Join Bridge Winners
All comments by David Yates
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1. I have no idea why North is supposed to bid 5 immediately. I have raised my partner to 5M, but whatever (1m) - 5M is, this isn’t it. I am not going minus for no reason.

2. I was probably going to guess 5 had partner not hitched. However. . .

3. Data indicates (Liam’s actual question) that plenty of the field thinks pass is a L.A. Given what Peter Gill indicates, the auction presumably went 1m-4H-P or X floated at 13 tables. We can discount these. That leaves 7 playing 4S and 5 tables (including this one) getting to the 5-level. If the direction info is correct, 4 times East accepted the transfer to 4 and 3 times W tried 4 rather than floating the X. Which leads us to. . .

4. Is the BIT demonstrative? I think yes, because looking at nine hearts, no one actually believes South was thinking of 5H. Partner was thinking of hitting 4 and decided not to. This creates a legal problem. The BIT suggests 5 is better than without the BIT. For starters, we now know S has at least one ace and we aren’t going for -800. (S insta-passes QJ9 / Jx / K10xx / KQ10x). It doesn’t matter that “you were always bidding 5”. It only matters whether others were bidding 5 and it seems here (and yes, I know it isn’t your “peer group” because Meckwell weren’t in the field) that 7/12 elected not to. So perhaps you should find a more rarified game.

5. Regarding “just a club game”. Yes, that is exactly why I passed after partner’s tank. It cuts more than one way. And if I were E/W, I still know it is a club game and I probably did not call the TD. Unless of course I did call, and in that case I did so because I believe my ops to be slimy and always pulling stuff like this. So it would not make the bridge world better by ignoring the call, unless. . .

6. Some chronic complainers whined. In which case Liam should e-mail S Bloom and tell them that pass is not a LA - stop complaining.

7. This demonstrates why real bridge is behind screens. In which case North would have no idea if partner tanked thinking of doubling or E tanking thinking of bidding on and would be free to do whatever.

8. If we had sensible skip-bid rules, this stuff does not comes up. Once you have a jump, South should have a mandatory 10 secs if E does anything other than pass. Same on W now. And if you took more than ten seconds and think this is a hard problem and need more time, guess what?

It is still a club game.
Aug. 12
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Noobs bullied at local club by players and ignorant TD. Details at 5pm. In other news, bridge is becoming less popular as an activity.
Aug. 12
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Sorry, I was looking for the Bridgewinners site and apparently stumbled across Ripley's Believe It or Not.

(I would ask for directions, but certainly not from this director)
Aug. 12
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Michael Michaels' Michaels convention?
Aug. 12
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The last hand was also a vulnerability result. Had N bought the contract white, -100 beats -130/-150 for E/W in diamonds making 4 or 5. (On a spade lead, most club players will win in dummy and play trumps for just ten tricks.)

Perhaps a reason to play double as penalty at MP as well.
Aug. 10
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So far it is 13 votes for strong, 13 for regressive.

Once again we have identified “standard”.
Aug. 10
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Time Distortions

There is an inherent problem with “trying to make up time”. Doing so tends to distort the game by highlighting UI.

I would describe Michael Rosenberg as a “deliberate” player. They never named that train in Scotland after Michael, but it sure ain’t named after Barnet. (It might be named in honor of Jackie Stewart :)

Michael’s tempo is excellent. At least I think so. And when I have played against him, while he thinks more at certain times than others, I find it hard (more like impossible) to read whether he has an easy problem or a hard problem, in say the auction.

When players have the full allotment of time, we can afford to avoid tip-offs to partner with actions such as “undue haste”. In a tournament, and certainly in the finals of the LM pairs, I try to be more concerned about maintaining a fairly even tempo. At the club, most of my partners have no idea what I am thinking, much less what the tempo indicates. One or two of them can read tempo, and I try to be aware of that.

When a player is suddenly charged with “catching up” because others have been showing their usual contempt for the conditions of contest, it is no longer possible to maintain an even keel. When a player is forced to rush the simple decisions, it magnifies the UI the moment that player encounters a non-obvious decision.

At the club, this is usually no big deal. In the finals of the LM pairs and not behind screens, I think this is a horrible “solution” that only distorts our game and creates an unfair, non-level playing field.
Aug. 10
David Yates edited this comment Aug. 10
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“The traveling salesman problem” is a funny title, because while it has useful, real world applications in something like planning school bus routes, it has no application in sales. Absolutely none.

The salesman understands which customers need to be called upon and when. The salesman plans his route with an eye to maximizing gross sales. Bean counters in the accounting department look at how to minimize travel expenses. Yeah, like that is the important criteria.

Being in sales is like being locked in a world full of crazy people - oh, we are.
Aug. 10
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I agree with what you say, except the “retired” part. At some point, rules need to be enforced.

The ACBL General CoC for all events states:

“Players are allowed seven and a half (7 ½) minutes to bid and play each bridge hand.”

It also states:

“Slow play, especially habitual slow play, is subject to penalty.”
Aug. 9
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The Army's Normal Shorthand Technique Applying Acronyms For Language
Aug. 8
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Our league would rather save money than solve problems.
Aug. 8
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Good luck to all our teams.
Aug. 8
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John Doe, C.E.O. has a nice ring to it.
John Doe, E.D. might have other connotations.
Aug. 8
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The main advantage DONT had when Marty and Larry played was the bridge world insisted that doubles were penalties and most players changed system over X because that was traditionally penalty and therefore maybe playing 2 or 2 made sense.

Eventually, players figured out they needed methods to combat opponents who did the right thing and not the wrong thing. If you play systems ON and neg-X, DONT is no longer very disturbing.

They main thing Marty and Larry did - and more Larry because he was the more vocal advocate - was to change player's thinking about what hands should enter the auction after a 1NT opening. Prior to DONT there were other methods. A very popular method preceding DONT was Brozel. It is not quite as flexible, but close. The main difference was that Larry would bid over 1NT and the Brozel players would pass because they did not think the hand good enough.

Once players adjust their methods to combating NT competition, a method like Woolsey becomes a bit more disturbing than DONT.

DONT was a hugely effective convention in its time. Think of it as a U-Boat at the beginning of WWII. It could wreck havoc. The allies figured out countermeasures and things turned around after a while.

If bridge survives long enough in this country, eventually players will look at competitive auctions as BCE (Before Cohen Era) and CE. While actual methods will change over time, the underlying thinking of competitive auctions will still be heavily influenced by Cohen & Bergen. The real value of their contributions is not specific tactics - these change by necessity - but the strategy.
Aug. 7
ATB
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“There was no specific agreement about 3♠”

Making it both player's fault for putting a convention on the card without thorough discussion. (Also see, David C below)

At the very least there should be a default agreement about FP situations since 3 is a spade raise forcing at least 3. It is possible to “tweak” a “better than default” agreement here, but at least the partnership should have a basic go-to about the difference between X, pass and 3.

IME, there will be little to gain making a lead-directing bid in a short suit when you can already stand the lead of partner's suit. Especially when that is a short suit. You might want the spade lead to start a tap in hearts, or even a club lead to muddle transportation. You probably don't want to set up dummy's 5-card diamond suit if the suit is 3532 around the table. If partner has xx in he can start A and figure it out.

South likely bid 4 because “I was always bidding 4”, but it works better fast than via the scenic route. Taking the scenic route meant the opponents had a chance to work out the hand.
Aug. 7
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Sathya,

Thanks for the write-up. My version of this hand is not “Monday morn QB”, but rather “I was at the concession stand”.

East returned the low diamond, South played low and West was thinking for a long time, so I went to the kitchen. When I returned I saw -5 and thought West went up ace :)

Now I discover that after the great throw, I missed the wonderful catch by the receiver and the subsequent ball spike before crossing the goal line.

But the hot dog was good.
Aug. 6
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I am also happy for this happy group of winners. And you are right about Bruce.
Aug. 5
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I have a partner who plays this. Other than the unwieldy NT range and the 5C/4M 2 hands, I only hate it a little.
Aug. 5
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Thanks Jeff.

I try to present material in a way that allows people to think about things. Conclusions are never as important as the questions.
Aug. 5
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Chris, that is what it is all about.

BTW, Ariya Jutanugarn hits from those same tees :)
Aug. 5
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