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All comments by Henry Bethe
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What would you do as opener with A10xxx Qxxx x Axx? I assume you'd open in fourth seat with that. Would you really pass 2? Would you still pass with a fifth heart?
Similarly, with red suits reversed, wouldn't you raise to 3 if only to prevent a 2 bid from your left?
Even with another king in the first shape I wouldn't want to leave partner in a possible 5-1 fit. And I wouldn't want to force opposite a passed-hand with a possibly misfitting minimum opening.
Oct. 2, 2014
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I think there are other issues to consider. For example, do you mean active WC players, or living players who were certainly WC at one time? And may still be but have substantially retired from top level play. There are quite a few of those. In both categories.
Oct. 2, 2014
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Well, yes Yuan. Perhaps. But that does not help when you are playing with “a very good but basically unfamiliar partner”. This is not one of the situations you will have time to discuss.
Sept. 29, 2014
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@Rainer
I specify 2/1 first to distinguish from light opening methods and second to distinguish from forcing clubs, Polish clubs, Fantunes, etc. So to some extent it does apply.
@Terry
2 is an unusual response by a passed hand. Why didn't partner respond 1N, and why didn't partner open 2? It becomes even more unusual when you consider opener's diamond intermediates.
Sept. 29, 2014
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3C. I would like to bid 3H as a splinter, and if partner were an unpassed hand it would be. Unfortunately since she has passed, 2H would be non-forcing and 3H is needed to show a forcing major two-suiter. 4D is possible, but 3C followed by 4D will communicate both the strength of the hand and the heart shortness. 3C, a “high-level reverse”, should be forcing.
Sept. 28, 2014
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The last time I passed this auction the doubler had a running six card major and an ace.
Sept. 26, 2014
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Itzik:
I rarely comment on my own problems, but …

1. This hand has four hearts, therefore the opponents have at most a nine card fit and more likely eight.
2. The opponents have advertized a minimum opening bid, typically 12-14 HCP, and a constructive raise, normally 8-10 HCP. Opposite a constructive raise opener will frequently make a game try with a minimum in high cards but distribution. The fact that opener did not suggests a relatively balanced hand.
3. With the opponents' announced high card strength partner has between 2 and 6 HCP. It is not at all impossible that we have no eight card fit.
4. this hand has a probable 4 1/2 defensive tricks. Going plus against 2 is likely. Trading a plus for a minus is losing matchpoint tactics in my experience.
Sept. 26, 2014
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The fundamental problem is that partner should be short in diamonds and LHO opened 1. That means that the KJ are not worth what point count says they are. The alternative is to respond 1NT, in which contract the diamonds do have value, but these diamonds are not that strong and you are likely to take more tricks in the probable 4-4 spade fit than in no trump.
Once you decide to respond in spades the subtraction of some of the diamond points makes this a maximum 1 bid rather than a minimum 2 bid.
Sept. 24, 2014
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I play 3 is (mainly) about suit quality, not strength, after a 2/1. I do have suit quality here. 2 could certainly be right.
Sept. 24, 2014
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My initial inclination was to bid 4H to be followed by 5D, showing in my world a diamond slam try. But the more I thought about it the more I became afraid that my not-on-the-same-wavelength partner has chosen this hand to double with a one-suited spade hand “too strong to overcall”. I think one-suited doubles are generally a mistake. Partner who is not in on the secret may not be able to take the joke. Of course, even with my responsible double (showing minors in my world) I won't really know what to do when partner bids 4S. Is this simply showing extras with five spades, or is it a lot of extras with only spades. I suppose inferentially 3S should be forcing, since one shouldn't make a takeout double with five spades and minimum values and should bid a four card minor in response to the double. But I don't think this would be a common concept.
Sept. 24, 2014
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My preference is to use a method invented, I believe, by Sue Green, who was Mike Cappelletti's second wife. It is particularly appropriate for Walsh players.

M = responder's major; OM = the other major
3 relays to 3. Responder can then pass, bid 3M to play, 3OM which shows four hearts and the implied length in the second major, or 3N which is a slam try in the other minor.

3 is a slam try in opener's minor

3M is natural and choice of games
3OM shows five(+) hearts.
Sept. 20, 2014
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Although I agree with MK that a Lunik double seems best, as a second choice a very slow 4 seems to fit this hand well.
Sept. 18, 2014
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Perhaps I did not make the characteristics of the opening bid clear enough. 1 could be any balanced shape in the 11-14 range: no five card suit or five cards in any suit, major or minor with 5-3-3-2; it also could be any standard opening 1 with 5+ clubs and 13+ points. I don't know what bids over 1 would mean.
Sept. 17, 2014
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I was referring to your hypothetical “per board won” awards in BAM.
Sept. 14, 2014
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I never knew Danny was math challenged! His calculations are off by a factor of two.

With regard to the popularity of Swiss I can speak from having been there. The award of masterpoints for the match between the two 0-7 teams in the last match of a 200 table event was indeed a critical element in the popularity of the Swiss. People loved being able to come to a tournament and (essentially) never leaving empty handed. The Swiss was also somewhat inflationary, providing around 0.80 masterpoints per player per session in session awards (at regionals) where the BAM had provided about 0.50.
Sept. 14, 2014
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@Mario: as I recall the sequence of events, a hearing was held in 1979 before the start of the summer NABC. They were kicked out of the ACBL with the right to appeal for reinstatement after three years. When they duly applied for reinstatement one of the conditions was that they provide a written admission of their prior guilt, which Cokin did. They were also, as I recall, deprived of all masterpoints won as partners. Sion was soon discovered cheating (again) and kicked out permanently with no right of appeal for reinstatement. The second case involved stacking cards in Swiss teams and was recorded on tape.
@Gary: I do not believe that is the case. For example, the Tour de France now has no winner in any of the years that Lance Armstrong won and was subsequently stripped of the title. And no, I would not give Lynch the title, but I would vacate the German's win.
Sept. 13, 2014
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My understanding is that before Cokin and Sion were allowed to resume playing they had to confess that they had been cheating. From everything I have heard, Cokin led a blameless (bridge) life after reinstatement.
I was never able to forgive and forget. Perhaps because I lost both a Vanderbilt match in Norfolk (I think in the round of 16) and the semifinals of the New York Reisinger to them in close succession, and had bad feelings though no proof of wrongdoing after each of those matches.
I think titles won by cheaters should be vacated. In the case of KO events this does not, to me, mean moving the losing finalists to first since we have no idea how, for example, they would have done against the losing semi-finalist etc. In multiple-team events, such as BAM or Swiss, the question of moving positions up becomes less clear, at least to me. I could make a case on either side. And where do you stop a cascade? Suppose they finished second or third, instead of winning. Do you go back and redo all of the positions?
Sept. 13, 2014
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I had intended that responder's spades be upgraded to KJ10xx to make it really clean. But thanks for the sims.
Sept. 13, 2014
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No, MK. Like the BW the assumption is a 12 top.
Sept. 11, 2014
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The “standard” meaning of calls over a gambling 3N is
4, 5, 5, 6 = pass or correct
4 = asking for a shortness control (opener bids a major, 4N with none, 5 of his minor with the other minor)
4N = asking for extra length

5 would seem best, as you won't find partner's suit in time if you ask for shortness
Sept. 11, 2014
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