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All comments by Bob Marheine
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Although I’d normally open 1H here, I chose 3H opposite a partner who opens most balanced 11s, as stated. Since no one has mentioned partner has virtually denied the values to make 4H, I’ll be interested to see what Oren says about that.
June 9
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Yes, K&R increases to 18.80 (with that change), which looks much better (see Doug Bennion's following entry, and comments), per http://www.jeff-goldsmith.org/cgi-bin/knr.cgi?hand=AKJ4+98+AJ8+AT93
Of course, simply counting A=4.3 gives 17.9 HCP for either hand.
March 19
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If by “only possible” you mean “only justifiable”, I think I agree with you, but I'd be willing to bet a little something that South (and quite possibly a director) WAS able to find a 3NT call in this auction, or it wouldn't be a poll.
March 19
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Jay,
If some group of individuals wanted to contribute (apparently unlikely, and not me, either) towards the penalties the ACBL is likely to incur by not filling the contracted number of rooms, how much would they need to raise/contribue to the ACBL (either at the time of your response or expected by tournament start) to cover the shortfall, AND how does that compare to the spending required to meet the contract? Are we talking spending $1,000,000 on rooms to avoid $50K in penalties, or is the contract SO bad that the penalties far exceed what could have been the cost of renting the playing space? (Obviously, I have no handle on what the actual costs are, unless 7000(?) tables x 2 room-nights per 4 people yields 14,000 room-nights, or $2.8 million at $200/night, then multiplied by 10% or … 50% (???) “assumed” member host usage rate, so anywhere from $280K to $1.4 million, compared to someone's $5-$10 entry fee “surtax” estimate for the same 28,000 people (7000 tables) for $140K-$280K)
Oct. 17, 2018
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I guessed “I am not a” … (liar?). Maybe I guessed right! (of course, if I was at all clever, I'd have scrolled down two inches before “googling” it.)
Oct. 17, 2018
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Yes. I guessed HOF, before checking. So, the ACBL's list of the 9 original, over 3 years, plus Helen Sobel, one of 8 inducted in '95.
May 10, 2018
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I know the table result, so abstained. I have to reinstall my Dealmaster (?) software somewhere and simulate this opposite (an) expected hand(s) like ??/1-loser 8 card/x/??? or similar and see what range of results occurs. Anybody have that handy and interested enough to do that exercise?
(Since most Dbl, as expected, to protect, and expect a 1 trick set often even in the worst case, would you still double with the same hand, but 4243?)
I'm more interested in why people double than the fact that they do.
What rules/principles do most doublers expect their partners to apply in response? Pass only with a penalty double? Pass unless they have enough to make game in a suit opposite a (how?) strong take-out double? Do they expect partner to play them for at most one heart, as likely void, on this high level auction?
April 11, 2018
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Thanks, this topic isn't discussed enough. I remember reading about 40 years ago to mentally add a queen (updated to a king, I believe) to your hand and bid accordingly (both in balancing and in choosing a re-bid, consistent with balancing 1NT with 12+ vs direct 15+); trapping partner should deduct the king you've mentally transferred into your hand for his response. This question is practically right out of Mike Lawrence's excellent, extensive, revised (2012) Complete Book On Balancing. Balancing against hearts, he says that (the very slightly worse) K975/K2/A95/K1087 might be talked into going to 2S if pushed. I voted the poll hand worth 2S, although minimum (14 + borrowed 3). I've found Phil Warden's advice to my partner to not discount Kx in this position successful more often than not.
Nov. 10, 2017
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If I played 3NT as a ‘good’ 4H call, so that I could bid 4H with the same hand with the H9 instead of the Heart Ace, I'd bid 3NT. If 3NT was supposed to show an outside defensive card, then I guess still 4H. Definitely 4H before splintering (specific or unknown suit). A “balanced game raise” Jacoby 2NT would be WAY off base (though might have some psychic value, especially by someone like me, who probably would never have considered it at the table).
Aug. 18, 2017
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Jeff, was 3H necessary to deny 3S, 5D, or 4C? (else, why not a 3S raise?)
Even with AQ-6th, Ax, Axx, Kx, opener can only count 10 tricks until 6D, then 11 tricks, so is/was 6H intended as “6D wasn't disappointing (but 5NT was still only a courtesy)” or “now I only need the DQ” or “you do realize that KQ-5th ought to ruff out to 3 winners, right?”, or “gee, why did I stop to think over your 6D bid, rather than bid 6S in tempo; now do I need to re-invite a grand to stave off the threat of a UI ruling?”? I DO realize that the fact that this was a quiz suggests there was probably a different view of things in partner's eyes, so you may not care to disclose opener's hand, but if not, given your 7S bid, what would you now think 7D would be, your actual hand, or KQJxx, a possibly better trump suit letting you set up an AKQ(no Jack) 6-2 spade suit for 5 winners?
April 14, 2017
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Hard to believe that a majority would pass the 2H overcaller with AQJ(T/x)xx / Ax / Ax(x) / Kx(x) without a(n unlikely) clear partnership agreement. But your 6-1-3-3 (or 6-1-2-4!) 7D construction IS worthy of Thomas Andrew's site.
April 14, 2017
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Nice link Ed. Very strange prohibition considering I've never seen a picture of Walt without a moustache. Can you imagine Burl Ives being turned away? http://disneyandmore.blogspot.com/2009/12/walt-disneys-birthday-celebration.html (7th picture down)
Upon reflection, I have to wonder if this unwritten dress code wasn't applied very selectively (any exuberant young male(s) without parents or their own children?; any suspected rock band members?).
Dec. 9, 2016
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I would be surprised to hear that there was a huge difference in the probability of being stuck with a 7775 partnership distribution between holding 4432 & 4333 hands. I'm guessing we'd be talking less than a 5% variance, so if there's only a 10% chance of that happening with one of those, then between 9.5% & 10.5% with the other. What sort of numbers did you come up with?

Not having looked into this at all, I can only speculate, but I think it might be more important which of our suits is our combined 5 card suit. If it's one of my 2 or 3 card suits, then we have only 3 card length to help provide a stopper. If it's opposite my singleton or 4 card suit, then I at least have a 4th card, which might make J9xx/x a stopper, whereas JT9/xx never will be.

So, I might also look into whether the (defensive) 4441 isn't as worrisome as the more common 4333, 5332, & 6332, each of which have 3 suits that could have the vulnerable 3-2 holding.
April 22, 2016
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JG's KnR evaluator values/displays the responding hand as a (standalone) 9.0 pt hand. If I recall accurately, that includes an adjustment for the 5th club, so nothing for shortness; with likely longer trump in responder's hand, that seems appropriate.
Aug. 25, 2015
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Jeff Goldsmith's Knr evaluator calls this a 9 point responder.
Aug. 25, 2015
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Suspension? “…He was placed on probation for 13 months and penalized 25% of his total masterpoints.
– Aug. 12, 2015”
Aug. 17, 2015
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I think I like the idea of 3S (other major) being a good 3C re-bid, rather than the narrower 3-1-5-4 “are your hearts really weak?”, if you accept 3C as weak. I wouldn't risk it with this 1-2-5-5 hand (3NT w/o discussion), but I would with the same 2-1-5-5.

Since I wouldn't advocate re-bidding 3H on a 5-5 minimum after 1S-F1 / 2H-2NT(Inv) since there's no guarantee of a heart fit, 3C perhaps should be similar, but one can be dealt 6-5 minors as well.
July 31, 2015
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KQ of diamonds vs. some of it in clubs should be worth a raise to slam.
The last time I remember “finding” 6D on such an auction (one of the few real benefits in 2/1), we held AJTxx / K / AJTxx / xx opposite Kx / Axxx / Kxx / Axxx. Responder liked Kings in partner's suits, Aces in partner's short suits, and 6 controls. Opener was encouraged by responders 3H & 4C control showing bids showing no quick losers (as long as his singleton heart king could be unblocked), besides his originally known 5-5 shape with textured suits and 5 controls of his own. In our auction opener committed to slam after responder went past 3NT in addition to the good news shown. In the given hand, since opener drove past 3NT, I think responder can accept the invite with his unshown, better than it would have to be trumps. To go past 3NT, shouldn't opener have MORE than just KQxxx / x / Axxxx / Ax? (either the spade jack, or great luck!)
June 12, 2015
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My impression formed over the last 40 years is that non-expert standard in this case would be suit preference with a lot less appreciation of the possibility of encouraging a continuation for safety or tapping dummy than they would to give count after raising to avoid a ruff-sluff.
May 9, 2015
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I *almost* google'd Charles Lynch . . .
(I HAVE 18th century Virginian ancestors, if that's any excuse.)
April 14, 2015
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