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All comments by Randy Thompson
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Never claim. It often wastes time and when the zealous bridge lawyers get active, you might be “required” to play it in some crazy fashion. It never ever helps you; sometimes it costs you; so claiming is a lose-or-tie proposition. Just play it out and let them stew.
Sept. 18
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I have been playing fit-showing jumps as showing 5+ and 3+ since I learned them from a bootleg copy of Eddie Manfield bidding methods notes for his partners some 35-40 years ago. I don't know if he invented them, but I hadn't heard of them before that and don't think he had a 4+ requirement. They were, along with forcing passes, having new suit bids show length instead of cues in some situations, and his principle that “the five level belongs to the opponents,” part of a focus he had on five-level decisions, where imps swing in huge chunks, but double fits say to bid more despite that . His maxim for partners of “in constructive auctions, it is most efficient to tell pard where you are short; in competitive auctions, tell him where you are long and let the opponents tell him where you are short,” has been one of the best bits of (stolen) advice that I have ever had. Many who post here know a LOT more about Eddie's (fantastic) bidding ideas than I do, so maybe some will weigh in here, whether to correct me or to expand on what I said.
Sept. 17
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I abstained because: Why in the world should a fit-showing jump require 4 card support? That probably doesn't come up very often. But, when only 3-card support is required, it comes up quite a bit and always matters a lot. Finding out that both sides have a double-fit raises the total number of tricks in the hand; finding out that you have shotness in partn'er's suit means his tricks will cash and you likely should double sooner rather than later. Only partner knows if we have the double fit and he therefore is captain. A key thing to discuss is how high these bids apply. (I prefer 4 as the last possible fit-showing jump.) Also, they have to be forcing to the level of the cheapest bid in overcaller's suit.
Sept. 16
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When we stayed on the Amalfi coast, we used buses, hydrofoils and walking to get around. My recommendation to friends going there was that if they rented a car, also hire a driver. Buses passed one another on those narrow winding roads at high speed with only inches between them. It was like one of those “don't try this at home” commercials.
Sept. 14
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Back in the day, I was riding in Boston with a woman who put two wheels up on the sidewalk to get around a line of cars (backed up at a light) so that she could make a right turn to go the wrong way on a one-way street for a block before resuming normal driving patterns. She said it was “the only way to get to where we were going” and that she did it “all the time.” I needed a stop by my apartment to change clothes after that.
Sept. 14
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This auction isn't really possible for me, as I would have bid 2N for the round suits non-GF or 4 (Leaping Michaels GF). We haven't discussed what 5 here would show but our general agreement is that it shows clubs and elects partner captain. I guess that would leave 6 hearts and 5 clubs and not very strong as what I would guess. Whatever it shows, in a partnership where it shows length, I'm bidding 6 and in a partnership where it could be shortness or length, I must have sat at the wrong table.
Sept. 12
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We play pass is a double negative (won't go into all that) and redouble is more than that (so GF), but with no decent 5+ card suit and bids of suits show 5+ and not a horrible suit and more than a double negative (so GF). Not elegant, but it IS easy to remember. Unlike when they pass, showing long suits asap is important.

If they don't alert, that double should show clubs and we should not have to ask to find that out, as that is a trap for UI. If they do alert and explain, we play what we usually play over their method (unusual over unusual if two specific suits, as if they did a transfer overcall if one suit (not clubs) or one suit and some other suit (that we ignore)).
Sept. 5
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If they open a strong no trump, strength is irrelevant – we don't have a power-based game. If you run the sims, as I have, you too will know that's a stone cold fact. So, then, it's all about showing shape and finding LAWful fits. Against weak no trumps, I prefer to have opening values to intervene. We MAY have a power-based game against a weak NT and shouldn't give up on it. This impacts methods. For example, playing DONT (a plausible method ONLY vs strong no trumps), you should bid 2 anytime you have six spades and double should NOT include a “good” hand with long spades. Take the two level with a 2 bid and forget our constructive bidding – but whatever you do, don't expand their bidding room by doubling. Vs a weak NT, you might bid 2 with only a five-card suit, but should have opening bid values. Let partner know you have values and hope we reach the right spot. Also, vs weak, double should be a strong(ish) flat(ish) hand, but should be used for different shapes vs Big No trumps.
Sept. 3
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The reason you should stain to bid “two-of-the-other-minor” over their 1m openers is that it generates unsolvable bidding conundrums. We call these “Tom” bids and alert when pard makes one and explain it as natural but extremely undisciplined. Playing 12-14 1N, so that the 1m bid is either distributional or 15-19, transfers here work well (“ToTom” – Transfers over Two of the other minor). But, playing 2/1, I don't see an easy solution. I tried to make transfers work in those auctions, but the loss of a “normal” negative double tended to cost more than the transfers saved and our weak-NT-based touchstone that the transfer to 2M was either 6+ of M and 4+ HCP or 4+ of M and game invite or better opposite a flat 15-19 (about 8+) just didn't hold up when the invite had to be 11+. Best I have come up with is just a negative double promises two places to play the hand, but does NOT guarantee both majors.
Sept. 2
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Hands that were once considered “light” third-seat openers back when Drury was invented are now ones that most people would open in 1st or 2nd seat as well. Many pairs these days, especially those playing Big Club systems, routinely open all 11 counts, almost all shapely 10 counts and lots of very shapely 8 or 9 counts. What is a “light” opener for them in third seat? And, many of these pairs also will open 2 (if weak) or 2M with a five-card suit (even a bad one) in first seat nonvul. If your passed-hand partner can't open something with THOSE “requirements,” then there is little he can do to you if you psyche non-vul in third seat – drury or no drury. It isn't “fielding a psyche;” it's partner lacking the values to do anything else!

In one of my partnerships, a non-vul pass in 1st seat will never have as many as 11 HCP (and seldom will have a shapely 10 count) and almost never will have a 5-card major. In another, such a first-seat pass denies a good 11 HCP and almost never will have a 5-card major or a 5-card diamond suit. In third seat, do I really want to have fewer requirements for opening than THAT? When I say that a third-seat opening bid should promise an opening bid, I include the caveat “by partnership standards.” If you are lighter than those requirements, you are surely getting very close to what the ACBL would deem a psyche – and wouldn't that make Drury a psychic control? Of course it would, but it has special dispensation. Back in my working days, I once opined that the Wall Street Journal met the definition of “investment adviser” in the Investment Advisers act of 1940 and should be regulated as one, arguing that “it looks like a duck; it walks like a duck; it quacks like a duck; it's a duck.” The senior attorney for whom I was working, raised his hand and said, “No. No. No. It doesn't work like that. It looks like a duck; it walks like a duck; it quacks like a duck; the Act says it's a cat; it's a cat.” Here, Drury is a cat, not the duck it appears to be.
Aug. 30
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A bridge curse: May your partners and opponents always be imaginative.
Aug. 30
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Or, much worse, preferring clubs to his hearts and too weak to bid more.
Aug. 30
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A recorder serves exactly the same function as the “close door” button in elevators. It makes you feel you are doing something when all that is going on is that time is passing.
Aug. 30
ATB
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It seems to me that opening it with a heavy 1N is a bit better than having to rebid a light 2N now with xx in a now-very-unbid suit. If going to power the hand past 2, maybe a 2N rebid beats a 2 rebid. This isn't an easy hand for most pairs. I voted that I would do what the OP auction did (assuming it was matchpoints) – and the only way I'm sure that it's wrong is that there apparently is blame to be assigned, so this close game must make. Vul at imps, I think opener has to show that power somehow, but at matchpoints the given auction is reasonable and the final contract might well get a good score a lot of the time.
Aug. 29
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Oh, I don't know. You can show 11 red cards by bidding 5 over 4 or 5 if you started with hearts, but what call shows the 5 hearts over either of those black suit bids? Plan to bid 5? Also over 3 or 4 by the opponents, you have no way to show the 5 hearts w/o forcing to the 5 level if he prefers diamonds. Might work. Might not.
Aug. 29
ATB
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Marty: I haven't read the most recent version of Robinson's Washington Standard, but I have heard him comment that having many honor cards in a hand has is a plus, not a minus when evaluating NT chances. Aces and spaces work if partner has a running suit; lots of honor cards may help his suit (if any) run and will surely generate stoppers in the opponents' suit(s).
Aug. 29
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I guess I spent too many years in the Washington D.C. area, where Steve Robinson's influence on bidding methods was significant (he would open 1 with 5-8 in the reds). If you open 1, what is your plan over 4 or 5 by the opponents? The 6 bid would have occurred to me, but I would have bid a pedestrian 4 instead (unless down late in a KO match). The 7 bid is not only a violation of discipline; it is also insulting to partner (IMO). Even if the insult is deserved, it's not a way to get the best out of partner in the future (if you plan to keep playing with him).
Aug. 29
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Guess I didn't think that one through, Richard. :)
Aug. 29
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If West has no A, he has a limit raise that easily makes slam.

IMO, bidding 4 is the better scientific approach, whether it shows diamonds or just a diamond control with no club control. But, once the bid is 6, West must pass.

I think this leap to slam is best justified as an attempt to make a slam off the cashing AK. Spade lead and run the reds until dummy has no more clubs! Behind late in a KO match, 6 has a lot to be said for it.
Aug. 29
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If you move the spade ace to clubs, partner moves his Jx to spades.
Aug. 29
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