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All comments by Cris Barrere
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Yes indeed - very well done! Congratulations.
Dec. 6, 2019
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Not that I am much of a mathematician. Analytics, simulations and so on, can be deceptive and must be taken with two grains of salt. 1) The assumptions in the ‘build’ don't have to be off by much to yield invalid results. 2) The typical double dummy evaluation process cannot take the psychological aspects into account. On the given hand, for example, leading our weakest suit, diamonds, at trick two is silly in the abstract world of analysis. But it's very likely the right line at this form of scoring from a psychological standpoint. Similarly, some years ago a partner and I conducted a simplistic simulation to explore opening 1NT vs a 5-c major (back when that was a question). What I saw in the inspected results was that while you fairly often played 1NT when 2M was better in the abstract, the way the defense was likely to go, 1NT would probably work out a bit better at the table.
Aug. 30, 2019
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Hi Sathya, Thanks for the shout-out. I've just been teaching a play-of-the-hand series and this sort of position has been on my mind lately as part of pre-planning: Contract Evaluation. You have the bidding a tiny bit wrong, and it's part of the reason I played as I did. I opened 1, not 1. I reasoned that it would be a relatively rare position where East would have the A and know to return a diamond and not a spade. Partner, Bruce Tuttle, made a good decision not to check back, what with his high cards outside and the information that we would give up to defenders who would actually be listening. Anyway, the thought that some non-trivial % of the field would be playing in hearts made the added risk reasonable. There are a number of additional points, but one that occurs at the moment is that if West lacks the A, he may place it with South and elect to lead a heart, the point being that it's often right for declarer to delay revealing where his high cards are; it just gives defenders an extra opportunity to err.
Aug. 30, 2019
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Congratulations all! Solid play and definitely fun to watch.
Aug. 29, 2019
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Absolutely, let any teams who so choose play up. I distinctly remember returning to bridge after a 30 year absence only to learn that there were no longer simple open events and because of low mp totals being unable to compete against good players. Played about 20th bracket in first returning KO although one of us had a (restricted) national win and another had represented another country internationally. Asked - pleaded - to play up to no avail. It took a little while to amass the monopoly points to get to play top bracket; I'd prefer that others - especially young players - don't have to wait if that's their choice. If you don't have the opportunity to get clobbered by top players (and vice versa) what's the point of the game? One of the truly grand things about bridge is the opportunity to sit down against top players for the price of card fees.
July 9, 2019
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Congratulations - very well done! I'm sure your next dinner will be great. Peter, you might consider getting a spokesperson for Mark. Lol.
March 24, 2019
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5431 mildly invitational w shortness in their suit and 3-c in other major - shows my whole hand right away and lets partner now set the contract. We further agree that after Stayman in these situations we won't show their major so as to be able to play diamonds when advancer has a weak hand with other major and diamonds. But acknowledge that you've now lost the opportunity to play in their suit. I think tradeoff is worth it.
March 21, 2019
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Daniel is of course correct. Some would double first, and then bid clubs.
March 21, 2019
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The question in my mind was what 2 would gain. Almost certainly not a pursuit of playing that strain. The hand felt less than a good 2NT rebid and problematic in its shape. So I tried a get-by 2 bid, allowing more space and flexibility. This might have the advantage of facilitating a helpful spade lead against a notrump contract and if partner passed I thought game would be unlikely. What did happen was quite unexpected - LHO doubled intending the double to show clubs but interpreted more reasonably as delayed take-out by RHO who bid 2. When I applied the red card, LHO redoubled as run-out. RHO stuck with her interpretation of the initial double and their side contributed 2200 to our offering plate. I did not think 2 would be such a mainstream choice. Perhaps this explains some of the consternation my partners sometimes express.
March 13, 2019
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Well, of course he passed. Hasn't he rather perfectly showed his values? Perhaps your relationship would have been improved if you'd have paid him a nice compliment on his thoughtful and accurate bidding? Your bad. That might have been my loose-lipped choice. The problem is with his partner for failing to properly alert - disagreeing here with Mr. France - since he couldn't help but know what was so excellently being conveyed. Perhaps a word with the club manager would be in order, who could have a chat with the player at an appropriate moment. Seriously, it's at the club level that this sort of stuff should be dealt with so it doesn't leak up the food chain.
March 5, 2019
Cris Barrere edited this comment March 6, 2019
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An alternative to immediately revealing your entire pattern is to first show the 5-c heart suit and then, if pertinent, responder can bid 3NT w 4-c spades and relay to 3NT via 3 w/o 4-c spades. Downside is allowing double of 3. You reserve the 3NT 2nd bid to show 5=4 majors, more rare since you will open more of those hands 1. This is more consistent w low-info Puppet. Also, in your adopted modification it looks like responder bids 4M with a game-only hand, giving up siding for the majority of hands. Is that really best?
March 5, 2019
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I hope our goal is to promote and sustain a few truly remarkable regional events. In a cookie-cutter tournament world that's what many of us are looking for. Even with currently proposed increases the awards for premier events are not remotely reasonable because they don't reflect the quality of the events (e.g. California Capitalal Swiss and All Western Open) and won't accomplish that goal. In fact, many regard the awards as an open joke because those interested in just winning mp or being at the top of another leader board steer clear of the banner event to play single day events. Take last year's Cal Cap 2-day Swiss: It paid 34.3 mp. In no way indicative of field quality. Pathetic. If you'd instead played the two single-day swiss events you could have won over 51 mp. This is exactly what happened - a bunch of top players didn't play the two-day event in favor of grabbing the low-hanging fruit. All we've been doing is tossing a bone to those events as we work at cross- purposes by continuing to add side events that draw off participants to secondary events. Can't we build select bragging rights events that genuinely rise above the rest? They would provide deserved attention to both players and our calcifying league?
March 3, 2019
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Richard, I know what's going on. You're setting me up for the next time you lead against me, a kind of no-cost bluff. Very crafty. Does your comment count as a pre-alert?
Jan. 26, 2019
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A @ mp seems clear if pedestrian, as does K @ imps. I admire Richard's choice for the frank admission of his deviousness but think it's a bit of a parlay - your heart trick or ruff (with possible re-entry) might evaporate and declarer may have nothing else to do but duck to Qx or Jxx in hand. I will not publicly admit how often I've tried a similar lead.

What did you lead, Finn?
Jan. 25, 2019
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So well deserved. Congratulations, Curtis.
Jan. 19, 2019
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Daniel, Daniel, Daniel. You just don't get it. What we all really want is an app that shows the results the way we intended them to turn out. Now that would be something. Seriously, good work. And I'd settle for knowing how to pull out hands retaining the formatting so I can cut and paste them into lessons.
Dec. 14, 2018
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Hi Carol,

I was among those polled and did not double. I was given an auction that had the opponents bidding 5h over 4s. I chose 5s as my action; the director then asked if I considered doubling and I replied that I did consider it but did not choose it as my action. But then, more than a few folks don't pay attention to what I have to say.

Regards,

Cris
Dec. 3, 2018
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Great idea! Akin to the transponders that process our bridge tolls. However, seeing all those charges accumulated in one total might give one pause.
Nov. 6, 2018
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OTOH: You already have two ways to compete, bidding a suit at the three-level to keep from getting too high or getting the strain right by Q-bidding 4. If you add double as take-out, you unbalance your options by having no direct way to penalize.
Oct. 5, 2018
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Would your mind change if, as balancer, you held the stiff A? I am rather partial to the lovely seasonal visual.
Oct. 5, 2018
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