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All comments by David Morris
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Peg,I intended this as a serious contribution to the discussion of what makes world class. It wasn't a cheap shot or a joke; nor do I agree with your assessment that my comment was rude and insulting (unless reality itself is an insult).

Just think about it in these terms rather than as being something to be taken personally: part of world class is having some class. I didn't bring up that subject. It's the given OP. My actual opinon is that categorizing players by criteria such as “world class” or “expert” shows a lack of class and can even rightly be called a “joke,” exactly because all of these terms are undefined.

It's for that reason – a legitimate one, in my view — that discussions about what constitutes “world class” do belong exactly in a bar where there is lots of drinking and not much clear-headed thinking taking place. Thus, my comment that a bar is the right place to place that discussion.

My post asked two questions for consideration or discussion. My post didn't present harsh personal judgments and that would be inappropriate, in my opinion. And, Peg, “world class” players don't need defense when they aren't being attacked.

I regret that you misunderstood my post, which I have clarified here. I'm disappointed that you decided to jump on me with your judgment, as if I'm trying to bring back to life the controversial topic with it's 10,000 or so comments. Good riddance to that monstrosity.

Feel free to message me privately if you want to discuss this more extensively and to possibly get to know me better.
March 24
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If you win a championship via help of a 7NT UI appeal, are you world class? Shouldn't this also be discussed in a bar?
March 23
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At first I was thinking this kind of failure to remember isn't really that unusual, but after that I couldn't seem to recall what originally caused me think about it like that.
March 22
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I might agree if you'd preface it with “For me,” because ethics isn't about doing what somebody else says is right, and part of bridge is having the judgment to know when it's correct to deviate from normal behavior. There's also the zero tolerance thing, which apparently involves obedience to the unenforceable.
The obvious distinction I was hoping to clarify is that a monkey can be taught to mindlessly follow directions, and the same may not apply to all bridge players.
March 21
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This seems to have nothing at all to do with ethics. It's about the regs/laws/rules instead.
March 20
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D.C., if you cannot take a light-hearted message from me, then the same idea from a different messenger might appeal without so deeply offending your sensibilities:
“….reflects a more modern and simple approach to reaching todays students who bring a lot less to the table, in terms of practical card skills, than did their predecessors.”
Quoting Jeff Bayone's member profile.
March 18
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If that's all you read, Dominic, a couple of pictures might really help you more.
It's a joker, joke, can't you take one? If you make it to retirement, maybe you'll laugh then, too.
March 17
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For communicating with the under-35 crowd, I'd suggest to perhaps stick with a picture, maybe something like various parts of a deck of cards that the younger user could sort of scroll through mindlessly using their thumb and smart phone (and leave out parts of the deck like the joker that might be particularly unsettling for the under-35 crowd to encounter). Heh.
March 17
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I think in general it's the understanding between partners that can truly and correctly be categorized as illegal, and that's true despite the careless remarks made here. As my mentor used to say, you pays your money and you takes your chances. I'm confident several here will disagree, which is OK by me.
I'm not lobbying for duplicate to be a “guessing game.” I'm, not lobbying at all.
I recall playing against Ira Hessel once when he opened 3NT on a 19 count in 4th seat. That sure wasn't what his card said for a 3NT opener. I figured he didn't want to get passed out there in 2NT, and I thought it was a well-conceived bid, even if it failed on that particular hand. What if he opened it 1NT for the same reason, not wanting to be stuck in 2NT? Are there other examples where that principle applies?
Back in the dark ages of my own personal bridge history, I recall reading, and learning the wisdom in it, that the best place to play an indifferent hand is 1NT. Could that old axiom apply to some 10 point hands? Absolutely! Could it apply to a 19 point hand? I have no idea. However, there is room in my thinking for that to be possible. Maybe it's a “bad 19.”
Stated another way, I remember learning that you don't really understand the rules until you know when to violate them. There's plenty to think about in that puzzle. Of course, some folks apparently don't like thinking that way, and some folks just want to follow the rules, and others even insist that everybody play exactly like they do themselves.
I've even had partners take that very approach when sitting opposite me at the table! Can you believe it? Of course you can!
March 9
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You're a smart guy, Ed. I'll bet you can guess. Hint: pros can often earn thousands of ACBL masterpoints by the hundreds while pairing together to feed on rank amateurs found among their tournaments in what they consider their “sport.”
March 2
David Morris edited this comment March 3
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First off, there aren't two organizations. There's only one, and it clearly panders to pros. Secondly, the two groups of players you named are in very real competition; not a matter of how they “view one another.” What “club player” needs encouragement to show up at tournaments to play six pros while competing with two hands tied behind his back? It is this, moreso than demographics, that will kill the ACBL. (Plus, don't hold your breath waiting for it's unwieldy 25-member BOD to address the League's real problems). Ah, but there was a time when tournaments were really fun, back before UI, BIT, LA, screen fees, and the rest of it that came with league dominance by the pros. (All just IMHO and Adam, I'm not attacking you; I just see that more teachers/programs won't fix this). This ship ain't likely to turn around.
March 2
David Morris edited this comment March 2
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How about you volunteer to play just one club game with me in order to help club bridge thrive in our area? I'll even play your card.
March 1
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Buddy, that's not funny. :);)
Feb. 28
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I thought the idea was what my partner is going to take me for rather than a restriction on what I can open two diamonds on. And Shawn, if he takes me for having that hand every time, then just what is your concern?
Feb. 24
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There's no doubt that competitive bidding is the hardest part of matchpoint pairs. There's no doubt that pairs can get crazy, and I'll even grant, as you've indicated, many pairs act crazy. So, thanks for a good story.

On another level, the decision to bid or to pass, especially in competitive situations, doesn't have to be maddening. Often, as you've seemed to indicate, it's just too dangerous to pass. But that doesn't translate to “always.” “Always” just turns the entire game into a guessing game and/or a crap shoot. To me, that sort of approach isn't very sound. Like you've indicated, it requires a ton of luck to make a winner.

Fortunately, there's another story and another way. The kinds of situations and issues you've presented here illustrate very nicely that a great deal of matchpoint pairs involves solving problems. Sometimes this means listening, sometimes guessing, sometimes giving the opponents a nasty guess themselves, and sometimes as you've stated here it takes a creative approach. There's a lot of frustration encountered with improving ones' problem solving skills at pairs. Solving problems is a whole another ball game, but it can be learned, and it can be successfully applied to competitive bidding at matchpoints. It requires patience and a lot of frustration tolerance, which also can be learned, through practice.

All just in my own opinion, of course.
Feb. 20
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Plus, bidding a grand slam on this hand, and at IMPs, isn't anything to be proud of, IMHO, since it displays a considerably lucky outcome; nothing more.
Feb. 20
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I wouldn't consider this on a 17-18 HCP hand. It's stronger.
Feb. 18
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Not only that, but they also devour every word!
Feb. 13
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As I said, if trumps are 2-2, anybody can take 7 hearts, two clubs, and a spade (after that suit is led and returned). It's a simple game.
If hearts don't break and you've already used dummy's trump entry to ruff a third spade, you're probably sunk when W started with 5-3-4-1, because with one club there will be no “club finesse” (i.e. he has a singleton).
Point being: you can't play trump to be 2-2 and simultaneously play that they aren't 2-2. If 2-2, there's no problem. If 3-1 and you proceed by NOT drawing trump, you turn a simple hand into a probable nightmare.
BTW Steve, you don't have to agree with me. The OP said he is “open to our proposals.”
Feb. 12
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If west started with five spades and hearts are 2-2 with split honors, we can go down with either Steve's or Bill's line and nice uppercut defense on return of a fourth spade.
I think the key is that West had no real chance to bid spades on this auction while holding 5, so I'm playing West for 5-2-4-2. I'll take one diamond pitch on the club king and another on the spade jack, after drawing trump and assuming the club queen doesn't fall.
This line works whenever hearts are 2-2 and if they're not, it proves I have zero table presence, which my historical partners have already universally agreed is the case.
Seven hearts, two clubs, and a spade; it's a simple game.
If West has three hearts and a singleton club I'm never making this, and if I play a high heart from hand and West drops an honor, I can still fall back on the club finesse if I believe it's a singleton and not QJ doubleton.
Feb. 11
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