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All comments by Eric Hamilton
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Playing a 4-4 instead of a 5-3 is usually right, but the case for playing a 4-4 here instead of a 5-4 is less compelling. You're running the risk of a spade ruff after a 3-1 break, a 4-1 heart break would not be surprising, and the 5-4 side suit only promises one pitch instead of the two that a 5-3 could produce.

4H is still a plausible counter-field shot though, if your session needs a few big results.
Nov. 13, 2017
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> Should you hit your 2m contract, be sure you won't play it unless it is a bad contract.

Switch the east and west hands and a 2S bid by the opponents would be more likely. But as the cards lie the hand in the passout seat after 1D-1H-2C has four cards in each of our first-bid suits, so has little motivation to balance.

It's not a sure thing, but buying the contract for 2C against a west who doesn't think his hand is worth a direct 1S overcall is a distinct possibility. And if the opponents do come in over 2C… we're still positioned to decide to compete to 3C.
Oct. 30, 2017
Eric Hamilton edited this comment Oct. 30, 2017
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How fixed were they really? You won the board as soon as you decided (with half the field) to go low, did you not? They just didn't get the top that they were hoping for from your error.

Now, if 3N were going down…. then they could complain about fixes, injustice, and the slings and arrows of fate.

(There's a side question here: In general, is it winning matchpoint bridge to try for slam with 15 balanced opposite 15-17 balanced?)
Oct. 16, 2017
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“Responder explained his <own call> as…” and said that he “took <a call by partner> as….”?

Several parts of my anatomy are hurting.
Oct. 9, 2017
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Yes. Added above, thanks.
Aug. 24, 2017
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What did 3S mean in the east/west methods? Clearly it's soliciting west's opinion on the 3N/4H question, but what does it suggest west should do with 9xxx?
Aug. 16, 2017
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Ruff with the 9. If west follows to the second spade trick, AH and then finesse the heart jack. If west discards instead of overruffing, spend a while thinking about which heart holdings including the queen this particular west would not overruff with, and play the hearts accordingly.

If we end up with a trump loser (west overruffs at trick 2, west has four trumps, east has Qx or Qxx of trump) then we need the diamonds to break.
Aug. 12, 2017
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“Don't hang your partner for balancing” - when partner balances, the better your hand is, the worse his hand probably is.
Aug. 10, 2017
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Interpret a negative double as “values to compete, interest in the unbid suits” and 5-5 in a very weak hand is possible.

There's nothing wrong with playing it as exactly 4-4, but in exchange for that accuracy you're giving up some chances to compete with weak shapely hands.
Aug. 5, 2017
Eric Hamilton edited this comment Aug. 5, 2017
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Quite agree about the interpretation of 1N and 2S.
Did this well-played 3-3 matchpoint well? Did declarer make happy faces at partner while playing it well? :)
Aug. 2, 2017
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That could turn out OK, but partner will expect more when an unpassed hand makes a double over a forcing bid, so might well overcompete.

We don't particularly want to be in this auction except to prevent the opponents from playing a red-suit partial in peace. Passing and balancing over 2H or 2D achieves that while making our limited ambitions clear.
July 29, 2017
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Me too, so I find the plurality vote for “pass” also a bit surprising.
July 27, 2017
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An interesting and possibly relevant factoid:
The 16 teams in the Spingold round of 16 this year are exactly the 16 top seeds.
July 27, 2017
Eric Hamilton edited this comment July 27, 2017
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> If you ran the Spingold with 7200 teams, it's not at all unlikely that a non-“name” team would win.

That may be an artefact of the knockout format. When a strong team suffers an early upset, their positive expectation in the subsequent rounds is irrelevant because they've been eliminated and won't play those rounds. Conversely, although a 7200 team round robin is clearly impractical, regression to the mean would make it very unlikely that any but the strongest teams would be in contention in that format.
July 26, 2017
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Three losers, eight and a half tricks opposite a bust, and a solid twice-biddable suit sounds like a 2C opener in these methods…. This 21 HCP meets the equivalent play strength criterion in “22+ or equivalent play strength”.

Consider that South would have bid the same way with Kx,AQxx,AKxx,AJx.
July 25, 2017
Eric Hamilton edited this comment July 25, 2017
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2S back at you after 1N is indeed a possibility…. But is the hypothetical 2S hole that much deeper than the 1S hole we're already in?
July 19, 2017
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The first “what is the logical interpretation of this undiscussed call?” question here is about 3S. Does it set the trump suit or not? And what is a minimum for that call?

It's hard to take a position on the relative merits of 4D and 4H without first making some assumption about the 3S call. So what do we expect it to show, undiscussed?
July 16, 2017
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> classifying my alert as I know something you wouldn't normally expect from listening to the bidding.

What is that something? Asking not arguing here, because 2S weak is exactly what I'd expect from the bidding no matter how they handle their advances.
July 15, 2017
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Odd that declarer (who would have been the one to alert if an alert were required) is the one to bring it up after the auction. Did something happen at the table that made him feel that it needed to be said? It is not unreasonable for declarer to offer to further clarify his side's understandings after the auction is over even if no alertable call has been made.
July 15, 2017
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“Club match points, basic 2/1 methods” allows for such a hand (at least in the clubs that I hang out at).


I presume you meant to say 2NT instead of 1NT? 1NT is insufficient :)
July 13, 2017
Eric Hamilton edited this comment July 13, 2017
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