside is likely bigger in making your own contract than in shooting theirs - taking 2 more than one off is a fantasy whereas a double partscore swing is quite plausible.

East is probably going to have 5 but West should try 2 just in case pard has a 3145. NS are less likely to risk doubling when they know they're up, so even the downside of bidding is limited.

I suggest a little more faith in teammates and a little less “heroics”
Oct. 5
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What's 2? Some info on style would be helpful
Oct. 3
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I think your friend has it pretty much the wrong way round.

IMP Pairs, which we play far too much of around here, is basically a positive score test. That is, you can very often judge how well you've done in a match just by how many positive scores you have versus your negative scores.

IMP Pairs is also a crapshoot in that usually most hands in a match barely count, while one or two big hands generate the margin. But you often win on those hands just by going plus.

By and large IMP Pairs is a grind to get yourself into a winning position, followed by a bit of seating luck in the last few matches together with some successful choices.
Sept. 20
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Congratulations to both teams on a terrifically tense match, and of course an extra helping of congratulations to the marvellous USA2 team.

Very much looking forward to finding out what Jan Martel's victory tattoo will be :)
Aug. 26
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Sure, but you've got to balance 4-1, 4-1 (and pickable uppable), North being 22 in the blacks (where pitching if South has Qxx is the play). Then factor in South's defensive choice, how happy he was about his choice, your position, etc etc.

I think declarer should cash K then go A,K,another … but the main lines both fail on a bunch of layouts where the other succeeds and there's more to the odds problem than just the possible layouts.
Aug. 20
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Clubs 4-1 is a bit of a problem
Aug. 20
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Thanks David. I was aiming to “lift the curtain” for all the players who have never experienced a world championship. I'm glad it also appealed to someone who's regularly in the mix at them.
Aug. 20
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INV can mean invitational to game OR slam, while GF can mean exactly GF or totally slam forcing. Thst is, it's useful to split your ranges - and it's quite sensible to play various jumps after 2C-2D as a slam invite
Aug. 17
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We've really liked 3 so far

- Le Nord (one of the Paul Bocuse brasseries)

In Croix-Rousse (about a 10 euro uber from the venue) on Rue Belfort:
- L'Artisan et Le Cuisinier
- Chez Lucien
These are up the hill in Croix-Rousse and away from the downtown tourist areas. 3 excellent courses for 30-35 euros, and really nice staff. Very very limited English at Chez Lucien but my very bad French seemed to be just good enough to get by.

There are heaps of restaurants on Rue Mercerie near Place Bellecour. A bit touristy but we've eaten at a couple that were fine. Cafe l'Epicerie in that area is great for a simple lunch
Aug. 17
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I had a few in mind but when the hands came to the party I got my first choice!
Aug. 16
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Felix, the argument is that you have to work harder to win 10-0 on a flat set than 60-50 on a wild set. I don't entirely agree with that argument (eg low turnover doesn't guaranter flat boards OR good bridge)

Also, the high turnover style is entirely valid. If you think you win 60% of all imps turned over, of course you want more turnover
Aug. 16
Ben Thompson edited this comment Aug. 16
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David, not at all, but a poor balanced hand would pass (perhaps that's not your preference but our EW were clear that it's theirs).

East was of course aware of the risk of hitting a very weak unbalanced hand opposite but judged that upside opposite an average 8 count justified the risk. That's by no means universally popular - eg Sweden vs USA1 in the Bowl was flat in 4S making 6.
Aug. 15
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After West's 4 overcall, East jumped to 5 and West bid 6. East apparently said “this bid has no meaning” but thought it would have to include very good diamonds. To cut a medium story short, we asked for a ruling and the directors essentially ruled no infraction. We're satisfied with the directors' process and ruling.
Aug. 15
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Yes that's right. Our East made a slam try with 5 and West accepted. Retrospectively I'm sure North would wish they had bid 5 to take the slam try away from East (then even 5 can be taking the push rather than an enthusiastic slam try)
Aug. 15
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Thanks!
Aug. 14
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Thanks - that does make me feel better! I'm picking the Netherlands for the Silver (obviously my tattoo takes priority :) )
Aug. 13
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