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All comments by Jim Perkins
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I have been that visitor at Bridge World in Vegas and it was very nice.
Dec. 31, 2015
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“I think you are wrong” – any player who says that to me is not compatible as a partner . . . for me. :-)
Dec. 31, 2015
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DSI. But I don't really think these kind of issues are where bridge partnerships founder. More an issue of how are bidding questions raised, addressed and resolved.
Dec. 31, 2015
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I am adding an Ace ruffers bonus to the cash prize pool of my Thursday night game. Thanks for the idea.
Dec. 31, 2015
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Chris adds in ACBL tournament data without need for clubs to do anything. Such data is, I believe, generally available on the ACBL website or on ACBL maintained websites for the various tournaments.

He has had discussions with the ACBL. So far we are where we are. In other words, the ACBL has not been super enthusiastic about the project.

It covers every ACBL unit for which Chris has data, which I assume is most if not all of the units in the country. You will likely even find yourself rated in his database.

Chris explains his rating system on his page. Essentially his system cross-rates three factors: Your result; the strength of your partner; and the strength of the opposing field (that is, the EW field if you were seated NS) for every event that you play in, PROVIDED DATA HAS BEEN FORWARDED TO CHRIS IN A REASONABLY USABLE FORMAT. He explains how to forward data to him on his website.

As I said twice before, it seems to rate everyone else accurately, but for me rates me 8-10 points lower than actual strength. (OK, I admit, joke getting old by now)
Dec. 30, 2015
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I think it's somewhat the opposite of partnering with a pro. Play down . . . way down. And then when you post amazing results, others will know why.

Certain bridge sessions feature the bidding, play and defense decisions of one partner more than the others. After a few months of “paying your dues” you will be recognized for who and what you truly are. Besides becoming known as a mensch for playing with all those weaker players.
Dec. 30, 2015
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A current power rating system exists: http://www.coloradospringsbridge.com/pr.htm

Thanks to Chris Champion for the work he puts in maintaining it.

Ask your local club to help build its robustness and completeness by sending files to Chris.

As I have explained elsewhere in this thread, Chris' system under rates me by about 8-10 power points, but is entirely accurate for, or even overrates, most other players. (it's a joke people)
Dec. 30, 2015
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Well I see it is unanimous. But given that partner goes on to 6 after receiving a “no Q” response, and also that partner has at least 5 and sometimes 6s, I felt it was at least open to question whether S should continue with extra length.

I (S) did not and partner made 7 with some help on the lead, although he can do it even without a lead.

A, J7xxx, xxxx, Kxx.
Dec. 29, 2015
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In the US at least, we have sort of an objective answer to this question of “how good am I”? Google “Contract Bridge Power Ratings” (and lobby your club to send in their results).

Now of course there are sound explanations as to why my personal power rating is about 8-10 points lower than my actual skill level. But it rates everyone else accurately. ;-)
Dec. 27, 2015
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I opted for a 3NT = mild slam try (with or without discussion).

I hope partner is on the same wavelength.
Dec. 27, 2015
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I believe that “tournament success at the national level” needs further definition. But I did remember reading about some really successful player who took up the game in his 50s. And I took heart.

There are social factors (family, romance, etc.) that top level bridge (or anything else) highly interferes with or vice versa.

I think that there might be a couple of windows for top flight bridge progress . . . mid-teens and early 50s (by your 50s, some distractions tend to become less . . . urgent) come to mind as candidate windows.
Dec. 27, 2015
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Now . . . I don't know what this does to the rest of my partners' confidences, but I am not deterred by only 3s to make a neg x, for example, still less by a singleton when rebidding 1NT. So 4-4-4-1 or 5-4-3-1's are not the problems for me that they are for others with standards. Whether they are for my partners, I can't say.

I do have an affection for Aces (“when I see 2 Aces I want to open the bidding” – I don't always do it, but I want to), so the dreaded 4333 tremendously devalues a hand with the otherwise beloved Aces. And I am learning to dial it back with 10 losers, even if I do have 2 Aces.
Dec. 27, 2015
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And on the hands where I would bid 1 I might not mind that. That said, 1 is 100% forcing, unless whatever the intial response was was joking. Opener, with a <4 loser hand that opened a 1 bid cannot risk the 1 response, but even with 4 losers can.
Dec. 26, 2015
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@ Richard: So I think we can safely eliminate 6 players . . . with whom no decent person would mind burning bridges.
Dec. 26, 2015
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By the way . . . in terms of who is better than whom . . . or, more to the point of this thread, whose playing strength is a good fit for whose . . . this website, while not dispositive, at least attempts to answer the question by actual, current performance.

Of course, there are many reasons why my rating is so low. ;-)

http://www.coloradospringsbridge.com/pr.htm
Dec. 26, 2015
Jim Perkins edited this comment Dec. 26, 2015
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I would like to hear what the objectors to 2 think is the potential problem. To me, 2 when 1 is forcing is caution enough that the s may be suspect.

As to our next bid, 5 is more than enough and partner, with 2 Aces, should bid 6 herself.
Dec. 26, 2015
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As a sometimes director . . . as well as a person who has made 2 major moves (Iowa City to Omaha (250 miles) and Omaha to LA (an entire universe)) in his bridge “career” I sympathize. ACBL in general and most clubs in particular do a horrible job at the partnership desk. I think it was on this site that someone said, “if you want to gamble at bridge, try the partnership desk.” I want to do better in my game (that I am directing), but it is daunting to even start. I have players who are entirely deluded as to their own skill level.

As a player, I get a lot of requests to play, way more than I can handle, probably because I never teach or criticize at the table (EVER; not once; never even slipped) but not one of these players is ready to devote the 25+ hours a week to study and play - even after you know everything - that success at the higher levels requires.

In fact, I took a break from bridge for 10 years, playing poker instead, because of the partnership issues.

If you solve it, let me know.

Oh . . . and Yu . . . pm me. :-)
Dec. 26, 2015
Jim Perkins edited this comment Dec. 26, 2015
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Same thing happens in love by the way: Mrs. Perkins: “Why don't we try to set up Joe and Cindy?” Me: “Why? Then we'll just have two people mad at us.”
Dec. 26, 2015
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As a general rule, I figure that a solid suit will be more useful to partner than a typical preempt will be to me. However, 10 solid might be a different situation.

By the way . . . a long time ago (1991-ish) in a universe far away (Cornhusker Bridge Center, Omaha NE) we had 3 10 card suits in one year . . .

JC who never saw a bridge hand that he couldn't rage against . . . picked up 10 spades and I opened a (very) nebulous precision 1 in front of him. He tactically passed. My partner passed. And his partner, holding a fistful of s . . . passed. Whereupon to explosion ensued . . . not even waiting for the play.

Vikki, who was always bejeweled and elegantly dressed, was partnering with a newer player, currently your humble reporter, and she picked up . . . 10s.

And, speaking of your humble reporter, all round nice guy and table peace maker . . . was playing not exactly at the Cornhusker but rather on the Sierra Network (before AOL bought them out and shut them down) . . . picked up 10 s KJTxxxxxxx.

:-)
Dec. 26, 2015
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My partner meant it natural, but I read KB. When he bid 5 over my response, I took it as Q ask and leaped to 6.

Down 2 was an above average board, as many were in 4 or 5 down 3 and 4.

<sigh>

When partner shows an 8 card suit . . . that is trump.
Dec. 25, 2015
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