Join Bridge Winners
All comments by Bart Bramley
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
I have a different objection to “sudden death”, whose primary purpose is clearly to shorten the playoff TIME as much as possible. But playing one board at a time necessarily means waiting for the slower table to finish before starting each potential additional board. If, say, three boards are needed, the total time will likely be longer than with a fixed four-board format. The longer sudden death lasts, the more pronounced the time lag becomes.
June 29, 2015
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Why has nobody yet mentioned Why You Lose At Bridge by S.J. Simon, the best bridge book of all time? Practical advice that's easy to digest, and wildly entertaining.
June 20, 2015
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
This is very sad news. I knew Henry for more than 40 years. He was a tremendous ambassador for our game, as well as a personal friend.

I served with him on the committees that created the new continuous VP scales, first for the USBF (about ten years ago) and more recently for the WBF. I assure you that Henry did the heavy lifting on both occasions. His approach was mathematical and scientific, in the best possible way. He made his points without being confrontational, a rare gift.
June 15, 2015
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
I'm still waiting for a rematch…
June 1, 2015
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Michael: “Presuming you would return original 4th best unless a “pusher” is needed…”
Exactly. The FIVE is readable as original fourth best, thus readable as from either 10865 or 108652 originally. But it cannot be from 10865, because then I'd have played the EIGHT, a (possibly) needed pusher. Since I didn't push, no push is needed. QED.

The SIX should also be readable, as you observe. But that requires partner to figure out why I have played neither a pusher nor original 4th best. If he has AQ943 he may guess that I have violated by leading attitude from 10652 (top of nothing) rather than count. Or, to use your logic: “Partner knows I cannot have 108652, as I would return the five from that.”

That's why I don't return the DEUCE either, a different violation that will again make partner work overtime.
June 1, 2015
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
The SIX works badly when partner has AQ973 and he thinks I started with 10652. Yes, I suppose he will wonder why declarer did not play the eight, but I prefer not to make partner assume that declarer is rational if I can avoid it. Also, given a choice between a “normal” play and an “abnormal” play, I will aggravate partner less by making “abnormal” plays only when necessary. Here a normal play SHOULD work.

I guess that any spot except the EIGHT ought to get partner to go right, and the eight fails only when declarer has KJ9.
June 1, 2015
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Partner should expect me to play either my highest (as a pusher or to suggest he switch if plausible), or a count card. Frequently, in situations of this type, returning LOW (the deuce, even from a five-card holding) clues partner to run the suit, but that applies more strongly when partner does not know that I have at least four. Here, he can read that the FIVE is not my highest, so it ought to be original fourth-best. Partner should reason that with three dead remaining I would have played high, so he should get it right.

Returning the DEUCE will probably work also, but it might confuse him. The SIX will work only when declarer has KJ9, since partner will “know” that he can no longer have a tenace over declarer.
June 1, 2015
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
After the first diamond holds, declarer can play diamonds or trumps next. In either case, East wins and plays club ace, club. If declarer ruffs, the defense can win the next trick, draw trumps and run clubs. If declarer pitches, West wins and (1) if he still has a diamond, lead it and get a ruff, or (2) if he still has two trumps, lead one to East and get a diamond ruff. Declarer cannot exhaust enough of West's spades and diamonds to prevent both (1) and (2).
June 1, 2015
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
This discussion reminds me of an incident from my college days. Two friends of mine, both better players than I was at the time, reported a deal from a team match they had just played. Early on, the opponents reached 2 redoubled. One friend was on lead halfway through the deal and had a choice of defenses: (A) Cash out for down one, or (B) Try for down two by assuming that partner had a particular card that he was supposed to have from the bidding, risking a make if declarer had the card.

My friend reasoned thusly:
“If partner is playing so badly that HE does not have the card, I better cash out. But if my opponent is so bad that HE does not have the card, I can settle for down one and still beat this team easily. Therefore (A) is correct in either case.”

They won the match easily. And the second friend admired the first friend's logic.
June 1, 2015
Bart Bramley edited this comment June 1, 2015
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Lou Resnick (also known as “Crazy Louie”) was a young rubber bridge player in Boston when I lived there in the late ‘60s and early ’70s. He came up with Resnick's Rule one day when he had a 12-card trump fit missing the king. He led one off dummy and his shoulders sagged when RHO showed out. After studying for a while, he brightened, sat up and played the ace, announcing his now-famous Rule. I was there.

A different player, Charlie Harvey, lived in upstate NY. His “theory” was that the king of clubs was always singleton, especially offside. He was so well known for this that dropping the club king offside became known as a “Charlie Harvey”.
May 21, 2015
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
3NT is cold, even on a spade lead. Declarer rises ace and leads a club. This line looks indicated after the double, but it does risk going down several if the club ace is wrong.

Also, the actual result is another big winning case for the double: Inducing the opponents to abandon a winning contract for a losing contract.
April 25, 2015
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
I was South. We had Puppet Stayman available. I think partner rejected Puppet because he didn't want to expose a 3 bid to a lead-directing double. I'd have done the same. I judge the lead-directing double a greater risk than revealing something about opener's major-suit holdings with regular Stayman.
April 6, 2015
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
I agree. This way, if you are known to have a 6+ suit and lead the DEUCE, it is an alarm-clock signal (NOT suit preference). When leader has a void, the alarm-clock is critical. Partner will almost always know what to do without additional suit-preference help.

Giving suit preference on opening lead is fraught with danger. Since third hand normally expects a count card, he will rarely be able to distinguish both high and low suit preference from odd and even parity.

Fourth-best leaders do not have to go to such great lengths (pun intended) to send an alarm-clock signal. The deuce lead from any known 5+ suit will do the job.
Feb. 19, 2015
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Puzzleup is fantastic.

It is the creation of Alan Levine, a bridge player from Long Island. (However, I participated for many years before I learned that Alan is an avid bridge player.) It's a combination of trivia in all of the standard categories (movies, politics, geography, sports, etc.), combined with fiendish wordplay. Understanding the questions can be as difficult as solving them, even though there is no attempt at trickery. It's just that hard.
Feb. 13, 2015
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
In the semifinals of the 1998 Rosenblum in Lille my team played the top Italian team. In the second quarter I held Qxx-xx-Qxxxxx-xx as dealer at favorable. I chose 3. (I had a feeling…) LHO, my screenmate, cuebid 4. We passed the tray, and it came back, IN TEMPO, with 7-7! Everyone passed. I led a diamond. Dummy arrived with a singleton diamond. Partner, Sidney Lazard, won the ACE from his holding of AKJx. Yes, among his many fine qualities, Sidney is a great partner.
Feb. 2, 2015
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
20+ years ago Bob was the National Recorder and I was one of 4 or 5 assistant Recorders. Over a period of about twelve months Bob noticed that there were several complaints about one player and decided to act on the accumulation of evidence. This is how the Recorder system is supposed to work. The problem was that the player was a member of the BOD, and, moreover, was potentially going to be President of ACBL. Bob convened a meeting of all Recorders during the next National, and we heard direct testimony from the player. We, the Recorders, decided unanimously to submit a report to the ACBL Board. Bob drafted a letter, which we all signed. Bob sent it to the current League President, with instructions for it to be distributed to the whole Board. But when Bob realized that the distribution had not occurred, he himself sent the letter to the rest of the Board.

We were not on a vendetta against the player. Rather, our primary motivation was to prevent a potentially embarrassing situation for the Board and one of its members, by stopping a problem before it got worse.

The reaction was not what Bob (or any of us) had hoped for. Instead of honoring our intent, the Board (through the President) brought charges against Bob for “abusing” his position as Recorder. A hearing was held at the subsequent National, and the result was that Bob was fired as Recorder. In support of Bob I immediately resigned in protest, as did several other assistant Recorders.

Bob was one of the most honest and hard-working people I have ever known, while at the same time being a super-nice guy. This is a great loss for the world of bridge.
Jan. 19, 2015
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
This is terribly sad news.

I met Ernesto at the first World Championship I attended, in Miami Beach in 1986, and at many WBF events after that, including Sanya just a few months ago. I enjoyed seeing him in recent years when he became a regular at our Nationals, and I particularly liked working with him on the committee that revamped the WBF VP scale.

He was a tremendous friend of bridge. I will miss his relentlessly upbeat attitude.
Jan. 11, 2015
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
The ACBL scorecard is fine with me. I prefer using it for team matches, too (except Swiss).

The scorecard I hate is the one the WBF uses. Too many columns, with labels I don't need or use, most of them the wrong width, and all on a glossy paper that immediately runs and smudges with most pens. Grossly inefficient for just about anything. Plus, it's too big to fold nicely and put in a pocket.
Dec. 16, 2014
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
I count differently.

Both lines work when East's clubs are Q, J, QJ or xxxx. (In Line A declarer intends to cash one high club before ducking a club. When an honor drops he will ruff a heart, draw trumps and THEN duck a club, setting up a winner while maintaining entries to both hands. In Line B declarer will get a complete count before playing a second club.)

B gains if East has three small diamonds and any two clubs except QJ - 140 cases. It also gains when East has stiff queen of diamonds and any four clubs with at least one honor - 14 cases. (Line A fails quickly when East's clubs are headed by the queen because he can rise on the second club and gives his partner a club ruff. And it fails slowly when West has Qx because West will win the club queen and return a trump. Declarer can finesse and ruff a heart, but he must surrender a club ruff when he tries to get back to dummy.) When East has one small diamond and four small clubs both plays work. When East has two small diamonds, clubs are 3-3 and Line A works.

A gains if East has two small diamonds and three clubs with at least one honor - 160 cases. When East has two small diamonds and three small clubs both plays work.

So Line A wins 160-154.
Nov. 18, 2014
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
After West wins the second club finesse declarer's hand is not high; he has a diamond loser. And dummy is out of clubs, since he must have thrown one on the second spade according to his original plan to set up diamonds with two losers. Therefore, West does not have to cash the diamond queen to beat the contract in the ending; a heart will blow up declarer's communications. He must win in hand to cash his clubs, so the third heart is stranded in dummy and declarer is left with his diamond loser.
Nov. 18, 2014
.

Bottom Home Top