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All comments by Amaresh Deshpande
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Jonathan, is it possible for you to share the Audrey Grant hands?
Are these hands from the Audrey Grant Bridge Master?
March 24
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David, interesting story of the autobiographical book written by someone dying of Alzheimer’s – because I heard the same story, albeit in a different context.

A person wanted to record his death experience – so he kept writing while sipping on rat poison. The final ‘line’ is a scrawl that falls off the page.
Nov. 17, 2019
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Bridge Saves!
Oct. 14, 2019
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N-S are partners playing against E-W. The 13 cards that each player gets are arranged suit-wise on the table - face up. The objective is for each pair to win as many tricks in No Trump. Opening leads are by rotation. Partners are encouraged to talk aloud to discuss their strategy throughout the deal. Scoring is one point per trick – so more the tricks, more the score.

Since all cards are exposed, players visually (and through discussion with their partner / listening to their opponents) learn to take finesses, establish long suits, the importance of stoppers, etc – all without any theory. Competition is intense. Discussions during and post the deal are full of theatre, and quickly establish the idea that taking tricks is a hell of a lot of fun.

Repeat this for Trump – which is designated randomly prior to dealing the cards.
…………………

Stage gets set for everything to follow.
Aug. 12, 2019
Amaresh Deshpande edited this comment Aug. 12, 2019
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https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2019/jul/30/fortnite-world-cup-esports

When was the last big revolution in Bridge?
July 30, 2019
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The powers in charge of Chess understood a while back what people are saying here about the spectator angle – how Rapid Chess, Blitz Chess, Bullet Chess and Armageddon Chess evolved.
July 30, 2019
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Set up a HOOL table. From my experience, it appeals to newbies - both kids and adults.

http://youth.worldbridge.org/introducing-hool-by-amaresh-deshpande/
May 18, 2019
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Relationship…Bridge…Separation
March 9, 2019
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Hi Chris,

Yes, you can run the Kida app on Windows PC as well as a Mac computer. For this you will need to download the (free) Nox player on your windows laptop/desktop and then download the Kida app - which the Nox player will run.

https://www.bignox.com/
Feb. 3, 2019
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A variation I heard some time back from a friend:

First trick goes clockwise, second anti-clockwise - alternate clockwise/anti-clockwise till the last trick.
Rest of the game stays the same.
Dec. 21, 2018
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Ian,

In the example that Michael has used, it absolutely does not matter if East plays H10 or H7 when South leads HA - I just checked it. The thing is, every problem has its own algorithm and I keep improving the algorithms as and when a mistake is spotted. It is possible that you have an older version - so please update the app via the settings button and let me know.

Nigel has described the ‘E-W Smart Play’ perfectly.
Dec. 12, 2018
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Jeff,

I wasn't aware of the Declare Only game on BBO. Can you tell me how it worked?
Also, can you please tell me the variety of MiniBridge that you introduce to the kids?

I think MiniBridge is quite boring for the dummy – because all he/she has done is to announce HCP and nothing till the deal is over. To address this, I used to ask the dummy to move over to the declarer's side and jointly plan the play. But it was almost never an equal dialogue – the stronger voice inevitably called the shots. Plus, some defenders didn't appreciate that while they couldn't talk, these two could. And that triggered signaling!

A 3–player modification works well for me. Cards are dealt for 4 players and the dummy is opened. All 3 players make a bid simultaneously – the highest bid wins the dummy. If the player with the highest bid is not already sitting opposite the dummy, seats need to be exchanged. Since all partnerships are temporary, scoring is done on an individual basis. Double/Redouble is for penalty only.
Nov. 27, 2018
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Michael,

I totally agree with you regarding criticism versus constructive dialogue. Perhaps it was not clear – but my two animated dialogues were meant to be from one beginner to his/her beginner partner. The line between showing passion and being rude is no doubt thin, but I think theatre (of the positive variety) is also what makes Bridge attractive.
Nov. 27, 2018
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Oh, and another way for potential long-term engagement is to start early, in grade 3 - where we can get good numbers and the progressive drop-out rate doesn't affect as much.
Starting in middle school is difficult because their attention has gone elsewhere, and we are left with only a few nerds. That doesn't send a ‘cool’ message.
Nov. 26, 2018
Amaresh Deshpande edited this comment Nov. 26, 2018
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One reason why MiniBridge remains a transitory game is because there are hardly any tournaments or club duplicate games. Nor is there an online app. So to be able to keep up the interest, as you have pointed out, kids have to be rushed into bidding just to be able to play F2F.

I hope to partially address this problem through the HOOL online app – the trial version will be out by the end of December.
A child-friendly bidding app is also the need of the hour – I haven’t seen one yet.
Nov. 26, 2018
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The information sharing stage in HOOL stimulates Bridge dialogue between partners, what I feel is important to nurture right from the start, like:
“Didn’t you see that I have at least a 3-card fit for your 5 spades when I shared a 4 3 3 3 pattern?”
Or
“Why didn’t you figure out which void I have – since our opponents have shared 9 hearts between them and you can see that you have 4!”

So when you ask: “At what stage will the students understand what parameters constitute important features of the trick-winning capacity of their hand?” -
I’d say, rather than use time as a yardstick, I think it should be the level of engagement. Because when people are engaged, learning happens organically, curiosity is triggered, questions and more questions will be asked and Bridge sessions will not feel like ‘lessons’, what social-media-and-gaming-fed kids are quite reactive against.

Regarding playing competitive/duplicate bridge – why the hurry? How many years has it taken for any bridge player to get anywhere, besides the gifted ones? Just because a generation and a half has been lost, I don't think its possible to make up the deficiency so quickly.
Unless Facebook and Instagram somehow take notice. But then might be a different game.

Our real hope is if the architects of our (increasingly outdated) school education system decide that their traditional syllabus model is not working and that there needs to be more play and socially stimulating activities. Then we are in business.
Nov. 26, 2018
Amaresh Deshpande edited this comment Nov. 26, 2018
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Jeff,

HOOL players, as a guideline which I offer, do have access to the HCP-Trick chart (plus the Law of Total Tricks); just that the trick target is not determined by the chart as is in traditional MiniBridge. Rather, each player has to work out what are the important features of their hand (within three simple parameters) which they would like to share with their partner to ‘arrive’ at a reasonable contract while being mindful of bonuses and penalties. Of course they will get it far more wrong than right for a long while, but that’s ok – its all a part of the exploration. IMO, modern kids stay engaged with learning when they feel an ownership of the process.

As a Greek Bridge teacher pointed out to me in China - HOOL is like a mystery game, where clues left by the four players (information sharing) have to be unravelled to make sense of the emerging plot (bidding and play).

I suggest: play a session of HOOL with your MiniBridge students.
Nov. 26, 2018
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Touching and inspiring
Nov. 19, 2018
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Tournament info:
http://cardsharksinc.com/2018schedule.html

They even have screens! But no young faces.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6-8oqVAWty0
Sept. 8, 2018
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