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All comments by Michael Bodell
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I don't think passing is a good idea on the theory that partner “can't” have 6 spades, so they are in an 8+ card suit. And if partner has 5 spades and didn't open 1 probably quite limited as well since many 5 card major 11 hcp could find a bid.

It is Matchpoints so the 200 is appealing, but I suspect it makes more often then goes down. And we have sufficient shape that we might make, and likely able to get out for no worse than -100.
43 minutes ago
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5 is claimed as clearly being a void. Is that really the clear meaning for both partners? N actions are more reasonable if the 5 is not as precisely defined, although even though grands often should be avoided in ambiguous or confused cases.
an hour ago
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I don't think one should have to type an explanation with the alert when playing online. You might want to for opening bids, especially ones that are surprising, but the fact the bid is alerted should be enough of a clue to not cause people to ignore it and bid. And if they do, that is their mistake.

I do think you should explain your alerted bid without waiting for the opponents to ask, however. But especially in some of the online settings that are speedballs and played with quicktime controls, you may as well let the auction progress without waiting for your explanation if some large percentage of the time the opponents will be passing and your partner can bid while you are still typing your explanation. If 10-20% of the time the opponents need to know before acting, they can still ask you or wait for your explanation, but then the 80-90% of the time you will move faster.

That at least has been my approach online - especially when playing from phones or tablets where typed explanations are particularly slow/hard.
Dec. 15
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This seems like absent some incredible swingy action needed, or some external AI (like LHO tried to open 1 out of turn), like a 1 call is 100%.
Dec. 15
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I think there is a counterbalance to this for experienced partnerships in that what some action suggests when done by a generic unknown player may not suggest something clearly, but when done by specific individual that the partner knows well may in fact suggest something. For instance, it could be that a slow 3nt on some auctions could suggest worry about a side suit or could suggest worry that we have slam and is going too slow. A generic unknown player might have either of those worries. But if you know your partner well you might know that they basically never worry about one of these problems, and so you might know that for them in particular the slow action does suggest something clearly that it wouldn't necessarily for a slow auction.

I don't know how to balance against the “information transfer” risk and not adopt the “BIT means shot ‘em” philosophy, but I also know that if a regular partnership always seems to get these sort of guesses right, maybe they aren’t quite as unknown as people might argue.
Dec. 15
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A lot of people play that 6 card minors are possible so 3=2=6=2 is a possible shape, as might 4=2=5=2. Also your 6 card club suit is bad.

Also, more importantly, it is MP and 10+ tricks in NT will beat 5, as actually happened on the hand in question where 5= but 3NT makes 4 (or 5) so 5= is a bad result.
Dec. 14
Michael Bodell edited this comment Dec. 14
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I think a bit much is being made of calling N a novice here, which I'd argue is false.

After looking this up N has around 900 master points, so is in the top 25% of masterpoint holdings in the ACBL, and is really not a novice.

S was exactly who I thought it would be based on Max's description even before looking it up, and has over 5000 masterpoints.

FWIW the opening 1NT hand was: Q98x A AQ9xx KQx which some might well choose to open 15-17 NT, but could easily have been a diamond in with a heart that now wanted to change to the more common 1 opening.

I realize Max was more interested/concerned in the general principles than the specific details of this hand so maybe that is sufficient, but did want to correct the record on N's ability/experience a little.
Dec. 14
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Similar to the seeding suggestion, one could imagine flighting/stratifying the event. We have two flights: Open for players who have never been convicted of cheating and only for those who have been convicted of cheating.
Dec. 12
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I wonder if an alternate approach might be a series of polls on specific hands to derive what popular consensus is.

Maybe in context of either “what would you play with a pickup partner for whom your agreements are mainstream ‘advanced 2/1’ and no more?” or “newly formed long term partner and I are deciding on our agreements and notes, and had the following hands in bidding practice, what should our bids be?”.

Would probably work best if done somewhat stealthily, so maybe too late (unless maybe it has already been done).
Dec. 12
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Space showing constraints do suggest that cheapest suit might be best for leaving the most room for the ambiguous suggestions.

However, when we are in a punt situation, for good or ill, NT is the most likely place (the theory of all misfits belong in 3NT).

Also, especially when the cheapest suit is the other major (so the 1-2 auction) you might really want to show the hearts - especially if you are giving more room for responder to bid (possibly 2nt) and then you rebid showing either a 3 card fragment, or 55 or some similar shapes. If you've bid 2NT as the “hearts” call because of the switch your follow on auctions over the other major will be messier. Maybe if your add more artificial bids after both the next cheapest and the 2NT switch you can recover and get something as good or better than natural, but by this point, maybe you should just play a relay system to begin with?
Dec. 12
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It is not standard, but I quite like 2NT promising 6+ in the major and 2M then being the default bid with only 5.

If going more natural then I prefer 2M show 6+ and 2NT be the default bid when stuck.
Dec. 11
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Well, right, the ranking is likely making KO seem more accurate than they really are in David's simulation because he's assuming a perfectly seeded KO tournament. In reality, the seeding is likely to be better than random but quite a bit worse than perfect. Therefore, when RR shows better outcomes than KO even with the assumption of perfect seeding, you know in reality the gap is likely even greater.

I think you can model strength of teams in different levels of complexity, but the root point is going to remain that KO has some advantages of a format, but an accurate ranking of teams - even the #1 team, let alone teams 5-20 or whatever - is not going to be its strength.
Dec. 7
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Agreed. But if A plays, with different people, not just x but sometimes x and sometimes y and so on for z and a and b and c. When you forget x, it doesn't help to say a is easier than x, sometimes you just don't remember which easy thing you play.

Neither 1430 nor 3014 is intrinsically easier to play. There are some players more used to one or the other that will find it easier to play.

It is mostly the fault of the person who forgot. But if you are blaming conventions, then if the person remembered kickback but got the key card count wrong switching 3014 versus 1430, that might be something you could partially blame on 3014, but here they didn't recognize kickback, so that is more to blame.
Dec. 6
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I don't think KO versus RR versus BAM is the question for having the highest likelihood of the best team winning as much as number of days (number of boards).

The 7 days versus 3 days gives you much more time. But for instance you could still do a full BAM event (which is sort of like the RR that David mentions) that does ever-decreasing cuts of the teams, where each cut cuts 25-40% or so of the field and if you have 7 days for the 48 teams that were in the Reisinger this year do:

48 -> 30 day 1
30 -> 20 day 2
20 -> 12 day 3
12 -> 8 day 4
8 -> 6 day 5
6 -> 4 day 6
4 -> 1 day 7

The carry over each day could be increasing as the field size gets smaller (probably roughly proportional to the number of boards you play against each team).

This gives many, many, many more boards of play and skill for the teams to establish themselves and do well without any drastic cuts or problems with the bracket impacting the outcome.

In the 3 day event where we went from 48->20 on the first day, some teams people likely think should have been in the top 10 and competitors for top didn't Q. By having the smoother cuts you would have much less chance of that and much larger opportunities for the top teams to triumph.

On the other hand, the event would take 7 days, and there are benefits to being able to start and finish the event in just 3 days. Plus some would argue that a bit of luck with the skill makes events better as more people have a chance (or think they have a chance).
Dec. 6
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Right, it is pretty common to claim and then ask the opponents about their holding to find out if the board will be good versus alternative contracts or lines.
Dec. 6
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I did notice in San Diego there was more prominence given to computers where you could file a recorder player memo then I'd seen in past NABC, which I think is a good thing. I didn't use them, so don't know how well they worked in practice.

I did have someone revoke against me in the first session of the Reisinger, and we only realized it after the round had ended with the cards returned and the opponents had gotten up (my partner, who was dummy, noticed earlier).

But the opponents came back to the table, we reconstructed the play, and they were completely honest and honorable admitting the revoke, so the opposite kind of story as what the OP experienced.
Dec. 5
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psycho-suction or inverted psycho-suction works well. I use this primarily over the mini and weak nt, but could be used over the strong NT too.

When you want a business XX (generally UPH acting):
XX - business
2 - or +, non-forcing pass/correct followups
2 - or +, non-forcing pass/correct followups
2 - or +, non-forcing pass/correct followups
2 - or +, non-forcing pass/correct followups
2NT - two non-touching suits

When you don't want a business XX (generally the 1NT bidder when they run, and if the partner is a PH - maybe you also want the partner of a strong NT bidder if you don't want the business XX in play):
XX - or or + or +, partner bids 2 (unless they have their own single suit to show) and this is pass/corrected to the minor with the single suited minor, or pass/corrected to the major with the non-touching major minor 2 suiter.
2 - + or , non-forcing pass/correct followups
2 - + or , non-forcing pass/correct followups
2 - + (or - but probably not since you had XX available), non-forcing pass/correct followups
2 - + (or - but probably not since you had XX available), non-forcing pass/correct followups

It sounds a little confusing at first in the explanation, but it is actually extremely easy to use and play in practice. The version where XX is non-business nearly always gets you out at the two level in a good fit and puts a lot of pressure on the opponents to know if they are X you in your suit or not. In theory you can get the non-forcing continuations wrong and play in a non-fit when the bid is passed out, but when this happens you are not doubled and nearly always coming out ahead anyways.
Dec. 5
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Note, at most movie theater there are 20 minutes of previews, so late at the movies is fine too.
Dec. 2
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This was discussed last year, but as a 10k eligible player, I'll say I think it is much better for the fast pairs to be Wednesday-Thursday as many want to play a three day event Friday-Sunday, and if you fail to Q day 1 of Blue (or miniblue) you have two days with only regional events currently (unless you are willing to miss the final 3-day events). The fast pairs would be ideal for Wednesday-Thursday. So put me as a very strong +1 of Eric's comment. I know many 10k eligible players who feel similar.
Dec. 2
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There was a bit of a disaster in the compact Ko Monday afternoon. Attempt to do brackets by computer and projections, but projector went out and possibly other problems and the event was nearly 45 minutes late starting. The nice thing was the acbl or organizers recognized the inconvenience by giving out $8/person discounts, so basically half off for the session as compensation. A good recovery, but interesting given all the past technology discussions.
Nov. 28
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