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All comments by Oren Kriegel
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Incredible final segment. I was on the edge of my seat for about 13 boards straight.
Dec. 31, 2017
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Don't count on it. The USBF names its categories accurately and appropriately and that hasn't changed (at least not since I've started playing in these events). The WBF chooses its own (idiotic) category names.
Dec. 27, 2017
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A second for every card played by every player is as much as minute more per deal, plus it will disrupt the flow of the game. Not to mention what happens when someone forgets. Have you seen how long it takes some players to write down the score, move the boards, play cards, etc.?
Dec. 24, 2017
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People already complain constantly about slow play (sometimes reasonably, sometimes not). The idea of adding something to top events that takes even more time is a non-starter.
Dec. 24, 2017
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David, in a fast arrival context, which the majority of American bridge players and the vast majority of 199ers, 4 is to play. It does't show anything other than a lot of hearts and not a lot of strength.

I agree in a slow arrival context, but “no one” plays that style these days, and trying to teach that to new players is not a worthwhile use of time and will probably confuse them.
Dec. 14, 2017
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I would tell North that a jump to 3 is highly invitational but not forcing, and this hand is a little too strong for that. If you need to convince them, point out that just the K, A, or K and a couple of low clubs gives you a good play for 3NT, and partner will pass 3 with stronger hands.

I would recommend rebidding 3NT to show a trick-taking hand, in order to avoid the issues of a faux reverse into 2, which may or may not be a good bid anyway.

I would check with South to make sure he knows that 3 over 3 is forcing. If so and he just chose 4 because he didn't think about slam, I would mention that his hand is worth 1 than 3 if he was the opening bidder and opposite a partner who shows extra values, slam is very much in the picture. 4 forecloses any chance of slam, and 3 keeps it open.

Perhaps South should do something other than 3, but 3 is clearly better than 4, and the bottom line is that South should be confident bidding 3 without worrying about getting passed there. Any slam bidding will necessarily have to rest on that foundation.

If North-South play strong jump shifts—and even if they don't—you might mention that a good auction would start 1 - 2. South can later jump to 4 showing something like this, and North will be able to Blackwood into slam no problem, or just jump to 7NT if he's confident in partner's bidding.
Dec. 14, 2017
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David, thanks for the corrections. I do appreciate it when readers point out typos.

Peg, thanks for having me back.
Dec. 14, 2017
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Not surprising I made a mistake transcribing the matchpoints and contract frequencies. If you're interested in looking for yourself, Board 13 is here: http://live.acbl.org/event/NABC173/BLUE/6/board-detail/Y?board_num=13
Dec. 13, 2017
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Thanks, fixed.
Dec. 13, 2017
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Thanks, fixed.
Dec. 13, 2017
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My teammates received a slow-play penalty (1/6 of a board) on the last round of the first day of the Reisinger, when they were disrupting the game in no way except preventing the scores from coming out for a few extra minutes. There were some extenuating circumstances:

1) My teammates were late getting to the table because their opponents hadn't finished the previous round yet.
2) One of their opponents had a major penalty card on some hand, which stopped play for a bit.
3) The director took several minutes to arrive at the table.
4) The penalty card options created additional complexity and further delayed the game.

My teammates complained to no avail, although the directors admitted that their arguments made sense, and the penalty stood.

Maybe my teammates were slower than they needed to be, but this wasn't the most egregious incident of slow play that was perpetrated during the event.

I know this because, on the third day, I went to the bathroom with 1 minute on the round clock after noting that the pair that was coming to my table next still was in the middle of the play of a board. Little did I know that this was their second board of the round, and they still had to play another full board. The pair in question arrived at my table about 12 minutes into the next round.

Normally, I wouldn't care that much, because this is a hard event and it's important to be able to think about tough hands, but since we had been penalized previously in much less disruptive circumstances, I asked a director what the penalty would be for one or both teams. His response: “We're not giving a penalty, the whole room is behind.” (It wasn't; my team at least had finished on time virtually every round.)

That didn't seem like a particularly equitable way to assign slow play penalties.
Dec. 12, 2017
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It wouldn't be a pair if I didn't.
Dec. 12, 2017
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Brian,

1 looks like the normal action to me, and even if you might double with this shape sometimes, with strong(ish) spades and weak hearts, it seems unusual to me to double. Maybe if you play a style where you can show a minimumish hand with five spades after the double, there's more going for it.

When I read your comment, I did a quick poll of the two experts who I was eating with. They both would bid 1 and didn't think much of double, and one went as far as to call doubling “terrible.”

I wasn't trying to be overly critical in this article, and I didn't intend “offbeat” to be derogatory. Only two East players out of 12 who faced this situation in section Y chose to double, so I think it's fair to say that those players were not marching to the “beat” of section Y.
Dec. 12, 2017
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Jim doesn't use 1/1 as semipositives and 1 as a double negative, he uses 1/1 as positives and 1 as a negative (0-7). Or at least he did when he posted a previous article on BW about the system. I panned the system design then, and this problem only cements my point.

Whatever the merits or lack thereof of a negative 1 response to a strong club, this implementation is not sound.

If your run into problems with some random 18-count after a strong club a negative, the system needs serious work.
Dec. 9, 2017
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Imagine that, the negative 1 response creating problems. Maybe your math needs checking, maybe it doesn't, but your system design definitely does.
Dec. 8, 2017
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The queen simultaneously gives partner a lot of information and lets him signal possession of the jack. If you're going to lead the “wrong” card you might as well go whole hog and lead the queen. (Not that the queen is the wrong card to lead from this holding.)
Dec. 8, 2017
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It is a good point, but you should lead the queen, not the king.
Dec. 7, 2017
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Yeah, N-S were only missing the 7.
Dec. 7, 2017
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I don't think diamonds 4-1 and hearts 4-2 matters. Win the spade, ruff a heart high, cross in trumps, ruff a heart high, cross in trumps, draw trumps and cash the last heart, then give up a spade. The last three cards in hand are J10 A and the defenders just have black cards left.
Dec. 7, 2017
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The bidding on this board is worth examining.

When I played this deal, East opened 1, so I was able to overcall 1. We found our diamond fit and pushed East-West to 3, down one.

At the other table, the auction began as shown, with East opening a Precision 1. South did not double, so Bart and Kit played 2 making.

I think South should double, although that obviously could work out badly. While discussing the hand with Bart and Kit, I remarked that North should probably give South a choice of minors with 2NT after a double of 2. It's nice to see Levin and Weinstein duplicating my preferred auction.
Dec. 7, 2017
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