Join Bridge Winners
All comments by Alexander Woo
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Mike - because you know you have a club singleton and want to lead that at trick 3, whereas partner wouldn't know that on winning the A?

I didn't say it was good reasoning.
Oct. 17
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How good is CHO?

Is Philip right about Q with a club void?

If you encourage, and partner has

T74 KQ73 K7542 3

might partner play Q followed by the low club, which would be a disaster? (Declarer ruffs out your A, draws trump, and discards their diamond loser on the J.)

Opposite me on a not-so-good day, I'd be nervous about encouraging, because me-on-a-not-so-good-day might continue hearts without thinking.

I'm not so worried about discouraging, because I don't think me-on-a-not-so-good-day would switch to an honorless diamond suit when holding a club singleton.
Oct. 17
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Barry - unaffiliated clubs exist in the US as well. The quality of play at them is uniformly dreadful. I don't think I would be welcome at either of the unaffiliated clubs around here unless I stopped trying to signal on defense, count hands, and find squeezes.
Oct. 16
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One difficulty with adopting NGS is that there are still quite a few smaller clubs that don't report hand-by-hand results, and can't be convinced to.

My local club still scores by hand and reports results by postal mail once a month (or less frequently when the director can't get around to it). Our director would probably stop running the game if he had to score and report electronically, and there isn't really someone else to step in. We're not the only small isolated club in this situation. (Note: Geographically, we're more sparsely populated than any place in England - maybe a few parts of Scotland come close.)
Oct. 16
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Can partner hold

x xxx AKxxx Axxx

or would he or she have opened with that?

I would've expected an opening bid with that, but on the other hand, I can't see what he could have for a redouble opposite a favorable 4 preempt. My 4 bid could have been

xx QJTxxxxx x xx

here, or occasionally even worse…

If, by agreement, we open like Roth-Stone, then I bid 6. Otherwise, I pass.
Oct. 15
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Imagine North has a second club. About one board in thirty, I will do the equivalent of counting that hand, thinking South has two diamonds, four hearts, and four clubs, leaving only 2 spades! Oops…

(Or I will think that I have four clubs, dummy has three, North showed two, so South must have 5! Oops again…)

That's just barely a low enough error rate that I gain slightly more than I lose from relying on my counting (keeping in mind one tends to lose more MPs when one is wrong than one gains when one is right).

Most players I know (even not considering beginners) have a higher error rate than I do, and, at least as far as their results are concerned, it's not worth it for them to rely on their counting.

Any tips for reducing these kinds of counting errors?
Oct. 14
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I just read that.

I can get that hand right at the table if I really concentrate. I probably won't unless I have some reason to think the hand is really important.

If I tried to think that hard on a hand for 10 hands in a session - I would be getting a slow play penalty, and I'd be collapsing out of my chair from the mental effort.

When I show something like either of these lessons to an actual intermediate, they inevitably tell me they could never figure them out without pen, paper, and fifteen minutes.

I can assure you that, for the average intermediate, if you didn't warn them beforehand but asked them after trick 5 (when the spade split was revealed) who won with which top heart, they'd only get all 3 right maybe 70% of the time. (The average beginner can see they lost the first 3 tricks, but isn't even sure they were all heart tricks to which everyone followed.)

By the time they thought about who they needed to have the ace of diamonds, they've forgotten about the hearts, or forgotten whether they opened in 3rd seat or 4th. Or they'd forget that East had the J of spades. (Heck - when I looked at it, I forgot I was looking at the A of clubs in my hand and spent twenty seconds figuring out they couldn't both be in the same hand - until I looked at my hand again.)

The player who can keep in their head simultaneously the four facts - that East has the J of spades, started with KQ of hearts, must have A of diamonds, and did not open - is pretty rare.
Oct. 13
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My experience is that the vast majority of ‘intermediates’, while they know there are such things as squeezes and would like to be better at playing and defending them, simply can't count hands or place cards well enough at the table to make use of this kind of lesson.
Oct. 12
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With all due respect - I think this is too advanced to be of use for 85% of duplicate players. Sadly no one (myself included) seems to want to write for actual intermediates on bridgewinners.
Oct. 11
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I find the mini-NT easier to work with if you're not used to opening light, because it puts all the worst opening hands in one spot.

I was sceptical for a few sessions, until we got a top for 1N-4 vulnerable vs. non-vulnerable…

I think the right way of thinking about it is that, generally speaking, when you've opened anything other than 1C, you've limited your hand, so you don't control the auction; you let responder control the auction - just like when you open 1N you let responder control the auction.

It's important to realize that responder can and should pass with uninspiring 7 and 8 counts with no fit - opener doesn't have 16, so you're not missing a game. When partner opens 1D and you hold Qxx Axx Jxx xxxx you should pass. (Yes, playing in a 3-2 diamond fit rather than a 4-5 club fit is a risk of the system.) Even if the low club is a low heart it's a pass at IMPs.
Oct. 11
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Rich - I'm pretty sure that most people have variances above 5% in a single game. My regular partnership's variance in the usually 3 table weekly club game we play is probably above 10%, and we're fairly middle-of-the-road players playing a fairly standard system. I grant this is an extreme case.
Oct. 10
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If it's for marketing, requiring participation in Open events is a bad idea. Median masterpoints is in the 200s somewhere, and most ACBL members, even when they do make it to a regional or NABC, play in the Gold Rush or Bracketed team games.
Oct. 10
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And even if you duck the first club, it still works (and you might even read it if East returns a club).
Oct. 7
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I've never seen this, but an idea:

Perhaps it should be analogous to 1m-1M-4m, where 4m shows 6m and 4M with concentration of values.

So, in this case it should show Hxx(x) or better in the minor and 4 spades, with a concentration of values in those suits, and slam interest opposite a decent 2-suited hand. Something like

KQxx Axxx Kxx xx

where slam is odds-on opposite

Axxx x AQxxx Axx
Oct. 2
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Michael - I know of many complicated games, but not complicated *partnership* games.

The difficulty with bridge is that, when you suck, you're not only losing but inflicting yourself on a partner. Even when partner is willing, you question whether he or she really is willing, and how many favors you owe him or her.
Sept. 30
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David - I agree that the given hand for a West is a *very* heavy natural 2N advance.
Sept. 19
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David - I think West is supposed to bid 3 with that hand.
Sept. 19
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Peg - I remember once playing against a declarer in a situation where even dummy knew he was looking for the trump queen. To try to figure out who had it, he stared for ten seconds at each opponent to see who flinched in response to the stare. I think that's what's meant by “actively fishing for them”. (It was a club game. I think the director had a quiet word with him afterwards.)
Sept. 17
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Rosalind - sophisticated players who have extensive agreements who frequently raise on three will have a bid to inquire about trump length.
Sept. 16
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I see - so it is unbeatable.
Sept. 6
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