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All comments by Craig Biddle
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It should be noted that their team, during the entire event, only gave up 458 IMPs in 360 boards. That's just barely over 1.25 IMPs per board. In today's bridge, that's simply amazing.

Even if you ignore the result against the Irish Juniors, they allowed 416 MPs in 300 boards, or under 1.4 IMPs per board.
March 20
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Well, we can beat 5 but it takes a trump lead with partner withholding the Q, then I have to win the 2nd and under lead in diamonds so partner can now play the Q. That wasn't happening.
March 20
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Thanks all for your answers. Partner held AQJxxx xx Kxx Qx and the preemptor was 0=2=4=7, so 12 tricks were easy on any lead with the normal careful play in the suit, while, as you see, 5 was cold. Of course, one layout proves nothing.
March 20
Craig Biddle edited this comment March 20
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Yep, Kay played very well and I had a great time playing with her. They literally paired us up and marched us to the table. Fortunately, we declared part scores on both boards in the first round, so by the time we got to the 2nd round we had part of the card filled in, and by the end of the third round we had a “system” in place. That was the whole key to our success; we had nothing to forget!
March 16
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No, Lorne, it is E who ruffs the 3rd .
March 16
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At matchpoints, or NV at IMPs, you have no real reason to want to be in 3NT. On a spade lead if you misguess the diamond, they clear spades and make at least 3 spades and one of each.

And you're not home even of you guess the diamond. Presumably, you will run diamonds pitching a heart an a club from hand, then lead a heart. If you put up the Q and it loses to the ace, they clear spades and you need to pass the 10 and win it. If the Q wins, you need to guess whether to hook for the J or the Q.

So half the time you are down automatically.

In 1/2 of the remaining cases, you need the J in N, so you are down in another 1/8 of the original layouts.

In the remaining 1/4 of the original cases, you have to guess which hook to take. So you will make the hand on another 1/8 of the original layouts.

So this game is basically about a 25% game. Your question should be, how do we stop in 2 or 3?
March 16
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Bus service is also available. Take the 129 route, it drops you off at 10th and Main, about half a block from the (free) KC Streetcar which will drop you off at Union Station (about a 1/4 mile walk to the Westin. Bus fare is $1.50, and the whole trip will take you about an hour. But the buses stop running at 10 PM.
March 9
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Update.

By the time I found out I was pre-eliminated from the NAOP, it was more expensive to switch my plane reservations than stay home two extra nights. So I went anyway, figuring that they would at least need a fill-in pair since no one else who played in our District Final could change their plans either.

I did get to play in the event as a fill-in, my partner was Kay Joyce, and we managed a section top in the evening in our direction as well as finishing 14th overall on the first day. But we still didn't qualify for the 2nd day.
March 9
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Or one smart enough to not try to teach Gazzilli to clients.
March 7
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Well, give him a call. The two of you are worthy successors to Geza Ottlik. I hope someday you guys publish all your Bridge World articles in a book!
March 6
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Diamonds aren't 6-1, that would give LHO AQJ10xx and there's not an intermediate player alive who wouldn't bid with a suit like that.

That being said, the only thing that makes sense to me is that LHO has A10xx. They are sure that, once you attack your 5-2 fit, you will play it single-mindedly - that's what they would do. Switching horses in midstream is not in their playbook.

I agree with playing a diamond here, they will likely block the suit, and even if they don't they are unlikely to have enough tricks to beat you.
March 6
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Isn't E's double of 3 rather pusillanimous?
March 6
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To me, this makes S's claim that W told him it was minors extremely suspicious. I might believe this of a beginner, but beginners don't drive to grand slams in defensive bidding auctions.
March 5
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First declarer must cash K, then two hearts. If W's last 4 cards are not K 10x J then the play is trivial. So we assume that he has those cards. Now we can play a to the Ace and a club.

Cashing the K before you go to dummy prevents W from unblocking clubs after you strand your K in dummy, allowing E to take the last 2 tricks with the Q and the 10.

This is essentially an information squeeze on W - by cashing the K, declarer forces W to reveal whether he will control clubs before declarer must decide whether or not to cash the K before crossing in spades.
March 5
Craig Biddle edited this comment March 5
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I like the 2nd line. If the 10 holds, I can always reconsider and unblock spades. But I think it's clear to play diamonds after you steal a trick, since you clearly have the timing to establish and run the suit.
March 5
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If one of my opponents told me that their or their partner's 2 opening was minors, weak, I would be extremely suspicious of the explanation. Why would anyone open 2 for minors when 2NT does the same job, is more preemptive, and allows using 2 for something more appropriate?
March 5
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Buratti was also defending the Mixed pairs from last year. I chatted some with Lanzarotti on line during the time when they were awaiting their hearing, he seemed like a nice guy.

I regard dummy clocking hands and communicating with declarer way down the scale of ways to cheat, since it can easily be defended against. But of course it is still cheating and they deserved their punishment.
March 5
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This looks vaguely like the deals on Richard Pavlicek's Humor page. Nice play!
March 5
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Concur
March 3
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Isn't this hand all about the diamond suit? You need 3 tricks there. If so, it must be right to start the suit from the A10xxx side. There are 3 rational plays:

1. Low to the 8, then run the J unless covered.
2. Low to the J then low to the ten next unless 2nd hand played the 9 (when you pass the 8).
3. Low to the J then low from both hands next if the J loses to an honor.

All 3 lines make 3 tricks against any 3-3 break.

Line 3, in the absence of a silly defensive play (someone playing low from KQx when you lead toward the J) it never makes 4 tricks. It picks up 3 tricks against 2nd hand holdings of Qx, Q9, Kx, K9, KQ, 9xxx, KQxx, or KQ9x. That's 16 of the possible 30 4-2 splits.

Line 2 is the best matchpoint play, since it makes 4 tricks whenever diamonds are 3-3 and 2nd hand has no honor. Among the 4-2 cases, it loses to Kx and Qx (but not K9 or Q9) but picks up xx and 9x in 2nd hand, so it also picks up 16 of the 30 4-2 cases.

Line 1 is the wild card, it picks up 2nd hand's 9xx for 4 tricks (as does line 2) and picks up K9xx and Q9xx and 9x in 2nd hand but loses to KQxx, Kx, and Qx in 2nd hand. It makes the hand on a very different set of 4-2 breaks than either of the other 2 lines, but also picks up 16 of the 30 4-2 breaks.

So just on the basis of making the contract, all of these lines are acceptable.

When the suit is 5-1, Line 3 salvages 2 tricks against 2nd hand's singleton 9, Q or K and 4th hand's singleton 9. Line 2 salvages 2 tricks against all of 2nd hand's singletons plus all of 4th hand's singleton 9's or lower. Line 1 salvages 2 tricks whenever 2nd hand has singleton K, Q, or 9, or 4th hand has any singleton except the 9. So line 2 picks up 10 5-1 breaks, line 1 picks up 8, and line 3 picks up only 4 cases.

Line 2 is therefore definitely the best overall play, since it makes an overtrick more often AND goes down 2 least often.
March 3
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