Join Bridge Winners
All comments by Nick Alic
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A great write-up, as usual, Matthew. No worries, about your efforts being wasted. You'll get an even bigger audience on BW!

Enjoy Down-Down Under!
Nov. 30, 2017
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Correct me if I'm wrong, but 1 level transfer responses (after 1 opening) , i.e. 1 showing 4+ hearts, and 1 showing 4+ spades, still remain disallowed if the 1 opening can be of average strength ? … in any of the charts / events
Sept. 7, 2017
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David, at least you get a good idea for another story for the Abbot et al.?
Jan. 5, 2017
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How about attempting to combine chances with the diamonds to try to gather info on the distribution around the table? So, two rounds of trump, followed by 3 rounds of diamonds (can't afford to finesse, on the finite chance of diamonds being 3-3 (on the odd chance that the opps are juniors, or believe that the Law of Total Tricks is a law of nature). Now I'm hoping that what I will have learned will help me figure out how to play the clubs. If diamonds are 3-3 (an Xmas gift), the hand is over (I take it, it's given that W should have A in his possession). If an opp ruffs, I will likely get that trick back by virtue of the preserved extra trump in dummy.
Now, if E started with 4 diamonds, (s)he must be played for 10 tight, as well. Conversely, if W started with 4 diamonds, it appears that I'm forced to play W for AQ ‘sec’.

This appears to be a whooping 2.8% improvement over simply playing a low to the king…

The alternative is to play on clubs first, trying to elicit count signals from the opps that would subsequently help you with playing the diamonds. I think the later line would really have an advantage only against inexperienced players.

I don't see any advantage of playing clubs up to the king in isolation. . . I could be wrong. Except that in practice it gives up on the 2.8% :) and probably saves mental power for the next board.
Dec. 31, 2015
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I'm with Kit. Yes, a 4-4 fit has its well known advantages. But on this hand, it's asking for trouble to let the preemptor's partner be on lead when we have a very much possible 10-card fit, unless EW (or E only) never preempt with a void, which should be alerted, if within partnership's agreements.

BTW, Adriano, when will you show us all 4 hands?
Dec. 11, 2015
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I'd venture to guess F-S
Oct. 4, 2015
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Nick, welcome to the community!

I'll have an odd-one-out advice. Try to get/acquire books by Danny Roth - the ‘Expert’ Series (i.e. Expert Beginner, (followed by) Expert Improver, Expert Advancer and Expert Club Player).

Those are currently out of print, but used copies are easy to find. The books were written for beginners (unlike many others mentioned above). Mr Roth touts counting from the first lesson and in that respect these books are truly unique. They are excellently paced and teach you the right habits from square one.

One last thing: arm yourself with patience (which for a chess player should not be a problem). To quote Kitty Cooper, or the still in the making documentary: Bridge is a game of mistakes - do not allow the mistakes you will be making sway you away. Everyone in bridge makes mistakes - all the time - even the world champions. Never lose track of that.

Aug. 11, 2015
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Without the double, I would most likely lead a trump. With a double I'll go for the forcing game … a low club.
June 5, 2015
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…and if even stronger, jump to 4?! :) Honestly, I really do not see any point of jumping to 3. Am I afraid partner miscounted the HCP, so I want to make sure (s)he does not pass now? But, I do agree with the majority - if I saw 3, I would not have passed it for the sheer curiosity about what it was about pd's hand that got him/her as excited to grab the 3, instead of 2 from the bidding box.
Jan. 19, 2015
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Barry, I'm afraid you got it wrong. This one is not ‘at the Top’. Rather, it's straight from the Menagerie! With Karapet The Free Armenian sitting North … at your table

and with Rueful Rabbit bidding the slam at another (table).

Thanks for sharing!

Cheers!
Nov. 13, 2014
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Steve, there's also a possibility of bidding Michaels Cue with 5-4 in the majors as the least of all evils - again depending on the context of the whole hand. Perhaps, you should consider including it in the list of options, since I'm sure that possibility might attract some votes, as well.
July 18, 2014
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Hi Bobby,
From what I've read, this seems to be the best edition of the Well of all times (wanna come back next Thursday?).

My question for the day: what's your take on Fantunes, both the partnership and their system?

Best wishes for your future endeavors!
April 10, 2014
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Richard, I think North's hand is too strong for a 2 opening - especially so playing the SWIFT. Playing the original version of Fantunes, 2 is a possibility. However, IMO, the best opening with North's hand - playing any version of Fantunes is - 1NT (even if that is not a part of your agreements).
Feb. 19, 2014
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Will check it out. Thanks, Matthew.
Jan. 22, 2014
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I remember a hand from the European Championships years ago (Montacattini ‘97 - I believe) when Christian Mari of France with a similar hand responded 1 (which would correspond to 1 in Dick’s example) with KJx - which helped his side find an excellent and not many times duplicated minor suit slam. I don't really see how this can be anything other than ‘just playing bridge’.
Jan. 11, 2014
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I missed this article at first. Anyway, top marks, Normand! Keep 'em coming!
You got yourself a fan! Happy New Year!
Jan. 2, 2014
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This was a bit bizarre and a clear omission on the part of BW. Normally, one would expect the results of a prestigious event as Reisinger to be announced on BW before any other outlet. Yet, on Sunday night when I checked nothing was posted. So by all means, congrats are due to Monaco!
Dec. 11, 2013
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I side with Gonzalo. The 2 was a gross underbid. We could've started exploring the slam @ the level 3. But, it is what it is. Partner is definitely not expecting me to have a 5 loser hand. I now have a lot of catching up to do.
Oct. 24, 2013
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Wait, so Nunes never bid diamonds?!
Oct. 5, 2013
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One truly remarkable fact, in my experience with Fantunes, is how easily it lands you in the best (especially high scoring) contract most of the time - even on many hands that are otherwise difficult to bid . I might be wrong, but I don't think any other system can match Fantunes when the two hands are unbalanced in strength (i.e. one partner is (very) strong, whereas the other one is weak). Interestingly enough, the greater the disparity in strength between the partners, the better Fantunes works. In sharp contrast, Fantunes becomes vulnerable when the strength is equally distributed between the partners (i.e. 12/12 HCP, or alike. all the way to 16(17)/10 - especially with unbalanced hands). In the latter case you pretty much need to close your eyes and shoot.

The vast majority of bad results (I would judge 80-90%) that I've had playing Fantunes stemmed from (system) forgets. And, as I've said before on BW, Fantunes is much more difficult to learn than meets the eye, owing to a vast divergence in evolution of its bidding sequences (i.e. depending upon the opening bid). Although everything looks easy and logical when you go through the system notes, the fact is, when an odd hand does come up, it is only then that you realize you do not quite have the system in your command as well as you had thought. Such gaffes are known to happen even to Fantoni and Nunes. Forgets, in my opinion, appear to be a necessary evil of the system, and they might never go away, no matter how much time you devote to memorizing the system (droids and bots notwithstanding).
Oct. 3, 2013
Nick Alic edited this comment Oct. 3, 2013
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