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All comments by David Yates
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I am surprised at the happy to miss a decent slam vote. The threshold for a small slam is 50%. This is pretty much that or better even if some previously barred pair has been readmitted and is on lead.

As far as the bidding, by the time we reach 4, North showed 15 points and is an ace better. South showed 10 HCP and is a jack better. Obvious who underbid. BTW, even not playing S/NS the cue bid should not show extras. Just a desire not to force partner to make silly, 5-level slam tries.
Jan. 13
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David Burn is very good with the particulars. I can never remember if it is wooden stake or silver bullet, so I also shoot the corpse a couple of times to be certain.
Jan. 11
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Things to do:
Stock up on popcorn
Check BBO VG times
Jan. 3
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Max, my advice is when they write the check, take it to the bank.
Jan. 3
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I find the results surprising. For the record, the reason why Michael Rosenberg and John Diamond have won more stuff than I ever will is not because they play this X as penalty.

I see no reason why I should clutter up simple agreements about what double means with an odd exception that comes up every blue moon, if that. (Which is why everyone remembers when X did work. People remember anomalies). If someone could give me a good reason, I would love to hear it. However, the following are not - nor will they ever - be a good reason.

Being able to psych “because the opponents do not have a pen-X” is an absurd argument. It is an oft repeated assertion, and - like any propaganda - might become widely accepted by people incapable of thought. But it still does not make the assertion cogent. Bridge is played with a partner. The reason I still don’t need to X you in 2 is because if you overcall on your stiff, I will be doubling you in 3 or 4 spades when your partner raises. The whole field will still be playing spades, you will be the only chumps playing spades in your direction. Doubled.

If we overlay psyching and doubles, we see that the most frequent psyching occurred back when virtually every double was penalty. Doubles transitioned to take-out over time and during that time psyching actually declined. There is a negative correlation. One has nothing to do with the other.

Secondly, thinking we want to formulate our agreements to maximize punishment when they go wrong is rubber bridge thinking. Not tournament MP or IMP thinking. Playing for stakes, one needs to soak the fish when they move to left or right. Playing at a tournament, unless the entire field is a school of ghoti (GBS: ghoti spells fish), then I already have a win on the board.

Tournament bridge is about frequency. For the delayed X to be penalty, I have to be holding a penalty X of 1. They had to raise and partner who is obviously short in that suit elected to pass rather than double for takeout. I have also held penalty doubles of a 1 and 2 openings, but these hands do not occur frequently enough to justify giving up a TO-X. So, if the OP X is defined as penalty, that means I have to make an immediate TO-X with any assortment of light values that approximates shape. Now my “negative” doubles lose resolution in values. (I wish people would call this TO, the terminology confuses noobs) So good luck working our the wide ranges when they do raise. And BTW, this is exactly the best time to make a BS raise of partner’s spade overcall with 2-cards but 10-11 HCP. Because the opening side will always go wrong now. You can claim you win when the bid wrongly over your penalty pass, but you are certainly the worse of it when they now bid over the far more frequent negative X.

As far as frequency goes, yes sometimes they get to the 2-level with fewer than 8 trump, but once again, how often? Do you want to balance with 8 vs 8 all the time, our give that up just in case they are overbidding?

Also, don’t bother posting back that 2NT is now TO, because that would be stupid if the overcall was in diamonds or hearts. (or do we have exceptions t exceptions?) So have fun with your 2353 6 & 7 counts when they overcall 1.

I think I shall pass up yet another imaginary hoard of riches for the penalty double. For the record, the last time I passed a 1-level overcall for penalties it was favorable for us, so I was willing to give up the game. LHO raised the 1 overcall to 2 back to me. I doubled, because if partner decided this was penalty, I did not care. If she thought it TO, I was going bid 3NT over whatever she bid. She did bid 3, RHO bid 3 (because that is what ghoti do) and I beat all your scores by doubling for penalties one level higher.
Jan. 3
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Abstain. Rating the auction is different than rating the final contract.

The final contract is probably < 50% so not a good MP bet. The auction is a bit crazy. 2 over 1 is the worst start in Precision - but that is the basic system. 3 is the normal rebid with North hand. It is possible that South will support opener's 9-=card suit, but I would not bet on it. You need a bid that says “this is trump, cue bid”. That makes life easy.

3 is some made up bid. I have no idea why North thinks this means South has something in hearts. WT@# is North supposed to do with 5-5 or 6-5 in majors? 4th suit does not apply in a Precision club auction if opener could just be patterning out. We don't need 4SF because the positive created a GF. Plus, it is systemically wrong. All the 1-suit positive auctions start with responder making the first natural bid. So 4th suit in Precision is opener's second natural suit. In standard bidding the 4th suit is bid by responder.
Jan. 3
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Not sure about that, they are two of the best players in the world.
Jan. 1
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Overall odds do shift, but the biggest shift in the odds is which player is more likely to have the missing length.

Initially, it is ~ 34% (~68% combined) for either player to hold exactly three of the five missing hearts. When the diamonds are 6-2, the odds for the hand with the long diamonds have =3 drops to ~ 22.5% and the hand with the two diamonds having exactly three hearts goes up to 40.5% Instead of a 50-50 guess, it is closer to 2:1.
Jan. 1
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A light opening bid is not considered a psych because it is not a gross distortion of length and/or values.

From a legal standpoint, the control bid is the response that says “I psyched”. That is what is technically illegal. If you open 1, partner bids 2NT (Jacoby) and opener now passes, everyone knows 1 was a psych. It is not illegal to pass because that is a call and not a bid.

From a systems standpoint, the control is the modification necessary to elicit that response. A “control” generally refers to the entire device or mechanism.

If you open 1 and partner responds 2NT to show 20-21, that not illegal - just stupid unless responder is worried about a psych. It is legal to play 1M-2NT as 20-21, just not legal for a 3NT rebid to show 5-6.

The term “control” started out as a systems term referring to the entire mechanism. The regulators employed the term to refer specifically to the part of the mechanism that they outlawed - the rebid indicating a psych. And that is why both Ken and Art are correct.
Dec. 31, 2018
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The other reason it wont matter whether 5 is a slam try is that North does not have a redouble to show first round control. Nor a hand that would offer a cue bid. So even if I were 100% sure that 2 was a M/M suiter and 5 was a slam try refusing to offer up a XX, I would still pass.
Dec. 30, 2018
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This poll is flawed because everyone knows clubs are not a real suit.
Dec. 30, 2018
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“I really got the ruling wrong.”

Vigfus, Wow! An ATB posted by the person who takes the responsibility. Thank you for restoring my faith in mankind.

However, I am going to disagree with you taking full blame. I think that our laws unnecessarily clutter these situations. With each passing revision, the short-hand regulatory distillation becomes more like: “and then we expect the TD to put the toothpaste back in the tube as if nothing happened.”
Dec. 30, 2018
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Extra likes, Charles: :) :) :)
Dec. 27, 2018
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These runner-ups are young!

https://live.acbl.org/event/1706006/212A/2/results

Oh wait - my bad - the young guys were third :) Well, the actual runner-ups are young at heart.
Dec. 27, 2018
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BTW, when did 2004 become “yore”? I remember when 2004 was going to be three years after the three decades before we sent our massive Discovery One on a mission to Jupiter.
Dec. 26, 2018
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The A should be with the short diamonds, what else is E doubling 5 with?
Dec. 26, 2018
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I did not read the first comment as carefully as Gordon did, this year's batch of candy was particularly bland.
Dec. 25, 2018
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The Manoppo brothers were banned in 1974 following a WBF investigation. Apparently, they were 75 for 75 in leading from a king or an ace and hitting partner with the other honor. If you do not think this is suspicious, the CAS will consider your application for employment.

F.E. Manoppo was back by 1984, playing at the Bridge Olympiad in Seattle.
Dec. 25, 2018
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Bridge books is too wide a category. There are really fun, true story reads like “At the Table”, “The Bridge Bum”, “Bridge is My Game”, interesting theory reads like “Partnership Bidding” and “Matchpoints”, and then books with cool hands (Kelsey/Ottlik) and then books with cool hands and funny stories (Mollo).

Favorite novel/book is easy because it is always whatever I am reading now. Which right now is: Behind the Front Page, by AA Dornfeld.

Film/TV is not a real category. It is like asking what kind of candy someone likes. If it isn’t a guilty pleasure then you miss the main point.
Dec. 24, 2018
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I voted North to blame, but the missing data isn't system. If South is rational, did he really bid a new suit at the 3-level, opposite just an overcall, missing KQJ in his first suit without something?

I mention this because there are some crazy people out there. If North thought his partner was one of those and can provide documentation, absolution is yours. I play with someone who would just bid here on anything, and with her I would bid 3. With a sane partner, I have play for game opposite as little as A10xxx/AKxxx in the pointed. So I bid 4 over 3.
Dec. 24, 2018
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