Join Bridge Winners
All comments by Mark Bartusek
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40+ years ago in college I bought and read a bridge book that had a similar problem on the front cover (KQ109 in dummy, I seem to remember). Obviously low to the King wins the first round.

Luckily for me the exact situation came up a few weeks after I read the book. I followed the book’s advice, made my contract, and pissed off an excellent player in the local University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana bridge game (for guessing correctly).

The book stated on the rear cover that you play your “stronger” opponent for the Ace. :-)
June 1
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Finn, this reminds me of a local club game about a decade ago where I actually DECLARED 16 out of the 26 boards. I think partner declared 4 and we defended on the remaining 6.
Seem to remember it resulted in a 73% game

I have never come close to this quantity in the past years, and I wonder how unusual it was?
May 27
Mark Bartusek edited this comment May 27
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This gives me an opportunity to get feedback from readers whether the following doubles are better used as Maximal doubles or as penalty. How does vulnerability and IMPs/Matchpoints affect the decision?

I always clarify with partner ahead of time whether a Maximal double requires RHO to be raising LHO’s suit (or responding to a T/O double), or it’s always on if no intervening game try bid is available. E.g.

1 - P - 2 - 3
X

1 - P - 2 - 3
X
May 25
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Your agreement would then clearly classify the following auction as a splinter (as Kit has advocated for in a previous posting)

2 - 2
2 - 3
5

I’ve seen expert pairs disagree over the above auction with a disaster occurring.
May 25
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Marshall was my regular bridge partner for a number of years. We had some great successes and needless to say some unusual setbacks. I can definitely confirm that he was just about the nicest guy around.

Most people might remember that he was particularly fond of overcalling mediocre 4-card spade suits at the 1-level (and occasionally excellent 4-card suits at the 2-level!). I particularly remember one occasion when I made a normal raise of his 1 Spade overcall with 3-card support and a fairly balanced hand. Unfortunately the so-so 4-3 fit did not play very well when I had nice 5-card support for his side 6-bagger.

He was a very prolific book writer, and I must say that his books are some of the best on the market. He had a unique revolutionary perspective on various bidding and defensive situations. I learned a lot from reading his books. Even today some of them are very difficult to find on the internet at a decent price. I would strongly recommend them to players of any skill level.
Note: I do not receive any royalties or commissions for listing the books below. These are the only books of his that I own.

All 52 Cards (1963)
Bridge from the Top Book I (1987)
Bridge from the Top Book II (1989)
Stronger Competitive Bidding (1992)
Defensive Signals (1995)
Reisinger Challenge (1997)
Competitive Bidding in the 21st Century (2000)
Inferences at Bridge (2002)
Modern Constructive Bidding (2005)
It's Your Call (2009)
More Accurate Bidding (2011)
May 9
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I have a few BBO questions:

1) Is there a way to send a chat message to multiple players rather than having to click on each person individually and copy/paste the msg?
2) If I sign in INVISIBLE I can’t seem to find a way in account settings to make myself visible without exiting BBO and coming back in. Is there a way to do it while staying in BBO?
3) After setting up a team game with 8 players and assigning seats to everyone (having set it for 9 boards), everyone gets kicked out after the 9 boards and I have to recreate the team match (obviously with other team changing who they play against). I didn’t see a way in COMPETITIVE / TEAM MATCH / Create team match setting / options where it allows maintaining the match?
4) Perhaps setting the match for 18 boards and having the other team leave after 9 boards? Do they just click on the new desired seat (and the table moderator lets them in as a substitute)?

thanx…Mark
May 4
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In a recent ACBL Pairs matchpoint event on BBO
the Director did NOT adjust this result:
Director said they’d look at it and that they have an Ethics Department.

10763
2
AQ863
873
————
AKQ
KQ
J10754
KQ6
————
2NT P 3C P
3D P P P

Amazingly we still got a 36% score on the board as EW……sigh
April 18
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You'd get detailed comments for all the auctions if you opened multiple articles for these topics. Lumping them all together will create a confusing mess of responses.

Maybe you could delete this article and open several immediately.

Additionally, possibly put more accurate details in the title to allow easier searching of bridge winners.
Jan. 16
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I see those large collections of bridge tallies being offered for basically peanuts,
but I also see some unique ones that sold for $10 up to $300 each!

Thus, the issue is figuring out whether I have rare items…
or is everything just personal taste and willingness to spend a lot of $ on something they like?

Is there a database online somewhere documenting manufacturer?
(this would help identifying items without a marking)
Is there an expert who can do a quick spot check for rarity (if sent 22 pics)?
Annoying that there aren't any dates on them <– ?!?!

Note: I'm somewhat active buying and selling DVD sets for TV series on Ebay (over 100 sales of items in several years).
Jan. 13
Mark Bartusek edited this comment Jan. 13
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I play it 2 different ways with partners:
#1) stiff or void in their suit and game-forcing
#2) Invitational hand with 5 of my Major (so we don't get to 2NT or the 3-level)

Note: I only play option #2 over partner's 2NT overcalls
Jan. 8
Mark Bartusek edited this comment Jan. 8
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You need to know the longer minor on occasion.
Thus, with some partners I play:
4 of the short major asks for the longer minor
e.g.

AJx
xxxx
AJx
KQx

1NT - 3 (shortness)
4

Obviously you can use 4NT instead like Mike states above.
Jan. 5
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I had a short discussion about this sequence (admittedly after a strong 1NT) with a world champion with decades of experience. He stated that his preferred methods were:
X is Penalty if balancing action was 2 or 2
X is Takeout if balancing action was 2 or 2

Obviously the chances of finding a fit at the 3-level aren’t that assured after a balancing 2 casting some doubt on the practicality of defining X as takeout; thus, penalty seems best.

The likelihood of having support for all suits seems slim after a balancing 2 (also relevant that you didn’t use garbage Stayman). Besides you can always make a groping 2 or 2 call.

After a 2 or 2 balance a take-out double seems best (supported by implication by current poll results).
Dec. 19, 2019
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In general you don't preempt over an opponent's preempt;
but, I remember an “exception” in the USBF team qualifying when Kit picked up
KQJxxxxxxx Jxx. – –

after RHO opened 3D he overcalled 4S
Oct. 21, 2019
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My Santa Barbara Bridge Center has turned it on and I believe that most people like it (and it only takes about 10-15 seconds longer on average per hand).
I think it definitely eliminates some scoring errors which makes the director's job easier since ACBL Score doesn't catch all the erroneous results.

Additionally it facilitates analyzing the results and determining why some people made/failed due to different leads (admittedly not everyone looks at the website results).

I sincerely doubt that occurrences of cheating occur in sufficient quantity to outweigh the benefits of having the additional information.
Oct. 4, 2019
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Thank you !!

This works great as a double-dummy analyzer of hands for my IMAC desktop!!
Oct. 3, 2019
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I noticed that this app does NOT provide a double-dummy playing option…..

Does anyone know a site for MAC that provides a FREE double dummy analyzer??
Oct. 3, 2019
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I generally agree…..that's why I've only played it in partnerships which had explicit notes (with the treatment being highlighted!!) that were constantly reviewed by both partners prior to playing.
Aug. 26, 2019
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Michael:
It's ironic that one of your long-term partners (Jeff) introduced it to me and wanted to play it. Did you ever play it with him??
Aug. 26, 2019
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My Santa Barbara club has kept raising the upper MP limit seemingly because players don’t wish to compete against the better players (and they want a better chance to win masterpoints). 
Management has also designated many more games as Club Championships or charity games in order to award more masterpoints. We now sport the following weekly games:
1 0-299 game
2 0-499 game
1 0-1500 game (which probably eliminates about 25 area players )
4 open games

AND, needless to say, all the EVENING Open games have died making it more difficult for 9-5 workers to participate. We average anywhere from 7 to 18 tables for the games.

Admittedly each Open game usually has a pair that scores in the low 30 percents. Occasionally we’ve seen a 20% score. Robert can confirm these details.
July 5, 2019
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To avoid playing a 4-3 heart fit at the 3-level I prefer to play:
X = minors
2NT = exactly 4 hearts and presumably a minor
Dec. 20, 2018
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