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All comments by Mike Ma
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I really don't see what the problem is as long as those who want to play up have the opportunities to do so.
Feb. 28, 2014
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Big difference. 1M-3M invitational or forcing, does not matter, you are jumping not to a “weak: hand” without competition. if you bid it to show 8-10, that is a two point difference from invitational too, but you will have to alert for sure.

When you open 1N, you have already limited your hand to some point range. If you jump to show the minimum point range as opposed to maximum, of course you have to alert. Alerting is not only appropriate, it should be required (I have no idea what actually is required by ACBL).

Asking is not the solution to this, as asking always opens other cans of worms.
Feb. 28, 2014
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I don't really know why this is an issue. if you jump unnecessarily not in competition, of course that should be alerted (the term “alertable” is terrible English even for this non English speaker). If you jump to invite, whatever the criteria required for inviting, why should that be alerted? If you buy the contract, you should proactively explain what the invitational jump implies about length and distribution if you want to be ethical.

If you bid 3M over transfer not invitational, of course it should be alerted. If you super-accept (invitational), why should it be alerted whether it promises 4M or not. It is when you super-accept with a conventional bid that needs to be alerted. If 3M is invitational but denies a doubleton, then it should be alerted because there is extra agreement in the 3M bid.

To say opponents should ask is silly. Whenever someone asks what a bid means, everybody gets bent out of joint.
Feb. 28, 2014
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Another approach is after 3 to use Help Suit Slam Try (attributed to Ron Ruben?) rather than Q for the first bid. After 4 by W, E knows his hand is gold. Two Q's later they are in 7.

E's hand is much closer to 3N than 3 over 2N. If he has a legitimate 3 bid, I don't see how W can sign off with his hand.
Feb. 26, 2014
Mike Ma edited this comment Feb. 26, 2014
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My first exposure to this Ogust “psyche” was at the Toronto Nationals in the mini Spingold. RHO opened 2, I passed, and LHO bid 2N (5 card Ogust). My partner had both minors, and we had no bid to show that in our system. The 2NT bid let him bid 3. Having seen the LHO in action in hands to that point, I suspect his Ogust was a psyche. I did not know if that is legal or even if it is considered a psyche. Anyway, I bid 3 and my partner 5 and we ended up in 5 making 6 on a finesse (probably should have bid it since we were behind quite a bit at that point).

In that case, the 2N rather than 3 did sort of make things easier for us once I decided 2N was a “psyche”.
Feb. 26, 2014
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Seriously, if you think preempting 3 with E hand at favorable vulnerability is that unusual, what is the point? I already said I don't want to misrepresent Kit. Obviously you are the expert.
Feb. 23, 2014
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Actually, both partners told each other a lot about their hands. I was W and when E opened 3, I knew I had no defense (even if E only had 6's, one of NS having a void is quite likely), and with 3 cards in the M, I knew they had at least a small slam. I did not know what is the best way to talk them out of getting there. I decided to just bid 6 and hoped they guessed wrong. I am quite willing to admit that was not a good choice. When they bid 6, I could not bid 7, because I did not want to push them to 7.

Meanwhile, E also knew a lot about W's hand, namely, what hand would he have to advance sacrifice to 6. I was playing with an irregular partner, so we had no understanding (perhaps true even if we were regular partners) that would allow E to bid 7. 7 was down 2 or 3. If we had bid it, we would have beat even the tables where NS bid only game.
Feb. 23, 2014
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Maybe. As I said, I don't presume to represent Kit correctly. Obviously you are the expert.
Feb. 23, 2014
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I don't claim to know what is right. I am posing a question of what 6 and no X mean. And you are totally missing the point. It is not that you should save with less than 2 defensive tricks. It is that you do not save when you and he have no defensive tricks, because you will regret it badly for pushing them into 7.
Feb. 23, 2014
Mike Ma edited this comment Feb. 23, 2014
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Your partner did not bid 7 in vacuum, he bids it over your 6. The question is whether 6 and no double over 6 implies no defense. If it does, 7 is not that crazy is it? As John Adams wrote, in imps, 7 would be “law of minimum regret”.
Feb. 23, 2014
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I don't want to misrepresent Kit, but have you read some of Kit's articles?
Feb. 23, 2014
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I am not sure how that makes it clear. In your auction, neither partner knows if the other has a defensive trick or not.

By the way, how did you find the lead with that bidding, the only lead to hold them to 6?
Feb. 23, 2014
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Your A means you don't mind pushing them to 7 if partner has 0 defense. On the other hand, if partner may have a defensive trick given how he has bid so far, then you are making a phantom sacrifice.
Feb. 23, 2014
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Why was E's first bid questionable?
Feb. 23, 2014
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There is a difference between X by responder and by opener. If you open a weak NT, and partner passes, why would you penalty double?
Feb. 20, 2014
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Gary, as Larry pointed out, you have two entries to your hand, use them in whatever order required. I don't have strong opinion on what should go in AtB.
Feb. 19, 2014
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Gary, after playing A, you ruff 2 's (using K as entry to hand for second ruff) before playing the second off the board.
Feb. 19, 2014
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My reaction after reading the article was “Who should get CREDIT for staying out of the slam”.
Feb. 19, 2014
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I have no way of knowing who are graduate students or not for sure. However, I suspect most of those with full chinese names like “Yuda Wang” are international graduate students from China, or they immigrated here with their parents. Those with names like “Eugene Lo” are probably ethnic chinese born in the US, and may be undergrad or grad, although it is possible they are from Hong Kong (e.g. my name). I doubt I am too far off on the whole.
Feb. 17, 2014
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Are you surprised that bridge is much more popular in china than here? Or that there are lots of graduate students from China in major American universities?
Feb. 17, 2014
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