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All comments by Eric Sieg
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John, I'm not sure if you read what I said. I love raising on 3. But I consider xxx to be a terrible thing when bumping to 2. By frequently, I mean in my experience its usually been worse to have raised on 3 with xxx than otherwise. Sure, you might scrape out 110, but maybe 130 or 150 (vs 140) was available playing a normal spot. If its right, sometimes the opponents come back in and then you can show 3 and be super clear about your shape (and by inference, values since you would have raised earlier without bad spades). Just because majors score more doesn't mean they should be the priority vs everything else.

I also very much enjoy playing 4-3 fits, and frequently pull to a known moysian major suit game when it seems right or occasionally a moysian slam. However, I've usually been less than excited when partner raises on xxx. Now frequently we have a source of tricks elsewhere that gets trumped while we have trouble pulling trump on an awful holding.

I'm sure you have more experience than me given the years playing, just sharing my experience and viewpoint :)
Aug. 27
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No real answer for “almost never”, so went with sometimes. I've only done it maybe twice though.

I do think there should be a poll option for “Almost never, but every couple years it seems right” since that's probably what most of us sometimes raise people mean.
Aug. 27
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I played TABs for a couple years when I first learned precision, as it was part of the system described in Precision Today which was my main resource. I never found them to be critical and have since dropped them completely in favor of better shape exploration.

RKC usually does fine for figuring out trump quality. I think the best way to find the lower HCP slams is to find out that our hands are fitting nicely shapewise. I use the 2 bid as a special bid as well (showing a fit for the major and invite+ values), after which opener we quickly clarify strength and then have various shape asking relays available. I think its far more important to find out that partner has a stiff opposite your KQJx or opposite your xxxx than to worry about making sure we have a good trump suit. I've made slam with a bad trump suit many times, but things go poorly when our values and shape aren't fitting well with each other.

I noticed you mentioned CABs as well, which I also used to play. I think they have value, but usually find a combination of cue bidding, RKC, and 3rd round control ask at high levels does plenty well.

Its fun to experiment and try things out though. I certainly have over the years, and doing so has helped me better understand the strengths and weaknesses of my system choices now.
Aug. 27
Eric Sieg edited this comment Aug. 27
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I agree Robert, Kxx or Axx would be a lot better. Qxx and stiff small heart seem good enough for me, but I wouldn't fault someone for bidding 2. With Kxx or Axx in spades, I would consider it downright weird to not bid 2.
Aug. 26
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My experience with raising with 3 is that xxx frequently goes badly. So I'm a big 3 card raiser, but wouldn't on this particular hand. As mentioned above by a variety of people, Qxx of spades or better it becomes a 2 bid.
Aug. 26
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mildly shapely? :)
Aug. 21
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Note: 4 is cold, but declarer needs to work on diamonds earlier rather than ruffing hearts. As soon as they willingly trumped a 2nd club they were going down on best defense.
Aug. 21
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Eh? Club switch works too, but either spade or club beats 4. What spade W follows with doesn't matter hugely.

You are just trying to run declarer out of trump before they get diamonds set up.

Assume 7 return, and W plays the K.
N wins and continues diamonds
E wins and plays a heart or a club. Either play results in N having to ruff somewhere and runs out of trump before diamonds get set up
Aug. 21
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I wouldn't call doubling 4 risky. I understand not bidding 5 on a flat 15 count, but surely E should be able to see the need for a spade switch after the first diamond once he gets count on the diamond suit.
Aug. 21
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I answered K as standard, but don't think I have any partnerships where I would lead it. Usually play Rusinow, and usually play K as power in partnerships that aren't Rusinow which effectively means I would lead Q in all partnerships.
Aug. 15
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Kit also frequently suggests playing the Q from KQ to make it harder to duck the A, although that's a lot less deceptive with the T on dummy.
Aug. 15
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X and hope to beat it, but wishing I had bid 3 as a natural invite if it was available.
Aug. 15
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David: My concern (and reason for posting) is that the downsides of bidding might outweigh the upsides of possibly finding a fit. We discussed this hand at the bar (when the actual hand was all white) and I thought I was too timid for passing white but thought pass was clear if red and others disagreed. At this point the poll is clearly in favor of bidding, but maybe I shouldn't have polled since I still think pass is right :)

We have a bad 6 count opposite a hand that opens all 11s. If you care about K&R, it evaluates as 5.75. With us having 4 spades, RHO having 11-17 HCP and likely 3-4 spades, it seems like the upsides bidding are outweighed by the risks of playing a hand red that we don't want to be declaring. My gut is that after the X, partner is 11-13 HCP something like 80% of the time (usually balanced) and is unlikely to have 4 spades and probably less than 3 a bit over half the time. We have enough that they probably can't make game, so the most likely spot is 1NT and with (likely) fewer HCPs and no source of tricks that I can see, I'd much rather the opponents be in 1NT than us. If they make its 90 for them or -100 for us (ignoring the tempo advantage of leading), if we do happen to make its 90 for us or -100 for them. A very real possibility is 120 for them or -200 for us given we have fewer HCPs, no source of tricks in our hand, and a tempo disadvantage if declaring 1NT.

In addition, they have something like 11 to 17 (or maybe more) HCP sitting behind our strongest hand, further (in my opinion) increasing the odds of us not wanting to declare red.

Finally, the auction can go extra bad if partner does have 3 spades. Imagine something like 1D X 1H 2C/2H X(support) P ?. I have nowhere to go but 2 spades but would want to puke as I bid it. Would obviously do it confidently in hopes that opponents compete, but if they do they'll likely make it and if they don't we are probably getting -200.

I personally think bidding is more tempting with more shape and fewer HCPs. Then we would probably take the same (or more) tricks but have the additional upside of maybe talking them out of game. I think bidding is more tempting with something like Kxxx x T9xxx xxx since they probably have a game and we have some ways to take tricks on offense. Easier playing precision since partner won't do something obnoxious like jump to 2NT to show 18-19 balanced :)

I think a sim would be interesting, with rules something like: S has 11-17 HCP, 3-4 spades, 3-4 hearts, 3- diamonds, 3-5 clubs. How often would partner have 11-13? 11-13 balanced? 4 spades? How often would we actually want to be declaring red? On the actual hand, EW are down 2 double dummy in any contract at the 1 level even with partner having a great 12 count (evaluates as 12.7) with 3 spades and the spade A and club 9 onside.
Aug. 15
Eric Sieg edited this comment Aug. 15
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If the partnership isn't sure if this is a transfer, seems like odds of not getting 4 right are pretty high. Don't see how the 4 bidder can have UI, but I'm sure the director will be coming over shortly.

In a normal partnership where people know what they are doing, answering exclusion seems normal. So, 6.

Certainly helpful to know the level of those playing as it helps inform the likelihood of that being a slam try vs a system forget.
Aug. 7
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Debbie, I'm aware :)

My memory of how Jeff/Chris/etc explained that this wouldn't generate more money for them was that NABCs are a package deal. I'm not sure it passes a basic common sense test to assume that 7 more days of premium NABC time to play this event won't result in a higher payment. Regardless, whether its because it is the type of event that they enjoy or they make a lot more money or both, I think this event is aimed at the Chris and Jeff's of the world and not the average NABC+ participant (of which there are many more).

I think the new format is great. Would have been great to see it in the Spingold and maybe the Vanderbilt.
Aug. 6
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Moving the RR back to spring seems like a clear improvement. The timing right now is just weird. They overlap another 10k event as well as the Youth/Collegiate stuff, they end a day before the tournament ends, and don't have any great lead in events. RR followed by NAPs in the Spring seems like a much better combo.

Quick comparison on attendance: RR in Vegas this year was 100 pairs, in Atlanta the total attendance was 76 pairs. Compare that to the old spring RR attendance, back in Dallas in 06 (picked as my first NABC) which had 202 pairs playing the RRs.

I also don't think the overlap between RR and Silodor is terribly large, another mark in favor of the move.
Aug. 6
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I expect the attendance to be pretty good the first year due to the novelty. Maybe 120ish teams? Then it will gradually drop back down to the typically bad attendance for 7 day KOs, aka probably 70 to 90 teams, most of whom are sponsored and/or international.

Of all the possible changes that could have been made to improve NABC schedules and events, this is what we got? Another 7 day KO to generate big paydays for professional players? I understand why Chris Compton, Jeff Meckstroth and co would be strongly in favor of adding another such event, but am disappointed that others failed to provide a counterbalance to their desires to have another big payday. Big KOs are the one of the least popular events amongst ACBL rank and file and in the long run this won't be significantly different. At least (for now) there are other choices of events to play. It would have been nice to see this clearly superior approach of starting with a 2 day swiss added to the Spingold (where you have NO other choice of event to play) rather than cluttering the fall schedule with an unnecessary event.
Aug. 6
Eric Sieg edited this comment Aug. 6
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Put other. Sometimes attitude asks for a switch, sometimes it just shows where my entry is, depends on the context. After declarer misplayed by playing heart A, entry is a lot less relevant so should be suggesting a desire for a spade imo. Having to discard spade 9 to show the A seems insane though, play UD so you can get rid of the worthless 3. Doesn't matter on this holding but could on other hands.

Finally, many people play smith echo so the club play could have shown that partner liked hearts so you could have continued without any spade signal.
July 17
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I have always enjoyed the midnights when I've played. However, I'm usually playing in a real event the next day and think I owe that partner my absolute best performance.

I wish midnights at regionals were a thing, but haven't ever seen it.
July 17
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Seems right to lead the lowest heart and hope partner can read it. Sometimes they'll be able to figure it out, sometimes not. Can't imagine leading anything else though.
July 17
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