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All comments by David Caprera
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Had west rebid 3N (my choice) east would have owed him another call, so I place some blame with west. But east never showed any values. I make it “both are to blame” but would assess it 80% east, 20% west.
June 2, 2016
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Put me down for 1C-1D-3M is GF, 4M and 5+D. This hand qualifies.
May 30, 2016
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Game (to the same effect.)
May 29, 2016
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On 1, east has to rebid more than 4S. While West's cuebid does not promise a rebid, it is not the proverbial 5-5 yarb. More years ago than I want to admit, I wrote a Bridge World article, Re-Q-Em for the Masses, that dealt with the meaning of doubler's cuebid in response to a cuebid. I suggested that it guarantee shortness and at least modest extra 's.

On 2, I believe East has more than he promised for 4S and owed West another call after the 5S (slam try, no C control) raise. Even if East bids 6C, bidding 7 may be speculative. It is a bit of a perfecto with three quacks missing and none needed.

It is curious that bidding 3N, taking less space and allowing the opponents to cuebid, appears more effective than does raising to 4C.
May 29, 2016
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We play 2H staymanesque, 2S as diamonds, and 2N as best raise (3C ask - BUTL response). It works well for us.

More difficult is 1C-1H-2H, where 2S is now waiting and opener bids transfers and 2N three trump where we bid game ordered (C=H,D=S,…)

Different strokes for different folks. You need a toy, not clear whether one toy is better than another.
May 29, 2016
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Hand 2 looked like a candidate for a “pigeon coup”. Give one opponent Qxx of hearts, the other Jxxx. Cash SA, SK and run diamonds. Declarer's last three black cards may be good! Ha, ha, you say. That can't work. You would be surprised.
May 27, 2016
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I have become a big fan of “reverse Flannery ” (UMJOODO). Probably works best in a limited opening bid system.
May 25, 2016
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The issue I see is one of fairness if the incumbent knows but the challengers do not.
May 24, 2016
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Can't speak to Moscito but our relay structure finds its roots in Alan Truscott through to Henry Bethe and Varis Carey. I am a big believer in consistency which we call “Gator”, the generally applied theory of relay, the basic tenant of which is that it is “interesting to be twentyfive and single.” (Interesting (usually hands out of range), two suited, balanced, 2.5 and 3 suited hands (may be 5m431), single suited.) I believe it was Mike Becker who once advised that, “forget about trying to right side contracts, it will drive you nuts.”

The most sophisticated relay structure I know is Zerth, the chief proponent of which is Garth Yettick. I tried but failed and found it too difficult for a casual partnership. Unlike standard, there is no safety net and a misbid may result in an unplayable contract. That is probably the chief negative to relay systems. But I look forward to reading your ideas.
May 24, 2016
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Sorry, I didn't intend “push” to suggest unreasonable in any way. The auction had been 1S-1N-2H-3C-5C. Perhaps I should have said, “and you kicked it in to six.” It was a very good contract and percentage even if you knew the HJ was singleton.

I picked your team to win the trials and I will be cheering for you in the world championship. Best of luck.
May 24, 2016
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Congrats. I want to ask a strategy/philosophy question. In the trials you were up 48 imps with 15 boards to play. A dangerous pair, Grue - Moss, hold your cards at the other table. Do you try to match their calls (good luck on that)? Do you play aggressive or conservative? Or mix it up? Do you and Eric have agreements in these situations?

Two hands come to mind. You were AJxx, Tx, QJ98x, xx and your partner opened 1N (14-16). You let it go when you might have suspected your opponents would bid. In fact, they did get to 4S, didn't buy well, trump went 4-1 and went down.

The other is probably the most celebrated deal in the trials. The play has been written up and discussed on this site. You had A, Txx, xxx, KQJxxx and pushed to 6C when your opponents played in 2H!

It would seem you were conservative on the first hand and aggressive on the second. Appreciate your thoughts on your approach as well had you been down by 48 instead.

(It has been over a week now. Are you comfortable with how you played 6C? A lot depended on your feel as to Chip's lead.)
May 24, 2016
David Caprera edited this comment May 24, 2016
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When Roy and Sabine can have a set of agreements that open 3C on a KJxxx suit and put up a 92 on CTC, you can't be dissin' CTC or TBW. This isn't your grandma's bridge game any more.
May 23, 2016
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We were arriving late to a sectional pairs game. I parked at the front door to let my wife Annie (9500 masterpoints, second in the last national women's pairs in Reno) jump out and buy the entry while I went to park. The director gave her table 8 (top seeds 3 and 9.) When I subsequently walked in the director asked, “Who are you playing with?”, I said, “My wife” and he said, “Exchange this”, giving me table 3. Perhaps the smartest thing I have ever done in my marriage of almost 40 years was to say, “I won't do that. You do it.”
May 23, 2016
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Rubens tells you how but it is pretty tedious. If you have 3-4 diamonds and a balanced hand, the first approximation of a distribution table is probably close enough. If I real needed to know, a simulation is how I would do it.
May 22, 2016
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Bidding is sick but I am not passing at matchpoints.
May 21, 2016
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Problem flaw in that it does not say what partnership agreement is with respect to 2N. If it is some Ogust where I can catch 2/3 6th, 2N is clear. If the answer is “no agreement”, have you consider taking up Eucher?
May 20, 2016
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LET IT DIE. The facts are not all known. People's memories fade. They may never be known. The authorities in charge have acted. I don't think the system is designed to favor pros. To the contrary, I think they are generally held to a higher standard, and should be. We are talking a compact KO in Palmetto Florida. There is no collusion. No international implications. (Justin Lall got it right.) I, personally, believe Passell. Why would he decide to cheat with Meckstroth at the other table. Makes no sense.

We (the bridge community) have bigger problems. This is a non-event at this point.
May 20, 2016
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Because the ACbL alert policy has such lack of clarity and consistency that it deserves the bashing. I have had multiple cases where directors disagree as to whether an alert is required. That is generally followed by a statement that alerting can't hurt, which is, of course, untrue, particularly when it conveys UI and wakes up partner.

As for Greg's ditty, the closest tune I could come up with was, “We're off to see the wizard” which also seems to fit thematically.
May 20, 2016
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I will let Kit speak for himself, but most precision players (which would include Kit with Fred) are likely to open this hand 2C. A 14-16 notrump is possible but I rather doubt a precision player would open it 1D.

This is a very awkward hand for precision. 2C-P is certainly possible. It used to be that 2C-2M was F1, then many went to nonforcing, and now it appears that the pendulum is swinging back to F1 again. So the auction could go 2C-2S-3S, but that would likely be where it would end.

After 1D-1M, I believe most American precision pairs “promise” 4 trump for their raise with one notable exception, 1D-1S-2S with 3=4=5=1.
May 19, 2016
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Playing 15-17 in third chair may be best for bidding appropriate games, but it loses the preemptive value of opening 1NT. Often 1NT steals the bacon and wins the “hidden imp” (-50 into -90). 14-16 white and 15-17 red in third hole is designed to take this into account. Does that make it superior? I have no idea but it does appear to be the direction many top players have headed.
May 15, 2016
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