Join Bridge Winners
All comments by David Matthews
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There is some mention of reasons. “Specifically the proof does establish that four issues were raised with him at least at a dinner meeting with ACBL officials in early March, 2018. They were treatment of staff, progress on the CRM and accounting review project, interaction with and listening to the Board and, what some called, change of pace”. Change of pace? What exactly could that be?
March 26
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I totally disagree with the many opinions about the 2 Club opener being wrong and that 1 Heart is the correct opening bid with this hand. I have a simple rule - would I be unhappy if my 1 level opener is passed out? With this 2 loser hand I would be mightily unhappy. Partner only needs 3 hearts and the King of Spades for 6 to be cold. Now, will 1 Heart be passed out? Highly unlikely. However, do you wish to rely on the opposition to rescue you into game? This scenario recently came up twice in a Teams Comp I was involved in and we chalked up games that the opposition were arguing furiously about after their bidding was passed in at the 1 level. More and more my partner and I are looking for opportunities not to balance in the Pass Out seat, particularly when the opposition open 1 of a minor and my partner couldn’t muster an overcall. A corollary to this is the prevalence of heavier and heavier overcalls at the 1 level. I have seen a number of games missed over the last year due to 1 level overcalls with 16-19 points. Once again I am looking for opportunities not to balance.
Jan. 31
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This is what transfers and super accepts are for (3 to an honour for a minor SA).
Jan. 1
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Whilst it's highly unlikely that 1 Club will be passed out, I have a simple rule for this type of situation. Would I be unhappy if 1 Club is passed out? The answer, with this 3 loser hand, is unequivocally Yes.
Dec. 27, 2018
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Over 1000 comments. Is this a record?
Oct. 17, 2018
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Sorry, yes. Did not read his post carefully enough!
Oct. 4, 2018
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Ben, I wouldn't be discarding a Club as that basically gives declarer the contract if he has AKx of Clubs. For me the 3 of Spades is the discard. If I was to switch at T3 it would again be the 3S.
Oct. 4, 2018
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Bidding Box, David
Sept. 8, 2017
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Yep, agreed. 3D is some sort of Bergen raise? Personally I would just bid 4H. In my carding arrangements partner cannot lead 5D from 3 small (we play MUD and second from 4 small). So 5D is either a singleton, or from 3 to the Jack (declarer will then play one of his honours), can't be from 5 to the JD as he would lead 4th highest. So, my answers are: (1) JS; (2) JS; (3) 3D.
May 30, 2017
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Interesting, Richard. I was South and held A72 54 J832 K752 and felt that I couldn't double without another Spade. North doubled and now I could only bid 4C which went 2 off for the heaviest loss of 7 Imps (Cross Imping). The King of Hearts is waste paper if South is playing the contract and the battlefield bid is 3NT by North which gains 5 Imps. A third of the field managed to bid 3NT but I am not sure if they all received the 3H intervention. A Pass by North (as I think you are suggesting) will garner a reasonable zero score.
April 24, 2017
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I feel fortunate to play in Australia where most things are allowed. Brown Stickers are played at the local club session and no one has any problem with them. Here in WA, in the higher level comps, some partnerships are once again playing Forcing Pass and Mosquito has its adherents. Yes, you can get a bad result – but it is usually due to poor bidding judgement or play rather than the system you are up against. This is all part of the enjoyment. However Eleanor touches on something that does annoy me in two ways:
1. Announcements. What bright spark thought this one up? Is it beyond the wit of players to look at their opponents’ system card before the start of the round and see that they are playing a 15-17 NT and a 5542 system meaning that 1 Club is 2+. You can also ask beforehand. Sometimes people forget their own system (due to playing with different partners) and the announcement soon alerts them – should it be fielded?
2. Compulsory alerting. 30 + years ago we were allowed to ask our opponents not to alert. The number of times they got into trouble, particularly at the higher levels, was more than you might expect. We need to go back to no alerting, if requested. Alerting, if it helps anybody, assists the bidding pair more than the non bidding pair – completely opposite to what was intended. There are some pairs that I would like to alert and others that I wouldn’t.
Jan. 3, 2017
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Greg
You are quite right. In an average club field I assumed my partner was 4405 and decided to pass, on the assumption that I was weak and even if we made 10 tricks that 2 Spades making 10 for +170 would be a reasonable score.
Additionally, although playing with a regular partner, I would have bid differently with another of my regular partners – raising 2 Spades to 3 Spades and, to be honest, that is what I should have done on this occasion as 2 Spades is 100% forcing. Mea Culpa.
In the event we were in a 4-1 fit and my partner managed to go only one off for a 30% score! Partner's hand was:
S T
H A K Q 2
D K J 2
C Q J T 6 3
As to the issue of 1 Club, 1 Diamond, 1 Heart, 1 Spade that is 4th suit forcing (for one round) in our system and was not an option with my weak hand as partner will expect another bid later. As to responding 1 Spade over 1 Club that must be wrong. Surely if anyone is going to play the hand in some number of Spades it needs to be opener to protect his/her tenaces. Game is surely on if opener has 17+ with four Spades.
Dec. 20, 2016
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Assuming second hand is passing this is an automatic 4H for me. Why make it easy for opponents? Imagine it goes 3H (limit) and next hand doubles whether Vul or Non Vul. Now the opponents should be able to judge whether to bid 3S,4S or a minor game when available. 4H also allows partner to judge whether to defend or sacrifice over 4S if it is bid.
Aug. 25, 2016
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I have never liked Clyde E Love's book on squeeze play with its BLUE pneumonic (I do have to admit it's 40 years since I read it). In my opinion the best book on squeeze play is The Squeeze at Bridge by H.G. Freehill. This book, although written back in the Fifties, teaches you to recognize potential positions at the outset rather than memorize some formula.
Feb. 16, 2016
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This hand looks like something from BBO where trumps often break 4-1 or 5-0 offside and most finesses lose. Put the QS with North and the KH with South and 4S is making. Then you will have to explain to team mates why you didn't bid a cold game.
Oct. 2, 2015
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Yes Franck, I noticed that one as well. I don't think anyone would disagree that the Italian Blue Team included the greatest players that the world has even seen. The exploits of Belladonna, Garozzo, Forquet, Avarelli, Chiaradia, D'Alelio and Siniscalco are legendary and the hands in Bridge With The Blue Team are magical. I did a bit of digging. The two main cases of alleged cheating were in 1962 (Hamman was not on the USA team) and 1975 (Hamman was on the USA team. This is the foot tapping scandal involving Fachini and Zuchelli). It appears that these accusations were about the lesser players and not the big stars. Hamman was on the USA team in 1966, 1969, 1973, 1974 and 1975 when Italy won. With the recent FN revelations the only time Hamman was on the team, when Italy won, was in 2005.
This would indicate that he is talking about all the Italian wins and not just the time he was on the USA team. Where is his direct evidence?
Sept. 24, 2015
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A couple of days ago I was shopping and bumped into a friend of mine who is playing for Australia in the Venice Cup in Chennai. The conversation turns to bridge and she informs me that she and her partner are not allowed to play their Optimal Twos! (devised by Avon Wilsmore - a good explanation is on Chris Ryall's website). What??!! says I. This is supposed to be the highest level of bridge and you are restricted from playing your Brown Sticker convention! Although I am originally from England (where you need EBU official approval to play any unusual convention - which permission is not easy to obtain), one of the many advantages of playing in Australia, as mentioned by Phil Markey and Nick Jacob above, is that you come up against all sorts of different systems. This tests you out and sometimes you get fixed. These systems do not require a complex 14 page written defence. What you have to do is to agree the general methods to counter them but, more importantly, you must redouble your efforts to improve your bidding judgement. Isn't this what bridge is all about? Sometimes they have stolen your suit - how do you bid it without getting too high? Sometimes they have stuck out their necks - how do you penalize them? All this regulation in the USA and elsewhere just stifles development of the game. Of course there must be full system disclosure but surely good players can spend time analyzing opponents methods and come up with ways to deal with them.
Sept. 20, 2015
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That will teach me to stay off these threads.
Sept. 4, 2015
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Bumped into an inebriated Omar outside the Odeon Leicester Square in the early seventies at 3am in the morning where Mohammed Ali was fighting live (against Ken Norton, I think). Had recently been kibitzing him at the Sunday Times pairs where he was playing with Boris Schapiro and chatted for a few minutes before the fight. At the table before play, Omar's question to Boris was “What are we playing Boris?” Boris' answer was “Weak, Strong, Double” with particular emphasis on Double in a strong accent. We assumed this to be Variable No Trump and play it by ear (didn't see any system cards!). To sit behind Omar I had to get there at least an hour early and find out which table he was going to be at because the ladies turned up in droves. They were annoyed that I had managed to grab the seat directly on Omar's left.
July 11, 2015
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My choice is 5 Diamonds. Any unusual jump to the stratosphere is cueing with slam interest in the agreed suit or implied suit (in this case Diamonds). If partner had a 5+ card Spade suit he would just bid it at the one level, forcing. His double means 4 Spades and after your 2 Diamond rebid, 4S is a cue bid interested in playing a slam in Diamonds and I dont have much else. Partner is likely to have something like AKJx of Spades and the Ace of hearts with some decent Diamond support.
June 28, 2015
David Matthews edited this comment June 28, 2015
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