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All comments by Nikos Delimpaltadakis
1 2 3 4
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Thanks for the clarification Lawrence. Under this light, I think even 5 are not permissible anymore, because the hesitation suggests partner is not short on spades and this eliminates the possibility 5 to be a phantom save.

On the other hand with short spades partner maybe was hesitating to double 4. Oh well…
20 hours ago
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4
P
4
P

I do not understand the distinction between the pair of questions.
I suppose I shouldn't change my opinion depending on my partner's break of tempo. I should bid whatever I was planning to bid without the break of tempo.

I am genuinely puzzled by this and I am not saying to provoke a reaction. For example I see Kit saying “Without hesitation I might bid 4. WITH hesitation I will bid 5. So we have a player, with the best of intentions, that changes his planned bid based on partner's hesitation. Isn't this ”use“ of UI? Even if it's purpose is self-harm in order to ”burn" partner's hesitation?

In other words, if we are going to be the judge of partner's UI aren't we actually DOING exactly the thing we shouldn't do? Base our bid ON the hesitation? Even if the purpose changes now and is not to find the best contract, but to find the best contract not punishable because of UI.

I think the correct thing to do is to bid what you would bid anyway, call the director yourself and be ready to face the consequences if the decision won't be favourable. In our days I think that this is resolved not by the director him/herself but after a poll he/she conducts among players at your level.

With that said, as a footnote, I think that in competitive bids on 4 level and higher there should be an obligatory pause, similar with the ones after a skip bid.
21 hours ago
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Giorgio Duboin was asked in an interview if there was a convention that he could strongly suggest. His suggestion was this:

After an overcall of a major in 1-level, the “cue-bid” is always 2, no matter what was the opening bid. The 2 bid shows 10+ with fit or 13+ without fit.
The 1M over-caller responses:
2M = Shows a very minimum overcall. Discourages any hopes for game or competition.
2 = Shows a minimum but decent overcall, with opening or close to opening values. It doesn't make a commitment towards game.
Any other bid is natural and forcing to game.

Since the advancer is losing the natural 2 bid, the bid that shows clubs is the bid of the opener's suit. You can play this as “weak or GF” keeping a jump to 3 as natural invitational. Alternatively you can play it as “invitational +”. (These are suggestions by me, not from Duboin, he was suggesting just that bid of opener's suit shows clubs.)

The advantage of this convention is that the over-caller has always available two bids to distinguish between a really bad overcall (2M) and a minimum but decent overcall (2). This is a exactly the theme of this post, where the advancer want's to stop under game only opposite a very bad overcall.
April 6
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Bravo!
March 8
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I cant see how 5 is not better than 5. I agree it's not the perfect slam try but at least it MAY land you to a very good slam with spade control while 5 can never achieve this.
Dec. 28, 2017
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Strange that no vote for “double” found so far. I wouldn't do it, but I'm tempted.
Dec. 12, 2017
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This is the “nearly never case”. Especially when he shouted “ACE” , this definitely meant he was not sleeping, he was aware that the Q appeared and he had every intention to cover it. Saying the Jack after the Ace was exactly this, a slip of the tongue during the correction.
Feb. 23, 2017
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Capitalising the title wasn't the wisest choice today!
Nov. 8, 2016
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Thanks for your answers.
Since the hand occurred in the recent games, we had the chance to ask some world class experts. Here are their answers:
Duboin: 2
Quantin: I have more, but can't say anything else than 2.
Versace: I personally have convention for this position, with 2NT asking, pd replies 3 with a minimum T/O double and I bid 3 showing invitation with 4 card suit. Without the convention available, I bid 2.
Bessis: 3
Volker: 3
Sept. 13, 2016
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There is no explicit discussion but 1S tends to show 5 cards, so i guess Axx spades would have bid spades at some point.
Sept. 12, 2016
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I heard that USA team didn't have time to recover from jet lag, after missing 1-2 flights due to weather and security measures in Warsaw airport.
Sept. 4, 2016
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It's a pity to initiate discussion in such a serious issue with a “yes” or “no” answer, moreover when even the poll question is kind of misleading:

“Should the WBF continue to try getting bridge accepted as an Olympic sport?”

Bridge is already accepted as an Olympic sport, is just not one of the olympic sports included in the program of the olympic games.

I wonder if 85% of the people who vote “No” think we should rollback such a development which has the following benefits:

1) Funding from some governments or National olympic committees. Tax exemptions in many countries.

2) Easier access to schools and universities. Don't forget that in many countries Bridge is not so well known and local federations have to fight hard against prejudice towards a game played with cards. Being an olympic sport is an undisputed passport to enter schools. I really wonder why people want to voluntarily renounce this privilege.

3) Marking bridge as “olympic sport” is placing bridge, without any doubts, on the top of the games pyramid together with chess.
When you are trying to promote bridge against other games this is a huge weapon.
It proves with one word that bridge is so deep and sophisticated game that can be even considered a sport.
I can understand those who say “ah come on, sports should be physical”. I may even agree with them, but I don;t care, because the point is not to choose what is right in the dictionary but what benefits our game.

4) Even the somewhat irrelevant articles regarding doping, that at the moment sound funny for bridge, can give us a big advantage if we manage to widen their meaning and include cheating as a similar offence. It will open the way to standardized scientific methods to fight cheating without the need to “break codes” but with statistical tests. Anyway this is a long discussion and out of the scope of this reply.

Since the above benefits are so obvious, I think that the 85% of voters were voting against spending huge amounts of money trying to put bridge in the program of summer or winter Olympics. If indeed WBF spend so much for this cause I really can think better uses of the money. If not though, I think we should keep giving this hopeless fight because we dont lose anything and we gain an extra bit of positive publicity.
Aug. 22, 2016
Nikos Delimpaltadakis edited this comment Aug. 22, 2016
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No
July 17, 2016
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The revoke protected the offender from miss-guessing the correct discards. Even if there was not a legitimate squeeze, that would be enough to award 13 tricks to declarer.
A person that broke one of the most fundamental rules of bridge cannot be benefited from the offence.

Even the fact that a director ruled like this and there are people here arguing over the issue, is sad.

Don't you see that this way of thinking makes a revoke a reasonable playing alternative in many occasions?

For example the declarer is drawing his long suit AKQxxx like now. I have Jxx but in the third round, instead of following suit I make a discard that informs my partner early about which suit I guard or I don't guard. I will lose a trick as a penalty from the revoke of course, but this would be compensated by the trick that I will win later on with the J and I could never won in first place.

Since I see that there are in the world directors that encourage (or at least do not discourage such plays) let me have the honor to name this coup: “Premature Phantom Alcatraz Discard”.
June 12, 2016
Nikos Delimpaltadakis edited this comment June 12, 2016
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Bidding 1 is pointless.

Case 1: Your partner doesn't have fit.
You lost your chance to show a weak hand with fit, which is exactly what you have, and you left plenty of bidding space to the opponents, including the 2 cue option.

Case 2: Your partner has fit.
If you have 9+ fit in s and 8+ fit in s, the opponents will 99% have a fit in spades. By bidding only 1 you are leaving them space to evaluate what to do with that fit: To stay in partscore, or to bid a game or to bid a successful save over your 4 in case your partner is strong enough. In the case you should bid at the 5 level, s are as good as s, so the 3 bid is more descriptive with the additional benefit of making life harder for the opponents.
May 13, 2016
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I see a lot of hate towards the 3 bid.

I bid 3 and I will just leave 2 facts here:

1) Do you have in mind that a vulnerable game with a bit less than 40% chance to make is a good game to bid?

2) Do you have in mind that this hand has 6 losers, and a semi forcing 1NT tends to cover 2 to 3 losers statistically? And according to the losing trick count, this hand even if it was AQJ10xx - x - xx - Kxxx would still be a 6 loser hand.

Partner had Kx J10xxx 10xx AQx and over 2 a 100% vulnerable game would have been lost. I repeat a 100% vulnerable game, when a 40% vulnerable game is a good proposition.

I wish you good luck with your 140s and your 170s, but I prefer to live my life with my 620s and my -100s, or even my -200s and once in a while my -500.

Cheers.
April 2, 2016
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Since Thomas reminded me this thread, yesterady in practice match I got:
xxx - Qxx - K109xxxx - void - All Green
I opened 3, partner 3 and I could bid 4 reaching 6 finally.
Feb. 8, 2016
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Good luck with the tournament Marek.

I would like to ask you how easy was the decision to convert the IMP scores to Victory points.
Im the head of the tournament organising committee of Greek federation and we do the same, but we strongly consider changing it and just sum the IMPs.

I know the arguments in favour of conversion to VPs. It minimises the risk of having a pair that is doing bad to “help” a friendly pair, or if you prefer, a pair that isn't interested in the results anymore to affect the results in the top places.

However there is also the counter argument.
Pair tournaments with IMP scoring are already luckier than matchpoint pairs. This is happening because in imps a big percentage of the boards do not really count. There are boards where there is a laydown game or slam with only perhaps overtricks at stake, boards with easy partscore battles, like one sde making 2S or the other goes down in 3D etc. etc.
Therefore the final result is determined by less boards than a matchpoint tournament, thus more lucky.

Now if you add conversion in Victory points, specially with the new VP scale, you increase the element of luck. This is happening because not all your good boards count the same. For example lets say during a session you make two brilliant plays in two boards and won 10 imps in each board. If these two boards will occur against different opponents your benefit in Victory Points is bigger than if they occur in the same match against the same pair. In the rare case that you may have three good boards against teh same pair, the third board has almost zero benefit for you.

This can even lead players to play anti-bridge. For example you play a 3-board match against a pair and you got bad results in the first two boards. You already lose 19-1. No mater what you will do in the the 3rd board you can at most lose 1 more VP, but you can gain 4 VPs with a good board.
Jan. 26, 2016
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I do not think that “15 minutes of fame” applies to mr Slawinski regarding bridge. Since the world bridge community felt the need to explicitly forbid his bridge inventions (weak opening systems) we can at least call him infamous, if not famous. In any case I don't think it's a name that can be ignored.
Jan. 3, 2016
Nikos Delimpaltadakis edited this comment Jan. 4, 2016
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I can comment about BBO.

BBO itself permits and even promotes the use of full disclosure convention cards. When you are using a FDCC the meaning of each bid is visible to the bidder in advance and after the bid is made they are visible by the opponents AND partner. This is valid also in the ACBL events.

If the software and the organisations using it, permit this kind of consultation, I think it is clear that it can't be considered cheating.

I understand that this is different from what is permitted in live bridge and makes you feel like people using it are having an unauthorised advantage, but the same is true for other things, like playing on your bed which unfortunately I haven't found a club to permit it yet.
Dec. 26, 2015
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