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All comments by Owen Lien
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At the table, the tempo made things a bit strange. The X was fast, and the 5 bidder took about 90 seconds to pull. Does this change anything?
Jan. 7, 2013
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I think this auction is asking for a S control. Its the one thing south has covered. I don't think trump quality is an issue because then South has control of all side suits and could probably bid RKC. I think playing as asking for S control + good trumps may be a bit much as then there may not be 5-level safety with a hand missing two key features. Maybe one call should be expressing doubt about secondary S control as well as primary? E.G. xx KQxx AKx KQJx where you want to be in slam opposite AQx Axxxx Qxx xx (or similar), but not opposite AJx AJxxx QJx xx. This may be threading needles, but might be worth considering.
Jan. 7, 2013
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Change the hand to xxxx xx xx KQJxx and I would have much more sympathy for 3C, but the A is bad. Even xxxx xx xx KJTxx would not be the worst bid ever. But with the given hand, if you put a gun to my head and told me I could not pass, I would consider pulling the trigger myself.
Jan. 7, 2013
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I like this idea. Having 2 B-A-M championships at the same national seems redundant; it would be like having the Vanderbilt and Spingold at the same national (if there was enough time). I understand that this is not really a fair comparison, but having two three-day championships running concurrently is clearly a poor idea as it has the potential to reduce the quality of players in both fields.
Jan. 5, 2012
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Maybe the 7D hand will bring help spread the super wonderful ACOL 2-bid :) Imagine how easy it would be after opening 2D showing 18-21 HCP and 6+D.

Regarding the range of the 1NT opening; players are allowed to use conventional responses to a 1NT opening provided that the range is not MORE than 5 points per #10 under “Responses and Rebids” on the ACBL General Convention Chart:

http://www.acbl.org/assets/documents/play/Convention-Chart.pdf

One other thing I would like to talk about is the 7C hand that neither table bid. Somebody pointed out to me that since partner failed to make a responsive double that he is probably 2=4, 2=5 or 3=5 in the majors and not 4=5 or 3=4 because he would probably make a responsive double. This would mean that he rates to have 3C and maybe 4. Since LHO didn't raise to 5D, they probably have 3D or a balanced hand with 4. Since they rate to not have more than 2C, this means they rate to have length in both majors which would mean that on the run of the trumps they would be squeezed in the Majors. Also, partner could just have the SQ instead of the DQ in which case I'll have a claim (assuming his H are the same). These are all things that I failed to consider at the table, but will hopefully realize the next time a similar situation arises.
Nov. 9, 2011
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To clarify a few things. We lead rusinow. So the A lead denied the K unless holding specifically AK doubleton. The A lead is almost always from shortness, so my siganl at trick 1 is suit preference. That being said, from my persepctive, we were beating this hand even if a C return was initially wrong so long as my partner had the S9xxxx or Txxx as declarer would not be able to ruff the 3rd club, unblock spades without my ruffing, and then draw trumps ending in hand. If he tried to unblock spades, I could ruff and then try to cash a diamond. So, my 3rd round C play was catering to partner have the singleton HQ (as declarer was unlikely to be 5=4=2=2 w/o that card as somebody else already said), or to S9xxxx or better. He just would not have enough discards without unblocking spades provided my partner had the 9 of spades.
Oct. 3, 2011
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I remember this hand and our state-of-match was similar to that of yours (but we were against France)…I remember this hand. We were also in 3NT, and I also finessed the wrong way. However, I had recently read somewhere that if you know they've lead from a 4-card suit, that they're more likely to have length in the other suits, and therefore more likely to have length. of course it was wrong, but they were also in 3NT and also finessed the way that worked, so our swing wasn't as dramatic, just made things worse.
July 11, 2011
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Personally I like the X to mean: I want to bid if you want to. I'm not sure if the S hand is ideal for this because even if the AQ is over this holding, it seems fairly likely that 1 trick will be scored and if partner has a trick coming (even if its a slow one), but decides to bid 7 because the trick is slow, the board will probably end poorly.

Regarding the variance issue, I know that the match is close and that turning +13 into +4 or +9 into -5 might not be the ideal result on this board, but reducing the variance on these freak deals will end well frequently enough. Say you do go -500 but 6 is cold (as here), then you're winning 13 instead of hoping for a push. Also, wouldn't one prefer to try winning the match on another board and reducing the variance on this board will make that easier. I'd rather have a +9/-5 or +13/+4 position than a push/-13 position.

As a side note, if S decides to bid unilaterally, should bid 7 on the way to pin-point the lead for partner.
May 2, 2011
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A couple of suggestions that came to mind regarding 1-1// 2:

1) play 2 as “4th suit” GF and play 2NT as lebensohl and 3 as weak re-bid. Sure this is complex and gives up on playing in 2 or 2NT, but the added efficiency makes it worthwhile IMO.

2) play 2 as weak, 2NT as “4th suit” GF with all natural continuations if desired, and 3 as lebensohl. This I think is less complex than the previous suggestion, but may sometimes wrong-side the NT.

Both of these structures have their drawbacks, but I think its a matter of frequency. The hands that aren't willing to GF opposite a minimum reverse aren't all that common (certainly less common than hands that are willing to GF), and the auction 1-1// 2-3 as 4th suit is inefficient to say the least. Anyways, hope one of these suggestions will be of some help.
April 23, 2011
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I remember when I had this hand. The auction was slightly different and I bought it at 5 doubled, but the opp's auction was much more preempted:

(1) - P - (1NT) - 3**// (3) - 4 - (4) - 5// (X) - PPP.

3 showed + and was forcing.

The opponents never came to realize their double fit and the trick taking potential. At the other table, the opponents sold out to either 4 or 5 (I can't really remember).
March 6, 2011
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So, your teammates managed to get it played from the other side because of their idiotic NT range xD I hate these random swings…but we still had a chance to defeat the contract after the opening lead…
Jan. 27, 2011
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Yes John

You're right, in 3rd and 4th seat our 1NT range is 15-17, and a 1 opening is a more “standard” precision opener, while in 1st and 2nd seat we play 11+-14 1NT opening and 15+ 1 opening and the rest of the openings deny having a balanced hand.
Dec. 16, 2010
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I would normally show a balanced hand of 22-23, but I don't have NT value (prefer to the lead to go to my partner). Also, I have great controls for slam if partner has interest opposite primary diamonds.
Nov. 24, 2010
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“Very weak” means a hand that didn't have the initial response originally (in terms of HCP). I don't agree with your thought that reverses are “almost forcing.” Can they not have the same hands that would make a jump-shift reverse? I consider a reverse to be forcing for one round, and I absolutely hate it when my partner passes. If you only treat a reverse as almost forcing, what would you open with Ax x AKxx AKQxxx, even though this hand has enough for game in hand, its much easier to develop the hand by opening 1C. But if a reverse is only “almost forcing” I would be stuck into bidding 2C-2D// 3C, and possibly missing a D fit, or playing the right game/slam. Imagine partner with something like: Kxx T9xxx QJxx x. Anyways, my structure is based on the premise that a reverse is forcing and partner never passes.
Nov. 23, 2010
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The hand maker put in the 3rd pass…the decision is supposed to be (5)-p-(p) to you
Nov. 23, 2010
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Also, partner's body language can give a lot away, even if they don't say something. A partner of mine has a horrible habit of making it clear via his body language that he's very upset with how things are going. When I say something about it (at an appropriate time of course), he says “but I don't say anything.” This isn't the point, the fact that his body language is negative makes the opponents more confident and keeps reminding me of any boards I've done poorly on.
Nov. 22, 2010
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