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All comments by Sathya Bettadapura
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I too joined the discussion about IMP Pairs vs MP almost reflexively, without realizing that it could or rather would come across as questioning the achievement of the pair that outplayed a star-studded field and prevailed. Thanks to everyone who reminded us why we shouldn't be doing this.
Feb. 21
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Win the opening lead, take finesse, two rounds of ending in dummy and 6 rounds of . This is the four card ending:

————–5
————–J
————–9
————–2

void———————Q
A6———————QT
87———————-K
void———————-void

————–void
————-K9
————-A5

When you play the 2 from dummy,

a) if East pitches the K, you pitch a . West is forced to pitch . Now cash the 9, play a to West's Ace and score the A for the 12th trick.

b) So East must come down to three pictures, so you pitch a . The next trick is a hundred honors in , J, Q, K, A. Now you have two winners, 9 and A.
Feb. 21
Sathya Bettadapura edited this comment Feb. 21
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Unlikely that South has a stiff . If anyone is short in , it's North. Hard to imagine North without a stiff for the auction.
Feb. 20
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Isn't BAM the format that combines the best of MP and teams ? Why don't long knockouts use BAM scoring instead of IMPs ?
Feb. 20
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Just because Bob and Steve won the event three times, it doesn't make the event less prone to randomness. They have won a lot of MP events too after all.

As a format of scoring IMPs is seriously flawed IMHO. A few hands matter a lot more than others. It's somewhat like electoral college compared to popular vote. Add to this the Pairs element and what you get is a really messed form of competition. Especially in the qualifying stages, a pair that happens to play inconsequential deals against strong opposition and difficult ones against weaker opponents has considerable advantage over others. This doesnn't happen in MP as all hands are created equal.
Feb. 19
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Timo, sorry I don't agree with you about field protection. Here's a hand I watched. One hand doesn't prove anything, but here it's any way. In the qualifying phase there was a hand I watched Zia play. This was the very last hand in the set.

Zia held KTxxx AKQx J Kxx. After 1-2 he made a game try with 3 and partner jumped to game with AQx xx Qxxxx xxx. They let him make 5! Only one other pair who bid game had a plus score. Down two was not uncommon.
Feb. 19
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A specific auction, play or defense should serve as a starting point for discussion of a general class of hands that fit the initial action.

Whatever else may be wrong with the posted auction (4) is the least of problems. With the controls, four trumps and possible ruffing value, treating the East hand as not GF is a serious underbid. That it'd have worked on this hand is immaterial. You'd have missed a really good game any time opener has length in and a minimum.
Feb. 19
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I agree in general that randomness is a huge part of IMP Pairs. But that it happens even in a select-filed of 22 Pairs is somewhat surprising and disappointing.

In my experience there's a lot of randomness on the first day of 3-day National MatchPoint events, may be even the second day. But in the finals there's a lot more field protection.
Feb. 19
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Right it didn't in the auction that was posted. But we were discussing what would happen if East had bid a non-serious 3nt over opener's 3.

Dave Waterman said:

“Yep. But, in the given case, I don't believe West will do anything but sign off in 4♠ over ns 3nt. He has shown a bit of strength above a minimum, but not ‘significant’ extras (yet), and doesn't have quite enough to launch opposite non-serious but willing partner.”

My responses thereafter were a reaction to this comment.
Feb. 19
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Steve,

“Partner has another call”.

Responder said he's not serious about slam when he bid 3nt. How can he start going beyond game now when opener signs off ?
Feb. 19
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As has been pointed out many times in this thread, if your rounded suits were reversed it's a really great slam. Naturally no matter what methods you play you'll miss some slams. But to sign off without even exploring if the hands fit really well doesn't seem terribly satisfactory.
Feb. 18
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Congratulations to the winners. Now hurry up and please get back home before next week.
Feb. 18
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The first part of your auction is fairly straightforward - opener has denied control with his 4 bid, so when responder bids 4 he obviously has control.

But how confident are you as responder biding 5 over opener's 4 now ? Are you sure the 5-level is safe ? What if opener had AKQTx Jxx AKx Jx. It might seem like a carefully crafted shape but it's not too far-fetched, if you consider that the rounded suits were mirrored on the actual hand which is what led to trouble.

When responder has control and can not bid it at the 4-level because systemically it'd be a serious slam try, you find yourself in last train territory and 5-level cue-bidding. I'm not sure how many people would consider that “fairly easy”.
Feb. 18
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If West's rounded suits were reversed he'd prefer to hear a cue bid from partner first instead of knowing that she's has no significant extras. Knowing where partner's cards are helps you evaluate your hand some times, while sometimes that partner is limited helps you say low. If partner bids 3nt try bidding two hands- first the actual hand that West had. Then try another where he has AKQTx Jx Ax QJxx (Steve Bloom suggested that in his post)
Feb. 17
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This is my problem with playing Serious/Non-serious. When partner bids a NS 3nt how are you supposed to evaluate the hand you cite versus the hand West held ? Partner's 3nt is a wasted opportunity when he could have made a space-conserving cue-bid of 4. You have to find a way to limit your hand later. Partner has a chance to evaluate his hand in the context of your cue-bids instead of simply knowing that you're non-serious.
Feb. 17
Sathya Bettadapura edited this comment Feb. 17
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Chris,

Don't quite understand what you're saying about considerable extras. Are you saying that if 4 by East was Serious West would have considerable extras ?
Feb. 17
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Chris,

If you think West should not cue-bid over East's non-serious 3nt, then by the same token should he not have signed off over East's 4 cue in the actual auction that took place ? Essentially isn't it the same judgement that's required in both cases, at least on this hand. Granted, there are many other hands where knowing that partner is non-serious helps you put brakes very early on.

Dave,

Without serious/non-serious methods partners have to rely upon old-fashioned judgement where they have to know when to sign off. IMHO that point occurs after East bid 4 in the above auction. Two reasons why West should sign off: he's pretty much at the bottom of the range for a 3 bid over J2N. His rounded suits are not slammish. If we still have a slam partner needs to have extras and you trust him to bid again.
Feb. 17
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OK, let's say East does bid a non-serious 3nt. How do we stop in 5 on this set of hands. And let's see how we get to slam when the opener has AKQTx Kx Ax Jxxx.
Feb. 17
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No specific agreement, so East couldn't have bid 3nt. But if he does, I believe it makes further bidding hard for both. Whether West holds AKQxx Kx Ax Jxxx or AKQTx QJxx Ax Jx, he'd start with a 4 cue-bid presumably. East is stuck unable to cue-bid at a convenient level and would probably bid 4 and all this leads nowhere in particular. Unless you have the kind of structure that Jeff Lehman mentions in his comment below, it's hard to bid these hands with any accuracy.
Feb. 16
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Thanks Barry ! Were you playing in Platinum Pairs or IMP Pairs ?
Feb. 15
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