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All comments by Debbie Rosenberg
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At the Palo Alto Bridge Center, where Michael plays regularly, there are frequently day games on the weekend, though not every weekend (due to the abundance of local sectionals). There is a regular Saturday club game once a month, plus there are usually two unit games a month, one on Saturday and one (Swiss) on Sunday.
June 17
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Without getting involved in the main argument, I'd like to say that Donna Compton should get much credit (blame?) for Kevin Rosenberg playing bridge! He started playing casually in the childcare program she organized, and if it weren't for that program he might not have been a regular at NABCs, where he eventually found YNABC and became seriously interested in tournament bridge.
June 13
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It looked just like a felt board with plastic letters, but maybe it was magnetic (unless use of magnets is prohibited..). I found it amusing enough that I wanted to take a photo, but oops, I was complying with the USBF rules and didn't have my cellphone in the playing room.
If only it had been a Wednesday, when my religion compels me to have my cellphone on my person at all times… Ah, but then they would have been writing the scores.
June 2
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It was only a six-board match, and I don't recall feeling any pressing need to get an explanation beyond the pointing. At least once my screenmate whispered a simple explanation (which she also later pointed to), imo loudly enough to be easily heard on the other side. But several other opponents were doing that throughout the event..
June 2
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@Jan Martel
That's interesting. Before the round robin match I asked director Sol Weinstein to clarify what I should do if I wanted an explanation other than pointing. I may have said something like “Are we really supposed to go out in the hall and whisper (as my screenmate had indicated) or should I call a director?” Iirc, his answer wasn't very clear and suggested I should “probably” call the director. I'm certain that neither he nor my opponent mentioned anything about the director writing. I wonder if others were aware of that procedure, and whether it was ever used.

@Richard Fleet
Yes, the audit trail is what I've thought was one of the main purposes of written explanations, causing me to wonder why pointing was deemed acceptable. A couple of people I spoke to about this issue at the event suggested that, at a minimum, it should be clear that the side refusing to write will get ruled against in any unclear relevant cases.
June 1
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Potential thread hijack alert.

In the recent USBF team trials, I played against a pair who would not write at all on that particular day of the week. They had apparently been given permission to instead point to explanations they'd printed in advance. I was told that if I needed a longer explanation we'd have to go out in the hall and whisper.

I'm pretty sure there was at least one other pair (on the same team) doing this, and it was not the first time such an exemption from following the rules has been granted for “religious reasons.”

I'm wondering how others feel about this, in the context of this and related threads where thorough written disclosure behind screens is applauded.
June 1
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not my style, but now mainstream enough that there won't be an automatic investigation if it works.
April 20
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@Richard - they actually had neither the Q nor the T of diamonds. Opener had both of those.
April 16
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When I gave the hand to Michael Rosenberg, he said that he would bid, knowing that was an unusual choice. I was curious as to whether he would have any company.

At my table, it actually went 4 - X - XX! I didn't bother giving that as a problem because it would be too dependent on who the opponents were, and possibly being there at the table.

Alas, our teammates lost 10 IMPs for +990, when both tables made an overtrick. The result was pretty random - we happened to have a 5-5 club fit, and opener was 8-1-4-0. The doubler's hand was K,KQ9x,Kxx,AQJxx. Dummy had Ax. A diamond lead would hold it to 4. I don't think there is a lot to learn from this particular deal, but people may be curious.

I was curious as to thoughts on how far out there bidding over the double is. Thanks for the replies.
April 15
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The article is now edited to include the full deal. Well done, William Zhu, ducking with Kx!!
April 13
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Michael Rosenberg has spoken of this squeeze often to many of the more advanced juniors he has coached, trying to impress on them to look for it when a 3N seems hopeless on the surface. The position is really quite common. At one point I heard some of them refer to it as a Michael Rosenberg squeeze. Kevin and I call it a Dad squeeze.

I see in comments below that there are more technical names, which I dont think I had not been aware of. I'll stick to Dad squeeze.
April 12
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Steve, you and I must play bridge in different worlds. I'm not even sure it's the same universe.
April 12
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Yes, that word routinely triggers a warning.
April 12
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Imo, not at all. For one thing, a squeeze without the count can involve just two suits.
Also, in a squeeze without the count, typically the pitch in the suit where declarer is threatening to lose a trick to establish a winner is relevant. Here, you could always knock out the A to establish club trick, the key is forcing the defender to pitch enough spades. And that involves the heart threat too…


This particular type of triple squeeze (or at least the potential for it) is quite common in 3N. One defender has an Ace (or equivalent), a second suit in which they must guard a slow trick, and one or more established winners in a third suit. If they pitch down to not enough winners to beat 3N, declarer can simply knock out the Ace (sometimes actually a King, or equivalent).

On the OP deal, the fact that W will be “endplayed” into leading a heart might be causing some to call this a strip squeeze. But a strip squeeze also typically involves only two suits. And this squeeze would operate equally well if W held QJT of hearts, and dummy K94, with no throw in element in play. The heart T trick isn't relevant, once declarer has established club tricks.

The key is that they can't keep enough winners to stop declarer from “knocking out the Ace.”

We do have a name for this squeeze in my home, though I'm sure it's not in any books.

Any U.S. Juniors want to chime in?
April 12
Debbie Rosenberg edited this comment April 12
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I'm not sure I get this, Steve. Are your calculations assuming that W will ALWAYS duck with the K if he can? If so, do you think that assumption is realistic against most (or any) opponents?

I haven't tried to calculate the percentages, but it seems clear to take the club finesse IF it's going to lose. I understand that once the club finesse wins, it seems clearly better to have started with the diamond finesse, and maybe that is even best irrespective of how often they will duck.

I suspect the answer requires an assessment of how often W will duck, though I'm not sure.

Maybe I should have presented this from trick one, but irl the declarer played as indicated, followed in the post mortem by discussion as to what was best from there, so I was more interested in that.
April 11
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Ed asked:
“I'm curious. If you think your partner's explanation is incorrect, but it matches your holding, why did you make that bid?”

Simple example: Your partner explains that your bid promised 5 hearts. You are sure that your bid promised only 4+ hearts, but you happen to have 5.

Do you say anything? This has been discussed in expert circles for as long as I've been playing bridge, still with no consensus reached.

Kit's above comment, laying out his approach (starting with “Here is how I handle things”) addresses this situation in a clear, and imo, very reasonable way. It is probably the approach most likely to avoid controversy, though I doubt that any approach can completely avoid it.

It would be best if there were an official regulation spelling out how one should handle this situation. However, imo, such a thing is practical only if we start having separate laws and regulations for high level play. I certainly don't want to try to explain this issue to players in the 99er game.
April 10
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For me the answer depends on the definition of “is.” (reminder - no politics allowed).

Without a partnership agreement, I would assume “weak” with most partners, though I certainly wouldn't vote for that option as presented in the poll. “Partner should raise only with a hand that didn't double because of short spades” So Axxx, xxxxx, AKx, x shouldn't raise?


With a partnership agreement, it would depend on the partner. I think intermediate is probably the most useful treatment, irrespective of vul, yet I've had that agreement with only a couple of partners. With others it is either always weak, or intermediate only if vul.
April 5
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I'm curious as to Chip's thoughts on this. When Chip was our NPC in the early 90's, the beer card had only recently become a thing in the U.S, and I was too serious then to be into it at all, but most of the juniors were.
I don't remember Chip's attitude toward juniors focusing on the beer card, and wonder whether it was similar to Michael's now.
April 5
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While I"m here, Peggy, you might be interested to know that at least 2 Lowell students are expected to play in the pairs in the upcoming 2018 event. Still no Lowell team. Maybe next year.
April 5
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Indeed. It was awesome that they were able to attend in 2016. We were hopeful that at least one Reno team would enter this year, but no luck.

A couple of SiVY kids traveled to Reno for one of their youth tournaments 2 or 3 years ago. It's *only* about a four hour drive.
April 5
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