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All comments by Chris Gibson
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Ty Steve,

Suction is a mid-chart convention over NT, the bids as follows:
2C = diamonds or the majors (or spades & diamonds)
2D = hearts or spades & clubs
2H = spades or minors
2S = clubs or Hearts & Diamonds
2N = clubs & Hearts (some play this shows either non-touching)
X is generally penalty-oriented

Ghestem is a variety of two suit showing bids (variants of Michaels/unusual NT). A direct cue bid is top & bottom, 2N is two lowest, and 3C is two highest. I suppose that basic principles such as unusual over unusual/stopper showing can be used against it to some effect.
Jan. 30, 2011
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Jason - any reason you specified diamond to the Q instead of K? Do you think a defender would be more likely to duck the K, in general?
Jan. 27, 2011
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Bob, it seems incredible to me that you don't want 2 X as the final contract. Imagine something a little more typical for the auction - south's ace of hearts is the ace of clubs. Now you've got a rollicking cross-ruff going, and you aren't wasting any of your potential trump tricks by trumping clubs. 3 small is a great defensive trump holding when you have the balance of power and shortness in your partner's rebid suit.

As for the auction: after 2, if you believe NT should be focused on (probably because you had a fitting A or K of clubs), you would obviously call 3. If you believe your hand is about spades, you would call 3. It stands to reason that 3 should be an attempt to show diamonds as the right strain, and X should be the balance of power bid with no clear direction. This also clarifies to S that 3N cannot be right - N obviously does not have the A or K of clubs, since he did not try for 3N with a 3 call, meaning that there is no source of tricks for NT, even with the double stop. 3 would be a better call than 4 in my opinion, but would be followed by 4 anyway.
Dec. 28, 2010
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to Kent - I think two better bids would have been X or 3. At this point, I think that our hand has downgraded to such an extreme that it is no longer a game force unless partner can accept an invitation of some sort. X should just claim the hand, showing no clear direction, and 3, while over emphasizing spades a bit, at least gets us to the most likely game if we have one. If it were matchpoints, I think I'd shoot even lower with 2, since our hand has gotten so awful.
Dec. 28, 2010
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Why do you think South should bid 3N? It's off 2 against almost any reasonable lie of the cards, and it's not that hard to imagine that's the case. South needs lots of help to make his club suit a source of tricks, and South also knows that N won't get any help in establishing the spade suit for tricks, either. Move a spade to a diamond, however, and now 5 diamonds has play, and 4 diamonds shouldn't go off more than 1.
Dec. 27, 2010
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Michael, I don't know hwat part you are confused about. Several posters were talking about eliminating the pre-alert as something that they would prefer. I was talking to the point that several mid-chart methods not only require a pre-alert and a written description of the method, but also an ACBL approved defense that must be provided to both opponents (Multi being one of those methods requiring a defense).
Nov. 4, 2010
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BTW, I'm not sure if it was completely clear, but I would 100% support dropping the “board per round” rating from all ACBL approved defenses and allowing them in national competitions.
Nov. 2, 2010
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RE Jonathan: I would prefer the pre-alert, personally, but I have no problem with an approved default defense, especially knowing how difficult it is for those defenses to be approved. On the other hand, there are plenty of mid-chart methods that don't require written defenses that I would appreciate a pre-alert for also. In my flight A partnership we play one of those pre alertable methods, and it didn't seem to be an unreasonable burden to let people know during the NAPs.
Nov. 2, 2010
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I am relatively new to nationally rated pairs events, having competed in the Life Master Pairs in New Orleans, but I feel like I would need a multi defense spreadsheet to avoid misunderstandings. Frankly, I don't see what the problem is with providing a written defense and having it used for those national pairs games. I also appreciate prealerts. I am not an internationally or nationally successful bridge star, and I have not competed at the top levels of the game, and I appreciate the opportunity to be made aware of potential bidding misunderstandings ahead of time, just as I warn opponents of our own pre-alertable agreements.
Nov. 2, 2010
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Partner bid 3 vul without spade shortness and without our minor suit values; additionally, the 2 preempt first seat vul is likely to have some constructive quaulity, so partner is less likely to have values opposite our stiff. I think I'm good enough to bid RKC, asking partner the questions I really want to know (Do you have the ace of spades? How good is your trump suit, exactly?).
Oct. 20, 2010
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Any idea on what Cheek & Grue are looking to do now?
Oct. 19, 2010
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Were there any other swingy actions taken by this individual during the rest of the match that approached this level of wildness? After all, if you are going to punt 6 D on board 20 of 64, you would expect more swingy actions as the rest of the match quickly got out of hand. Is that what happened?
July 28, 2010
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My understanding is that a recorder was filled out and a recommendation to convene an ethics committee made. That is 3rd hand knowledge, however.
July 27, 2010
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