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All comments by David Yates
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ACBL provides the RA with the option of:

Law 40B2(b): Whenever written defenses are required or permitted, they may be referred to by any player whenever it would be appropriate to refer to an opponent’s convention card.

Law 40B2©: In addition, a player is permitted to consult an opponent’s convention card at his RHO’s turn to call.

The first is interesting because the language defines “any player”.
Feb. 3
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Hey Ben, obviously we old folks are party poopers.

I do admire the optimism of youth. And remember that when one starts being sensible, life is a lot less interesting :)
Feb. 2
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I think Ray holds the BW record for most number of sensible poll answers (ten!) that all lost out to “other”.
Feb. 2
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Assuming a start of 2NT-3; 3NT-?

…. 4 = single suited in clubs, opener continues
4 is “negative”, not a good fit
——–> 4 is RKC in clubs
——–> 4 is cue, 4NT/5C to play

4 + is fit, RKC response in clubs. (so if “1430”, then 4H=1/4 / 4S=3 (you aren't interested with 0,) 4NT=2 w/o, 5C = 2 with. The RKC is not really optimized. If you are interested, 2-3-4 makes more sense. But then there is memory load for something that never comes up.) 4NT/5C by resp is to play

…. 4 = single suited in diamonds, much the same:
4 is “negative” (considering I already have a monster
4+ is fit, RKC response in diamonds
———-> 4NT/5D by responder always to play


…. 4 = both minors, short hearts
4 is try in clubs. Now 4NT/5C is Turbo or RKC, have way to get out in 5NT

4NT is intended to play
5C+ is RKC response in diamonds


We run short on room on short spades. It would be beneficial to play, 4/4NT/5C as different strengths. (2NT-4NT is quant, but 2NT-3; 3NT-4NT is choice, 4 is SI+ with 4NT declines. etc)

…. 4 = both, short spades, SI; so 4NT declines and 5m= RKC in that suit. 5NT by either is stop.

Or just play strong club and have all the room in the world - when they don't bang the auction. :)
Feb. 2
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There was a “Scientists vs Naturalists” goulash version on BBO some years back. If memory serves, Robson's 1NT opening simply denied a 7+ card suit.
Feb. 2
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Ten bucks says Geir Helgemo bids 2. So now I do. (Not always, some partners would hate it).
Feb. 1
David Yates edited this comment Feb. 1
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This year in the Championship bracket, I checked in with my sometime partner as her table finished. They were the #4 of 4 playing the first round against “the pro team”. She said they thought they did OK in the second set but could not be sure about some hands. I inquired about the score and was told: “we were up 20 at the half.”

I replied: “Really.” She looked at her partner and in a frustrated voice said: “why does everyone keep saying that!?”

The second set went as -1, and they scored the KO.

This is the girl I once had to drag into ‘A’ separate events some fifteen years ago. (I was never an ACBL member so I could have played B at the time.) When I asked her what she thought of her first ‘A’ event, her comment was: “I never played so many doubled contracts in my life.”

Her team came up a couple boards short in the final KO. Perhaps a couple more “unforced errors” than the ops. But this is the journey.

Max wrote a fantastic article about his Blue Ribbon experience. He spoke honestly about a subject that nearly everyone avoids: nerves.

If Michael Hopkins did have a chance to play against Arnie AND he was worried about looking bad, he would have turned in the most horrible round of his golf career.

The only way to conquer nerves is by going into battle. And even if you lose, you gain experience. Not everyone can or will achieve expertise at this game. But we call all improve our confidence. That confidence will always improve one's enjoyment of the game.

No one can enjoy trying to play a game while being self-conscious.

In 1976, at the regional finals of the GNT, this young kid kept asking his (now ACBL HOF) opponents “did I do this right?” when he tabled dummy. One finally said: “kid by the time you get here, you should know.”

They won that match, eventually making it to finals, finishing second to four world champions you probably heard of: Eisenberg, Kantar, Soloway and Swanson.

That youngster is now a world champion. And if you want make a run at a title these days, the path to glory now runs through Marty Fleisher's table.

Very few can knock out the champ. But in bridge, many of us can go a few rounds. The only real losers are those who are too scared to get into the ring.

There was something magical about a grassroots championship. The changes that have been made to the event have certainly destroyed the uniqueness of the GNTs.
Feb. 1
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@Mike - Very information post.

I have to say that if one is making $200K/yr on a “grassroots” National pair event, but have no interest in a similar “grassroots” team event, that just takes a special kind of stupid.
Jan. 31
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We have a winner, or should I say loser?
Jan. 31
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@ Linda, hit the pool in the very early morning. Marvelous temps and hardly a soul.

Later, when it reaches 1,094 degrees in the shade you will be playing bridge. After that, if you want to go outside late it is very nice. A great thing about Vegas is that, unlike say Phoenix, the locals never say stupid things like: “yes, but it is a DRY heat.”

The locals do become acclimated to the heat. Once out in Feb for the S-Bowl, I bounced down to the Mirage valet in jeans and t-shirt. The valets were wearing parkas, mittens and were huddled under heaters!

Perhaps it is also sad that we have reached an age where “Sin City” is not as enticing?

@ Steve, very interesting stuff. Although the first part about people from Minnesota being a little crazy(*) - like New Yorkers from Plattsburgh – was common knowledge. I think it also shows how important the promotions, event construction and potential rewards effect participation. (Nice work, Mike!)

(*) Peg's sensible posts notwithstanding.
Jan. 31
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Chris makes a great point. While I am totally in Andy's camp (“let me at ‘em”) – not everyone keeps that view over time. About a dozen or so years ago, I asked one of our local experts to be part of a GNT team. He declined, saying that he no longer had an interest in participating.

This was a guy who had a couple of NABC titles and a runner-up in the GNTs. When I asked him why, he replied: “Because I got tired of winning the District, going to the Nationals and losing to Meckwell.” I should add that it wasn’t necessarily Meckwell to whom he lost. It was sort of understood he meant “Meckwell” as “those two guys and some of the other usual suspects.”

I think that when one is younger and improving, one sees this competition as a means of honing one's skill and improving. After a couple decades, one might now see it as charging tanks on horseback. I think this is a natural progression, but we have not been replacing the real good experts who might want a chance at the top guns. If one is taking up, or perhaps returning to bridge, in one's 50s or 60s, there is still a good chance for lots of fun, very little chance of expertise.
Jan. 31
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And I though we were goofy for not scheduling KOs. Now there are no team games? All I can say is holy*&#^! that is depressing.
Jan. 31
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Stephen, thank you for your post. It is good to hear from what Steve Bloom refers to as “the customers”.
Jan. 31
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Looks like Peg and I need to plan an intervention.

Sorry to hear that Gary, but I also understand.
Jan. 31
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You were making perfect sense, Steve, right up until the end. When you wrote “customers”, you were referring to the feudal serfs, right?
Jan. 31
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LOL. Never thought of that. I would definitely love to be able to handle the expense of traveling to lovely France. Bayonne, NJ is not why New Jersey proclaims itself “The Garden State”.
Jan. 31
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Actually, it was a perfect storm. First, the external hard drive crashed. (Possibly due to overwork, as per Ray). The a couple days later we had the typical electric service that overwhelms everything. Include UPS.

As for “cloud” services, that is just another communist plot. (Just because the commies became capitalists at the end of the “cold war” doesn't change their spots.) For me, a personal computer is just that.
Jan. 31
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Learn to play Precision and open 1 first.
Jan. 31
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Perhaps the next set of changes to our bridge laws could be written in English.

It is something to wish for since I have long since given up on hoping there would be any point to the revisions.
Jan. 30
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Other. I blame the ACBL for perpetuating standard bidding that has almost comically wide ranges for raises of a major suit response.

BTW, would everyone also be blaming East for missing game if West's Q was the Q?
Jan. 30
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