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All comments by David Matthews
1 2
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Let's look at it from North's point of view. (1) South does not have 4 hearts, otherwise is doubling over 1S. (2) South does not have a Spade stopper, otherwise is bidding 1NT. (3) South could have a worse hand than he actually has. And yet North still decided to double and, therefore, has a better than minimum opener. So I am bidding 3 Clubs. I don't mind if partner corrects to 3D with 5 cards as Qx is useful support.
May 8
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Further ABF update today, March 16:

The ABF recommends that Bridge Clubs be temporarily closed for four weeks as from Wednesday 18th March 2020 (or a date this week set by the club) with the situation to be reviewed at the end of that period. A further extension may be imposed if necessary.

Whilst it may be a difficult decision, health experts around the world are all in agreement that the best way to slow the transmission of the virus is for people to practise social distancing. Many other organisations are cancelling events that involve gatherings of people and we feel it is a duty of care to our extremely high-risk clientele and to afford the highest level of health and safety to the members, their families and the wider community

Whilst not yet stated, this must mean the APBF Tourney can't go ahead.
March 15
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ABF posting today. Impact of The Corona Virus on APBF Congress.

The ABF Management Committee advises all players that the APBF will proceed as planned unless:
• in the period between now and 15 April, the situation deteriorates to the point where Government action invoking legal power prevents us from holding the event; or
• the ABF judges that holding the event is not in the best interests and safety of all participants;

The ABF Management Committee will continue to monitor the situation carefully and advise players should there be any change to this status.
March 4
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In Perth, West Australia we have the Asia Pacific Bridge Federation Congress coming up 15-22 April. There were some early overseas Chinese and Japanese entries but in the last two weeks overall entries have slowed dramatically. There is nothing yet on the website about precautions and I tend to think it's likely to get cancelled. Authorities are struggling with what to do.
March 2
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Does this new version still require Flash?
Jan. 16
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There is some mention of reasons. “Specifically the proof does establish that four issues were raised with him at least at a dinner meeting with ACBL officials in early March, 2018. They were treatment of staff, progress on the CRM and accounting review project, interaction with and listening to the Board and, what some called, change of pace”. Change of pace? What exactly could that be?
March 26, 2019
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I totally disagree with the many opinions about the 2 Club opener being wrong and that 1 Heart is the correct opening bid with this hand. I have a simple rule - would I be unhappy if my 1 level opener is passed out? With this 2 loser hand I would be mightily unhappy. Partner only needs 3 hearts and the King of Spades for 6 to be cold. Now, will 1 Heart be passed out? Highly unlikely. However, do you wish to rely on the opposition to rescue you into game? This scenario recently came up twice in a Teams Comp I was involved in and we chalked up games that the opposition were arguing furiously about after their bidding was passed in at the 1 level. More and more my partner and I are looking for opportunities not to balance in the Pass Out seat, particularly when the opposition open 1 of a minor and my partner couldn’t muster an overcall. A corollary to this is the prevalence of heavier and heavier overcalls at the 1 level. I have seen a number of games missed over the last year due to 1 level overcalls with 16-19 points. Once again I am looking for opportunities not to balance.
Jan. 31, 2019
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This is what transfers and super accepts are for (3 to an honour for a minor SA).
Jan. 1, 2019
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Whilst it's highly unlikely that 1 Club will be passed out, I have a simple rule for this type of situation. Would I be unhappy if 1 Club is passed out? The answer, with this 3 loser hand, is unequivocally Yes.
Dec. 27, 2018
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Over 1000 comments. Is this a record?
Oct. 17, 2018
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Sorry, yes. Did not read his post carefully enough!
Oct. 4, 2018
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Ben, I wouldn't be discarding a Club as that basically gives declarer the contract if he has AKx of Clubs. For me the 3 of Spades is the discard. If I was to switch at T3 it would again be the 3S.
Oct. 4, 2018
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Bidding Box, David
Sept. 8, 2017
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Yep, agreed. 3D is some sort of Bergen raise? Personally I would just bid 4H. In my carding arrangements partner cannot lead 5D from 3 small (we play MUD and second from 4 small). So 5D is either a singleton, or from 3 to the Jack (declarer will then play one of his honours), can't be from 5 to the JD as he would lead 4th highest. So, my answers are: (1) JS; (2) JS; (3) 3D.
May 30, 2017
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Interesting, Richard. I was South and held A72 54 J832 K752 and felt that I couldn't double without another Spade. North doubled and now I could only bid 4C which went 2 off for the heaviest loss of 7 Imps (Cross Imping). The King of Hearts is waste paper if South is playing the contract and the battlefield bid is 3NT by North which gains 5 Imps. A third of the field managed to bid 3NT but I am not sure if they all received the 3H intervention. A Pass by North (as I think you are suggesting) will garner a reasonable zero score.
April 24, 2017
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I feel fortunate to play in Australia where most things are allowed. Brown Stickers are played at the local club session and no one has any problem with them. Here in WA, in the higher level comps, some partnerships are once again playing Forcing Pass and Mosquito has its adherents. Yes, you can get a bad result – but it is usually due to poor bidding judgement or play rather than the system you are up against. This is all part of the enjoyment. However Eleanor touches on something that does annoy me in two ways:
1. Announcements. What bright spark thought this one up? Is it beyond the wit of players to look at their opponents’ system card before the start of the round and see that they are playing a 15-17 NT and a 5542 system meaning that 1 Club is 2+. You can also ask beforehand. Sometimes people forget their own system (due to playing with different partners) and the announcement soon alerts them – should it be fielded?
2. Compulsory alerting. 30 + years ago we were allowed to ask our opponents not to alert. The number of times they got into trouble, particularly at the higher levels, was more than you might expect. We need to go back to no alerting, if requested. Alerting, if it helps anybody, assists the bidding pair more than the non bidding pair – completely opposite to what was intended. There are some pairs that I would like to alert and others that I wouldn’t.
Jan. 3, 2017
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Greg
You are quite right. In an average club field I assumed my partner was 4405 and decided to pass, on the assumption that I was weak and even if we made 10 tricks that 2 Spades making 10 for +170 would be a reasonable score.
Additionally, although playing with a regular partner, I would have bid differently with another of my regular partners – raising 2 Spades to 3 Spades and, to be honest, that is what I should have done on this occasion as 2 Spades is 100% forcing. Mea Culpa.
In the event we were in a 4-1 fit and my partner managed to go only one off for a 30% score! Partner's hand was:
S T
H A K Q 2
D K J 2
C Q J T 6 3
As to the issue of 1 Club, 1 Diamond, 1 Heart, 1 Spade that is 4th suit forcing (for one round) in our system and was not an option with my weak hand as partner will expect another bid later. As to responding 1 Spade over 1 Club that must be wrong. Surely if anyone is going to play the hand in some number of Spades it needs to be opener to protect his/her tenaces. Game is surely on if opener has 17+ with four Spades.
Dec. 20, 2016
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Assuming second hand is passing this is an automatic 4H for me. Why make it easy for opponents? Imagine it goes 3H (limit) and next hand doubles whether Vul or Non Vul. Now the opponents should be able to judge whether to bid 3S,4S or a minor game when available. 4H also allows partner to judge whether to defend or sacrifice over 4S if it is bid.
Aug. 25, 2016
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I have never liked Clyde E Love's book on squeeze play with its BLUE pneumonic (I do have to admit it's 40 years since I read it). In my opinion the best book on squeeze play is The Squeeze at Bridge by H.G. Freehill. This book, although written back in the Fifties, teaches you to recognize potential positions at the outset rather than memorize some formula.
Feb. 16, 2016
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This hand looks like something from BBO where trumps often break 4-1 or 5-0 offside and most finesses lose. Put the QS with North and the KH with South and 4S is making. Then you will have to explain to team mates why you didn't bid a cold game.
Oct. 2, 2015
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