Join Bridge Winners
All comments by Gordon Bower
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I voted other: penaltyish (diamond stack) but usually the upper limit is going to be about 14 for the initial pass — so a responder with as much as xxx xxx xx KQxxx has to pull it.

If 1NT was only going off 1 or 2 despite you having 16 and a 6th diamond, partner was probably right to run.
Dec. 4
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At a guess: those of us who were opposed to the creation of the Soloway are still opposed to its continued existence, and a big part of the reason is the watering down of the other events.

I imagine the people who wanted the Soloway are happy it is there and aren't eager to see it change.
Dec. 4
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Re “Larger clubs seem to be staying healthy, maybe even thriving. Smaller clubs are where the loses have been coming from”: the things I see changing are that 1) the necessary population to have a critical mass of bridge players has gone up, and 2) you can't just open a club and wait for the players to pour in, you have to actively develop the player base.

If a club is healthy and teaching new players, it can still thrive. But a random small to medium town cannot just be assumed to have a bridge club anymore - and probably cannot drum up interes to start one if there isn't one there currently.

I come from a much more sparsely populated part of the country than Jeff does, so the wave of club closings happened sooner here. Essentially every town under 10,000 in my area that had a club (and a sectional) when I first started playing lost it either just before or just after 2000. Now it's the towns of 50,000 that are doing OK if they started investing in teaching 10 years ago – the ones that didn't get started back then are going to close up shop in the next few years as soon as a few more members die. A fair guess is that that cutoff is going to move closer to 100,000 in the next decade.

In a lot of respects, this is the same thing that has happened bowling alleys. I wonder if anyone here might have contacts in that sport to know what they are doing to try to turn the situation around. (I am no help there: I know people who ripped out their bowling lanes and put in a bar instead - and have the pinsetters in storage because they can't sell them.)
Dec. 4
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Color me amazed that it was 15-10 and not 10-15. That sounds to me like it's very likely that some similar motion will pass in the next couple of years… which is at least 5 years sooner than I thought it had any chance of happening.
Nov. 29
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At one previous club, many of them got donated to a member who used them in art and craft projects.

We also donated a batch to the local prison once. Whether that's allowable will vary by jurisdiction and the answer is likely to be no nowadays.
Nov. 18
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I would take 4NT after minorwood as to play, and assumed it was universal to do so.

I would be less sure about the king and queen asks. With the one partner I discussed it in detail, 5 of the other minor was the king ask. If there had been an extra bid available (as in 1S-2C-3C-4C, 4D 0 or 3, 4H) I'd expect the cheapest free step to be the queen ask.
Oct. 16
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8 from T8xx feels much more reasonable than from J8xx. The message, playing attitude leads, is “I don't want this suit returned, I have something else in my hand that I want you to find and lead towards, when you get in.” (That is, 8 even from T8xx isn't automatic unless you actually have something else. If you are leading it with intent of trying to set up a slow trick in the suit, you still lead small.)

However, I do have two semi-regular partners who play “small spot promises A, K, or Q”, and they consider 8 from J832 mandatory. They understand each other far better than I (or any of their other opponents) understand either of them, and accrue substantial advantage from opponents not knowing how to interpret their leads, though they aren't *trying* to gain that advantage.
Oct. 16
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I can recall quite a few occasions where I said something like “one of you just revoked - find my last trump and play it now!” One suffers all kinds of nebulous hard-to-explain-to-a-director damage if you can't get a count on their hands, if you have to plan the play for a random opponent to ruff in at a random time, etc, enough so that unless the hand is going to be a claimer as soon as that missing trump appears, I would really rather have it fixed than get the extra trick.

In the actual case — I would be delighted to have the opportunity to both get the extra trick (for the 3rd round) and demand they produce the missing trump (on the 4th round.) It doesn't feel like an abuse at all.

Of course I thought the change to remove the 2-trick penalty for winning a trick with a card that should have been played to the revoke trick was a disaster both for directors and players (greatly increased the number of times we have to make “was there damage as a result of the revoke?” assessments.)
Oct. 16
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It adds variance. Presumably that's to the advantage of weak pairs, since the strongest pairs in the room would prefer a lower-variance game to ensure they get the high place they deserve in the long wrong.

It adds variance to team games too - but good luck persuading the world of that.

I have no desire to see IMP pairs become more common. We used it when we had 2 1/2 table games at a previous club, to avoid the “every board is a top or a bottom” problem. And can tell you that it survives in at least one place: every Calgary sectional features an IMP pair event.
Oct. 9
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Answered Part I with 3H, but want the clubs to be AKxx+ before I will consider the jump to 4H.
Oct. 9
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I am happy to play them if partner likes them. I don't recall them causing any disasters for me (and, back when everyone played Cheaper Minor 2nd Negative rather than 2H bust, sometimes they let you sock it to an overcaller when you knew immediately what your side's upper limit was.)
Oct. 9
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There are those of us who would describe 1D-1H-1S-3H invitational as “common but inferior” too (though the reasoning is somewhat different.)
Oct. 9
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I would go a step beyond Pavlicek and say it should be forcing — but off the shelf 2/1 players will all say it is invitational, and I'd assume it was unless explicitly discussed.
Oct. 9
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I'd be reasonably happy with masterpoints as the lifetime component and something like power ratings as the variable component.

I would add that an important aspect of a meaningful rating is some stability (limited swings due to chance alone) - the period over which the average is taken needs to be far more than 25 games.
Oct. 9
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The option is widely used in club games in my region. I hear very few complaints, and don't see it slowing down the game at all.

I wish some local committee would stand up to the visiting tournament director and insist it be enabled for sectionals/regionals too. (I suspect the reason it's not is that ACBL's results pages aren't set up to handle it, even though third-party results pages are, and have been for several years?)
Oct. 5
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Seems there was a lack of publicity about that (I was under the impression the 1/3 limit was still in effect, as was a director who answered a question from a new player about it at a tournament last month.)
Oct. 5
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I've reluctantly played garden variety 2-way or XYZ with occasional partners who insisted upon it. I wouldn't do so in any serious partnership.

The sudden popularity of 2-way has never made sense to me. And people insisting on 2C forcing 2D makes even LESS sense to me. 2C asking opener to bid 2M with 3-card support and 2D without is the minimum fix needed to make it playable. (Playing 2C-forces-2D, responder cannot sensibly decide between 2M and 2NT when he has 5, and if he wants to tell opener whether he has 5 or 6 he has to jump to 3S to show 6.)

I'd have more respect for the 2D GF method if more people were actually making use of having so many forcing bids. I've yet to meet someone who had a sensible difference between 1C-1S-1N-3S and 1C-1S-1N-2D-2N-3S, for instance.

Learning a decent set of responses to one-way 2C or one-way new minor is not that hard. I don't know why so few people do.
Sept. 30
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I think the specific complaint with the ACBL here is that instead of thinking about reducing each district's quota of regionals from 4 to 3 as attendance fell, they removed the cap and allowed the number of regionals to increase.
Sept. 24
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I guess that's fair. Most Montanans wouldn't care to try driving in China either.
Sept. 14
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In bridge, the distinction between renege and revoke isn't made, because it's always illegal to fail to follow suit when able.

In some other games, such as 2-handed pinochle, there are times when you can legally not follow suit.

Any failure to follow suit when able is a renege.

An illegal failure to follow suit is a revoke.

A legal failure to follow suit is a refuse.

A game that has both types of reneges needs all three words (just as we need ‘call’ for ‘bid pass or double’ but spades doesn't since everyone must name a number of tricks). Bridge can get by with one word - though ‘renege’ is not incorrect, just not a word used in our law book.
Sept. 14
Gordon Bower edited this comment Sept. 14
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