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All comments by Leonard Helfgott
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Mike: I know many would agree with you but I think there should be at least some correlation. BWS2017 discusses the difference. They suggest a 2-3 hcp relaxation in competition. As Brad Theurer mentioned above, roughly “a sound opener” , i.e. not a 4414 10 count, would be preferred in competition.
May 5
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2S initially could be taken as a more constructive hand. Bidding 1S then more spades later gives a better image, IMO. Also, while North should certainly not sell out to 3H (she devalued her diamond holding), her free bid of 1S (she would pass, right or wrong with say Kxxx xxx xxx xxx) gives South license to jump to 3S instead of the parsimonious 2S ( and after just 2S not selling out in passout chair). So as the voting thus far seems to indicate, both players ( experienced lower-A players) seemed overly frugal, IMO.
May 5
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In my posting I was careful to mention missing spades and not game, as game here is on a finesse AND a function of club spots. A score of 170 would have been above average as very few were in the iffy game.
May 5
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“Vastly exceeds”?
April 30
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Richard and others: Yes 2NT works nicely IFF opener shows a stiff spade, but doesnt describe much orherwise, and 4D shows the shortness but
RemoveS all the room. OTOH, if partner does have the magical SK he will value it properly.
April 29
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There has obviously been a continued weakening of ranges and I think its because people want to upgrade the very good n-1 hands into bottom of n range too often. For example, MANY players and experts use 20-21 then include the vg 19s (say 19 1/2) in that group with no announcement–just an upgrade. Then 21 becomes the de facto upper limit for 2NT and now the 22s, no matter how rank, are ALL included in the 2C catchall. No feeling guilty about a 3 point range they exclude 24's and put those (wrongly IMHO) in the Birthright camp.
On esolution, imperfect though it may be, is to follow the BWS2017 compromise and include the weak 22NT in with 2NT. Then when and if you actually get a 24hcp hand, decide whether you really like it enough to call it 24.5/25 and Birthright it, or don't think its worth more than a super 23 and simply rebid 2NT. If right in the middle, take a position. There is still much merit in opening the flat, textureless, low control 22's with 2NT.
April 29
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I’ve noticed that missing 5 cards to KQ9xx can be tricky. A while back I looked at 1) AT7xx opp. J8x, 2)AT7x opp. J8xx, and. 3) AT7 opp. J8xxx. I believe the first two are essentially the same but the third is different. In fact, I believe commentator Alfred Sheinwold criticized Pietro Forquet’s “misplay” (according to Sheinwold) of the third combination in the 1966 Bermuda Bowl. (Seemingly unfair to this layman.). Can anyone verify or refute my sometimes faulty memory?
April 29
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Sounds about right.:). But I rarely open a balanced 11 unless super, so 12-13 more common for me. If you ever bid 1S over 1H with 4S&3H, you’d better have all your rebids well prepared.
April 29
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Possibly a good hand for modeling. I was wrong about 3:1 odds, more like only 2:1 against 5332. We would assume 5341/5143 and 5-5 alternatives, rejecting 5=4=0=4 and 5=0=4=4 as the round suit would mostly be bid before diamonds. While we could include 6-5s and other low frequency or bizzaro hands, there doesn't seem a point for a model. Asides from frequency odds, the upsides and downsides of each type of contract must be considered. Anyone game?
April 28
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Strongly agree. Note that Bridge World Standard has straddled the fence on this issue. A couple of versions prior 2NT was “good 20 to 22” to allow for “22+ to 24” for 2Cthen 2NT. In more recent voting (BWS 2000 or BWS2017) there was a push to 20-21 which was resisted. As a compromise I think they went to “20 to bad/fair 22” probably to keep 1any then 2NT at 18-19 and 2C having upper limit of 24. At least thatswhat i recall.
April 28
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Steve: You should dig up some of the BW “debates” as recently as last year between Michael Rosenberg ( 1NTF) and Kit Woolsey(1NTSF). Whichever side you take, you’re bound to learn the issue!
April 27
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That’s my interpretation, and not among the options above.
April 27
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CraiG: Yes it is worth it and I love SJS, but I would personally wait for a stronger spade suit. I would want partner to envisualize (almost always) 2 of top 3 honors with length for the bid.
April 27
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What do you think the frequency of 4+ diamonds to only 3D is. I would guess at least 3:1.
April 26
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Ian: No argument, but Kit Woolsey has suggested the immediate Limit Raise with only 3 cards in his 1NT semi-forcing structure.
April 26
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I think that IN PRINCIPLE the 3H rebid should be NOT forcing, to cater to this type of situation. However, regarding the actual hand:
1. Even with the attractive spots the Jxx flaw turns me off to opening a balanced 11 count. Playing a 12-14 1NT (which I don’t) I would upgrade and open 1NT.
2. While I do actively raise 1S with 3S in some hands, I would prefer 1NT here with such a soft minimal hand. KQx AKxxx xxx(x) x(x) is a 2S raise for me.
3. North, with this type of problematic hand and such weak spades (that South would not be able to effectively revalue his hand with) should probably avoid 1S and go the 1NT forcing then 3H jump route. Missing a 4-4 with 5-3 available isn't the end of the world.If 1NT is only semi-forcing he can either try that anyway, or adopt Kit Woolsey’s suggestion of a trump shy 3H limit raise.
April 26
Leonard Helfgott edited this comment April 26
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Michael: Aw. :). As a chess player who has adapted en passant at bridge with relish, how could I resist? Maybe I switched to bridge after leaving too many pieces en prix!
April 25
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“en prise”. I think you meant en passant. I’ll let the other chess players (including Mr. Rosenberg)
Chime in on that one.
April 25
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Have you checked Bridge World Esoterica for minimal trump holding for a grand slam? It is AKJ9 oppos. 2. :)
April 25
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Richard Pavlicek’s measure of skewness might help.
April 23
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