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All comments by David Yates
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ATB
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Well, the best call was 2. Followed by 3 because 4 might have galvanized someone.

I would not have passed as dealer. I would not have bid 3 (X seems right). I would have bid over 3. I would have bid 5 with the N hand over the X. I would have passed 4 because forcing partner to act and then bidding with no extras is always wrong - except, perhaps, when you have an inside track on this partner who does not seem to ever bid. But then it is still a random guess.

Basically North is scared of South overbidding and South is scared of North's underbidding.
21 hours ago
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… and Al decided it wasn't one of his better ideas.
March 21
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I was bidding 5 before partner opened and then showed a strong NT. It would be nice to be able to ask for aces :) Not knowing what that would be, I am bidding 3 then 5.

If partner cannot now find a 6 bid with 4 cover cards and a trump honor, then it is my fault for agreeing to play. (Probably should have found it anyway.)
March 21
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Repeat?! It is like this guy is a machine. Wait a sec. . .
March 20
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This post was a bit shorter than mine. Brevity isn't everything.
March 20
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USA standard was always 1-level bids by responder over X were F1 and 2-level bids by responder were natural NF.

I believe this is still BWS.
March 20
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Oh, I get it now. If North held: xx Jxxxx AKx xxx and South held: AJ10xx xxx xxx xx, then East would have doubled 2 with his hand and West would have bid or doubled over 3 with his.
March 18
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All dogs are mammals. But not vice versa.

Once upon a time, bridge was a popular vehicle for meeting people annd/or socializing. That is why bridge was popular.

Yet at its zenith, the ACBL had maybe a quarter million members. Today we have 165K. Down 1/3. In the late 1940s, 44% of households had at least one regular bridge player. If this was also down 1/3 then maybe 38 million households in the USA would have a bridge player. Its not even remotely close to that number.

The point is that tournament and ACBL club duplicate bridge was never that popular. And it still isn't. Socializing was - and still is - popular.

Bridge stopped being a vehicle for socialization by younger people around the mid 1960s. Before unleaded gas, 8-tracks and affordable color TV, so those items did not contribute. This was also long before Facebook.

The point is that not many people were ever that interested in competitive bridge. The are, obviously, those of us who become addicted. But it is a small number and frankly, virtually all of us got started in the social game.

Marketing bridge is not the issue. One needs to SELL the game. And frankly, I never met a marketing person who really understood sales - or could even explain the difference. Until we have a product that can be sold, we can market it all over town and it will not make a damn bit of difference.

Bridge is the probably the most interesting game ever invented. I can repeat that until I am blue in the face. Or I could sing that in three-part harmonies with Buffett and Gates. It still does not matter to anyone else.

The question is not how do we best market bridge. The question is how do we create a product that does not suck. Competitive club duplicate basically sucked according to most bridge players back when “everyone played bridge”.

So why would anyone think any differently today?
March 17
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Agree 100%

For the record, my sponsor expects me to know what is happening with the hand way before trick 10 and fire a club after winning trick 9 because the alternative of the diamond cannot possibly be right in any universe.

For the record, it really pisses me off that some idiot West sitting there forever wondering what to play in a 4-card end position is going to now try to nuance a carelessly constructed claim for an extra undeserved trick.

Next up - wondering how to promote a game where players try to gain undeserved results through overly technical twisting of the rules.

Yes, we have rules. Yes, declarer should be more careful. But guess what. A big YES that we should actually FOLLOW THE RULES:

L70

“A. General Objective
In ruling on a contested claim or concession, the Director adjudicates the result of the board as equitably as possible to both sides, but any doubtful point as to a claim shall be resolved against the claimer.”

For people without a dictionary, “doubtful” implies something that is not certain.

In the first case, it is certain that declarer will not toss the ten under the AK. No one does that, so declarer will come to three tricks.

In the second case, it is certain that had West actually played a card that declarer would either (a) toss a club from dummy on the 7 (which West was not supposed to lead if he was paying at least some attention) or (b) ruff the diamond in dummy and then realize the Q can be pitched.

NO DOUBT.

So if anyone wants to start quoting letter of the law, next time read THE ENTIRE LAW before trying to apply it.
March 17
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For the record, prior to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Reddit, Meetup, Match, etc., bridge was the world's most popular social medium platform.

The fact that no one seems to recognize this is why efforts to promote the game have been - and will continue to be - a failure.
March 17
David Yates edited this comment March 17
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No, but it does mean that you play 2 when you open 1 and responder 3-1/2 and sometimes you play your 5-0 club fit when responder is 3550 weak.

It is amazing how many bogeymen bridge players can fear. There is always going to be some weak hand that cannot be catered to. A bidding system is not supposed to be efficient bidding 13 opposite 8 and no fit. One gets out and doesn't worry about it.

IMO, the main problem with 1C-1H; 2C is partner will overvalue a 10-11 count with something like Hx thinking six clubs tricks might be possible - when you might have just 2-3 opposite Qx.

Opposite Axx KJxxx xx xxx your side is better placed in 1NT. You have 2 stoppers in all the side suits and no ruffs with short trumps. Why do I want to play 2? Opposite Axx KJxxx xxx xx, it wont much matter what part score you are in because you probably wont make it.

In any event, I have opened these hands 1 forever because I had to (Precision) and 1 because I wanted to (Standard) and it was never a problem.

I prefer being able to rebid 1NT (natural, not -> ) with some of these 3145 after 1D-1H but it requires a fairly sophisticated checkback system to avoid partner declaring a 5-1 after “correcting” to 2H.
March 17
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Ray, sometimes the opponents have all their major suit cards mixed in with their minors.
March 16
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I really do not understand the problem here.

West has UI from the alert. He is supposed to think 3 is interpreted as natural as intended. Presumably, in that context, 4 is some sort of slam try, but since it denies a diamond control, West is ALWAYS bidding 4 unless for some reason the TD believes that West is supposed to act on the UI and pass?!

So rolling back to 4 is ridiculous.

The only question is whether East must now bid 5. Since there is nothing in the OP showing East has UI, the answer is a resounding no.
March 16
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I was at a Sectional in Allendale some years ago against two ladies I did not know. I was in a vulnerable partial. I could cash out for safe down one. Take a hook to make but risk -200. So I led the honor. LHLOL went into a pronounced hesitation. This card, no that card. Finally a small card. So I figured this is now a 100% position. After the acting, if the finesse loses, I can call the TD. So the finesse lost and my partner literally came out of his chair. But he was dummy and knew he had to keep quite, so he sat back down. The ladies screwed the defense and I was back down to -1.

I decided it was better (for me) not to call the TD, because now I know she over-acts. One problem with calling the TD is spots and leopards. They will still act against other players, but randomize acting against me and those who have complained.

Next hand, I am declaring with a 3-3 side suit of AQJ opposite 987. I led towards dummy and LHLOL went into her James Cagney is dying act trying to decide what card to play. Eventually the deuce hits the table. I look at my partner and say: “I guess the finesse is not going to work, but play the jack anyway.” RHLOL produced the king and my partner and I said in unison: “Director, please!”

The bridge gods dealt LHLOL exactly 4-3-2 in that suit and wanted us to call the TD. Anyway, the acting job was so significant that probably everyone who knew her was 100% on 2-way finesses.
March 16
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I voted any normal TO double with 4S b/c I wont make a junky TO double in 4th seat opposite a PH partner. I have partners who cannot resist X to announce a flat 13 points and I would do the same if it ever actually worked.

The higher standard for bidding here seems wrong unless advancer is bidding with virtually anything.

Suppose South has a good TO-X with 4. Axxx / Qxx / x / AQJxx

This hand is 13 HCP, about 16-17 “dummy points”. It is also closer to producing 11 tricks than failing in game. Simple “Goren math” is North holds 9 “rebid points” once spades are fit. Ergo, any hand with 17 in support meets the 26 threshold for a M-suit game. (Goren point counting, not stupid methods taught today.)

Since advancer need not be quite that good, a simple raise to 3 seems reasonable when the TO-X is 16+ points in support. Basically, a hand that strong should be thinking about staying out of game, just in case. Not inviting it. Suppose N bid on a K less. You are probably making 3. They are probably making 4. If this hand bids 2 only spades, better believe that W with his 2551 hand is now bidding 3. And if S & W have less shape, if you pass 1S with a fit, W is always bidding 2 with 4-card support. Since E did not have 3 hearts (no support X) they have a diamond fit. Players who think they can now back in and now buy the hand for 2 are delusional.

The modern approach is support by math. The old fashioned approach was supported by wishful thinking.
March 16
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I abstained, but equal fault would be my 2nd choice. I agree with D.C. above that if partner found a 3 bid then 4 is a no-brainer. But South's choice of X is also very poor. Assuming E passed, what were you going to bid? 2 seems a standout. So why does the meaning of the cue bid change simply because East bid and/or psyched?

South looks like a hero only because N's hand works for his poor choice of bids. If North was =4324 you can easily be too high and it is not clear North is supposed to “correct” to spades.
March 16
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In the USA, yes.

The ACBL dragged it out a bit by turning bridge into a hobby for old people. However, if that was working membership levels would be going up with the increasing numbers of retirees and the aging population.

Five years out the clubs will be hard pressed to continue to recruit these age brackets as very few people turning 65 will have a cultural connection to bridge.

As people get older they want two things. First is to try to hang on to as much of their youth as possible. Second is to try to do things they felt they missed out on because of getting through life. (Bucket list time).

No one in my age group felt they missed out on bridge. Hardly anyone even knows what bridge is. None of these people played bridge in college or had friends who did. Anyone who thinks people who are now 55-60 are going to want to sign up for bridge classes five to ten years from now as they retire (assuming they actually can) is out of their mind.

This should have been obvious to anyone 30 and 40 years ago.
March 14
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I cannot believe that I waste time playing bridge when I could make millions of dollars bass fishing.

BTW, for everyone that says bridge is not a spectator sport, apparently, bass fishing is. This year marks the TWENTIETH season it has been televised on ESPN.

The network is expanding coverage of B.A.S.S. to 54 hours this year. Some organizations know how to promote.
March 14
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Stayman & transfers are not a package deal as they were separately developed. But as long as we are looking for loopholes, “Burgay Responses to NT” might pass appellate review.
March 14
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Blackwood is misused, but useful if one understands slam bidding. The best explanation of the convention was from my mom: “Blackwood is how you stay out of slam, not how you get there.”

When I first learned bridge, I learned only five conventions. TO doubles, 4th suit, Stayman, Blackwood and Gerber. Gerber basically never came up. Blackwood would be the 4th.
March 14
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