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All comments by Ned Paul
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There is a difference between a Clerihew and a Limerick.
April 22
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I think that you guys have lost sight of the fact that when beginners decide to have a go at bridge, they want to PLAY the game not LEARN the game. They can easily learn the mechanics of trick taking and trumps through mini-bridge. Next up is an appreciation of scoring so they know the value of bidding game. Then teach them how to open 1 of a suit and 1Nt and a little bit of how to respond and then wind them up and let them go.

All the other stuff like bidding systems and playing conventions are just the strategies and tactics of the game which you absorb as you play. When you have enough playing experience you realise stuff like that helps you get better at bridge, but you have to arrive at the point where your beginners have the motivation to delve further, and so want to find out more. Making them do a lot of not-quite-bridge homework before they are allowed to have a go at the real game, seems to me to be a real way to bore them stiff and lose them to the game.
April 22
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Oh and of course the original responder has 4 spades so when you've opened 1S can make a normal limit bid response (2S/3S) or make some GF manoeuvre such a splinter or Jac 2NT if strong enough. A benefit of 4-card major systems is that 4-4 fits are discovered quickly.
April 20
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If you're playing Acol with a weak NT why not open 1S (promises 4+ cards) in the first place? It's normally recommended in 4-card systems to open a major in preference to an equal length minor. (Fair to say that not all professedly Acol players follow this rule, but if you are playing 4-card majors why not get the major suit out there?)

Partner/responder will bid 2/1 with 10+hcp or with 6-9hcp will make a limited 1NT response, not necessarily showing a balanced hand. Over the 2/1 bid 2NT is game forcing (15+ opposite 10+). Over the 1NT bid opener passes with 15hcp, flips a coin but probably passes with 16hcp, and bids 2NT with 17/18. You've already bid the major so you know where you are going. Over 2NT partner if interested can use checkback in case you had five spades i.e. 5-3-3-2 shape (but obviously you won't have this if you've got the OP's hand as this must be 4-4).
April 20
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I didn't affiliate my clubs, Sam. It had very little effect on attendance.
April 7
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Hi Samantha. I run lots of bridge in London, UK, mainly consisting of once-a-week ‘clubs’ in different suburbs. I started with a single supervised play group, then another, then took over an existing Friday night duplicate group (the Ruff Club); later a Monday group (Putney BC) etc. You can get an idea from www.aceshibridge.co.uk. I have started, taken over or been invited to lead numerous bridge groups, most of which are still going even if I am no longer directly involved e.g. one of early groups was at Canary Wharf but they now run themselves. My normal schedule is about 8 sessions a week.

If you want a club you just start one. But basically you need a playing group and a teaching group and use the latter to feed the former. The issue is always finding your players.

Before P2P most of my groups were affiliated clubs of the EBU. Now I only have one affiliated club for one of the groups but am currently turning that into the face of my online bridge efforts. My active mailing list is about 1100 names accumulated over 20 years.

You are welcome to talk to me at any time. My phone number is on my websites - use the mobile.
April 7
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I have often wondered whether bridge might learn from poker, offering a big cash tournament. You buy a load of chips at the outset and play individual cut-in Chicago, settling at the end of each four deals. When your chips are gone you are out. Stakes gradually rise and you end with a final table and a big cash prize. Trouble is while bad poker players think they are only a lucky card away from making the money line, bad bridge players tend to recognise their limitations an won't enter such tournaments even if the prize money runs deep. Also pros won't bite if they have to pay their own way and take their chances (remember Larry King's Bridge World Tour?) Does an event like this have legs? It would certainly be different.
Jan. 31
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Café Bridge is spreading in the UK like wild fire. How many of these events apply for EBU status and award Master Points? Richmond does I believe but that's about it. Mostly they offer blessed relief for social players from the tyranny of the National Grading System.
Jan. 31
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Dummy pre-dates any form of bridge by a long way. Phileas Fogg plays 3-handed whist with a dummy with Fix the London detective and Mrs Aouda, the Indian widow, on the train from San Francisco in Around The World in Eighty Days.
Jan. 31
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I really enjoyed The Backwash Squeeze but don't imagine it made the author a fortune. Did Edward Macpherson continue in bridge?
Jan. 31
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EBay is just a graveyard of unsellable odd bridge tallies. IMO the only ones to have any collecting value are complete boxed sets of ‘every player your partner’ type tallies, where you have 8, 12 16, even 20 tallies in a set, each one unique with instructions to the player where to play each deal and who with. These are fun to use when organizing an end-of-term social Chicago bridge tourney for your class. Here is a 3-table set currently listed:
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/EVERY-PLAYER-YOUR-PARTNER-SYSTEM-TALLIES-bridge-score-pads-FLOWER-SERIES-1920s/282352571596?hash=item41bd8654cc:g:9k4AAOSwjDZYl44y
Jan. 13
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Thanks for this comment Jeremy. As an EBTA member who teaches in non-bridge club venues this may be a very good benefit and it is appreciated. Could you enlarge a bit on the sort of things it might cover?
Jan. 13
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Another common situation is calling for a low ruff in dummy without realizing that LHO has already ruffed with a trump higher than dummy's lowest.
Dec. 3, 2019
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Say Yes to Bridge - I think you have got the answer with that one, Steve. Certainly gets my vote.
Nov. 30, 2019
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“Bridge - A Game For Life”
Nov. 25, 2019
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See what I mean. Why do I need to ‘find a regular partner’ Am I a pariah without one?.
Oct. 25, 2019
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I am a happy consumer of the EBU's NGS. It feels trustworthy; it lists the right people at the top, and your own rating, however unpalatable is somewhere near the truth. It takes into account the strength of your partner of the day and strength of field you are playing in. It's fun to see the morning after you played if you beat the judge and improved your rating. The NGS has also run now for enough years to iron out all those kinks of where do you start beginners off, where do you start experienced players from other countries and so on. So we like it. And it seems to me as a layman it would be a good basis for a universal system.

So I am constantly surprised at the hostility evoked when anyone suggests bridging it over to other countries. Truth is we are nerds and we like re-inventing the wheel many times over and it is intellectual fun to do so. We always argue that the circumstances in our own bridge circle are unique and need unique solutions. And then we argue that the system we have just invented is obviously the best and everyone else should fall into line. I am sure your system is really good and well-thought out Ping but it just makes the heart sink to have another one on the table.

There is another aspect to this partnership-based model that I am sure no one will have taken into account. What kind of message does it send to the new player just breaking into bridge? That you are not valued in the bridge community unless you have your own regular partner? Did anyone seek input from the bridge teaching community or the club management community?
Oct. 25, 2019
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Edward McPherson, the author of the book ‘The Backwash Squeeze and Other Improbable Feats’ wrote his ‘Newcomer’s Journey into the World of Bridge' shortly after coming off writing a biography of Buster Keaton: ‘Buster Keaton: Tempest in a Flat Hat’. He may have been inspired to journey into bridge by finding out about Keaton's interest in the game. If anyone is in touch with McPherson, perhaps they could pursue this as a line of enquiry.
Sept. 17, 2019
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I very much enjoyed reading a book published about 20 years ago by the French bridge leader Gilles Quéran called ‘Le Flash Visuel’ Quéran runs the French bridge holiday operation Bridge+ (http://bridgeplus.com/)

The theme of ‘Le Flash Visuel’ was that when you became declarer in a suit contract and saw dummy for the first time, your experience of pattern recognition would allow you ‘in a flash’ to see the correct technique of declarer play to pursue. Thus short trumps in dummy but a short side would automatically set you looking to take ruffs in the short hand; while a long side suit in dummy would lead you to think about establishing dummy's long suit. The premise was to have the ‘flash’ first and only then work on the details of the plan e.g. whether you can afford to play trumps, how many entries are needed, etc. There was a full set of example deals in each section to help train and back up your bridge pattern recognition.

The theme of looking at the hand as a whole, mentioned by several posters above, reminded me of Quéran's work.

It's only available in French but it's not a very texty book and the many example deals are well laid out so pretty easy to study even if you do not read French well. Recommended. Google it to find sources to buy the book: this is Amazon France: https://www.amazon.fr/flash-visuel-plans-jeu-latout/dp/2951428154
Aug. 30, 2019
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https://www.bridgewebs.com/cgi-bin/bwom/bw.cgi?club=hiwcba&pid=display_ctyclubs

Clubs in Hampshire, England. A couple of them are in the Southampton suburbs.
Aug. 19, 2019
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