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All comments by Nick Warren
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I used to think like you. I believe it is true that more imps are thrown on being in the wrong contract than by misjudgements in the play. It is also true that, relatively speaking, card play is a science, whereas bidding is an art based on judgement. Thus getting to those thrown imps in the bidding is comparatively difficult.
Feb. 20, 2017
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It's all relative. I play mainly in club games of varying standard. In a weaker field the opportunity for extra tricks are common enough. In stronger fields, the opportunity for getting egg on your face are common enough ;-)
Feb. 20, 2017
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Well, again I see what you say. But for most mortals, “expert” level is dream perhaps to aspire to but never achieved. However, hands where the competent can work an extra trick compared to the (typically incompetent) field are commonplace.
Feb. 20, 2017
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@Gary. To be fair, quite a bit of it is. (Though to be doubly fair, so are extensive chunks here as well)
Feb. 20, 2017
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Well, I see the point of that. However, expert bidding is no use to if you don't know when to draw trumps either!

Generally the answer to the OP's question is that it depends. Utter beginners do best with something like mini bridge or pre-prepared hands that have a given contract. They can learn basic card skills this way. This is on the basis that it is no good them learning to bid to the right contract, if they have no chance of making it once they get there. It also gives them some basic understanding of the game on which to hang later lessons about bidding.

But obviously, to play the game properly, they next need to learn to bid - even just non competitive auctions.

There follows a stage when learning judgement - really in all aspects of the game is paramount.

From there on it is probably down to individual need and interest. I can only comment that I've noticed my own needs and interests in improvement tend to be cyclic.
Feb. 20, 2017
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“Well less than 100%” is somewhat a matter of the company you keep. However, I agree there will be other contracts in sufficient numbers to be a factor in your thoughts.
Feb. 13, 2017
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I am not particularly a 2/1 player at all, though I play against it a fair bit. IMO responder has to have a way to deal with inv hands with a long suit. Whether you do this via IJS or rebid of the 2/1 suit is not forcing (or by some other gadget) is a matter of partnership agreement.

Personally I've played 2 level responses as F2NT, with IJS and rebid of the 2/1 suit as FG - which is the same thing in reverse as it were.
Feb. 7, 2017
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I'd tend to use “useful” or “working” cards and expect it to be understood by a well enough (bridge) educated reader.

If the intended readership includes people who are not reasonably expert/well read, then I'd expect to have to explain what I meant by “useful” or “working” somewhere in the text.

I don't see the word “quality” to be an improvement - though it is arguably no worse.
Feb. 2, 2017
Nick Warren edited this comment Feb. 2, 2017
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Obviously the wider the range, the more that a pass/blast strategy becomes untenable.

In practice, many who upgrade some good 14 counts also upgrade good 17s at the other end of the spectrum, so the range is no wider, just approx. half a point lower. (Indeed, since many, playing “15-17” without much thought, will never up or downgrade, the range is arguably tighter)
Feb. 2, 2017
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We discuss it because, although you're right about a great many players, some of us have learnt hand evaluation and want to do it better still.
Feb. 1, 2017
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Technically speaking hogs don't see too well at all anyway. They mainly “see” with their snouts in the first place.
Jan. 19, 2017
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FWIW, I've generally considered 11-15 as intermediate. Obviously the colours, shape and texture of the hand plays a little on this
Jan. 16, 2017
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“For the rest of us tools…” should have had a comma after the word us. I don't really object to being called a tool, but some of us might :)
Jan. 15, 2017
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Don't play in 2NT with a 6 card minor if you can avoid it. Either bash 3 or pass your partner's 1NT opener or maybe make whatever call you do in your system to play in the minor. It is not that you can't construct hands where 2NT is the best contract - you can - it is just that 2NT making exactly is an incredibly difficult spot to land on at the best of times. And with a 6 card suit all the more so - the suit tends to be of real use - in which case 3NT will often make too - or it is not of use - in which case 2NT will probably be in difficulty and you'd have been better attempting 1NT or maybe 3m.
Dec. 2, 2016
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Sometimes you play well and score badly. (And sometimes you can play badly and score well). And you can get a run of such sessions. And you can get a run of most sessions being like that extending over many weeks.

The key is to analyse the results and be sure that, if they're not generally your fault, to not introvert on it.
Nov. 27, 2016
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The problem with distortion comes in the description that was given. If it had simply been explained as “strong” without further comment, then strictly speaking opener does have the bid (by EBU definition). What it does not have is “19-20 balanced”. Nor does it have anything like “8 playing tricks” by the definition in the blue book (which has a very pessimistic wording).

“© subject to proper disclosure, a hand that contains at least 10 HCPs and at least eight clear
cut tricks.

Clear-cut tricks are defined as tricks expected to make opposite a void in partner’s hand with
the second best suit break.
 A K Q J x x x x  x x  x x  x does count as 8 clear-cut tricks
 A K Q x x x x x  x x  x x  x does not”
Nov. 17, 2016
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The amount of MI that Benji generates (or what the average club player and some tournament players think Benji is) is a British disease.

Benji rightly comes in for a “bad rap” amongst the better players (although, properly discussed and implemented it is at least a reasonable set of conventions. Trouble is that few discuss it properly and many that do don't do so with common sense in mind!)
Nov. 16, 2016
Nick Warren edited this comment Nov. 16, 2016
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You were, at least technically, misinformed. “Benji” is a name and means nothing really. “19-20 balanced or 8 playing tricks” does mean something and the hand does not meet the description. Quite whether the average director would give you much time complaining about that is, however, possibly hoping for too much. The hand does (just) meet the EBU definition for a strong opening and most of us Brits are well used to the near abuse of both the rules and common sense that some Benji players perpetrate.

Which is all the more reason why you need some way of making a strong raise of a natural overcall after an artificial opening, as others have pointed out.
Nov. 16, 2016
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The Q is a possible lead, especially given that major suit leads tend to do relatively well against failed Stayman auctions. So the lead, in and of itself, is not particularly suspicious.

If the bidding diagram is right, you're saying North held the long hearts and was in third, not second seat. I find it incredible (assuming they're playing weak twos and are not beginners), that North would have passed an AKTxxx suit in third seat.
Nov. 11, 2016
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“BTW, this thread is now some days old, but still no one has said whether any maintenance has in fact been needed to support the Windows client under Windows 10. Step 1 to ask whether anyone here knows. ???”

We're not the developers, therefore we don't know! I assume, since they say they're not developing it, they've literally done nothing to it.

The work that it may have caused is in the area of the interface with the server(s) in that the new web version(s) may have to cope with some old, legacy feature of the interface as was (and is still running). There again, maybe there has been no work in this regard.
Nov. 10, 2016
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