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All comments by Brad Theurer
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the scores were just posted for these problems. I voted for 2 which did get the top score, not because I necessarily want to find a spade fit (I'm among those that might make a negative double, even with longer clubs and good enough hand to bid 2 in this auction)… but because it's a very cheap bid - I intend to rebid 3 over 3 to keep options open - if partner happens to have a heart stop I'm fine with 3NT (it's matchpoints, after all), but if partner is “all clubs” I'm content with playing a diamond partial - I do NOT think 2 establishes a 100% game force here, though some may disagree (I'd think at the very least we can get out in 4/4). Partner will appreciate any spade help in my 2nd suit and will be more aggressive with cards there (or, A) but otherwise will likely slow down. Also partner should NOT assume I have 5 spades, at least at this time. If I do have a 5th spade I will bid that suit again at my next turn.
May 21
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I went for the simple squeeze, unfortunately this time LHO had 2443 shape and RHO had the K, so the positional double squeeze works; also 7 would work as the heart threat can be isolated and LHO is squeezed in the reds.

So on this hand, I do wish I was in 7, since it would have made on the best line (I presume).
May 9
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that was my thinking too. Also, since you are keeping all the diamonds, if after AK, A, and 6 rounds of clubs pitching spade and 2 hearts, the K hasn't appeared and you try diamonds, if the JT were “always” doubleton or tripleton, you're still making w/o the simple squeeze. But I'm not 100% sure and need to hear more thoughts/analysis.
May 8
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looks like on your line (not saying it's “right” or “successful”), you pitch the 9 if it's not good, or 6 if the 9 is good. If K has not appeared and 9 is not good, you're hoping for a (positional?) double squeeze. One of my questions/thoughts is whether this is the best line, or if what I consider to be the alternative is better. Can anybody spot/comment on that alternative?
May 8
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yes David, slightly underbid. Contract is 6NT (as most of you probably would have guessed, outside of David!). I will edit to put in auction for the curious, thanks
May 8
Brad Theurer edited this comment May 8
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unfortunate that you chose to play in the 4-4 fit, rather than in diamonds (or for that matter, NT!) - in those strains you can test diamonds first, and when you find out North is short there, you then have a much better idea about the club suit and can safeguard against stiff Q/J/9 in the South hand. Sometimes the 4-4 fit is best, just not here.
May 4
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true, but I think the odds are well against anybody having a stiff spade - as you say, LHO “normally” doesn't have 4 spades, declarer/South should have at most 4, and partner “usually” makes a negative double with 4 (though yes, if he has xxxx of spades and KJTx of hearts for example, 1NT is a reasonable alternative). And partner would not often bid 1NT with a stiff spade even if both opponents have 4 of them. Thus I'd think the risk of a stiff spade in anyone's hand is low enough that the potential gain of a low spade lead is high enough to offset that risk.
April 20
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since I was curious, I ran a 2 contract (whether doubled, redoubled, etc.) through Deep Finesse - the killing defense that can lead to -2 is actually a low spade at trick 1, not “obvious” but not totally double dummy either since spades are clearly balanced around the table and partner can easily have a doubleton (and imagine Qx behind dummy's Kxx!)… plus West has no “clearcut” lead anyway. With proper followup this can lead to East getting 2 spade ruffs and using repeated heart leads to develop trump promotion/entry to the West hand.
April 19
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I suppose it's at least somewhat double-dummy, but it is true that an original club lead will, with careful defense, defeat 2 (low to Q, then 10, if ducked twice, shift). Possibly too hard to find since as noted, partner *can* have a doubleton and a ruff might be needed. Or, no ruff but the spade lead doesn't cost, timing-wise, as it happens to here.
April 13
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agreed… besides this is matchpoints… preserve the plus score if possible! I assume 2 is bid with LR values no matter if you have 3 OR 4+ card support (so, only “one way reverse Drury” applies)? Also it may matter a bit how light you open in 1st/2nd chair that way partner knows what your ceiling is. If you open really light then this hand is closer to a maximum than if you open relatively sound.
March 13
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well, I guess you could argue that *somebody* has to be the LAST to go into shutdown mode… the ACBL seems to be saying… “Might as well be us!”
March 12
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keeping the hand same shape and make the K a small putting the K in one of the other suits and I'd do a 4 min splinter… here at matchpoints I think 3 is enough. If playing a style where 2NT could be LR+ then I'd do that. Prefer not to splinter on stiff K though sometimes I do anyway if it's least of evils.
March 10
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the 3 from Ohio who tested positive are all reported to be from the Cleveland area:

https://www.clevescene.com/scene-and-heard/archives/2020/03/09/three-ohioans-test-positive-for-coronavirus
March 10
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okay, it seems I couldn't get a single non-pass out of anybody. You all want to know partner's hand? Turns out pass is a loser, since both 4 and 5 make! Partner had QT84 Q KQ987654 void, the 4 bidder had A2 KJT632 3 K986.

So, is partner to blame for not opening 5 (not clearcut at unfavorable), or are N/S just unlucky where both made reasonable decisions and in this case, the opps guessed right over the preempt and South didn't? Even if N/S misguess J in 5 (which they probably shouldn't), -1 is still better than 4 making.
March 6
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Hank - what do you do with mixed raise minor suit hands in that system? Also want to know what YRENNALF stands for… or does everyone else but me know that?
Feb. 27
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some might raise here but have to draw the line somewhere - if you bid on these hands it gives partner too wide a range for your raise for him to figure out whether you have this hand or the same shape with 9HCP, especially at matchpoints hate turning a plus into a minus when you bid 2 here and partner makes an aggressive (or even “normal”) game try and you go -1 in 3
Feb. 5
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I'm closer to Craig's position. Yes, perhaps the hand is slightly “too good” for 1NT, BUT - (1) it's matchpoints (less need to bid a potentially thin game than at IMPs), and (2) I have a hand where I want to grab the NT (lots of tenaces to protect on opening lead), and (3) as Craig mentions, if partner bids 1M I'm presumably planning on bidding 3, and that gobbles up a lot of bidding space and could make partner guess what to do next. (4) There is the preemptive value of 1NT in case partner has a bad hand, makes it harder for the opps to come in on some marginal hands.
Feb. 4
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Just wondering what the (announced) range for the 1NT opening big was…
Jan. 21
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I'd consider double a bit more if the opponents were vulnerable - here, even if we beat them 1 trick we could get a poor score if we can make a black suit partial to score more than +100.
Jan. 15
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No reason one can't take their “usual” defense to a 1NT opening bid and use it in this sequence… yes some just play 2 level bids as natural, but if you have a two suiter such as this one, might want to show it. Or if you want (and can remember), you can use some different defense than your 1NT opening bid defense. But I don't play “all natural” very often these days.
Jan. 15
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