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All comments by Bud Hinckley
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I don't expect to be allowed to play 3NT. Since I expect the bidding to be at least at 5, if we end up doubling them later, I don't want a ruff and sluff given on opening lead! So I bid 4 to get a club lead instead of a diamond lead.
March 7, 2013
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Since you need 3-2 spades, I admit I like the idea of leading that fourth diamond and planning on ruffing high. Although the chance that RHO is going to ruff from a four trump holding, seeing no side entry to dummy, and that LHO ruffed with a stiff trump, is really remote.

But I guess it doesn't cost to try it.
March 5, 2013
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Although I have partners who agree when I show them the advantage of invitational jump shifts, and just as importantly, the inferences available when not used, they all have fallen in love (brainwashed) with Bergen Raises and can't bear to give them up!

When The Bridge World finally gets around to starting the polling process for the next version of Bridge World Standard, invitational jump shifts (and, therefore, 2/1 being an absolute game force) was my choice for the most likely major change to the system.
March 3, 2013
Bud Hinckley edited this comment March 3, 2013
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The software for the Dealer4 dealing machine was just updated from version 4.42 to version 4.50, and the new version includes the option of using BigDeal to generate random deals. However, as I write this, the webpage where you would download the new version file still links to the old 4.42 version. You can get the updated version at

http://www.dealer4.com/Updates/Dealer4_setup_4v50.exe

So now both BridgeComposer and Dealer4 software allow BigDeal as an option to generate random deals.
Feb. 19, 2013
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So much for the Dealer4 software update that is to include BigDeal - it hasn't yet been released.

However, BridgeComposer just was updated and the present version 5.38 now includes the ability to use BigDeal. Unlike Dealmaster Pro which has BigDeal inside the Dealmaster program, you need to download BigDeal itself (zip file available at http://sater.home.xs4all.nl/dist1_2.zip) and install it, then in the Options you can tell BridgeComposer where the BigDeal program is located. Unlike the regular BigDeal program where you type keys for randomness/entropy input, a 112 byte (not bit) entropy file is created using the rand_s function, something available in Windows XP and later - and not available to Hans Van Staveren when the BigDeal program was created in 2000.

So no mouse movements are used for entropy, which is supposedly what the new version of Dealer4 software will use when it becomes available.

I tried out the new BridgeComposer version yesterday and generated 20,000 hands in several different sets. It worked great and the distribution statistics were pretty close to expected values.
Jan. 26, 2013
Bud Hinckley edited this comment Jan. 27, 2013
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Much also depends on your opening bid style. If it is a bit lighter than the standard 20 to 30 years ago (as seems common these days), you have more reason to bid 3S and not 2S.

From a losing trick count perspective, this hand adjusts to about 5 3/4 to 6 losers, which puts it on the edge of a 3S bid.
Jan. 24, 2013
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Perhaps you should define what “cooperative penalty” and “cooperative takeout” mean.

Also, I would split your “takeout” answer into “takeout, with possibly close to minimum values” or “takeout with clear extra values”.
Jan. 22, 2013
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Hey, that 13th trick for +950 beat the +920s in 6 (if there were any in the club slam).

In District 8 (St. Louis area, most of Illinois, and northern Indiana) we had only about 13 tables in Flight A with Flight B and C competing simulaneously in a one day two-session event. Being that the district is so weighted to the St. Louis area (politically and otherwise), our event was held 265 miles from me in Springfield IL and this was the first time I had played in our district NAP qualifier. So few attend from Northern Indiana that our unit paid my partner and I a stipend including entry fee to attend as the unit wanted to have some representation. (Only one other Flight A pair from my unit was there, and a few in the other flights.) Fortunately, it was worth the trip for us as we came in second place. In the last two rounds, the eventual winners playing North-South had opponents who avoided a slam needing a finesse and a 3-2 trump break. Playing East-West, I also avoided the same slam the last round. Nearly everyone else bid the less than 50% slam which this time was making, so it was a huge pickup for the winners compared to us and won them an extra $400 each for winning instead of second place - we had to settle for $300 instead of $700 each.

Surprisingly, our field didn't seem that strong and I didn't get the impression there were more than ten pairs that were in competition for those three qualifying spots. One thing is clear - in your district, Polly, it is much, MUCH more difficult to come in the top 3 places. You are playing in one of ACBL's tougher districts.
Jan. 21, 2013
Bud Hinckley edited this comment Jan. 21, 2013
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Are you referring to the “Elections by The ACBL Board of Directors” listed at the end of the (ACBL) Laws book?

I see #3 says

“An opening bid of 1NT and an opening bid of one in a suit, which by partnership agreement could show fewer than 8 high-card points, is designated a special partnership agreement. These two special partnership agreements are disallowed in all ACBL sanctioned events.”

It appears if the ACBL Board of Directors chose to do so, they could modify the wording to disallow ANY 1NT opening bids with fewer than 10 HCP. It could sound something like this:

An opening bid of 1NT, which by partnership agreement could show fewer than 10 high-card points, and an opening bid of one in a suit, which by partnership agreement could show fewer than 8 high-card points, are designated special partnership agreements. These two special partnership agreements are disallowed in all ACBL sanctioned events.
Jan. 21, 2013
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If the intention is to disallow all conventional calls by responder and all conventional rebids by opener, whether the opponents pass throughout or not, the wording on the GCC could me MUCH more clearly written.

Here is an example of how it could be written to avoid any ambiguity if the intent is to always disallow conventional calls by responder and conventional rebids by opener, whether there is interference by either opponent or not:

DISALLOWED - CONVENTIONAL RESPONSES AND REBIDS (INCLUDING WHEN THERE IS INTERFERENCE FROM EITHER OR BOTH OPPONENTS) after natural notrump opening bids or overcalls with a lower limit of fewer than 10 HCP ….


Certainly there is ambiguity on how it is presently written in the General Convention Chart, as I mentioned in my previous post. Why write “DISALLOWED - … AND A CONVENTIONAL DEFENSE TO AN OPPONENT’S CONVENTIONAL DEFENSE” when you could so easily write “DISALLLOWED - … AND A CONVENTIONAL DEFENSE TO ANY OPPOSING DEFENSE”?
Jan. 21, 2013
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From the ACBL General Convention Chart: “DISALLOWED - CONVENTIONAL RESPONSES, REBIDS AND A CONVENTIONAL DEFENSE TO AN OPPONENT’S CONVENTIONAL DEFENSE after natural notrump opening bids … with a lower limit of fewer than 10 HCP.”

From the wording above, since an opponent's direct seat penalty double of your 1NT opening is NOT a “conventional defense”, then you would be allowed to use conventional countermeasures after the (natural) penalty double.

The only reason that would not be true with the GCC wording is if the disallowing of “conventional responses and rebids” after an opposing pass of 1NT also is in force if there is a bid or double by the 1NT opener's LHO. I don't think that is the case, otherwise, why would the wording be so specific mentioning an OPPONENT'S CONVENTIONAL DEFENSE if it was desired to disallow conventional calls for all situations?
Jan. 20, 2013
Bud Hinckley edited this comment Jan. 20, 2013
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Awfully good North hand to not upgrade past a 15-17 1NT opening. Opening 1NT seems like a clear underbid with a good 5-card suit and two aces and two kings. I wonder how the auction would have progressed if it had started Pass-1?
Jan. 18, 2013
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It might have been better to word the question “of those of you who do not SYSTEMICALLY force the bidding to the 3-level on almost all hands with four trumps ….”, which would eliminate those choosing 80, 90, and 100% for their answers.
Jan. 6, 2013
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I am trying to phrase my claims as “I make 11 tricks unless one of you can show me four hearts that include the jack” or “taking the club finesse - if you (RHO) can show me the club king, I make 9 tricks, otherwise 10 tricks.”

This puts the onus on the opponents to show the appropriate holding.
Jan. 4, 2013
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I am aware of one of the better players at our local ACBL club being accused more than once of the “deliberate revoke”, and that there are players that specifically ask to see that player's cards if a claim or concession is made to ensure no “funny business” has occurred before the claim/concession.

My personal feeling is someone who does this with the act confirmed with clear evidence should be suspended for a one year minimum at the local club - and recommendation of same to the unit, district, and ACBL.

So please, at a minimum, complete a recorder form to get the deal in question on record. If the same person tries to say they made an “honest mistake” multiple times, the evidence will be difficult for the player to refute.
Jan. 4, 2013
Bud Hinckley edited this comment Jan. 4, 2013
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I added an immediate 3 as a choice.
Jan. 4, 2013
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I added an immediate 3 as a choice - I had intended to make that the first choice listed. So all you abstainers can now change your vote to 3 if you'd like.
Jan. 4, 2013
Bud Hinckley edited this comment Jan. 4, 2013
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When you consider partner thinks you have led the K from a likely KQJ, it's hard to blame partner for encouraging if he holds 1087xx and the spade ace, especially when on some hands all declarer needs for nine tricks is to knock out the A. (K109 Kxx Axx Qxxx)

Is it possible partner led the K from KQx and declarer has AJx? I think, especially at matchpoints, that this not terribly likely.
Jan. 1, 2013
Bud Hinckley edited this comment Jan. 1, 2013
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Declarer held K1087 KQ9 Q6 Q942 for his 2NT bid!

So I found a new way to come in second place in a local club game. Lost by 1/2 matchpoint by letting declarer score 10 tricks instead of 7 tricks in 3NT. Glad to see more than 3/4 of the votes were for the low diamond. Most of those A votes were late probably expecting something fishy was happening. (They were right!)

Since it was far more likely for partner to have exactly Qxx than to have any 5-card diamond suit after the encouraging signal and the auction, I led the 3 at trick 2 and declarer I am sure was laughing inside when his now singleton Q won and he quickly claimed 10 tricks and a cold top on the board.

It's not clear that at imps I would do this (if partner has Kx or Qxx, declarer has 9 tricks, but not if partner has the A), but this was matchpoints and it was certainly possible on the bidding and encouraging signal that partner could have Qxx with declarer having 107xx and cashing out four diamond tricks immediately could be the only way to hold it to 9 tricks. (Consider partner could have a doubleton Qx or Qx and declarer could possibly score 11 or 12 tricks.)

Yes, this made me look like a complete idiot, but look what it took for me to get a zero on this board:

1. Declarer didn't open his 12 HCP hand. (Many would not - it would just barely be an opening bid for me - on some days.)
2. Dummy had to open 1 instead of the more normal 1NT. (Note that after a 1 response, he has no good rebid.)
3. Declarer had to bypass a reasonable 4-card spade suit without 4333 type shape.
4. I realized declarer should not (normally) hold a 4-card major OR 5-card club support on this auction, ergo, is very unlikely to hold less than three diamonds!

By the way – how many of you with responder's 4324 12 HCP hand after partner opens a 15-17 1NT would NOT use Stayman? I could see not using Stayman with that type of hand. Now, being honest with yourself, after the auction Pass-Pass-1NT-Pass-3NT-all pass, if you held the A965 53 108742 85 hand on opening lead, how many of you would lead a spade allowing 10 tricks instead of a diamond allowing 7 tricks on this hand? I know there are SOME of you that would lead a spade on that auction if Stayman had not been used.

Bud
Jan. 1, 2013
Bud Hinckley edited this comment Jan. 1, 2013
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An important question is whether this hand is good enough to cuebid 3 to set a forcing pass. On your given auction, I think many would not consider a pass as forcing. I want to get partner's opinion on this one - but not if he is going to pass out 4!
Dec. 19, 2012
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