Join Bridge Winners
All comments by Mike Cassel
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“The Secrets of Winning Bridge” by Jeff Rubens. The principle of in & out evaluation is indispensable and just one of many chapters.
May 7, 2013
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To me there is only one major choice, does our parent organization, ACBL, develop strategies to recruit new members to learn duplicate, and turn existing members who play infrequently, or frequently, but only at the club level into tournament players? I believe the future of viable live bridge competitions depends on our success implementing these kinds of strategies.

I love bridge at the top, Platinum Pairs, etc. and watching VuGraph. NABC+ entries cull $3/day for the International Fund. Should the league match that amount? Players capable of competing in NABC+ events supporting international play. Fine. Why should the casual player be taxed as someone suggested?

I fail to see how devoting increased resources to a select few top echelon players will ignite interest in a broader, vibrant bridge future. Supporting international play is important, but high level bridge is not a legitimate spectator sport. Existing enthusiasts who don't mind often, agonizingly slow BBO VuGraph presentations learn vicariously from the best, but the subtleties of the game do not appeal to the masses.

The ACBL has missed the boat, in my opinion, by not securing corporate sponsorship, to promote an activity that as been proven? to promote brain health among senior citizens and better test scores among students who demonstrate increases in logical thought processes.

Will we be playing in our underwear on touchpads in 20 years or will we still have adequately attended sectionals, regionals,and NABCs? I don't see increasing support from the league for trials or internationalists contributing to my hope for the future of bridge.
April 30, 2013
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i suppose “obviously” was too strong…. none of the Flight A teams in the event reached slam, but maybe they didn't appreciate that 4N was almost surely safe holding three controls including the K
Feb. 9, 2013
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when i plugged this into KnR it came up as over 23 hcp, so I am surprised at the poll. I wonder how different it would be if control responses were employed (less likelihood of a 2D reply) or if the single suiter were other than diamonds. Partner's hand: ATxx xx Kx QTxx and the hand was actually cold for 7N on a major suit squeeze! board 30 http://clubresults.acbl.org/Results/262592/2013/02/130206E.HTM

only our opponents reached the slam, so that got me wondering if 2 was a reasonable opener. Obviously, a 3N rebid will not get the partnership to slam. Manufactured reverses or jump shifts ARE potentially dangerous.

thanks for the responses
Feb. 8, 2013
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absolutely, I don't think a 2 overcall will lose the spade suit when West couldn't overcall 1, but that was not my problem on this one.

well, we may not know what's going on after East bids 3, but we will be getting to the diamond game :)
Jan. 28, 2013
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thanx for your comments. the crux of my problem is whether my 2 cuebid fully expressed my values as a passed hand. You suggested a couple of hands I didn't really consider.

My issue, as you express in #1 is that, having made a game try, isn't East too strong to simply call 3!. I would have overcalled in diamonds myself, but given that I didn't, I think a 3 forward going ‘punt’ seeking West's clarification of handtype is superior to what i thought was a non-forward going advance to 3
Jan. 28, 2013
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what does East do with AQx xx Axxx xxxx ? This is a balancing double, no? 8 losers. In our hand can East not presume a good fit with the approximate values of an opening hand sitting opposite?

It seemed to me that if I was willing to play opposite any balance at the 3 level that East's hand is too good for a simple call.

I don't consider auctions that kickstart in the passout chair to be in the middle of the bidding. Ofttimes you are looking for a suitable landing spot, no?

You believe, as a passed hand, that my 2 call could be made with a weaker hand, and therefore, I owe my partner another call?
Jan. 28, 2013
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Bidding 3 of a suit to improve the strain makes no sense to me. If partner has no heart wastage my 3 minor, I chose clubs, to give room for a 3 call can get us to a thin game. Degree of fit leads to good thin games and bidding 3S imparts no information that partner can use to evaluate his other honors.
Jan. 14, 2013
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Jx xxx Kxxxxx Qx 6hcp and a good shot at game. 3 not enough
Jan. 14, 2013
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South is WAAY too good for a fit jump imo. accelerates the auction leading to this kind of guesswork. how can partner know that you have a voidshowing AND controlrich double fit? partner is guessing that there's no slam and you'll be guessing if there might even be a grand slam: KJx x Kxxxx Axxx
That being said: where are the hearts? No Michael's and no fitshowing 4 over my 4. KJx xx Kxxx Axxx is probably still a good shot for slam and opps may well tke the cheap phantom save…if it is a phantom.
Jan. 13, 2013
Mike Cassel edited this comment Jan. 13, 2013
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Nothing is lost by showing partner the A. Although our second spade is a negative we didn't splinter raise at our first opportunity, so our pass now ought to promise good hearts, not 4 long (no neg X).
If you cannot count to 13, it is possible, if unlikely, that partner will be able to knowing you have the A. Ax AJxx x AKxxxx.
Jan. 13, 2013
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In my regular partnerships we follow the “slow shows” adage and use 4N in these highly competitive auctions to promise at least 1 defensive trick. I agree with your fit jump comment.
Looking now at the actual hands partner with the A and K would have a clear 4N bid as my partner and we would reach par in 5X
Jan. 8, 2013
Mike Cassel edited this comment Jan. 8, 2013
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Dbl is perfectly reasonable with xx Axxxx AQxx Kx. I'm not at all sure the penalty for beating 3S will beat our game bonus in NT.
Jan. 7, 2013
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Glad you got this one posted here Richard… fwiw you can mark Eddie Kantar down for 2S as you will see in the bulletin. Those who have Wolff extensions for slam tries in opener's minor (responder's 3N/2N?) can use 2N. SJS to a black fragment can also uncover the diamond fit at the 3 level.
Jan. 6, 2013
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blowing smoke double was my first thought as well. best strategy to buy contract and go plus? pard needs a perfect max for slam. assuming he doesn't have it, then 1N or double, may lead to situation where both opps think their pd has hearts. the more I think the less I like my informative 4 splinter.
Dec. 17, 2012
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“I've got a Secret” was published in the IBPA 2010 Handbook http://www.ibpa.com/archive/Handbook/IBPA%20Handbook%202010.pdf
a truly terrific resource…. you might want to download it in case they break the link at some point
Dec. 12, 2012
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i'd be quite surprised to hear partner bid 5D. where are the spades? i believe that AQJ xx Ax AKQJxx, a 3 1/2 loser hand is a bit strong for a 5C overcall. unless the opps are playing a deep game your partner will not have more than 1 heart which makes your hand only 2.5 losers.
Oct. 25, 2012
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Partner didn't double 4H and remove 4S to 5C. why is 6C making?
Oct. 24, 2012
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not stated by Tom, but supporting his position re. 5C, is that you have a 5H call in reserve if partner has the reds. This seems like a rare case where you can ignore the adage to bid the best of your worst.
Oct. 23, 2012
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I'm a passer. You've already done a lot of damage. Your opponents may be on a guess, and if partner has a trick and 2+ diamonds, declarer may not be able to ruff his spade losers to make the slam after trump leads.
Oct. 23, 2012
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