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All comments by Leo Lasota
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4nt is a first round control spade cuebid. You may make this call with a spade void OR if you have the ace but you have 2 fast losers in a side suit and want to start cuebidding rather than keycard with partner. Note that when playing kickback and you cuebid above 4 of the agreed major and the next step (which is kickback), the bids show first round controls.
Oct. 15, 2012
Leo Lasota edited this comment Oct. 15, 2012
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This is just another example of why everyone should be playing kickback, especially 4S as RKC for hearts.
Oct. 14, 2012
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We are favorable at imps. Partner knows that he is already a passed hand and he can balance with appropriate distribution here. I do not like double here, especially since the 4S bidder is looking at the vulnerability also and may be making 5S if they have a 2 suited hand with spades and clubs.
Oct. 14, 2012
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Partner chose not to bid keycard; 5D is a void in diamonds; 5H would be asking for 2nd rd diamond control. If partner just needs to know about your hearts, they can bid keycard and you will show all 3 keys and then the queen when they ask.
Oct. 14, 2012
Leo Lasota edited this comment Oct. 14, 2012
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Perfect example of how playing the king then queen hearts is showing your cards to partner, and you will set this hand.
Oct. 14, 2012
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Even though the hand you create is somewhat of a “perfecto” for 6D, South is certainly too strong to just raise 1nt to 3nt. Regardless of bidding methods employed, bidding judgment is key. Not looking for a minor suit slam with a prime 16 support points for either minor with the South hand is a lack of good bidding judgment.
Oct. 14, 2012
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Very true that it is likely partner holds another high card such as ace clubs or additional high spade for their double. Point in using the two examples selected was to show the benefits of firming up partnership agreements about order of cards played on defense. In this case, your order of plays could be the difference between down one and down two, or down two and down three. Not sure what the vulnerability or form of scoring is on the hand, but partner may be making a speculative double at matchpoints.
Oct. 14, 2012
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Interesting hand with a couple of points to consider. The order in which you will play the hearts will be high low for sure if you and your partner play standard suit preference. There are many possible layouts of the hands between West and South. It is possible that South only holds a singleton diamond with something like 6313 distribution including the ace of clubs. In this case, if partner holds Qxx in spades, partner will need to ruff the 3rd round of hearts, give you a diamond ruff, then you lead a 4th round of hearts for a trump promotion and down 1.

It is also possible that East will need to receive 2 diamond ruffs to set the contract. Say South holds 7321 distribution with AKxxxxx in trumps and the ace of clubs. Once partner does not find a diamond lead at trick one, you will need to win trick 1, partner needs to ruff a heart at trick 2, give you a diamond ruff trick 3, partner gets a heart ruff trick 4, and you get a second diamond ruff at trick 5 for down 1.

Now put yourself in partner's shoes. Partner has no idea how many spades are in your hand (0, 1, 2, 3)?? You can clarify for partner by the order of your plays to tricks 1 & 2 if you have 0, 1, or 2+ spades. If you have 0 spades, (switch the 2 small spades to 2 small diamonds for example), you play the heart Queen at trick 1, then King then Ace. This would deny any interest in partner switching to a diamond.

If you have at least one spade and a diamond void, the normal play with AKQxxxx in hearts is Ace then King or Queen to scream high low for diamonds. You would play the A trick 1, then the K or Q trick 2, then the 9 trick 3 if you only hold 1 spade. If you hold 2+ spades and a diamond void like the actual hand, play the K hearts trick one, then Q hearts trick 2. The inference from winning playing the King then Queen is that you are announcing to partner that you hold 2+ spades. Therefore, partner can find the winning defense with either of the layouts described above. Partner knows looking at their hand whether to ruff the second round of hearts or not.
Oct. 14, 2012
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Completely agree about Peter deserving another sportsman of the year :) Hopefully we will honor him in the future by adding his name into the Hall of Fame.
Oct. 10, 2012
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There is a high level of representation from the WBL in terms of players with a large number of masterpoints earned from BBO. Three of these players have national championships:
- Hailong Ao, 2012 Lebhar IMP Pairs
- Mark Shaw, 2001 Rockwell Mixed Pairs
- Leo LaSota, 2002 NABC+ Fast Open Pairs

Oct. 8, 2012
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There is not a direct link between # of masterpoints and skill level of an individual. Masterpoints are a function of:
1) How many games a person plays in
2) The level of skill of the player
3) The amount of luck and good fortune that a player has (This has the lowest impact on a player's masterpoints).

The level of skill of the player is the most direct link to a player's masterpoint total. There are ACBL members that regularly participate in club games or in games offered on BBO. Usually when a player accrues alot of masterpoints, they are very skilled. Those that regularly participate in club games or in BBO games but are not very skilled are rarely seen at the top of masterpoint lists. There will always be anomalies.

Nobody is making the conclusion that a player with a low number of masterpoints is not very skilled. There are some very skilled players that are nowhere to be seen in masterpoint lists becuase they do not participate in many games. The conclusion that is being made by some of us is a high number of masterpoints usually implies a skilled bridge player.

Oct. 8, 2012
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I understand your conclusion about anyone that chose “Yes. What am I going to do; raise the level with potentially no fit and no hand?”. Yes, the question that Peg left at the end of “Is it unethical to think a long time with this hand?” could lead to the conclusion that those who chose “Yes” were directly questioning a player's ethics if they think a long time and then pass. However, reading through some of the comments would not lead to the same conclusion. Did RHO wait the appropriate ten seconds before passing? What is the level of experience of the player that pauses before passing with the 1822 shape?

My belief is that a player should try hard to maintain an appropriate tempo at the table in situations like this.
Oct. 8, 2012
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Peg,

The fact that both sides are vul makes the upside to taking a call on the 1822 hand even less. It would also seem like pausing about a minute before passing could be perceived to be misleading opponents into believing the hand has some values.
Oct. 7, 2012
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There are rules in place for everyone to keep an appropriate pace at the bridge table. While it is true that some decisions occur in situations with more factors to consider than others, most of the top level bridge players would make their decision in the appropriate timeframe. There are even instances where a player may make a bid or play without giving 100% thought on the decision just to maintain the appropriate tempo of play.
Oct. 7, 2012
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Bidding tempo is always a sensitive subject when discussed. This is an example where the player holding the 1822 distribution should be able to make up their mind well before 10 seconds after their partner opens 3S. If RHO takes the appropriate time over 3S and passes after about 10 seconds, the player with this hand should not be making a slow bid. If RHO passes well before the 10 seconds, it is hard to place blame on the 1822 for thinking a bit before making their call.

I almost never call the director for matters of bidding tempo. I also make bidding decisions quickly but I make every effort to wait the appropriate 10 seconds before bidding after the opponent on my right makes a skip bid.
Oct. 7, 2012
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I have a very high level of respect for many bridge players. I am always especially impressed when players are able to develop strong partnerships with many different players. Bob Hamman's history of winning many national & world championships with so many different partners from 1962 through 2012 is especially impressive.
Oct. 4, 2012
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One thing to keep in mind about masterpoints is that they are really a function of 3 different factors:

1) How many games a person plays in
2) The level of skill of the player
3) The amount of luck and good fortune that a player has (This has the lowest impact on a player's masterpoints)


It is true as Henry stated that “in some sense at least, masterpoints do measure, broadly speaking, ability”. It is also true that there are many excellent players that have a low number of masterpoints, and there are some players with many masterpoints that would not be considered to be real strong players by most of their competition.

Everyone can have their own opinions on the level of ability of another bridge player. A good way of measuring a player's ability is how much respect they receive from other players that they regularly play against or partner with.
Oct. 4, 2012
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Peg,

There are methods available for handling “Bergen raises” and invitational jump shifts in a minor. Over 1H, 3C is 4+ hearts, either a mixed raise, or a GF with an unspecified void.

1H-3C**-3D by opener asks, then:

3H = min mixed raise,
3S, 3nt, 4C = GF w/ void (low middle high, so 3S = club void, 3nt = diamond void, 4C = spade void)
4D = max mixed raise with 3+ controls (either 3 kings, or 2 aces, or one ace, one king)
4H = max mixed raise without 3+ controls


1H-3D = 4+ hearts, limit raise

1H-3H = preemptive heart raise

1H-3S = “good preemptive” raise to 4H with singleton or void on the side.

1H-3S-3nt** asks, then:
4C = club singleton or void, 4D = diamond singleton or void, 4H = spade singleton or void


1H-3nt = splinter in spades, 12-15ish
1H-4C = splinter in clubs, 12-15ish
1H-4D = splinter in diamonds, 12-15ish


1H-2S** = strong jump shift in spades OR invitational jump shift in either minor.

Over 1H-2S-2nt:
- 3C = 6+ clubs, invitational
- 3D = 6+ diamonds, invitational
- anything else = strong jump shift in spades



Over 1S, those that play a version of BART can use the following:

Over 1S,
-3C is 6+ clubs invitational
-3D** is 4+ spades, either a mixed raise, or a GF with an unspecified void.
-3H = 4+ spades, limit raise
-3S = preemptive spade raise
-3nt = “good preemptive” raise to 4S with singleton or void on the side
-1S-3nt-4C** asks, then:
4D = club singleton or void, 4H = diamond singleton or void, 4S = heart singleton or void.


1S-4C = splinter in clubs, 12-15ish
1S-4D = splinter in diamonds, 12-15ish
1S-4H = splinter in hearts, 12-15ish


- 1S-3D-3H by opener asks, then:
- 3S = min mixed raise,
- 3nt, 4C, 4D = GF w/ void (low middle high, so 3nt = club void, 4C = diamond void, 4D = heart void)
4H = max mixed raise with 3+ controls (either 3 kings, or 2 aces, or one ace, one king)
4S = max mixed raise without 3+ controls


Over 1S, if you have an invitational jump shift in diamonds, go through 1nt, then if partner bids 2C, you bid 2D (artificial BART) - any rebid by opener between 2H and 3C, - 3D = natural invitational.

If partner rebids anything above 2C after 1S-1nt, you are in the same guess as everyone else that does not play direct invitational jump shifts in a minor over 1S.

It is advisable to play 1S-1nt- 2 of either red suit by opener = 4+ card suit. Therefore, when opener rebids 2C, they could be as short as 2 if they are 5332.


Of course it is partnership decision whether to play 1nt as forcing or semi-forcing over 1 major opener.
Sept. 26, 2012
Leo Lasota edited this comment Sept. 26, 2012
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Gavin,

It is common for clubs to be closed during weeks in which there are local regionals, or choose to run games with smaller average attendance. If Hazel's bridge club is close to a local sectional and would be large enough to have enough tables available, she can coordinate with unit officials to host a session of a sectional at her club. Alternatively, if the officials in charge of running the local sectionals would not allow sessions to be held at Hazel's club, an alternative would be to have the unit or district newsletters offer her a free advertisement published.
Jan. 15, 2012
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Of course only Joel Wooldridge knows the real reason for the final 6H call. In theory, the 6H call seems to be an error since John Hurd is likely to Q-bid any ace that he has instead of bidding 5H as others have stated. However, playing the hand against very strong opponents would increase the odds that the slam is allowed to be made. As Kit has already mentioned, Martel and Stansby heard the auction and had no reason to believe that Wooldridge would bid 6H off both aces after Hurd neglected to cuebid on the previous round of bidding.
Nov. 25, 2011
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