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All comments by Nick Warren
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Well, all I can say is that I play at 2 clubs (1 a lot more serious than the other), both use Bridgemates, both display the results at the end of the board. Yes people look at these results. But no, not a lot of time is spent on discussions about it.
Jan. 18, 2016
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I think this is the sort of thing you can over think. On a bad day partner is very weak with something like a 3=3=6=1 shape and 2 is in trouble, while their 1 was going nowhere.

But you're specifically stating that it is MPs. It is quite possible p doesn't have 3 cards, and even if he/she does LHO might limp home anyway (LHO rates to have a sound overall with the other two silent). It is also quite possible that p does have 3 cards. On the basis of frequency I think it pays to bid. Maybe I could be persuaded that vul versus not, the equations are against the call
Jan. 15, 2016
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I'm not sure we should follow suit. I think the OP is calling for more of a discussion than simple yes/no answers.
Jan. 15, 2016
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I don't have a rule reference, but I would have thought your obligation to alert was exactly the same as if you had momentarily not noticed your partner's bid for whatever reason. Nor can players tell you not to follow the rules, so your opponents wishes are not relevant.
Jan. 15, 2016
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No, what Al Roth might have thought didn't cross my mind. With one partner I play “weak twos” as 7-11, for which this technically qualifies. However, the spots as such couldn't be better even though the suit has to be called weak, and 4 controls makes me shy of opening this with 2S. And I'm not passing 11hcp, 4 control hands with any 6 card suit. I don't care how conservative partner or Al Roth thinks/thought I should be. The fact that it didn't work out this time is just life.
Jan. 14, 2016
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With one partner we have no 3 level club pre-empt (Blue Club), so the question doesn't arise.

With other partners, with only 6 clubs and 7 cards in the majors - well - call me old fashioned if you like, but I don't really fancy it. If the vul is specifically non-vul versus vul, then it would cross my mind - but I'd probably reject the notion.
Jan. 14, 2016
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I work in IT. Forcing people to use all four of upper & lower case, digits and punctuation is OTT. Longer, less complex passwords that consist of multiple words are good.
Jan. 12, 2016
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Well, Rainer, I agree in principle. However, even though I do not see myself as a screaming hcp counter or anything remotely close, I think counting the hand in the OP (AKxx Ax Jxxx Axx) as “18-19” is over the top. 17 instead of 16 if you like and 18 once partner shows interest in a fitting suit fair enough.
Jan. 8, 2016
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It is a well known bug with balanced 1NT openers, that you can sometimes miss 4=4 major fits when responder does not have enough umph to investigate. If you open 1NT with 5M332, the bug becomes more prevalent (you'll miss some 5=3 and even 5=4 fits). And while the weak NT has its advantages, this particular feature gets worse the weaker your NT range becomes (responder needs more to investigate fits). When you play the NT range that everyone else plays in your part of the world, this bug is largely invisible as everyone else has the same blind spot. It can become glaringly obvious when you adopt an anti-field NT range.

Most people are of the opinion that the benefits (of a “normal” approach to NT openers) outweigh the costs. I'm not sure to what extent it has been subjected to an objective study though.

+++

Part of the “solution” to the control rich hands is to evaluate your openings a la Zar points style (remember that anyone? For those that don't it is counting high cards 6-4-2-1 or hcp + controls). This leads to some nifty games that many will otherwise miss. It also leads to getting too high sometimes when the hoped for fit doesn't materialise.

Largely this feature is inherent in the game itself (controls and their location becomes more important in suit contracts and also more important the higher the level). But just because you have a control rich hand that is suit oriented, does not mean to say you have a fit with partner. Conversely, just because you have a hand with slow tricks does not mean that partner will want to play in NT. To some extent you can overcome this problem by re-evaluating your hand as the auction progresses. Unfortunately this doesn't apply to opening the hand and you're just going to have to take your best shot.
Jan. 8, 2016
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Well, the A doesn't keep options open if it is declarer with Qxx. The A keeps the heart option open.
Jan. 7, 2016
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Or we could enable a zero NT bid - which effectively would legalise forcing pass systems :)
Jan. 6, 2016
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Yeah, I think I tend to agree. Sure the ACBL is unique. So what. Everyone else is too. We get along somehow.
Jan. 4, 2016
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“I think the ACBL tries hard. There's a precarious balance between their views about protecting club players and allowing new methods that are out on the forefront of bidding theory.”

I have no doubt that the ACBL tries hard at striking a balance. No doubt at all. I've seen the earnest arguments presented in favour of the status quo by some senior people. Nobody doubts the sincerity of the views etc. The problem seems to be that the scales are off balance.
Dec. 21, 2015
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That partner wasn't sure what to do, which in view of the pass, must generally suggest some values.

But you give us no real context. Partner may have been a beginner, in which case you can't read too much into it, for example.
Dec. 18, 2015
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I suspect that it is not just Sweden and England that have more sensible regulations than the GCC. It does not seem to be difficult.
Dec. 18, 2015
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Yes, that is one possibility. Another one is that jumps at the 3 level (and above) are always preemptive, but that 2 over 1 jumps are constructive. (The rationale being that 2 over 1 non jump overcalls tend to be sound anyway, so you don't gain much by reserving the 3 over 1 jump for a normal intermediate overcall. Whereas 1 over 1 overcalls can be relatively trashy, so there is some point to the 2 over 1 jump being sound and long).
Dec. 17, 2015
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I'm in the corner that gets rid of (1st degree) cheating from the game. Rules about what can and can't appear on this or that medium of communication are all very well (and broadly to be applauded). But the rumour mill was working overtime with regard to the recent controversies and it simply had to be aired no matter what the fall out was going to be or who was going to be accused of favouritism etc.

Heck, I don't move in the circles of the bridge elite. I don't play behind screens and I don't much go to tournaments, but even I had heard that one or two top pairs were supposedly cheating. If it had got that far down the grapevine, then it was high time the dirty linen got washed.

Hopefully the authorities will reform themselves and not be so woefully inadequate in future so we can return to a more normal standard of polite conversation and the “c” word returns to obscurity. Or at least we can hope (though I am not holding my breath in anticipation!)
Dec. 17, 2015
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'twill dae yae nae good arguin' with a trooo Scotsman.
Dec. 11, 2015
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I personally wouldn't open that aceless South hand, though I understand the reason people do. But, if it is the partnership style to do so, then the North game raise is way ott - it is arguably overly aggressive even if the opening style is more sound.

P.S. It can't have been that big a tragedy - opps have 10 clubs and more that half the deck in high cards!
Dec. 11, 2015
Nick Warren edited this comment Dec. 11, 2015
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Personally, I think if you're moving to an electronic environment, you may as well do the whole thing properly. Mucking about with cards and tablets (whether shared or not) is exactly that, mucking about.
Dec. 10, 2015
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