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All comments by David Caprera
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If you thought I was implying that there is not a good directing staff at the Council Bluffs Regional, nothing is further from the truth. Rick Beye and Tom Marsh are among the top directors in the country. I confess I don't know the others as well. Nor did I even say the director who made the ruling was a bad director, she made IMO a bad ruling in a bad way, but she may be a good director who just made a mistake. (Walk a hundred miles in their shoes.)

And speaking of Council Bluffs, this is a very well run tournament. Everyone is very friendly. They have free lunch every day. The evening lecturers are brilliant. (I spoke Tuesday.) Cookie is a dear. Rumor has it Warren and Bill will be here tomorrow. The top competion is reasonably good. We advanced to the semi's so my squad (with three juniors) are playing a pretty good team tomorrow: Nanette Noland, Mike Passell, Geoff Hampson, Eddie Wold and Marc Jacobus. I have told my kids that we have beaten them before and it really is possible. I hope they bring their “A” game.
Aug. 8
David Caprera edited this comment Aug. 8
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I was not at the table. I appear to have the story wrong. He said it after the director left. His father admonished him and today he said he realized it was the wrong the to say.
Aug. 8
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Sorry. It was not my intention to offend anyone. In part I was trying to be colorful and in part I was trying to convey my anger at the ruling and the process. Regardless how the ruling ultimately came out (it is a difficult ruling question), the director's handling of it was wrong. Rick Beye, the head director at the tournament, having heard the story, sought me out this morning to apologize for the way the ruling was made (the process, not the outcome.)
Aug. 8
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Steve, I am not understanding your suggested auction. Because we play a 2/1 advance is not forcing, a 2H cuebid is either a limit plus raise or a game forcing hand. How are you saying the auction should go? We bid
(1H)-1S-(P)-2H;
(P)-?
2S would say, “no game interest opposite a limit raise.” I was the 1S bidder and I thought game was possible. Perhaps I should have rebid 2N but I chose a naturalish 3C rebid. What is Annie to do? Whether I had rebid 2N or 3m, 3S at this point would be a rejection of the game try and not forcing. She can bid 4C which would be forcing but I don't know how we find out everything we need to know.
Aug. 8
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Sorry, I was not at the table and do not know their methods or their agreement with respect to 2C.
Aug. 8
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The junior was chastized by his father (with whom he was playing at the time.) He is a good kid. He was just mad as hell too.
Aug. 8
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The final match differential was more than the possible 13 imp adjustment.
Aug. 8
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Yes. The result would stand, but at a minimum the director should explain the impropriety of advancer taking advantage of the UI. IMO, a bare-bottom spanking would be more appropriate.
Aug. 8
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I know the protocol is for the poster to abstain, but the ruling and the director's cavalier attitude pissed me off. One of my teammates, after hearing the director's ruling, asked her for a “real director.” My teammate is 15 years old.
Aug. 8
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Playing with Annie, we both love screens. After 42 years of marriage, the body language, the raised eyebrow, the imperceptible hitch, can all create UI where Hammond's cameras aren't going to catch it. To say, “Well ignore the UI” may be true but it is a burden I prefer not to bear.

For the same reason, I like playing online. We always play in separate rooms and close the door. And screens also reduce the spousal dialogs that end up with me sleeping on the couch.
Aug. 7
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Pass. And bidding game does not create a force.
Aug. 5
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Way upstream, is Ai-Tai right that the seeding coming out of the swiss is based on how well you did in the swiss?
Aug. 5
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I object. This sounds like juniors bidding. If partner has a stiff spade and 4 clubs, he should not be bidding this way. I would have bumped 3C to 4 last round, inviting partner to bid again. But faced with the problem as given I would pass.
Aug. 5
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1S if partner is known to have a one count.
Aug. 5
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In our partnership north's high-low is not “quite possibly suit preference”, once the heart position is known, it IS suit preference. Regardless of how long north hesitated, a partnership that plays suit preference here would be able to play on spades without adjustment. I wonder if the director asked the north-south pair their agreement.

Deb, quit whining. I got a SJ opening lead.
Aug. 4
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My dearest Michael, as you know we have had this conversation before with respect to what is required to bid a hot game at imps. I claimed that the 37+% is understated because it assumes the worst case is down one undoubled. You counter by saying, “If an opp has a six card suit you would have heard about it, so assume a higher expectation for the more balanced distribution.” I don't think either of us is wrong.

But I was expecting your comment to the effect that if you are missing the trump Q in an auction where a trump lead may be indicated and you don't get it, against top opposition the tendency to play opening leader for her may not be as reliable.

IMO, this all fits into, “You paid your money, now take your chance.”
Aug. 3
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AKJxx opposite xxxx is never as good as 53%. There are always the 6-0 and 5-1 side suit splits with ruffs lurking. So call it 50-50 and consider it to be a slam you can take or leave in the abstract.

Note the difference between AKJTx opposite xxxx, and AJTxx opposite Kxxx. Depending on the auction, your opponents
may help you with a trump lead or by not leading one. You also have more options.

I think it then becomes more of a “state of the match” question. Are you the better team? Are you ahead or behind? Are your opponents aggressive? Does your side have 34 hcp's such that your opponents are likely to be there or is it some 24hcp perfecto where your opponents could play a partscore. Is it a competitive auction where your opponents may take an 800 save if you bid it confidently?
Aug. 3
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I don't see my choice (there really should always be “other”, you never know.) Walter Big Train Johnson (one of my mentors) preached “a singleton K is a balanced hand.” I accepted that. So we would splinter with A, Q or J but not K. It makes sense, the singleton K is a second round control but you don't want partner to think Qxx is wasted.
Aug. 2
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Did your coach yell at you? I am not usually a screamer when I coach juniors but, “Damn it, slow down” is an active part of my vocabulary.
Aug. 2
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I continue to believe the ACBL bungled a real opportunity with the Wolpert's win in the BRP. It was a great story of two attractive young people taking on the old and staid bridge community and winning the most prestigious pairs event. It could have changed the way America, and in particular young America, looked at bridge.

Along the same lines, I attended a brunch last Saturday in Vegas staged by the ACBL for about 40 juniors and James Holzhauer (the big Jeopardy! winner). He was everything you would want him to be, quick, witty, attractive, entertaining and engaging. The kids got to ask him questions ranging from his Jeopardy! experience to his favorite bridge convention. The ACBL also ran a nice story about him in The Bulletin with his picture on the cover. IMO, the ACBL got this one right.

Our game needs young and attractive heroes like James. And Oren and Zach and Kevin. And internationally, Dennis Bilde, the Rimstedts and the Gronkvists, Klukowski and Zmuda, and Giovanni Donatti. They are the ones who can keep the game alive.
Aug. 2
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