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All comments by David Yates
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I really enjoyed your articles.

I know you and the team wanted to make the next level of the top eight. We wanted you guys in there, too. But mostly, we would have rather have gone to Lyon ourselves. Thanks to your articles, you brought Lyon to us.
5 hours ago
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Yeah, I want to travel halfway around the world to compete for two whole days because we drew France or USA1 in the first round .

The problem with a KO is the draw. The RR solves that issue. Also, this is a world championship and there is benefit to every country playing every country.

If you have to take chances on day #7 to Q then what is the problem? You take your chances, follow your best strategy. If you overtake someone who didn't put up enough VPs during the week or on the last day, that is their problem.

Of course there is jockeying and maneuvering down the stretch. But it will be 21 rounds of 16 board matches to finish in the top 36% to continue and that certainly is a reasonable standard. It will also be an exciting finish and I hope we aren't all too old to stand for some thrills.

It is a KO format to settle things after Saturday. In the end, do we really believe that a team that finished behind 8 others in the RR standings would have prevailed over everyone in a KO format?
Aug. 18
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There is only a small difference between democracy in action and democracy inaction. Yet the difference in effect can be huge.

IMO, it would be better for players to gain control of the existing structures. You wont see an organization displace the ACBL without first uniting all the local clubs in that effort.

It is the revenue stream from the club sanctioning that supports the ACBL.
Aug. 18
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Ra might not be a bridge player then.
Aug. 17
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I hate 4th suit game forcing with 4M support. This hand is a poster-child for some of the things that can go wrong.

I prefer to play XYZ. Some day I might have a hand that causes me to regret not being able to play exactly 2. (OK, that was a total lie. Even if that hand FINALLY shows up, I won't care one little bit. Bidding is about making intelligent trade-offs and if you are not willing to get up playing exactly 2, why is Stayman on your card?)

However, I do not like playing XYZ with 4M support either. For the same reason. Often, you have no idea whether responder is wandering around looking for the strain or you have found it.

So, 1-1; 1-2 starts GI sequences that could have 4-card M support (or 4-bad spades offering COGS) and 1-1; 1-3 is GF with extras. 3NT is min, then 4-4; 4NT - KC, then 6.

If I were playing in an individual tournament, I would just rebid 4NT. For starters, if I entered an individual, I would have to be on drugs. Secondly - or if it was a pickup/new partner - if I happen to be off two diamond tricks this is probably making on a non-diamond lead. Half the time the honors are split (leaders partner has X for lead) and dummy's first bid suit is not being led.
Aug. 17
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Tired?! Guess those midnight Swiss days are gone forever.

Anyway, thanks for posting this, it is useful stuff. I am going to add that if the opponents have bid 3 suits, 5M is to play :)
Aug. 17
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Because there is always “other”.

This can be forcing. However, the answer to all “is (*not should) this forcing” questions is never without specific discussion.

Michael Rosenberg opined in one of these “forcing?” threads that he believed most pairs would be better off if they never heard the term “forcing pass”. I could not stop laughing when I read it. No matter if it was intended as facetious or literal, it was 100%.

P.S. I am probably bidding 5H, I think it is likely to be right though would not be surprised if it was not.
Aug. 17
David Yates edited this comment Aug. 17
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I abstained simply because I do not believe the OP has quite enough information to satisfy me. (The rest of the hand, contract, bidding and lead conventions are virtually never immaterial).

I can see a case for ruling either way, the main factor would be the players involved. It seems that given the info provided, Q from E is what I would rule. Players often miss see a trick. Tough luck for them. If you misheard the designation, tough luck for you.

However, in a logical universe - apparently not this one - this situation never arises. “Play”, by rule, should designate NOTHING and be defined as a completely meaningless word rather than a meaningful one as per our regs.

In addition to the actual name of the card, we already have two simple words: “low” and “high”. Adding a synonym for “low” is pointless. It can only cause confusion. As here. In addition, a deceptive declarer can tempo a speedy RHO with “P-L-A-Y. . . and add a card designation as he sees RHO’s card come out.”

No, it is not RHO’s fault. Not the first time, anyway, it is the regulator’s fault. (Fool him twice, shame on RHO but unfortunately, declarer is still a jerk).

We all know dummy is to PLAY the designated cards. Allowing the word “play” to become a noun by law instead of the meaningless verb it is supposed to be - and would be except for specific law - is simply (yet another) ill-conceived regulation.
Aug. 17
David Yates edited this comment Aug. 17
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OTOH, if you do not put European & World championships into the “fun” category, perhaps you forgot why you started playing.

I think the primary motivation for most in not wanting to play for free is that without a sponsor, these two week events become an expensive (albeit fun) busman's holiday.
Aug. 17
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OTOH, I doubt Larry Cohen would never even consider opening 2 on the second ACBL example hand: AKQ1098 / J109876 / 4 / –

What the ACBL has done is write a regulation to defines a player’s right to be stupid and obstructive but not to be creative and obstructive. How this advances our game is a mystery.
Aug. 17
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That quote was from the one and only Larry Edwards.
Aug. 16
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Votes from Australia do not count, seeing as how Australians are basically incapable of not indulging in their National Pastime of having a good time.
Aug. 16
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One can only hope they are not writing the tax code as well.
Aug. 16
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The issue in the WC was due specifically to the WBF's system definitions which, BTW, ran contrary to what Bathurst-Lall consider to be good bridge judgment.
Aug. 15
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As 1NT is also a psych, maybe it is comparable :)
Aug. 15
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At the OT in the match, they led a diamond against 6NT by N.

If there was an auction where say, South cue bid, I would rather want to know the odds of an opponent believing it :)

Pretty sure after seeing 3 by E in the Monaco match I wouldn't.

Edit/Add: Just to be clear about what I am saying. IMO, this can be a very difficult pair to read. They are active, aggressive and I think they balance the task of being reliable partners and difficult opponents as well as anyone in the world.
Aug. 14
David Yates edited this comment Aug. 14
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David Berkowitz picked USA-2, but interestingly not in the d'Orsi.

Of course he can always claim: “it must have been the other one”.
Aug. 13
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I talked my mom into taking me to a bridge club. I was the holy trinity of knowing everything: I was male, had just become a teenager and even read “Goren’s Bridge Complete” a couple times. (It said it was complete, right?)

There were a several places that ran a once-a-week duplicate game at night. We went to one in Shrub Oak as it was nearby. There were perhaps 15 or 16 tables. It was the early 1970s. Since my only comparison would be a chess club, there were two things that stood out. The first was everyone was at least twenty years older than I. Many people were ancient. Like 50s and up. The chess club had all ages of players. Also, bridge club players made chess players look sociable. The couple who ran the game, Ralph and Lil, were terribly nice. But everyone else basically ignored you. At least at the chess club, players would acknowledge their opponent’s existence with a nod or a look. Not that it bothered me, it was just such an odd contrast to kitchen bridge, or playing with friends at school where the game would be chatty. Or my mom’s game with the neighbor ladies where it was just a den of din. Here, about the only conversation was people telling their party how bad they were..

On the drive over, my mom said to me: “the scoring is different. I am not going to explain it you now. But no safety plays, don’t worry about making or setting the contract. Just try to take every trick that you can.”

About half way through the session, in 2nd seat with a 15 count, I was surprised to hear RHO open with 2. Since so many of the HCP were accounted for and I had no suit to bid, I decided to pass and await developments. Which was all pass (?)

Dummy tabled a 6-count. I was confused. RHO asked: “what’s the matter sonny, you never heard of a weak-two bid?” My mom explained after the hand that not everyone bids the same. It was obviously a bad result. I was upset and on next hand I revoked. DIRECTOR!! (BTW. No one ever said “please” any time during the last century). Ralph came to the table, book in hand to read out the law. This was new because our rule was “pretend it did not happen”. Since this was new, when I pulled a card from my hand instead of playing the penalty card, that produced another “DIRECTOR!!”

At the end of the night, Ralph was working entering and adding numbers on this massive recap sheet. I was watching, wondering where these non-bridge looking numbers came from. Average of 156 written on the top made no sense. How does one score a six? Do they drop the zeros? So the book was not complete and it turns out that I not only did I not how to score, I wasn’t even able to figure it out by looking at the sheet.

When Ralph added up the line next to our names - I had been trying but could not see the whole sheet - I was mortified at our low score. We had not even broken a hundred. I was crushed and whispered to my mom: “how could it have been so bad?” She replied: “We were East-West, a low score is good”. So this was really not making any sense at all and wondered if my mom was just saying something dumb to cheer me up. I watched Ralph finish adding the line scores and it wasn’t until he wrote a ‘1’ next to our names and circled it that it hit me. I just stared at the sheet.

“So sonny, how did you do?” It was Mr Weak-bidder with the strong vocal cords.

I shrugged. “We won.” And I pointed to our names on the sheet. “How did you do?”

“Oh, ah. Third.”

I smiled at him and said: “well, better luck next time.”
Aug. 13
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Monaco is the most densely populated country. Nice weather and no income tax will do that, I suppose.

When they play Australia, it will be the most densely populated country vs. the most sparsely populated.
Aug. 13
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