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All comments by David Caprera
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Where is Larry the Law when we need him. I confess that I can't see bidding in front of partner with three trump and a 5332 hand even if it could prove to be right. The deal came up in the context of a USBF junior training match. 20 something imps swung on whether you bid. Some boards are worth more than others.
an hour ago
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The question not addressed is the extent to which South was obligated to bid over 5H with the diamond void. North was unlimited. He might have needed a club control and not two quick losers in diamonds. How might north have bid

AKxx, AQxx, xx, KQx?

If that is correct, then South should have bid 6D.
2 hours ago
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How come my choices don't include “barf”? While it might be right at matchpoints to pass and take a plus, I suck at matchpoints and know that I could never pass a hand this good. So my choices are DBL ( more flexible and possibly collecting a number), 4S (bidding my long suit, our most likely game, and possibly going for a number) and 3N corrected to 4N (just to make sure partner understands that it is natural (which 4N should be anyway, but it doesn't cost to make a safety bid.)) At first I chose DBL but then I saw that Munday passed so I changed my bid to 4S.

Good question Harrison. I would be curious what was right at the table.
9 hours ago
David Caprera edited this comment 7 hours ago
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How, even though the Democrats ran a good but flawed candidate, they could lose? A year later, that is all Annie thinks about.
Sept. 22
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My thanks to all of you who moved a tournament site as a result of the hurricane damage. (We lost our dock,but the water was two feet from our porch.) Not an easy task. As a cowboy from Colorado who has enjoyed the Naples event many times (great Florida regional; if your reason for being is to play against the best, this is one of the Florida tournaments where you entry buys you into the quarters of the “Vandergold” (or is that “Spinbilt”?))
Sept. 22
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Perhaps it is the straight man who lacked a sense of humor. I didn't appreciate the obviousness of Richard's comment. I apologize if I spoiled a good joke. But Eugene still isn't going to like it!
Sept. 22
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The acronym of which is “C _ _ T.” Eugene isn't going to like that.
Sept. 22
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Other.

Some (many - early 80's?) years ago I penned an article for a British bridge magazine entitled, “Invitations and Acceptances.” The premise was that the weaker hand should be the aggressor. Consider the simple auction 1N-2N-3N. Who the aggressor should be depends upon your opening notrump range.

If your opening notrump is 16-18, then the 2N bidder should be aggressive, if 10-12 then the 3N bidder, if 12-14 then equal.

The reason is that high card point frequency is distributed around the median (10hcp) and the further away from the median, the holding is increasingly less likely. For example, 16-18 is distributed 9.8%,6.5% and 4.1% respectively. Almost half of the 16-18's have 16 high card points. On the other hand, 8-11 is distributed 8.9%, 9.4%, 9.4%, 8.9%, just about uniform. It is much easier for the hand which has a potential uniform distribution of high card points to make an intelligent decision than it is for the hand where its point distribution is skewed. Further, the hand with the more uniform distribution can sample from a set that better meets partner's expectation.

In short, the 16-18 point hand doesn't have a lot to say. Half the time it is 16. Is it a good 16? A bad 17? Not much difference there. But the 8-10 (7-9, 6-8 whatever) has a more meaningful message to convey. One can distinguish better between good and bad. The hand that can say the most should be the one driving the bus.
Sept. 22
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Ironically, probably the same as if it were a strong notrump. Dbl is cards (9+ hcp?), forcing through 2H (second double takeout through the force), after 1m-(1N)-2om for majors. 1m-(1N)-2N is either 3om or big two suiter. 1M-(1N)-2m is that minor and oM. 1M-(1N)-2N is 1 minor, big M raise, or GF other major.

Double liberally!
Sept. 22
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Oren is partly right. If you want to push it to the extreme, play 1C is 10-12 bal or 16+ any and 1S response as a fert. We only went for a number once. I opened 1C with a balanced 12 count. The auction went 1C-(DBL no agreement)-RDB (8+, no 5 card suit)-(P)-P and the old geezer with 7 very solid clubs held his ground! His partner contributed a trick for down two.
Sept. 21
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We used to play 1D-(1M)-2M as forcing with clubs and 1D-(1M)-2C as nonforcing, but changed to “limit both minors”, allowing us to play 1D-(1M)-2D-bananas-3C as forcing.
Sept. 21
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We play 1D-2D-2H is the weak notrump, relays follow. We started playing 2N as the 14-15 balanced with 6 diamonds, but then we realized that we always opened those hands 1N, so we switched to the “bad diamond” (Jx or less) weak notrump BUT IT IS STILL F1.
Sept. 20
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I could add that it also rhymes with “Mister Weiner”, but I don't want Eugene to give me a speeding ticket.
Sept. 20
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I am basically in this camp. This is not a bad hand. I used to think this is a club stack, but the frequency was too low. So, I think it is a hand willing to defend 1N and at least 7 (4-3) red cards.
Sept. 18
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I don't find the “need rest” and “takes longer” arguments more persuasive than “the event is here and now.” PP's have been used for seeding but I don't think they should decide a match. Why not use masterpoints or number of titles won in years past? Or height, weight, age, gender or shoe size?The winner of the trials should be decided at the trials. Using RR and USA1 results seems fair enough because it is part of the same event.
Sept. 18
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Yeah, that is the issue. I think you can construct deals where 4H or 6H (even 7H) is the right contract, but on a frequency basis it may be better to give up those hands in order to disambiguate the minor suits.

We play “matched pairs” in a number of contexts. If 4M shows the corresponding minor, I think the subsequent 4M+1 should be keycard.
Sept. 17
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Sucked to be eleventh.
Sept. 17
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Two top players were playing on BBO with many kibitzers. Player “1” misdefended. Before he could say anything, Player “2” said, “Sorry, I could have helped you by playing X.”

My recollection was that 1 had made a clear error, but by the same point, there was no reason for 2 not to play X. But 2 understood the principle of helping partner.
Sept. 14
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How is slowness to be measured? I know that sounds absurd as a question but it may be worthy of some consideration. First, we must assume we use technology (tablets or laptops, cameras, card recognition, etc.) to act like a “chess clock” and keep track of the time period commencing when one player records his bid or play and ending when next to act does the same. Time between boards could be credited to the next dealer (perhaps with some (30 second?) grace period.) Without an accurate measure of each player's time taken, the assessment of penalties, in other than the most egregious cases, will always be considered subjective, inaccurate, unfair and capricious.

Is it really as simple as totalling the time and allocating it between NS and EW? Should each pair get half the allotted total time per session and face sanctions if that limit is exceeded?

Let me posit a couple of examples. I believe current practice is to consider penalties only if the table in the aggregate plays beyond the time clock. If a table has 30 minutes on the clock with one board left to play, and declarer completes the board in 28 minutes, no penalty. Is that correct? Appropriate?

Also, consider where one pair, say NS, “gets all the cards” and faces the more difficult problems. Should the time measure be against the EW at their table or compared against the corresponding NS at the opposite table? Or, if boards are duplicated, the average across all NS playing the same deals in the contest?

If time is counted on a table by table basis, it may motivate a fast pair to play more “thoughtfully” to put their opponents under time pressure. We all understand that time pressure is part of the game, but except for those crazies who seek out speedball pairs (I think first of my juniors who always play too quickly) I would guess that most of us prefer the game to be played at a normal pace with the result determined on true score, exclusive of penalties assessed.

Now, if the tournament were to be played on a space ship traveling at close to light speed…
Sept. 13
David Caprera edited this comment Sept. 13
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This situation is a real tar baby.
Sept. 13
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