Join Bridge Winners
All comments by David Levin
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“Good bidders visualize various hands for partner, and picture how the play will progress facing each of those hands. If you can't play out a hand in your head, then you can't be a good bidder. Play comes first!”

Chess offers an apt analogy: a player's primary objective in the opening phase should be to obtain a playable middle game.
Aug. 16, 2015
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x Kxxx xxx AKxxx would make a better dummy in s than would many first-seat openers that have four s. So, I'm not sure that the strength of the 3 call should depend on whether West is a passed hand.
Aug. 16, 2015
David Levin edited this comment Aug. 16, 2015
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I had in mind the line of play suggested above by Marc.

Edit: Cross-posted with Philippe's comment.
Aug. 16, 2015
David Levin edited this comment Aug. 16, 2015
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The Q might have been offside.
Aug. 16, 2015
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Where trumps are 2-2 with K onside, starting s at Trick 2 would seem to prevent any overruffs and ensure the contract ( to the Q, A, K to pitch a , A, ruff, K to pitch , win return with Q, ruff, Q to pitch Q, leaving three s in closed hand). If we start s at Trick 2 and the suit is 2-2 with K offside, then we'll need A with RHO and the K to drop in three rounds. If RHO has stiff K or K and two others, it's not quite hopeless.
Aug. 14, 2015
David Levin edited this comment Aug. 14, 2015
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Regarding bidding, you might want to look also at the ACBL's Standard American Yellow Card, a discussion of which can be downloaded from http://web2.acbl.org/documentlibrary/play/sayc_book.pdf .

Bidding is for the most part a lot less mysterious than it might seem. Its main objective is to reach the right strain and the right level, while not getting too high for the partnership's assets. Sometimes you run out of bidding room before you can be sure of the right strain. For example, if the auction goes 1-(P)-1-(P)-1N-(P)-?, responder might have five spades and seven scattered HCP and prefer to be in 2 if opener has three-card support. But if responder were to bid over 1N, that would commit the partnership to playing in a two-level contract even if opener has only two spades, in which case you probably would have been better off in 1N. Therefore, responder should pass after opener rebids 1N.

When receiving advice about bridge, even from a sage, think (or ask, if the situation allows) about alternatives and why they might or might not work. Sometimes there are several reasonable alternatives, and the reason to prefer one of them might be difficult to quantify.

I would tend to refrain from discussing deals during a round. I find it beneficial to clear my mind for the next deal. And even if a round is finished early, I think any comments should be fairly brief and made when you're away from the table. If you receive hand records or your partner is able to recall or write down the main features of a deal, it can be fruitfully discussed after the session. You might not recall what line of reasoning led you to take a particular action, but this doesn't prevent your trying to recreate being in that situation and thinking it out.
Aug. 14, 2015
David Levin edited this comment Aug. 14, 2015
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Ah, I found an opinion on the etymology of “rack rate.”

http://articles.latimes.com/2000/jul/30/travel/tr-61369
Aug. 14, 2015
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Lynn, that makes sense to me also and would seem to address the 2% alluded to by Ed. 8^)
Aug. 14, 2015
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Did the term “rack rate” originate from the contraption often attached to the door of a hotel/motel unit, that contains printed matter regarding the rules and the nightly rate?
Aug. 14, 2015
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True, but ambiguity could have been avoided by writing as follows (added words in italic): Also, you may not find a statement to the effect of “You're a bunch of incompetent losers” offensive, but it's hardly “amazing” that others will.
Aug. 14, 2015
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I do not find self-evident that a disparity in the two genders' representation among the top 50 bridge players in the world demonstrates a disparity in inherent bridge ability between genders, just as the lack of female CEOs doesn't demonstrate that women are inherently less effective managers than men are.
Aug. 14, 2015
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“Lynn, I want to ‘like’ your post. 98% of it is great. But ‘Building the future of the game justifies a bit of bending of principle.’ The end justifies the means? Really? That seems a slippery slope.”

I think that the age limit for “junior” should be set roughly where biological differences from “adult” become negligible. Organized chess defines “junior” as under 21, which I find reasonable.
Aug. 14, 2015
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If LHO holds at most one of (A, K, A), then cashing seven tricks and leading a toward the K seems to fail only when LHO holds AQ or KTxx (or better). This line seems the best of those posted thus far.
Aug. 14, 2015
David Levin edited this comment Aug. 14, 2015
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Holding two entries, LHO might have overcalled 2 instead of 3. Holding no entries, LHO might have tried to find partner's suit on opening lead. This suggests that LHO has one entry.

Accordingly, at Trick 2, play to the J and then lead the Q, and

(i) if LHO follows, overtake with the K and lead a toward the K. Suppose LHO wins and returns a to the K. Run the s and keep Q9x A (playing RHO for the outstanding black suit honors). At Trick 10, lead a from Dummy. RHO can rise and cash out, but we'll get either Dummy's T or the closed hand's Q at the end.

(ii) if LHO discards, follow low in Dummy, play a to the K, and run s. Since the defenders hold two top s but only one top , play RHO to hold the A. Keep Q9 A KJ in the closed hand and lead a at Trick 9. If RHO rises, s are 3-3, and we watch the spots very carefully (in case LHO leads a at Trick 12), we'll hold the right minor-suit winner at the end.

Edit: The “watch the spots” phrase was ill-considered in several respects, the most disagreeable of which to me is that it comes across as condescending toward the BW community, whereas I meant it to be directed solely at me because it's an aspect of bridge at which I'm prone to failing. Sorry about that.
Aug. 12, 2015
David Levin edited this comment Aug. 13, 2015
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“My major qualm is that half of the league's population has an opportunity to make Grand Life Master that the other half will never have…”

Assuming that this refers to gender-specific opportunities, there has for decades been medical technology to address that.
Aug. 12, 2015
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In chess, the concept of “performance rating” encompasses both score and strength of opposition. “Fairness” might be defined as the extent to which the winners of an event have similarly high performance ratings.

Under the pairing system used in chess swisses, a highly ranked player who loses in the first round usually faces considerably weaker opposition over the next several rounds than will a highly ranked player who starts the tournament with several wins. As a result, the two players will often be tied at some point.

I haven't really thought about how to change the pairing procedure (1 vs. 9, 2 vs. 10, … , 8 vs. 16) so as to rectify the above “unfairness,” assuming that one wanted to.
Aug. 11, 2015
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Can you say, “sportsmanlike (excuse me, sportspersonlike) dumping”?
Aug. 11, 2015
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I don't recall having been asked not to alert.

However, around 10 years ago in a Regional A/X Swiss, during a deal I was declaring, LHO (whom I had faced occasionally) said that my appending the word “please” to every call of a card from Dummy was driving her crazy, and she asked would I not do it. I listened attentively without replying, then I led to the next trick, LHO followed, and I said, “Oh, play the bloody king of spades!” Everyone got a chuckle. I don't remember whether I went back to saying “please.”

My partner and I discussed it later and agreed that her request wasn't proper. But being that it didn't bother me, I thought that treating it lightly would best allow us to maintain focus.
Aug. 11, 2015
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“We lead A from AK” doesn't mean, “When we lead A, we hold AK.” It means, “When we hold AK, we lead A” (equivalent to, “From AK, we lead A.”). It's analogous to, “We lead low from small doubletons,” which doesn't mean, “When we lead low, it's from a small doubleton.”
Aug. 11, 2015
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“Michael, don't you think people should be required to use their brains sometimes when playing this game?”

Ron, I take it that you don't work at ACBL headquarters.
Aug. 10, 2015
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