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All comments by Kyle Rockoff
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Good catch, can't edit the problem anymore (After 3, should be abstain 7). I think the consensus is opening 2 is a distortion, and the hand is worth a slam try, so guess it's not that big a deal.
Feb. 16
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I like ideas 1) and 2) a lot actually. Also think some sort of Elo or recognized/improved version of the power-ratings (http://www.coloradospringsbridge.com/PR_FILES/PR.HTM) would be good too. Honestly any one of these would be a good start to improving the system.
Feb. 16
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I'm for 4. Has to be a cuebid– with a real suit and a misfit you'd bid 3NT at this point. Partner with a useful Ace and not that much wastage in s should be able to bypass 4s.
Feb. 6
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15-17
Feb. 5
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Yeah. 2 may be an appropriate underbid if your points were actually in the heart suit, but it's not. Your tricks could easily be coming from a 5+ card minor in partner's hand. Don't want to end up in a yucky 5-2 heart split with no spots when 3m might easily be a stronger contract.

I think X's an interesting choice– is the plan to pass a non-heart rebid by partner and hope partner has a 5 card minor and isn't 4-3-3-3 or 4-4-3-2 or 4-4-4-1 (singleton heart)?
Feb. 5
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After bidding 1NT, and a 2 transfer, I'd jump to 4. Highly likely the K of s is onside so game feels better than 38% across most minimums (anything from Axxxx of hearts and a bust, any hand with a singleton spade, any hand with a King 5 small hearts could make game– heck even Qxx of a minor and nothing else has play to pitch a loser in the other minor, presuming you can limit trump losers to 1).

If EW wasn't vul I think just accepting the transfer (or super accepting) would be fine too.
Feb. 4
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It doesn't particularly matter (I was playing this with GIB bots– I think they tend to conserve room and either cuebid or bid 3 with a serious slam try, and just jump to 4 with a mild?)

Was more interested when I posted this about early hand evaluation, than continuing methods later in the auction (if there is a later).
Feb. 1
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South only has a 17 count. Partner limits his hand by giving weak preference to diamonds over 2 at his second bid. South makes a NF game INVITE (reasonable-ish, but a lie with only 3 spades instead of the usual 4, but south has a good hand). North accepts and cuebids for cooperation, with a 5th spade, and a control (not necessary but I can't see anything wrong with it since north has already limited his hand so much).



South bids slam? 1) you could be in a 7 card fit. 2) partner's limited to about 10 HCPs. 3) Whatever cross ruff you see for slam, clearly you already got to a difficult game that everyone may not reach. How much more equity are you really gaining but plunging off the cliff here?
Jan. 30
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No Alert, so presumably natural unless there is mis-information occuring.
Jan. 29
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In one of my regular partnerships I play a 4NT opening as a specific Ace ask— I think I finally found a time to use it :) (lol it’s never come up ever).

In standard though there are basically zero methods here. I mean you’re two tricks off game and basically just need to bid exclusion backwood for diamonds. Opening 1 can’t particularly hurt I guess— you can always jump to 6s at anytime when you’ve heard enough.
Jan. 29
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I usually play one way new minor here, but this was with a GIB bot.
Jan. 24
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natural
Jan. 23
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I find the 1NT rebid such a distortion of shape. Are most 1NT bidders here rebidding 1NT even if the hand were 742 Q KJ107 AKJ65 (i.e. no spade stopper)? Or are they bidding 2 5 card rebid a percentage of the time?

If you open 1 and rebid 2, at least you're not distorting shape or hcps, and can still right-side. I'm not entirely convinced 1NT is where you want to play across a min partner, even at matchpoints.
Jan. 22
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IMO there's an argument to be made here to open 1 (if your goal is to show both suits). Otherwise you're kind of committed to one action at this turn.
Jan. 22
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Was curious if anyone was of the style of treating this hand as balanced and rebidding 1NT.

Hand an awkward auction 1-1-1-2 (4th suit)-3-4-5, when 3NT would play just as well or better (North is a balanced 2=3=4=4 12 count with 4 card club support, and the missing heart stopper). (North's hand to my memory is A8, K8x, AJxx 9842).

I guess the club contract is supposed to be just as safe on average for IMPs, but was trying to figure out if anyone would go for a NT contract early on (albeit, throwing stoppers to the wind). Seems like North is obligated to raise clubs from the 3 to the 4 level bypassing the plausible contract of 3NT if the pair is going to find the possible club slam.
Jan. 17
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Okay– my thoughts continued. I think my general conclusion of what I said before is, based on the demographic composition of current ACBL members, there is a pretty scary demographic trend.

The majority of current members were at least introduced to bridge before the age of 20/21 (aka undergraduate college age). There is significant signs that this based (which has produced 50% of current ACBL members– and surely most of serious tournament bridge players) is basically shrinking to nothing. I was at the ACBL junior trials last week and the competition consisted of about 80 people.

The ACBL has about what, 150,000-200,000 people? That means about 75,000 to 100,000 started when they were under 26 (this number is distorted, because we do not know how many members in the survey are actually ACBL members, and this number probably also distorted by the unknown number of social players, but for the sake of example let's work with it as an approximation). While obviously not all u26 players are going to show up to the junior trials (probably somewhere between the top 5-40% would be expected to show up), where were all those juniors last week? The ACBL's recruitment of players under 26 has dropped from like 75,000 to 500, and that's absolutely ridiculous.

I'm all for recruiting from the retirement crowd, and it's a great resource of membership. But I don't think there is any relevant argument about the decay of recruitment from the retiree population, the the extent of decay from the u26 population. And if in prior years, recruitment to the game came equally from both populations, I think it's no contest on what demographic the ACBL needs to focus on, if it wants to exist 20, 30, 50+ years from now.

Honestly I find any sort of proposal for membership recruitment program going on by the ACBL, NOT aimed at u26 (heck, u30, u45?) rather silly. In think the more interesting argument is whether the focus should be on pre-college or college (or more to what extent should we focus on one area over the other), and what we can do to break back into such environments.
Jan. 4
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Something non-bridge related? (*gasp*). Just kidding. Sorta.

I spent most of December in Chicago which was freezing! Had a kind of funny moment on a plane leaving the city for a trip– best seat in the plane turned out to be the back in basic economy because it was -10 degrees out with windchill and during boarding the front door was open for an extended period of time.
Jan. 4
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Hi Steve, interesting article. Heavily watching the route the ACBL is taking with respect to the HS/College student demographic, I'm curious if there is any general observations to be made of this data.

I want to think more about this and post again, but here are some of my basic thoughts regarding relevance of this information to the student demographic:

-It certainly looks like the majority of forum members learned bridge before they turned 30 (approx 92% of the poll?). While this may not be representative of all ACBL members, this is certainly an shockingly high number.

-The most voted for answer, for “when did you learn bridge” was in a college undergrad program (about 33%), but almost half the people in the survey (49% of the poll) actually learned before college. (Well a later part of the survey says 57% learned before HS? Anyways, it's around 50%). This year Education ACBL's is working a lot on a college initiatives. The new Big ideas revealed at the Fall nationals suggested more ideas for focusing on the 10-18 year old demographic were coming. Based on this data that seems like a very good focus.

Running a bridge club on a college campus though, I can say there is definitely a disparity between the culture of bridge on campus versus 45 years ago (that is, given the average acbl member is about 65, when the average member likely started learning). It's a lot harder to get a club going on a college campus, and I would say at the HS level, the culture is basically now non-existent, posing a problem considering over 50% of current players learned during their time in Elementary-High School. I think this is probably one of the major barriers the ACBL is going to need to address if they plan to get anywhere with these initiatives.

More thoughts coming.
Dec. 31, 2017
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Congrats to team Dhir (final result now on the USBF site)! Very tough final segment. The Wei team was also a pleasure to play against in the USA1 semi-final.
Dec. 31, 2017
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Some of the inferences depend on partnership style (how light can partner's double be? What is our agreed threshold for a GF, especially with regarding suit quality?). South's hand probably wouldn't be worth a GF 3 (given the horrible suit) without an extra fit in s or s (and probably wouldn't have much heart wastage). Would you really GF with those sample hands with so bad a suit? I would probably would bid 2 and hope partner has another bid. From North's perspective, he can see that the s bid and the cuebid (presumably showing Ace of hearts, or why cuebid when partner shows shortness, and King of spades) can't be enough values from south for a GF (only 7 HCPs). So presumably the spade suit has to be somewhat real with some play. If only KJxx, partner should have the K of s or the Q of s, which at least makes the grand about 50%.

Anyways, it's at least one potential auction. These auctions are hard– not sure I'd actually get there in a realistic setting.
Dec. 22, 2017
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