Join Bridge Winners
All comments by Randy Thompson
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Great article.

Add another excuse to pass: “My hand is too good to open a weak two and not good enough to open at the one level, so I pass!” No such hand. Pick one and live with it.
Nov. 14
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withdrawn comment
Nov. 9
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2N tends to have a tight range, so IMO, a meaning that says where in this tight range opener is in the way of controls is less useful than the ability to cue spades below the level of game. Especially if playing Last Train, using 3N as some sort of gradation of slam suitability seems like overkill to me, while using it as a spade control saves space in an already-crowded auction.
Nov. 9
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Playing 2/1, where 1 is 3+, we play that 2 is a limit raise in clubs (and 1-3 is limit in diamonds).
Playing a 2+ 1 with a range of 14-18 if flat, we play that 2 is a limit raise in both minors. Not sure this would work if 2N didn't force game, as would be the case in different flat-hand ranges. This lets 1 2 be a GF.
Nov. 4
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With a six-loser hand, shortness and no dead values in their suit, and partner showing a diamond control (having bid 3 the need, if any, for Last Train, if playing it, pales in comparison to the need to show a diamond control) just bidding keycard makes the most sense to me. Having bid 3, partner's cues below game are mandatory and this hand shows exactly why they should be. Even if 4 were Last Train, pard must have a diamond control to make a slam try, because he lacks both top trump honors and the A.
Oct. 31
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I renew my objection to Last Train as a “blame transfer” device that precludes a valuable cue bid. If you cannot cue M-1, just how much interest could you have?
Oct. 29
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This is a chance to discuss Ethnic Slur Fishbein. Playing “(Insert the name of the group you want to slur) Fishbein,” double is for take-out and 3 is for penalties. Then follow it up with “Have you heard about the (insert name of the group you want to slur) terrorist who was order to go blow up a bus and burned his lips on the tailpipe?” Drum roll. Fade to black.
Oct. 29
Randy Thompson edited this comment Oct. 29
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Also, I would pass if vul. Finding ways to go -200 even when not doubled does not appeal.
Oct. 29
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If I bid, I double, because when this light on power, I want to play in partner's longest suit and not risk a 5-1 heart fit. If 3 is three-suited take-out (unclear whether the comment applies), I would pass, because then Lebensohl would be unavailable to let us try to stop (and let pard blow off some steam short of cue bidding). This is a hand that tests the outer limits of my belief that the hand short in their suit must be aggressive. I absolutely would not mind if my partner passed when holding this hand. Fishbein is a failed convention and you need to be more persuasive in talking your partner out of playing it. Take the Nancy Reagan approach and “just say no.”
Oct. 29
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All this gibberish about bidding on crap and playing for cash just 100% misses the point. The 1N bid doesn't promise ANYthing other than long clubs. It is SOUTH who shouldn't play for cash as he apparently is living in your pre-transfer world where no one passes 1 doubled for penalties and where you apparently expect strength that the transfer not only doesn't promise but implies is NOT there.
Oct. 27
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You put your finger on it – Partner “imagining” hands that I don't/can't have. Playing in the weaker hand's 6 card suit is usually the best choice on a mis-fit hand. It's hard to “Imagine” a hand where we can make 4 but responder won't move over 2. A hand with a fit has NO need to run from 1 and when you have the methods to run from one spade, partner but do not, THEN is when pard would be justified in “imagining” some 2-card support.
Oct. 26
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MSS: 1 is an unwelcome number of spades after it goes all-pass over the double with him holding say KJxxx Axx Kx Kxx. He will want a new pard when he realizes you didn't get us into our 9 card club fit instead of playing doubled in our 5-card spade fit.
Oct. 26
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Wow. North showed his 0 HCP and 6+ clubs (assuming this isn't one of those lead-directors with a fit) and removed the risk of playing 1 doubled with a 5-card fit instead of clubs with a 9 or 10 card fit. A misfit is powerful reason to bid here, not a reason to put your head in the sand and pass, pretending that it can never go all pass. If not playing transfers, this is an automatic 2 bid, NF and since many decades ago showing 0-9 HCP. The 0 end of the spectrum tends to be with a void or stiff in opener's suit. Not all that different in what the transfer shows except that transfers can also be stronger hands or ones with a fit. Those who object to the transfer to 2 likely have never played them, as this is exactly the type of hand where they are most useful – negative free bid type of hand but without the finality of doing it w/o transfers.
Oct. 26
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At IMPs, it seems right to bid 4, even though it could be right to pass. The two entries in trumps will let pard lead through the opening bidder twice. Given partner's hand, this reason wasn't applicable at the table. With no aces, I think pard's 3 was best, as he should expect to get raised by a hand with a fit and a couple of keycards.
Oct. 25
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Minors, unequal length (6-5 or 7-6). 4N/5N asks for longer one.
Oct. 25
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You can also use the transfers to 1N as a way to get back the power-showing aspect of transfers over take-out doubles. Transfer then pass is the weak version (assumed by opener until told otherwise, showing whatever weak range you choose, maybe 7-9) and transfer then double or transfer then bid of a lower-ranking suit can be GF (maybe 12+ or 13+ depending on how light you open) and you can use transfer then 2N to invite (maybe 10-11 or 11-12 depending on how light you open).

I don't consider using redouble as a transfer to the next higher strain as “fringe,” but maybe it is. If so, I'm very very glad to be in that fringe, as it works WAY better than the old power-showing redoubles. If playing power-showing redoubles, they surely should be “train the guns” redoubles setting up a buy-it-or-belt-it auction and use the Eddie Manfield “I've Got a Secret” auction of pass-then-double to show flat 10-11 (or 11-12 if you open light) hands.
Oct. 24
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Commas save lives: “Let's eat grandma!”
Oct. 24
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Did you read the OP about methods? If South wasn't prepared for a 4 runout on the north hand, he should never have overbid his hand. There are 4 players bidding at this table. 2 is plenty with the South hand if he came even close to understanding what partner can have and the most partner can have given this bidding and where those meager values are likely to be located. North's 4 bid is only wrong if he thinks partner would bid this way with a misfit.
Oct. 24
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The OP says that 1N has a minimum of ZERO. All who agree with 3 must think that part was a lie and that really responder should just sit there and let that take-out double get converted to penalties when we have a 9 card club fit and 5 card spade fit. Not a thing wrong with North's 1N, given the methods. Could he have passed 3 on the assumption that partner was unprepared for a runout to clubs with the long-clubs, bad-hand part of the description of 1N? I suppose. But, IMO, this auction went off the rails with the 3 bid but only got REALLY crazy with the barking-mad 4 bid that suggests this was South's first time playing these methods over the take-out double. Up to 4, it is possible for this auction to have been right; at that point, all routes would lead to a telephone number.
Oct. 24
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Paul: 1-1M,3 is GF 5-5. We started this structure playing the old KS 3 bid that showed 5-5 and weaker than rebidding 2 then 3. But, now we can rebid 1N with that weak hand (although it usually involves the opponents mixing in). When the 3 rebid was weak, then to show a GF 5-5 we had to (gasp) open 1 and rebid diamonds twice (right, like modern opponents will permit that!)
Oct. 22
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