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All comments by Brad Theurer
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South evidently thought his 2 bid showed approximately what he would have if his RHO had passed over 1, but I believe in competition I think South has to do more since now 2 is usually defined as a sound minimum with 4 spades, and South has at least an ace more than that. Yes, North could have tried 3 so he gets a little blame but not as much as South.
May 4
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for those who want/need to know more about “Crates” (version of the old card game “Crazy Eights”), see Wiki:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Craits
April 29
Brad Theurer edited this comment April 29
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I agree with the auction though a puppet Stayman try (assuming the partnership can open 1NT with 5 card major) as suggested by David C. is certainly reasonable. At matchpoints we're mostly “going with the field” here. Sometimes you don't get a good lie. But you can get matchpoints anyway by playing the hand better and/or getting less than optimum defense. Here, unfortunately the defense is “easy” and you just have to take your average minus.
April 27
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4 splinter is too space-consuming here (doesn't even leave any room for partner to do Last-Train)… much better to just show GF hand with 4 trumps and gain info from partner's response to Jacoby. Especially good if one plays more sophisticated response structure to 2NT.
April 27
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One of my partners and I have a way to show limit raises and stop at 2M; we play 1NT responses to 1M opening bids as game forces (starting relays), freeing up 2/1 suit bids to be artificial with 2 replacing the “standard” forcing 1NT, and “one under” bids (1-2 or 1-2) being (exactly) limit raises of the opened major. Opener signs off in 2 of his M, bids 4M with enough for game (but no slam interest), and bids a new suit with slam interest (can also bid 3NT as COG). Responder CAN re-invite with maximum LR's (usually with 4 trumps, as here… the original 1-under bid doesn't promise 4 card support) if he's willing to risk it. To complete the 2/1 sequences, 1-2 shows 5+ hearts, less than game force - this helps handle some of the Bart-like hands.
April 8
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yes West can envision that if there any black suit finesses (partner having AJxxx for example, or club holdings like what East has, or AQ, etc.) that they are a bit more likely to work after the preempt.
April 8
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checking the hand record for that event (board 9 in afternoon session, easy to find in ACBL Live), surely seems like the South hand has a pretty auto 3 jump at favorable vulnerability on J KQ9642 72 QT76 - then West will probably bid 4 since he is a bit heavy for 3 here. That could be why more pairs got to game, whereas at your table you didn't get interference.
April 7
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Some out there might say Mark/Richard's wins in the Fast Pairs came in a less-than-premier event… surely this win in a clearly stellar event should settle any doubts. Well done!
March 30
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Well done! Greg, you beat me to it (winning a national event), I just missed last year in Philly… guess I need to get rid of all my regular partners and find a first-timer if I want to really win! ;)
March 26
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Well I'd think IMPS since the title of the article has “Swiss” in it…
March 5
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anybody can “question” whether East should open 2, or West should have bid 2 directly over 1, or if East should do something other than doubling 1… I happen to think all of the early actions are “reasonable”. But West passing the double with a 6 card side suit and the ACE of spades, good card (vs. KQ, say) for offense opposite the quite-possible singleton spade in partner's hand… that action would never have occurred to me - I'd likely jump to 3, showing long clubs and a limited hand that couldn't bid 2 earlier. Wayyyyy too much offensive potential in the West hand. West should assume partner has 3+ clubs (90+ percent of the time he will, since East had the option of bidding diamonds (or rebidding hearts) if he has < 3 clubs. If West was 5323 with the same spades, then maybe passing the double is realistic.
Feb. 27
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not only the pitches on the 4th , but for N/S defensive purposes, South should be trying to convey strength if possible, perhaps by the order of his plays (count/Smith not likely to be particularly relevant in this case). Then North might know he must keep 's and can pitch a ? Now East has to work out the position.
Feb. 21
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well, I played this hand, and “almost” followed Kit's plan - I won A, cashed ONE top diamond in dummy, then played 3 rounds of spades. Yup, RHO overruffed with the J. “Good” news is that RHO had started with Jxx, so even cashing a 2nd diamond wouldn't have helped in this case. And, a (relatively) weak player was in the East chair - he returned a “safe” trump (which he could not have done if I'd correctly cashed a 2nd top diamond from dummy first). Now I had another chance, running all my winners and if RHO had the K and 4+ hearts, I'd make on the squeeze. Note that if RHO *did* have that hand, he needed to return a heart to break up the squeeze since no matter where I win that heart, my communication is ruined. It turned out that hearts were 3-3 (yes, RHO did have the K) so down I went. Worse, I could have made 6 on either the dummy reversal line (LHO has only 3 clubs but doesn't have the J to overruff the 4th club with), OR by putting in the Q at trick 1, but later NOT trying to ruff a spade but instead just drawing trumps, pitching a heart on the A, ruffing a heart, and throwing spade on the 13th heart.

And of course, they were in the inferior 6NT at the other table - got a neutral lead, but ducked a heart and with hearts 3-3, 6NT rolled home to lose 14 imps.

Even though I did not quite play the hand to best advantage, I'd like to think our side did not deserve to lose those 14 imps. Fortunately, despite this board we won the match handily anyway. Thanks all for your thoughts.
Feb. 19
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ahh, yes, I overlooked that, you are right.
Feb. 19
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Thanks Kit. But, doesn't cashing AQ before playing 3 rounds of spades lose to LHO having xx plus Jxx? Whereas your way gains when RHO has xx plus Jx, perhaps slightly less likely (to be shorter in both pointed suits)? But, I do agree that cashing AQ does let you find out that you can't ruff a spade when RHO has Jxxx.
Feb. 18
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4 may be going down, but the opponents don't know that. They are in a guess situation, especially if they have a big diamond fit - at these colors they know their save is cheap if 4 is making.
Feb. 14
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West probably has something like Kxxxxx and maybe has 4 hearts (another reason why he didn't want to open 2). He has to have some shape and some values outside of spades since he is bidding vul with both opponents in the auction. Good chance he is 6421 in shape. Could he have as good as Kxxxxx AQxx xx x? Possibly… then 4 would be a reasonable contract. Question is what will you do if they bid 5?
Feb. 14
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results at our club for board 23 are at:

http://clubresults.acbl.org/Results/229872/2019/02/190207M.HTM

at our table, this hand (was actually West) did open 1, North doubled (ugh!), East passed, South bid 2, and West doubled. North passed and East had a decision. He chose poorly/wrongly to bid 2, the opponents smartly did not compete further in clubs, and the 3-3 fit was not a success. As Mike says, unless the defense finds fast diamond leads, hearts will make +140 for a great score. Most in the club were in 1NT making 2 (again early diamond leads were required to hold this to 7 tricks).
Feb. 11
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For those who want to see the all of the hands from the board this problem was taken from, see board 23 at:

http://web2.acbl.org/tournaments/STaC/handrecords/2019/1902070/1902070_10M.pdf

(and yes, there was potential for another poll on followups to some of the possible auctions that would result, especially after a 1 opening bid)
Feb. 10
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