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All comments by David Levin
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What about a sheepishly uttered “Sorry.” Or perhaps a sober comment to partner such as “We didn't really belong there.”
July 10, 2015
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There was a recent thread in which several posters discuss how their clubs keep people coming back. If you missed that discussion and might be interested in it, I could probably find it this weekend if someone else doesn't beat me to it.
July 10, 2015
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I'm with you regarding result merchants. But had West held AKxxx, West wouldn't have required much more in order to overcall at green vulnerability.
July 10, 2015
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Maybe North was probing for a 5-2 heart fit.
July 10, 2015
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I haven't seen the piece, but I've ceased to be surprised or even irritated at an editorial's serving its publisher's interests. I do try to minimize my exposure to such material.

I also no longer assume that an organization's direction is based on anything resembling a “strategy.” Inertia seems to be the dominant force.

If the ACBL wants to recruit people who are likely to remain members for 20 years, I guess that the junior recruits should be around 10 years old. Such a marketing initiative might be codenamed, “Sprouts and Fossils.”
July 10, 2015
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“Hand flat, stand pat”?
July 10, 2015
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Reading the second slogan prompted me to compare the following hands.

A54 T98 K43 A854 (West's actual hand)
A54 T9 K843 A854
A54 T9 Q843 A854
July 10, 2015
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Rainer, I've thought about it and am not sure that I entirely agree.

If in the context of the above defense problem, we were to generously grant that for any given spot played by East at Trick One, the context would have sufficed for West, irrespective of West's holding in the suit, to accurately and unequivocally interpret it as attitude or to accurately and unequivocally interpret it as count, then I don't think it was over the top for me to have implied that a human being sitting East could have figured out all this in the few seconds that an opening leader's partner has available.

I think it was beyond over the top!
July 9, 2015
David Levin edited this comment July 9, 2015
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“I don't see the N hand as a minimum as I sit over the opening bidder (at least in the three suits excluding clubs)”

I would have expected South to have inferred, prior to North's second turn to call, that North's honors were likely well-placed.
July 8, 2015
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Thanks, Todd. For in-person play, how about if the Laws designated Declarer's LHO as the defense's spokesperson and provided for RHO to convey his/her inclination securely to LHO, who would then report his/her pair's acceptance of the claim or request that play continue.
July 8, 2015
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Bob, I like your idea (I'm inferring) of having the claimer simply state how many of the remaining tricks s/he is claiming, with play continuing if an opponent refuses the claim. Having the claimer refrain from making reference to anything about the deal or the position, would seem to greatly reduce the chance of the refusal's waking up Declarer.

I am curious as to whether this approach was considered and rejected when the Laws of Duplicate were first written.
July 8, 2015
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John: “Also in an online game, the mere act of refusing the claim wakes declarer up to a potential issue.”

Another possibility is that Declarer is suffering from a fixation and as a result, is baffled by the opponents' refusal of the claim, fails to take precautions, and needlessly loses one or more of the remaining tricks.
July 8, 2015
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I think that before trying to improve the laws regarding claims, it needs to be decided whether the objective of those laws should be to administer justice on a particular deal or to improve the game as a whole (fewer director calls, fewer appeals, etc.).

Claiming is voluntary. If Declarer cannot present a clear and complete claim, perhaps the laws should discourage making a claim. A claim should address outstanding enemy trump either explicitly (e.g., “Drawing trumps”) or implicitly (e.g., “Crossruff high”). If a claim fails to do either and there is a legal continuation in which those enemy trump take tricks, perhaps the ruling should be that those trump take tricks.

I think that claims should be made only when Declarer could take the claimed number of tricks in his/her sleep and that uncompromising laws regarding claims would foster this.
July 8, 2015
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I inferred that Rainer was advocating that there be no systemic minimum requirements for a 2/1 response, that responder's hand be evaluated and a judgment made.
July 7, 2015
David Levin edited this comment July 7, 2015
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That's interesting. Thanks for sharing.
July 7, 2015
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I'm just wondering whether it would be easier for players to gauge, if “additional master points requested for bracketing” were replaced by “number of bracket move-ups requested” (probably not the best phrasing). There could be a way to indicate “maximum.”
July 7, 2015
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Many of the comments on this and similar threads have given me the impression that a lot of the folks here either have forgotten what it's like to be a weak player or were engineering squeezes while still in the cradle.

I still remember how I struggled when I took up the game seriously decades ago. I don't recall having failed to overruff at Trick 12 in a situation akin to that in the original post. But did I do comparably boneheaded things at the bridge table? Absolutely.

I will refrain from posting any of them because I don't want to get banned for indecency.
July 7, 2015
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“Say that we had found a great lead from 10xx to partner's putative Axxxx. Would his playing low be length then?”

I could see third hand's signaling to show encouragement in this situation. But given that Dummy has played 8 from KQ8, I have difficulty envisioning a layout where third-hand wants to encourage and yet plays the deuce. Therefore, I'd be inclined to interpret the deuce as count.

Edit: My second sentence sure wasn't written very well. For “where third-hand…deuce”, I'd like to substitute, “…where the deuce would be the only spot by which third-hand could indicate discouragement.”
July 7, 2015
David Levin edited this comment July 7, 2015
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Your idea does seem alien, but that doesn't mean I don't perceive its advantages. 8o) By focusing on the honors that matter, your method makes it less necessary or unnecessary to “limit one's hand.”

In your sample auction, 1-2-2-2-3-?, what would responder's alternatives to 3 mean?
July 7, 2015
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It appears that Declarer is 2=3 in the black suits. If South wins at Trick Two and shifts to a (playing Partner for AQ-fifth), that would imply that Declarer has a running five-card suit, in which case the shift establishes Declarer's ninth trick. Playing Partner for AQ-fifth instead, seems similarly futile.

So, it seems that the defense's best chance is to win at Trick Two and play another , hoping that partner has enough scattered strength to prevent Declarer from establishing five tricks in the red suits.
July 6, 2015
David Levin edited this comment July 6, 2015
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