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All comments by Yehudit Hasin
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Hi Vladimir

About 3NT vs 3 - you can't get into 3NT after bidding 3 unless partner has a stopper they are willing to bid. But you also can't get into 4 after bidding 3NT, even if partner has spades. That is the problem of X first.

Without the possibility of 15-17NT in my X I would be more sympathetic to 3NT, but now I am not even sure it *has to be* a running suit. And even it has to be a suit, no one said it could not be clubs (in fact it is more likely to be clubs, because with you can bid 3 or 3NT, with running clubs you just bid 3NT).

“Do you overcall with ♠KJ987 ♥A65 ♦85 ♣J95? If so, how do you handle such wide range?” You are being far too generous. Last time I overcalled 1 over 1 favorable I had Q7653 in the suit and some random 7 count. How do we handle wide range 1 level? The same way we handle wide range 1 level openings - carefully and not always optimally.
We advance normally with fit, aggressively with fit and shape, and carefully without fit. New suit is forcing at 1 level, NF constructive at the 2 level. We bid again with strong hand.

This style works well, after partner learns what to expect :) I find that the upside from more frequent overcalls is larger than the downside of rarely missed game with some balanced advancer who understandably took the low road. We also don't get upset over the occasional bad score, but overall the earlier you can get your suit in with bad hands the safer it is, so the minuses are rarely doubled.

In general I prefer bidding style where at low level almost all calls are well defined, and few catch the rest. Then continuations sort out the rest part. For overcalls, my 2 level overcalls are rock solid, my X then bid convey a hand that would be close to opening 2 (at least on trick basis if not pure power). 1 level overcall is a catch all for hands that I would hate to pass. This hand is one that I would open 1 without even thinking of 2. That said I pay a lot of attention to vulnerability and added value of the overcall. Am I going to be happy patner leading Kx in this suit? Does it make opponents life worse or just purely constructive move for us? I am happy to overcall 1 over 1 on air, but not over 1. I am happy to make an imaginative preempt when partner is passed hand and we are favorable, but not unfavorable or in 2nd.

:)Yu
July 29
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As others said playing kickback is the main problem.
About bidding:
I don't like the X, I disagree with it, but it is not clearly wrong imo. It could have worked, just in my experience overcalling 1 works better more often.

I think 2 is an awful call. There are 40 HCP in the deck and everyone bidding - so partner either has short hearts (and therefore too strong for overcall, and not going to pass 1NT) or a normal t/o X, which means that opponents have 10+ diamonds, 3- hearts and therefore are not done bidding. In either case 1NT is not going to end the auction. So E could pass 1NT and bid hearts later, or jump bid hearts - but considering 2H can be something like
xxx,AKxxx x,Qxx, 2 is gross misrepresentation of the hand.

Then there is 3 versus 3NT - had 3NT unambiguously showed stronger than overcall hand, it would be ok. But given the agreements it is plausible that partner has the upper range of 15-17 and wants to play 3NT. I am in the camp that thinks if you were too good for 1 level overcall you must show the suit at first opportunity, so 3 for me, but it is arguably a choice.

4 is the single call I agree with.

4 is trying to remedy the two previous calls and not thinking clearly.4 over 3NT means partner must has long hearts and nothing, so partner's hand is only good in hearts. W hand does not play 4 well with no transportation to dummy if partner is with short spades. But kickback is NOT a possibility. A hand that wanted to sign off in 3NT can't now miraculously transform and drive to slam. so 4NT is pretty bad too.

Summary
Playing kickback - 50-50
Worst call - strong competition between 2 and 4, but 4 wins. 60-40% to West.
Worst judgement - 40-60% to E.

:)Yu
July 27
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David C - “Yehudit do you not think separate women's events are an anachronism?”

I am personally very much against, and as a rule do not play them. However this was discussed in multiple threads on BW, I expressed my point of view there and do not want to highjack this thread for that discussion.
:)Yu
June 24
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There arguments to be made for both sticking with the team and not. In fact all of those I thought about had been made already. What I did not find is any convincing argument to having the question at all AFTER the Euros.

Surely after the discussion about the women team selection, it was quite clear that the major breach of trust is not because of the choice itself, but because of apparent resulting by the selection committee - they did not like the result of the trials, so they used their power to change the team.

The same (but to a lesser degree, because of time lapse) applies here. You decide to change the team AFTER successful q - no way it could be seen as objective or impartial - and it is sure to cause hard feelings.

The committee imho, should never just pick a pair they think is better on the basis of opinion. That is the worst thing one can do for the spirit of fair sport. However given that there is significant time between Euros and the BB, the committee should take a month, decide on a format they will follow - AND FOLLOW IT TO THE T - for picking the team.

In the future it is not far fetched to have an aggregate score of performance over N years of major tournaments- Euro would be one of them - that would decide who goes. The idea of some “appointed wise men” deciding on what's best is kind of outdated by few thousand years imho…

:)Yu
June 22
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Palo Alto or LA - 11$, extra 1$ for special games and one club so far that has 10 tickets for a 100$. Golden California.
:)Yu
June 19
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Mike, if partner is joking they may have game. I dont see this a big risk, unless partner can bid 1 exclusively as LD with shorter than 4 card suit.
:)Yu
June 18
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Michael- the opposite sex may be more attractive, but really there far less opportunities for undergrads to get free pizza/food/beer than interact with opposite sex. Don't know about school kids though :)
June 18
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“what factors are responsible for that difference?” the length of established fit and how I foresee the auction after the splinter.
Also here, I am guaranteed that we do not have a double fit. In the other auction we still might.
:)Yu
June 17
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I don't like splintering with too strong of a hand on these auctions, because partner will try to sign off and I learned nothing. What interests me most is spade situation, and bidding 3 maybe will allow me to find that out. I guess I would splinter with KQx or Axx, but I would not with AKx in diamonds.

:)Yu
June 17
Yehudit Hasin edited this comment June 17
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Even if I am contemplating slam based on partner having 6+ cards in the minors, partner has quite a bit of wasted values. I pass.

:)Yu
June 17
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I mean as either. I did not grow up here, and my son is 3yo, so I have zero understanding about how things work in US schools. In Israel there are virtually no private schools for example, but the head master has quite a lot of liberty at what is taught outside of the required curriculum.
I think afternoon clubs at school could be even better potentially, but I think your opinion on this is far more informed and informative than mine!
:)Yu
June 17
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Michael, this is a great article, I liked it a lot. In Israel youth bridge programs are quite successful, and they too start with mini bridge - no bidding. The advantage there is that they have access to schools. Do you think it is possible to get bridge into school as an extra curricular activity ? Do they have chess or other games in schools ? Do you think it would be a worthwhile effort here?

:)Yu
June 16
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Jim - not even close. Pizza and cookies beats opposite sex in attracting undergrads anytime, and I don't think high school students would be much different. Santhosh, for scientific seminars the commonly used bait are pizza, cookies, mini sandwiches, baked stuff like muffins or danishes etc.. + coffee.

:)Yu
June 16
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The list of bad habits is pretty exhaustive so far, but the worst for their game imho is resulting.

Also, I think one of the most helpful things you can teach an intermediate player in terms of bidding is *having general principles* rather than remembering what bid says what - and priority of those. Examine how some common and good conventions fit into those. Examine how some things they play do not make sense.

Another general concept that is helpful to teach in bidding is captainship and trust.

:)Yu
June 16
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I would dismantle the BOD, and limit it to 5-7 people - preferring those that are young, know how to use a computer, have a track record of what I consider a constructive achievement, and favor innovation.

I would hire a CEO with a vision I can identify with, and proven ability, and give them free rein for at least 2 years, answering to me only.

:)Yu
June 12
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State of the match and ops?
Pass is my default. I need a good reason to deviate.
:)Yu
June 12
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juniors….I am not sure its even a questionable one :D
:)Yu
June 5
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I bid mixed raise on previous one, and 4 here. It is a matter of how well I think my hand works, and 2 makes me think that KQ hold and that partner will have some hearts to ruff in my hand.

:)Yu
June 5
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This is a great website, that is VERY well maintained - considering it's free, and almost add free. The amount of work that goes into maintaining a site like this, with staff that is responsive and attentive to its users, is not trivial - and not cheap (frankly I am surprised it sums up to what Jason mentioned above - I would think more).

Also, I don't take for granted that people who make this site happen, should do so at their own expense. It takes time and resources. They contribute the time….

:)Yu
June 4
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I agree that even 3-1 in the minors would change my mind, but preempt is still out of the picture for me :)
:)Yu
June 1
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