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All comments by John Brady
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I don't think Ron's argument about experience in other countries is a strawman. I think it proves the GCC is needlessly overprotective.

Conventions like Kaplan Inversion, transfer responses to 1C, Woolsey and Multi are common in other countries. Some are so common that they're part of the national bidding system. If senior citizens throughout the world can handle them, why not us?
July 28, 2014
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If it were up to a vote of the membership at my club, I'm not sure we would be allowed to play weak notrumps. I don't think a vote of the membership on conventions is a sensible way to go.
July 28, 2014
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John Portwood said: “A Multi cannot be used on its own without consideration of what to do with 2? and 2? openings - and it is inevitable that those who see merit in the Multi will almost certainly change these to 2-suited pre-emptive hands (and if not allowed by ACBL at the moment then they will start campaigning to be allowed to do so).”

That brings up another illogical thing about the GCC. The GCC allows an opening 2H or 2S bid to show a weak 2 bid in the suit with a 4-card minor, but not an opening 2H or 2S bid to show a weak 2-bid with a 5-card minor. What kind of sense does that make?
July 28, 2014
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Absolutely Aviv.

And I can't see how it makes any sense for the GCC to allow transfer responses to a strong club, but prohibit them to a non-forcing club? And why, in response to a non-forcing club, does the GCC allow a 1D artificial response showing nothing, or a 1D response denying a five-card Major, but the GCC doesn't allow a 1D response showing Hearts and a 1H response showing Spades? How does that make any sense at all?
July 28, 2014
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The lack of logic in the GCC and Mid-Chart is appalling: In defending 1NT, using double or 2C to show an undisclosed suit is OK, but using 2D is such a problem it has to be banned? Transfer responses to a strong Club are OK, but transfer responses to a short but not forcing Club aren't? Bidding over a forcing NT is OK, but bidding over a Kaplan Inversion too difficult?
July 28, 2014
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I'm in awe of the job that the commentators and the Vugraph Operators do to put matches online, and I'm grateful to Jan, BBO and the ACBL for putting it all together and for putting up with all the complaints you're getting. Your work is appreciated. Many thanks.
July 28, 2014
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Things always seem easy to people who've never tried to do it themselves.

July 28, 2014
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The auction was easy enough to handle in a 2C system.

Perhaps it was the end of a lot of sessions of bridge.
April 9, 2014
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I don't see any problem with the 2C opening or with Kokish.

After the 2C opening, Opener described a hand with at least 9 or 10 tricks when playing a suit. After Kokish, Opener still got both suits in below the level of 3H. What's the problem?

The problem is that Opener went on bidding the same values that he'd opened 2C with in the first place. Why?

With a minimum 2C opening, isn't this just an automatic sign-off in game? Why do anything else? If Responder is looking at 2 tricks, he just counts: 9+2=11 and 10+2=12. With two potential tricks, the partnership is on the verge of slam, so Responder bids past game. Looking at 3 potential tricks, Responder knows that, barring complete duplication of values, the partnership has at least 12 tricks. He'll investigate a grand.

Certainly if Responder had an Ace, he'd cue bid it above game. Whatever Responder intended by 5H, Opener didn't have anything left to bid on.
April 9, 2014
John Brady edited this comment April 9, 2014
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I'm with David. The hand has a lot of offensive potential because of the void and support for play in 3 suits. But all of the HCP are outside the Heart suit, the only suit a Michaels bidder is certain to hold. Also, with no known fit, there's no guarantee of safety at the 3-level. Furthermore, if you bid Michaels this hand and partner winds up on lead, the last lead I want to encourage is a Heart lead, which is the lead you're most likely to get if you make a Michaels bid. So I'd treat those Hearts as a four-card suit and make a takeout double. If partner can't get the Heart suit into the bidding, I don't think I want to play Hearts. Reverse the Heart and Club suits, and I'd bid Michaels.

Second choice is to overcall 2C. It's my best suit and where 2\3 of my HCP are. Disadvantage is that it doesn't get either Hearts or Diamonds into the picture.

I don't like passing with so much shape, but I'd prefer that to Michaels.
April 8, 2014
John Brady edited this comment April 8, 2014
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To me K 2 AJ10xxxx Jxxx looks like a vulnerable weak jump shift in competition. That King of Spades isn't worth much on offense. This is a long broken suit in a weak hand, so 3D.

If the D suit was stronger so the hand was x 2 AKJ10xxx Jxxx, Responder has more reason to bid the hand constructively. Then I'd bid 2D planning on following up with 3D.
April 8, 2014
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When 3m is 0-9ish: (1) my opponents bid a Major part-score if they have it, or (2) sometimes we push them into a makeable game they wouldn't reach otherwise, or (3) partner guesses wrong and doubles the opponents if they bid over 3m, or (4) partner guesses wrong and doesn't double them when they bid over 3m and they're too high, or (5) partner guess wrong and bids 3NT with 18-19 and has no play.

I don't like guessing games, so I don't play the wide-ranging 0-9ish 1m-3m.

Pass works better with 0-5 IMO. But if partner insists on bidding 1m-3m with 0-5, then I either play a jump to 2S or a jump in the other minor as the constructive raise. Since I usually need 1D-3C for a natural invitation with long Clubs, I'll reluctantly give up the strong jump shift and play 1m-2S as the constructive raise.

But my first preference is to play 1m-2D/2H/2S as strong jump shifts, to play 1D-3C as natural and invitational, to play 1m-3m as 6-9ish, and to give up the 1m-3m 0-5ish preempt.
March 26, 2014
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If Opener has both 3-card support and extras, why not just raise a 1M response to 2M immediately?
March 26, 2014
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I see two problems. The first more immediate problem is ethical. There will inevitably be a question of a BIT or of previous partnership experience creating a de facto agreement.

The second problem is that, regardless of short term gain, violating partnership agreements loses in the long run. You're teaching partner to distrust you. If they don't trust what you're doing, they won't have the confidence to make the correct bid or play. After that, you'll stop trusting their bids and plays. Partnership rapidly goes downhill from there.

If your system bid doesn't work well in that situation, play what you agreed to.

Discuss it with partner and change your method later.
March 26, 2014
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That was my first thought: it's not so easy when the opponents preempt your bidding space. Without interference, this auction is fairly simple if you play strong jump shifts. Jump shift in Hearts and support Diamonds. Then cue bidding or exclusion RKC should get you to 7H.

Actually, interference shouldn't be that much of a problem as Dean's auction in the next comment shows.

Strangely, if you don't play strong jump shifts, the auction might be more difficult with no interference because Responder has to use an amorphous 4th suit forcing auction. If the auction goes 1D-1H; 2C-2S; 2NT-3D you should have the space to get to 7H with cue bidding or Exclusion RKCB. But say the auction goes 1D-1H; 2C-2S; 3S-4D. You might still get to 7H, but it's not so clear that Opener will cue bid Clubs twice, and Responder won't be able to jump in Spades for Exclusion. Without 2 Club Q bids, Responder might bid 7D reasoning that you might need a Spade ruff for the 13th trick.
March 26, 2014
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That's great auction. WIth such a strong hand and a big Diamond fit, the key is to immediately focus on Opener's Key Cards outside of Spades with Exclusion. If partner has the K of Diamonds and AK of Clubs, 7H should be on. If partner doesn't show the King of Clubs after 6S, 7D rates to be a better bet than 7H.
March 26, 2014
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Barry finds LTC “irrelevant to EVERY sort of evaluation problem you might every face.”

Bridge doesn't go well with absolute statements like “every,” “always,” and “never.”

There are flaws to every method of hand evaluation. So what? They're just tools for predicting how many tricks our hands will take. Use them all.

LTC and cover cards are useful tools. They're not the only tool. Often they're the right tool, sometimes they're not. That goes for every other hand evaluation method including all the different point count scales for honor cards, adjusting point count for extra length, adjusting point count for support and shortness, adjusting point count for bad shapes, adjusting point count for good spot cards, Quick Tricks, the Law of Total Tricks, Rule of 20, Rule of 22, Rule of 15 to open the bidding in 4th seat, “with 64 bid more,” “with 65 come alive,” and so on.

It doesn't make sense limit your hand evaluation methods to one tool, whether it be HCP or something else, any more than it would make for a carpenter to go out on a job with a hammer as his only tool and expect it to be the right tool for EVERY situation.

On distributional hands, LTC focuses hand evaluation on winners and losers instead of predetermined “points,” on the quality of honors in your long suits, and on duplication of values by lower honors in short suits. Cover cards focus your attention on fitting honors in long suits, duplication of values in short suits, and the quality of trump support. What's the problem with that?
March 26, 2014
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Commenting on David's aside about killing all the lawyers: (1) Please don't. I've been a lawyer for more than four decades. (2) Killing all the lawyers may be just a wee bit excessive. (3) Yes, the U.S. legal system is a mess. It's archaic and stacked in favor of the establlshment. Conflicts of interest are everywhere. Lack of common courtesy is the norm. Arrogance among judges is epidemic. Everyone in the system jumps to conclusions. The facts are rarely what they seem at first. There are experts on every side of an argument. No one is as smart as they think they are. (4) Compared to committees, the U.S. legal system is a paragon of impartiality and rationality.
Aug. 15, 2013
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Double standards and a bit of chauvinism seem to be running through this thread. “We” are great experts who've won all the titles. We “know” what expert methods are … all over the world. What “they” say about their methods is self-serving. “We” understand these kinds of bidding decisions, the rest of “you” don't. “We” know we're supposed to bid our vulnerable games at imps with wild distribution. But “they” are just unknown foreigners. “We” wouldn't pass 3 hoping that it makes exactly nine tricks, and that Meckwell's team won't bid game. But for “them,” passing 3 is a logical alternative.

Was it really a “logical” alternative to stop in 3, with a 5026 hand, vulnerable at imps, against ANY team of world champions, let alone this one?

Or do we just think that passing 3 was a logical for a team of unknown foreigners?
Aug. 15, 2013
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“Professional players who might be essentially testifying on record against current/future/potential employers” … or teammates … or partners … or competitors … shouldn't be involved in the process at all. They have a conflict of interest that should disqualify them.

But they are involved. That's just one thing wrong with the current appeals process.

Aug. 15, 2013
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