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All comments by Chris Gibson
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Our district (District 20) is planning on holding its GNT open flight trial online next year, and is possible moving to having all of its GNT/NAP trials online after that trial. What advice do you have for those planning online bridge events in order to make them successful?
Sept. 28, 2011
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Gavin -
I was recently asked to give an evening lecture at a small regional. This would be my first time doing something like that. Are there any tips you can give as to what makes a successful bridge lecture?
Aug. 27, 2011
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The most memorable two-suited hand I had was in this years Vanderbilts, playing against Bocchi and his partner (Ferraro?). We are at favorable vulnerability, and Bocchi on my left opened 2S weak, partner overcalled 3N, and righty bids 4S. My hand is V AKQ987654 V T764, & I have no idea what to do, so I just blast 7H. Luckily partner's solid suit is clubs, so we have 16 tricks on top & get a favorable swing when they stop at 6 at the other table.
Aug. 7, 2011
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I 100% agree with everything said by the best bidder in the world.
Aug. 5, 2011
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Steven - As for the superflight, it is open to players of all masterpoints. I represented Oregon this year, and I have 1,200 points. Members of flight A teams frequently have fewer than 2000 points also. What opening up the superflight really did for us is to ensure an extra slot was open for a player with less than 2000 points. And the subsidy for the GNTs is by district. Many districts, especially those with many pros, do not subsidize the open flight.
Aug. 2, 2011
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I liked the city, I thought that the events that I participated in were well-run and well-directed (and I noticed that there were only 3 published appeals), but the Royal York's air conditioning was not up to the task, which was a big negative, and everything was expensive - there wasn't even a significantly cheaper hotel (less than $100 a night) that I was able to find within walking distance of the playing site.

For the actual experience, I would rate it behind Las Vegas and New Orleans, and about equal (for different reasons) with Louisville.
Aug. 1, 2011
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District 20 tried, but when Meckwell chooses you, it's an uphill battle…
July 26, 2011
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I think you may need the stiff Q of hearts against best defense (ducking); with that being said, taking the first heart and hoping that you don't receive best defense seems reasonable.
June 7, 2011
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My favorite was at the knockout stage of the flight B NAPs. We were playing a team from NY, and my hand was Axxx KT9x QJTxx void. I was 2nd seat and passed, partner overcalled 1D over their 1C, and the auction soon indicated that partner had a stiff spade, so we wound up competing to 6 diamonds while I tortured partner. They doubled, and since I had bid hearts naturally, they led a heart from the Qx into my partner's Jxx. Score it up on 19 HCP. When scoring it up, we proudly proclaimed our score, and our teammates gave theirs; to our disappointment they were also in a doubled and making slam at their table. I told them they had the wrong vulnerability because the scores didn't match up, and they said no, they had made slam at their table too on misdefense - their way in 6 clubs. Win 20.

Unfortunately, that was the only quarter we wound up winning, as the team we were playing eventually finished 2nd.
June 3, 2011
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I also appreciate this series. We were the pair following you guys the 2nd session of day 1, and I can definitely attest that you guys were slow (my partner is fairly slow, and we were still waiting most of the time…) - but I'm glad to see you used the time you took very well.
June 1, 2011
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*those wins being at the district level, not the national level
May 28, 2011
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Just so you know where I am coming from, I am also eligible for flight B, and will be for several years.

No one disputes that there are good flight B players, and well played hands in flight B. At the same time, if you really want respect, then play up & win at those higher levels too. It's easier if your flight B trials are not held simultaneously with your other trials, but by choosing to play in a restricted flight, you are making sure that your competition is of lower quality by excluding those individuals with long-term levels of success.

I've represented district 20 on two flight B GNT teams (It's possible that you kicked our butts in the qualifying swiss last year…) At the same time, the top level players in my area only really acknowledged me as a peer when I was part of a partnership that won the flight A NAPs and a team that won the GNT championship flights this year.
May 28, 2011
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The play and counterplay continues even further. If you do have AKTx, and play from dummy, righty inserting the 9, you can give yourself additional headaches by crossing back to dummy in a side suit, planning on playing back to hand again in the trump suit and deciding whether to play to the T if RHO follows.

Of course, defenders can adapt to this by dropping the 9 anytime they have it, or some sort of mixed strategy, dropping it randomly.
April 25, 2011
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We also use 2N as 22-23, and build the 20-21 hands into our 2C openers. Our responses are to use 2D as any hand that would not game force opposite a 20-21 2N (non-forcing), 2H to indicate a hand that is game forcing, but has no slam interest opposite a 20-21 2N, 2S to indicate a hand that has slam interest opposite a 20-21 2N, either balanced or two suited with at least one major. We use 2N to show slam interest with both minors, and the 3 level as single suited slam interest, cross-over (IE, C shows D, D shows C, H shows S, S shows H).

Opposite the 2 diamond response, opener will rebid 2H with a 20-21 2N (non-forcing if responder has hearts). After that, 2S, 3C, and 3D are offers to play, as is 2N (though it emphasizes the minors, since you have not passed 2H, or offered 2S).

March 31, 2011
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Kit - While in theory you are correct about leaping to slam being “wrong” in liu of actions that might gather more information, some of the actions you have suggested might easily lead to disaster on different hands because I would be testing our partnership understandings in undiscussed situations.

1) an immediate 4N: While in theory we could go through Lebensohl & then bid 4N for a strong balanced slam try, my partner and I have not discussed this bid in this situation, so it's possible that he would pass - even worse, in a situation where 4N is not guarenteed to make.

2) Bid 3 and then bid keycard over 4 response: our keycard ask is 4N. Let's say partner bids 5, showing 1 or 4. Is it clear to partner that 5 isn't a specific king ask instead of an attempt to place the contract? I would expect my partner to continue on, as though clubs were the agreed suit.

3) Bid 3 and then bid keycard over 4. This would be good.

In short, I don't disagree that science is in theory better, but I do disagree with your statement about how much better it is; prolonged bidding sequences are fun when we're on the same page, but in a situation like this, it could more easily lead to disaster than just guessing wrong.
March 4, 2011
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Michael - I assume that the constructive weak 2 bids also have an effect on the rest of your structure, making 1-1-2 and 1-1-3 sequences more solid than your compatriots, allowing you to stop a level lower on some misfitting auctions. Is that a correct assumption, and how valuable do you find that effect of your treatment?
Feb. 16, 2011
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Justin Lall wrote a good article about psyching in his blog. http://justinlall.wordpress.com/?s=psyche

I'll quote the passage that I feel pertains to your situation:

“I don’t recommend psyching at your local club game, or against weak players at a small tournament. The players there are mainly social players looking to have fun. If you are a seriously competitive player in one of those environments, you are a minority. It is perfectly legal to psyche but you will be ruining the fun of others, and for what gain? To win a club game that you probably would win even without psyching?”

You have the right to psyche in any situation you want, as long as you don't have controls and as long as your partner is as surprised by it as the opponents, but I seriously question why you would want to A) in a club game and B) against an opponent who is likely to give you a top board without the risk of such a swingy action.
Feb. 14, 2011
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Jason - do you totally give up your ability to ask for keycards, or do you have a different method?
Feb. 2, 2011
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Ty. We are playing flight A NAPs, but we're also doing a host of other NABC+ events including the Vanderbilts, so any preparation is good preparation.
Feb. 1, 2011
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As far as North not doubling is concerned, don't Meckwell invert the meanings of pass and X in a forcing pass auction? I think Jeff's pass was actually a strong suggestion that they defend in their system, where X would have wanted partner's opinion whether going on is right.
Jan. 31, 2011
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