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All comments by Joel Banks
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Is the following structure ok for GCC?

1m-2m gf
1m-3m weak
1m-2S artificial, mixed raise
1m-2H artificial, limit raise OR 11-12 balanced
Aug. 12, 2016
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Only 8 losers. Matchpoints.
Aug. 11, 2016
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This hand is board #1 from the Common Game of March 7, 2015. The spots aren't correct in my submission, but I don't think they matter much as to double or pass. Expert analyst said pass, except double is possible at matchpoints. Since West has 16 hcp, he can't count on East for more than 4-7 hcp.

NS who play Bergen might make a super light 2h response to partner's opening 1h, so, in my opinion, it is up to East to protect the partnership.

Again, what a game.
March 12, 2015
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Not that this proves or disproves anything, but the West hand was Axx AJ652 KJxx K. South was QJx 98x Qxx Q98x.

Companion question: What should West do if East reopens with a double? Pass results in -470, 3d results in +110.

Next time, West will have Axx AJ652 KJx Kx and EW will get the donut.

This hand is an example of why matchpoints is such a challenge and why some say it isn't real bridge. Yes, it depends on who your opponents are, and whether you need a good score, etc.
March 12, 2015
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In the matchpoint trenches. If the opponents can make 2 (-110) and we have a fit with partner, our score of -50, -100, or +110 will pay off, -300 won't. If you don't have a fit, … it's only matchpoints and who knows what partner will do if he is, say, 3=5=3=2. Might we defeat 2h on a lucky day?
March 11, 2015
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2NT tends to show a balanced hand. 2H gives us the leisure we need to explore the right game or slam. Set spades as trump at next call.
Feb. 25, 2015
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Agree
Feb. 25, 2015
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Suppose responder has something like

Kxxxx (void) Kxx A10xxx

If opener passes 3h, next opponent bids 4h. What call should responder then make?
(1) Pass,
(2) Dbl (to permit opener to show 3-card spade support; can opener possibly have 4-card spade support on the auction??),
(3) 4NT (ostensibly for minor suit choice, but going past 4s?), or
(4) other (e.g., 5c, 5d)
Feb. 24, 2015
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With a minimum hand and 3 s, I would have bid 2 to start. Bidding 4 now (to me) shows two cards, and the inability to cue bid . Just trying to land on my feet. As a game bid in a previous suit, 4 should be to play if partner has a good 6-card suit, otherwise content himself with a 4 call after 4. He will have already gotten his hand “off his chest” and won't be tempted to go beyond game in a major. Could he have a big hand with the rounded suits? Yes, he could, and that is another reason not to advance beyond 4 (via 4). Anyway, makes sense to me.
Feb. 23, 2015
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queen gives partner the option of overtaking IOT shift to a club, or letting me hold the 1st trick and then shift to a . Seems clear. Even more clear if opening leader tanks before leading at t1, as many of my opponents do to make sure their partner knows to pay rapt attention to my card.
Feb. 23, 2015
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Completely agree (points, schmoints).
Feb. 23, 2015
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With a singleton club, 4 good trumps, 2 aces, this 7-loser hand is probably facing a 7-loser (or fewer) hand, which translates to 10 probable tricks at a spade contract, or at worst 9 tricks. Conservative rebid for me would be 3 spades, planning to take the push to 4 spades if need be.
Feb. 23, 2015
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showing unbalanced with 9+ black cards
Nov. 22, 2014
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You must not bid in front of partner in a forcing auction below 3N unless you are almost certain you know where you are headed. Partner did not make a support dbl, so he has 0-2 clubs, probably three hearts, and no more than four spades, so most likely five diamonds. His PASS probably connoted a minimum opener, allowing you to DSI. In this case, SI would be to pass, allowing partner to bid 3 spades or, with double heart stopper, 3N or, otherwise, dbl or 4c. Furthermore, 3N wud be a good choice because your diamond honors are all he needs to run the suit, and he cannot visualize that your top cards are in diamonds rather than in clubs. One final point, your partner could pass with a minimum knowing that if you have spades, you will bid them below 3N.

4 spades, anyone? appears to be a make.
Oct. 13, 2014
Joel Banks edited this comment Oct. 13, 2014
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Imagine your passed hand partner having Jx in each major. I would like to re-pose this problem with the major suits switched. Much better Michaels shot, I think, with xxxxx AQxxx KQ x. Discussion?
Sept. 30, 2014
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P figures to have 5-6 spades. Whichever side declares 1n will not enjoy finding tricks playing from his hand, and a vulnerable NS will not enjoy -200.
Sept. 25, 2014
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Does anyone see merit in 1N? (1) limit bid (2) 1N may be the last plus contract, (3) partner may rebid 2h or nmf if he has a forward going hand. Thoughts?
Sept. 9, 2014
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ANY consideration to 1NT?
Sept. 7, 2014
.

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