Join Bridge Winners
All comments by John Torrey
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If I had a Bols Tip, it would be “Lead first through the short hand.” This combines “what should I do” with the “what's going on” because you have to figure out the short hand to apply it, and that leads to considering the distribution of the unseen hands. And it's almost always the right play when you do figure it out.
June 21
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One reason is that you can “fast answer” a number of polls without viewing the whole problem statement.
June 19
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As I read it, there will not be groups of 18. All entrants will be in the same “section,” with the top 18 getting points.
June 18
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I was the director. (I told East I would treat his objection as an Appeal and let Bridgewinners decide.)

My problem with this suggestion is the cognitive limits of the N-S players. Some time ago one of them needed a ride home. He took out his driver license (I don't think he actually drives) and showed me the address. As we approached the address, he said, “No, that's not right.” He called a relative on his cell phone and got the actual address (not near the DL one) and I took him home. They do not play negative free bids; I'm not sure offhand if they play negative doubles. They do sometimes open hands with less than 10 HCP. I've never seen less than eight. I could ask them to announce Light Openings - their club opponents already know this - but they'd be likely to forget. They are friendly people who were once industrial engineers. They seem cheerfully aware of their present limits, on some level. Sometimes they may do a good bridge thing, but the odds are against it.
June 17
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Page 10: “…a blackout thinking that South has two trumps left…” You mean East, not South.
June 3
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The rest of the story: East had


10x
98765432
Qxx

You have two spade losers, but each winner endplays West, provided you discarded a club on the first trick (so that one ruff-sluff is enough to establish clubs). You have some guessing if West exits the J.

I don't think I've seen an eight-card straight flush before this one.
May 28
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OoPs.
May 7
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The club 6 appears in both South and West.
April 20
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That's a very good question. I held the hand and became entranced with the converse: when does it lose to play low? when partner has QJxx and declarer lets the 8 win, the suit will be blocked, possibly impeding an entry to dummy's diamonds - and on other layouts the 10 has no advantage. So I played low, and found a case where the 10 was required: declarer had Ax of spades and QJ10x of diamonds and made five.

The spade blockage was a mirage anyway: if you play the 10 and force the ace, you can force the king out of dummy before it is useful as a diamond entry.

Sometimes it's right to do the obvious thing, even in a problem setting.
April 20
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I updated the OP: they would not play 2 as a transfer after an opening 1NT and 2 overcall. The exact situation is not discussed. (E-W are a very regular partnership.)
April 17
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As I wrote above, the Event went off well enough.

I should probably have noted explicitly what I think is a good feature of the ladder as it exists: by its swiss-individual properties, it concentrates winners at table 1. The table-1 winning pair in the fourth round can with some justice be said to finish first and second.
April 6
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Just back from The Event. The beginners played 4 rounds of 4 boards each, and finished before the other sections (which played more boards). Non-fussy scoring was enough to determine what pair won each round - some scorers did not give the part-score bonus, for example. (We did have table mats with all the duplicate scores printed on the back.) In the end, my paper tracking of who was playing where was less accurate than the actual players who moved each round. I felt that the objective - to have a low-stress, social event where we still could determine a winner - was well met.

In the Advanced group (11 tables playing 11 2-board rounds) there were at least eight times when boards were passed with 12 (or less) cards in one pocket and 14+ in another.
April 4
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Thanks, but that's not what I want.

For a beginner/party game I do not want short rounds and matchpoint scoring: the movement I have is about right, but might be tweakable. These players are not ready for score comparisons (but they might get the idea: we'll share duplicate boards each round).

For an evening with 3 tables of good players, I want IMPs and matches of 6+ boards, with leading players moving to table 1 to determine the winners at the end, in the manner of a swiss team game. Might use VPs to avoid some 50+ margin winning at table 2 in the last round.
April 4
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I like a verwion of Minibridge where the possible part-score contracts are 1NT, 2H, 2S, 3C and 3D. No wimpy 1C contracts, please!

In this version a 20-20 tie is broken by the number of spades, but there is no suggested way to determine this without revealing each player's spade count.
March 31
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The hand is from the World Bridge Games Women's championships (Decemer ACBL Bulletin page 15). Partner has xxx in clubs and the ace of hearts. Sylvia Shi led the ace of clubs, which was necessary to beat the hand. The text implied that the lead was obvious; I thought I'd check.
Jan. 1
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East had something like

Kxx
AKQJxx
xxx
x
Dec. 28, 2016
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Right: must see the hands.
Nov. 11, 2016
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In the new format there are separate columns for the NS and EW pairs (in the “travelling score” section, rather than one column with “vs” between the names. The new format means that if the NS names are short there is no extra space for EW names. Neither format includes first names, so the information is probably the same either way. In both formats, it appears that the box expands to accommodate the longest names.
Oct. 24, 2016
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An anti game-of-chance argument:

When an emergency room doctor sees a patient, chance determines the nature of the patient's history and illness or injury - and the experiencee the doctor has or lacks with these. When a student takes a quiz on math or history, chance determines the topic and difficulty of the questions, and the relevance of the preparation choices the student has made. When an engineer designs a bridge, the constraints, requirements and terrain are unknown at the start.

Randomly dealing cards is a fair way to establish initial conditions for the game of bridge, and in duplicate bridge (as in an academic quiz) the chance element is virtually eliminated by comparing results with the same initial conditions.

In a game of chance, the outcome is determined by chance. In bridge, the initial conditions are - just as they are in many game and non-game enterprises reauiring skill.
Oct. 22, 2016
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The actual declarer took this line, and then cashed the heart winners in dummy. West discarded two small clubs.
Oct. 12, 2016
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