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All comments by Benoit Lessard
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Very good article !

Kit what do you think about switching 1H(showing S) and 1S (showing Hearts) resonses over 1C ? It will rightside a lot more often at the cost of giving away a cheap double lead directing/takeout.

I also really hate the D lead. I wish all my opponents underlead honnors especially from a long suit when im in slam and seems to have no running suits.

May 4, 2013
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Could you talk a little bit about your favorite defensive agreements. Thanks
May 2, 2013
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IMO for financial reasons its simplest to just combine a popular event with an “elitist” event. For example in chess to get norms (grandmaster or master) you need 9 days tournaments (and you need many of thems !). So what its usually done its on the 2 weekends there is an open tournament or some chess activities and during the week only the “pros” play. For bridge a simple solution would be to start the trials on tuesday or wednesday and do an open tournament that start on the thursday-friday.

People who get kickout early of the trial will be able to play on the weekend as a consolation. The calibre of the open event is upgraded by the players eliminated and it bring some spectators to the elite event but the greatest benefit is that some of the financial burden is assumed by the open tournament.

Also its easier to get free helpers (they come 2 days before the open tournament to help during the trials) and get some free entries for the weekend.

The drawback is that some of the conditions for top players might be compromised (more noise, more spectators, maybe less space etc)
April 18, 2013
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I also play that pass is (4333) or pts. IMO opener should XX only holding a 5 card suit (5M in a weak 1Nt are possible for us). I would hate to XX with a 4432 knowing my partner is likely 3334 or 3343. 1NtX is often the least worst spot.
Feb. 11, 2013
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4th hand being able to show pts or not is exactly why I think “pass forces XX” or run out transfers are inferior methods.

I also believe XX for SOS 2or3 places to play and bidding directly (single suit sign off) is better than XX single suiter and 2y 2 suiters (a la DONT) because its more annoying for 4th seat. (however you wrongside more hands.)


(1Nt)–X–(XX) single suiter

(1Nt)–X–(2D) single suiter to play

Here being able to bid 2D or 2M with a weak hand, 2C scramble, pass (setting forcing pass) and pass & double (penalty) are all great plusses. While over a 2D soff its tough to defend.

—————
The opposite is not so true …

(1Nt)–X–(2D) D + other

(1Nt)–X–(XX) 2or3 suits

Its easier to defend over the XX than over the 2D but not by the same margin. Over the XX, 2C should still be weak scramble but its more annoying to run out since responder is often 4-4 and not a single suiter. While the pass setting forcing passes will allow opps to scramble with multiple XX to reach their least worst fit and they have a lot more chance of avoiding a double.

Ex opener is 3325 and responder is 4342. Its possible you wont be double in 2C so they will bid game 2NT or 2D rather than crushing you in 2Sx.
Feb. 7, 2013
Benoit Lessard edited this comment Feb. 7, 2013
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If you have low suit requirement for strong JS & reverse its normal to open 1D otherwise 1D-1H-2S, 1D-1S-2H where partner expect a decent 2nd suit is going to be problematic.
Jan. 4, 2013
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Imo 2/1 GF at MP is simply inferior to many other methods

4 cards Majors
1nt semi-F
1NT-6-9 or 6-10
1nt relay & 2m non-forcing
2C any GF.
2C any hands with fit (8+), single raise is 5-7 rest denies fit.


In your method i dont understand why 1S-2H-2S is not forcing ? If the Hearts are good enough to play at the 3 level you can bid 2H followed by 3H (not forcing) and if the hearts are not good enough just bid 1Nt followed by 2H or 2Nt. The only tough case is with 6 so-so Hearts and 11 pts, vs 52(24),62(32) they do pretty well but they tend to do terrible vs 51(34) 6133. So in a sense its a 2 or 4 hand and partner wont be able to judge well anyway, so making a critical decision at turn one isnt too costly.

IMO Bidding 1nt NF with 6H and 10 pts is not a big problem while being able to bid 2S forcing (1S-2H-2S) with a wide range of hands is a big plus.
Jan. 3, 2013
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After 3H (or 3S) showing 31(54) I think its awful for East to bid 3Nt. QJTx, Axx tell me that 4S is going to be better than 3Nt. The follow up are less clear however. Two simple style that i know.

—–
4C at least 4C direction is unclear (4S is still possible).
4D diamonds (5C is no longer possible but 4S still possible)
4H = good 4S bid
4S = so so to play.
4Nt = good raise in 1 min
5m = so so raise

———
4C = nat extra
4D nat extra
4H = COG
4S = to play
4Nt = COG in m
5m = no extras
Jan. 1, 2013
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I hate the Qh switch. Declarer seem to have spades stopped yet he didnt bid 1Nt. So hes light on values or he has 5C (in that case we wont defeat the contract anyway).

If declarer has

xxxx
xxx
xx
KQxx

I think he can afford to play a trump after the A of D and you wont defeat the contract anyway so East really need Kxx in clubs.

However Im not sure wich is more likely that East has Kxx(x) and dint play the K or that the lead is from Axx
Jan. 1, 2013
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Im fond of 100% penalty double over my partner preempt. However when RHO make a strong jump maybe we should use the X for a optionnal double instead. 2D–(2H)–?? here they can be in real trouble if H dont behave. While over 2D–(3H)– I never expect to get rich, so in this position a flexible double (suggesting a good hand and 5 spades) make sense.
Sept. 2, 2012
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a direct 3S followed by a double of 4S show 3 sure trick and good chance of a 4th. I dont think its a huge suggestion to play 5m.

QTx xxxx xxxx xx is just an obvious pass.
Aug. 25, 2012
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IMO passing 4S with a 0562 is simply terrible.
Aug. 15, 2012
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Of course, he could be 1462 or 1264 and still bid 4NT. If he pull 5C to 5D it has to show 6D & 4H. Thats why Im almost sure its a 1453.
Aug. 15, 2012
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near perfect hand for 3S directly, now I bid 3Nt.
Aug. 14, 2012
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Over the 2nd double I think he would bid 4NT as 2 places to play with 6D and 4H, or with a 1444 shape. So im pretty sure hes exactly 1453. With 4 bad hearts and only 5D I think it cost nothing to pass 4S and make a FP later showing a very narrow range (maximum pass of 4S).

x
xxxx
AKJxx
Axx


Aug. 14, 2012
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The last hand is very cool great play !

I think leading diamond on the 2nd hand is atrocious. Drury by a passed hand and bidding 3Nt vs partner that want to stop pretty much scream having AQ(x)
Aug. 4, 2012
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Can West bid 5D instead of 4D ? It has to be a void and implies a club and a S control. The way I like to play east return to 5H with a a lot of D waste or reply to exclusion. I find that you often only have 1 chance to show a void and when you missed it well… good luck !

Otherwise my point of view is

4D normal–doesnt promise a club control since pass is not forcing
4S obvious
XX forced
5C obvious (partner didnt show or deny in clubs he might have Qx imo you cant bypass a C control 6Nt might be a great spot)
5D obvious
5H obvious
5S try for 7
5Nt PAS im going to raise you If I want to play 7
7H major blunder

5Nt PAS is imho one of the most underrated convention. Only when I have clubs Im willing to play 5Nt as a try for 7.
Aug. 3, 2012
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A simple compromise is filming the match, if a match is finished late & with a close score the losing side may make a “time appeal” if they feel the opponents took a lot more time than them.

You review the match and give penalties

In short you are only arbritating the matches where “Slow play” penalties would make a difference.
July 25, 2012
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Very funny and great defense on the 1st hand.
July 25, 2012
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What is your opinion for transfers over double after a 1m opening.

(here is an example for players who are not familiar with them)

1D–(X)–??

xx = 4+hearts
1H= 4+ spades
1S= 5/6 clubs+3Diamonds
1nt = clubs
2C = D raise limit +
2D = D raise

AFAIK
The bad. You lose the business redouble & give some extra room for the 4th seat opponent. You are not able to be “grab” 1Nt.

The good. Putting the doubler on lead is a huge plus. It allow you to respond a bit lighter and therefore avoid some 1D doubled contract. It also allow you to show a limit raise and stop at 2D with 4 trumps.

slightly inferior.
You are able to transfer to 1Nt and bid 2D to show 2NT values with 3 card support (wich is similar to XX and bidding 2D with standard methods)
July 18, 2012
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