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All comments by Jan Lagerman
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So did Avarelli play the ace because he did not know this?

Or did he change his mind thinking a player who leads low from the empty club king might have had a lead problem?

Perhaps x/J Axxx Kxxx Kxxx might lead a trump instead?

I seriously doubt he played the spade ace because he did not know the basic mathematical odds.
It is more likely (IMO) because of the lead, the bidding, and the play, that he tried to drop a stiff king.
(Also if West back then was a solid citizen who normally has opening bid values for a T/O in second hand, the odds do change.)

It might ofc still be a very doubtful declarer play, but I would not dream of thinking someone who did play like that, and someone I expect to know the odds, would make such a play because he was a bad player.

It is also possible to mention the psychological effect the heart ace might have had.
I remember a deal were Bobby Wolf was declarer against Henri Svarc 1971.
After Svarc played an ace out of the blue, Bobby Wolf played the trumps in a non standard order (far from the mathematical best way) to make his contract. Why? Because it looked like Mr Svarc saw the setting trick somewhere when he cashed that ace.

I have no idea what the reason was for Avarelli to play the spade ace, but I am confident it was not because he did not know the basic odds. That is extremely insulting and I belive not very accurate at all.
Oct. 17, 2018
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Barnet Shenkin is no joke. If he played small, so would many others without a thought.
I think you are missing things.

“but I'm pretty sure I'd play it the same way he did.”

If you would, playing with your left hand, you are a helluva good player.
Oct. 15, 2018
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Haha. No, I was not offended. More amused.
Sry If I gave the wrong impression.
I was amused because I strongly belive that this is a deal few If any players would make.
Presumably you think a lot If players would make it as ’what else can one play’ but what he did?
I tested two good (very strong) players who did not see the deal before, and in my test they just looked at the cards and thought and thought without coming up with a good answer.
So If you think this is a simple deal that can only be played as Avarelli did and this is nothing close to top class play, it is amusing because of my own feelings, Barnets fellings, and my test.
No harm done, but pls remember this deal,and give ut to some good declarers in a few years or months.
I think you will be surprised.
Oct. 15, 2018
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Sry, but I think you are dead wrong.
The deal presented by Barnet demonstrates that in his best moments Walter Avarelli played bridge like few others are able to do.

“How was he supposed to play it?”

To me this question is extremely degrading of a world class play.
You will not see many of theese in a year, if you watch international play.

Barnet S wrote: “this play sequence of his was one of the finest I ever had the pleasure ,or poor fortune, as is your point of view ,to experience in 50 years of playing”

This is MUCH more to the point in my humble opinion.
“How was he supposed to play it?” is not.

I actually belive that almost any player, even in the absolutely world top class, makes many stupid mistakes on the road to one play like this.
Oct. 15, 2018
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Avon: Do you know if any other countries felt the same about the BT as the US teams?
In Sweden we had Bridgetidningen as our main information channel, and Erik Jannersten who was the editor was a fan of the italians so here we did not hear much, if anything, about anything bad.
As far I know even nothing from the players, but I may not have the whole picture.
How about the french, english and other coutries who played the BT constantly in various european tournaments?
Sept. 29, 2018
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I have a sneaking feeling that double is the right bid.
Not a sneaking feeling. More I KNOW DBL is right.
But I can't do it. My hand refuses to grab the red card. :)
Sept. 28, 2018
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In BB 1983 I recall one top US pair managed to get to a grand, off 3 aces. As often is the case it was a misunderstanding of the earlier bidding that caused the disaster.
Sept. 25, 2018
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Even if I now know 2Sp is a make, I would not ever let it slip away undoubled at Match Points. Probably not even at IMPs.
Sept. 25, 2018
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I first saw the deal in a book ‘Bridge with the Aces’ written by I think Ira Corn. I bought it on my first trip to US (I was on a swedish navy ship on Hudson river 4th of july 1976) and it was filled with nice deals by mainly the Aces, but other players too. The deal discussed was pure magic and I doubt many players, if any, would copy the play by Belladonna in a top tournament today.

So if the deal is ‘fixed’ by the BT, Mr Corn fixed it too, which I highly doubt.
Sept. 21, 2018
Jan Lagerman edited this comment Sept. 21, 2018
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If they bid 6H on my right, I will double. :)
Sept. 13, 2018
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Just after Zia's Bolstips (if they don't cover…) many years ago I played 4H.

A5
KJ763
Q765
Q8

4
AQT82
82
AJT92

I played 4H after 1H P 2NT P; 3C(min) P 4H

3C did not say anything about clubs. Just minimum.
West led a spade. I pulled trumps ending in dummy and led the CQ.
When east followed low I took ace and led the 2.
Unfortunately East had the king….

This IMP did cost our team 2 goldpoints.
We were young and did not have many of those.
Zia's Bolstip was not popular after this board in my team. :)
Sept. 1, 2018
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In Stockholm 1983 in the Bermuda Bowl, each player got one card of each value. One ace, one king, one queen and so on.
Back then, with the cards choosen, it was what happens if a new deck is not shuffled.

I do think one team at one table did bid to something and made it, while at the other table it was passed out.
The team that won the imps said the deal was as likely as any other deal, but the board was thrown out and a new board was played.
Aug. 26, 2018
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True.
But I do sometimes myself fall from grace and reply ‘Stayman’ or ‘RKCB’ when I am asked about a call.
In this case I hope I would not reply ‘fragment’ even though I am used to the term myself.
Also the term ‘splinter’ has been heard explaining a jump
Aug. 23, 2018
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From Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fragment_bid
Aug. 23, 2018
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As always, play opponents methods.
South who did not want a heart continuation should keep the encouraging 5 and 6 and play the 4.
Aug. 23, 2018
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In the U21 the swedish pair Castor Mann and Erik Hansson also reached 7H. After that the game was over as opponents stopped in 6.
Aug. 16, 2018
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”Days of Thunder” was a strange name I did not hear before.
I always called it ”Garozzo defence” after the famous shift Garozzo did in the BB 1979 in Brazil vs US.
Aug. 1, 2018
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“As some of you know, I have been on the receiving end of many of these leads,”

:)
July 21, 2018
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Either I would jump to 2S on the first round OR if I play WJS I bid 3S (forcing) this round. If I bid 1S and can not force with 3S I would feel bad about my system.
July 19, 2018
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