Join Bridge Winners
All comments by David Yates
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Thanks, should be 4 clubs in each.
April 7
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You have enough “stuff” to get to game. I would want to be there at IMPs, seems about break-even for MP.

My preferred style is somewhat light openings and hefty L/R. The West has is even a bit too hefty for me. It counts to 13 “dummy points”, a la Goren. 11 HCP, 1 for the doubleton 1 for Q10xx. The values are all working.

Contrast the actual West hand against Q10xx / Ax / Kxx / Qxx, or Q10x / Ax / KQxx / xxx. These are more clearly LRs and one would not want to be in game opposite these dummies.

That being said, I do not believe it is a “mistake” at MP to bid 3 in context of straight-forward system. If the alternative is a GF sequence, one also does not want to give partner an incentive to move past game level following a J-2NT, or 2C-4 sequence.

I prefer having an artificial raise available as L/R to bad GF to handle this sort of hand.

If the L/R could be 3-cards, East is supposed to pass. The East hand looks much better only when you know dummy has 4-card support. Again, when the methods allow for greater precision, fewer hands fall between the cracks.
April 7
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Lance was a national sprint-course champion in 1989 and 1990. In 1993 he won the UCI World Championships in Norway and ten one-day events or stages that year. These included the US triple crown (Ironically the “Thrift Drug” TC because it was sponsored by a Pharma Co.) One of those events was the USPRO National Championships - which until 2006 was open to all.

In 1994 he again won the T.C., was 2nd in the Tour DuPont as well as Clásica de San Sebastián in Europe. His doping began in ‘95. in 1995 he won both those events. In 1996 he won the Tour DuPont, and the La Flèche Wallonne in Belgium. L.A. was something like 6th in the Summer Olympics and in October of that year was diagnosed with advanced testicular cancer.

Based on what my friend told me about the doping, I doubt Eddie Merckx could have been Eddie Merckx had he been born a quarter century later. For the record, Merckx had some brushes with positive tests. Whatever the truth was, I doubt that the pharmacology was as established or as extensive in Eddie’s time as it was by the turn of the century. One of the points my friend made was that the doping required cycles of on/off usage during the course of the year. Cyclists were only competitive during the on cycles.
April 7
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I believe that standard practice in USA was(*) that 1-level is forcing, 2-level is not. XX followed by bid is F1.

(*) “was” because many of us got tired of XX hoping to finally punish ops at the 1-level. Some of the time they bid 2/3 at these colors as preemptive. Good luck now. So instead of searching for penalties and/or Sasquatch, many of us now transfer over the X. I was transferring before they doubled, why give that up now?
April 6
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I give E/W a plus when Hades hosts the Ice Capades.

I understand this is “technically” an incomplete claim. And yes, declarer should not have assumed that a player who was too clueless to actually set this contract(*) would actually appreciate that South is double dummy at this point. (Assumes a normal count card from E @T1)

How is it that our silly rules become ever increasingly senile? On one hand it is OK to revoke (kind of). And it is OK to bid out of turn rules because we just love someone attempting to decipher “comparable call”. And nowadays, when we adjust scores, we produce results like 317.5 because we are “restoring equity.”

Yet when someone tables his hand in the excitement of sneaking through a doubled contract and makes an incomplete statement, we now get ticky-tacky, break out the rulebook so as to enforce a line of play THAT DECLARER WAS NEVER TAKING.

E-W failed to set 5-X. And the powers that be think it is now OK to give them a score on a technicality that they failed to achieve on their own merit. Wonderful.

It is official, the bridge world is officially crazy. We will not enforce the two most important rules of the game - rotational play and follow suit - but we are happy to penalize someone for trying to speed up the game when the play no longer matters.

(*) seriously, (a) partner needs a card. He did not double 5 with the ace of spades, nor certainly ace-fifth of that suit. (b) Even if he holds the A, a diamond continuation will still beat the contract even if West has paralysis of the trump leading finger. No need to panic.

Please feel free to post “rules are rules”. That is not the point. These are STUPID rules. And it irks me that people try to leverage their position by not asking for a line of play, but immediately calling the TD. Claimers should be able to “reserve their rights” without specifically needing to say so every damn time.
April 6
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Caffeine withdrawal is the pits. Killer headaches. It will kick in in just a day or two, so yes it will effect one's performance.
April 5
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If forget who it was, but back in the late 60s or early 70s a couple of players more than microdosed before an event. At one point one of the players declaring a hand just stopped and stared.

Eventually his partner chided him and said: “surely you must know what card to play.”

His partner replied: “Of course I do. I just don't know which table to play it on.”
April 5
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Pretty normal to balance. Especially with good spots.

Helgemo is 100% to balance. Add that to Bessis-Volker and those three votes mean more to me than 30 others.
April 5
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I am fairly certain that way back when the first subversive advanced the idea that (1) – X could be better used as takeout instead of penalty, that notion was widely derided. “They'll bid all over us!” “Next thing you know they will be psyching all the time”. Although ironically, psyching was widespread and commonplace back when nearly every double was penalty.

Having played – by necessity, because people think this is how bridge is played - that “double shows the ability to penalize on of the suits”, I can state that this is hardly a killer ap. And it certainly does not keep the opponents in line. Nowadays, nearly everyone at the club thinks one is supposed to over call on any 5-5 minor hand. They do this because starting with double to try for penalties is just as likely to produce a problem for your side.

Consider the op hand. Everyone starts with X because “I can penalize clubs”. North, not surprisingly, bids 3 and partner passes back to you because that might be the suit. Now what? You actually only had an invitation. Yet 3 is forcing and need not be 4-cards if you are trying to get to 3NT. Which should to be played by partner if he has Qx – and a decent opening bid. If South overcalled 2 or 2-3, you had a double. A takeout double.

On any action of bid – (bid) - ? responder needs a call that says: “I want to be in this auction, but I do not have a clear bid”. Not using X for that call is just wrong. (Lacking such a claa, most pairs seem to take the slow tortured bid or pass route. Lets assume for now that is not how the game should be played.)

The way one actually extracts blood vs naught on these auctions is West doubles (“I want in.”). Now North bids 3. If it is with Kxx(x) in diamonds, opener bids 3 with AQxxx/AKxx /x/xxx and you get to your game. If North bid on Kx/xx minors, opener passes his AQxxx AKx xxx xx and now you know they don't have enough trumps – and neither do you. Next double spells doom for them.

But go ahead and keep on believing that penalty doubles should be unilateral instead of co-operative. I mean, it isn't like this is a a partnership game, is it?
April 5
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“Let us close our eyes
Outside their lives go on much faster
Oh, we won't give in
We'll keep living in the past” - Ian Anderson

My father was in medical publishing. After he sold the magazines, he still produced a couple specialty monthly publications by subscription. These went online and that was 20-25 years ago. Since printing and mailing costs money, the customer had the option at different rates.

I know that sounds really radical and someone is going to come up with some fear of giving people options. But customer options and covering real expenses is how reality works.
April 4
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The Hemingway one. Not Papa the Greek :)
April 4
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This was so funny. Thank you for sharing these stories and the “expert double dummy” tie in was marvelous.

On a serious note, I think it that both players can agree to play the hand as if they had not seen the other's - and everyone is completely fine with it.
April 4
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I saw Brian's vote and I wrongly assumed it was the other way around - he reopened and it went wrong.

The table result demonstrates that one reason why the fear of being doubled is overestimated is that smart opponents will likely quietly pass a contract they can set rather than risk pushing you into one that they cannot.

Others help you out. Once, after a reopening double of 2, the 2NT scramble was doubled and we ran to 3. That was doubled and we bid 3. That was doubled and we were +730.
April 4
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None of the above. You are in the process of figuring out how to create good luck.

It is so refreshing to see an “Am I To Blame?” post. If you are willing to seek criticism of your actions in order to do better next time, luck will follow such courage.
April 4
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Unfortunately, Adderall & Ritalin does not make one smarter. They do assist in making one more willing to concentrate on a problem. If we had normal time limits it probably would not help very much. (big IF, the way time limits are usually enforced is my ops use up the time and the TD tells me to hurry up).

Alcohol is supposed by some to make them wittier and and more desirable. There is some truth in this provided that your partner is the one drinking.

I would see no reason not to try any legal drug to see if it can help with my concentration. I am guessing the most probable outcome is spending 10 extra minutes to play a card on John Diamond's problem (“Trick Four Play” - sounds kind of sexy, right?) and still not know what is right.
April 3
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This is an interesting problem. The answer may well depend on how reliable East is in defending and how the partnership would interpret signals in such a situation. (Informative or instructive).

Partner went out of his way to say “not spades” with his second card. So with my normal student, I now quickly lead a spade to break up the squeeze.

But if partner is 3514 and a genius (like Brian Platnick), he should be able to see what is going to happen on a club switch. So is he discarding to let me make the decision? (Mistake:)

I originally voted for 10C on the theory that if a club is right, partner has Axx with necessarily good club spots and I don't want to get caught and end-played. Now I am thinking that I have no idea what is right. Perhaps a spade after all?
April 3
David Yates edited this comment April 3
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Yes or yes b/c conventional (NJF)

I think you should be able to land in 4m in constructive auctions, but problematic in competitive ones.

It is not clear to me how the NF 4 players intend to bid forcing club hands. If you start with resp-X and they bid 4, what is your plan when overcaller now bids 5? The same prob exists after 4-P-P-5C, how does partner know not to “correct” to hearts?
April 3
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I will highlight the funny spot in the proforma table.

Club entry fee $7. Those of us in New York fondly remember the 1980s.
April 2
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It is really a matter of knowing partner. One one hand, partner opened 2nd seat vul at IMPs. OTOH, partner made the most minimum and discouraging rebid. If I know partner might try 3NT with bits and pieces outside, I pass. If partner might think 3 could be optimistic, I bid 3NT. (Grue inversion certainly helps).

Some days I make. Some days I am down three. I think this problem can be fairly random unless you know your partner. Not having a high degree of certainty one way or another, 3NT is certainly reasonable.
April 2
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First, it is doubtful you will ever play 3 only hearts on this hand. And you probably don't want to play whatever contract happens after partner makes an advance.

The biggest problem with bidding on hands like this is you destroy partner's confidence and trust. If they see you balancing or overcalling on hands such as this, they will never raise you on real values when you have a real balance hand. Now you miss game on the next hands.
April 2
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