Join Bridge Winners
All comments by Oleg Rubinchik
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South took a position. He was not lucky. (Advertisement for Polish club is due) :)
May 30, 2014
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Sometimes I play in the UN bridge club. (Yes, UN has one. In NY headquarters. Have nothing to do with ACBL. Open for everybody. 4$ game fee for members, 6 for non-members. 10$ annual membership fee. 50% of money collected as a fee goes for money prizes, another half - free food. Not complete dinner of course, but much better hospitality compare with almost any regionals or sectionals I played.)
This bridge club is as much non-competitive as it only can be. Some people are reasonable good, but majority plays extremely old-fashioned game. Forget about 2/1 and forcing NT, forget about Michael’s cue-bids and Roman Blackwood. Surely the most of the players from UN bridge club have absolutely no intentions to learn any new conventions.
Now actual story:
Couple of weeks ago two better club players (I was not one of them) decided to try some new stuff. They brought printout of some variance of Precision (I believe something along the line Meckwells played in younger age with some bids clearly not permitted by general and even middle charts.) I was wondering how older club regulars will react on this complicated staff. Reaction was about what I expected: “Wow, it is an interesting stuff!”; “It is funny to play against you!”; “Hope to see more funny bids from you next weak!”
Nobody had any complains about complexity created by unusual bidding by opponents. They all treat it as a funny challenge and fresh ideas. If anybody had any hard feeling due to opponents playing strange agreements, I would almost definitely aware about it. Note: I am talking about people with age between 70 and 92. Nobody informed them that they need to be defended from the “difficult stuff” and accordingly none of the players thought they need that defense.
Of course, it would be very easy to teach players that they need such a defense. It is just in the human nature to accept all advantages they could get as fair. However, I cannot agree more with what was said by David – “Argument of protection of week and social player just lie. Clear and simple.” (There are other arguments and some of them valid. Everything goes probably not the best solution. WBF brown sticker policy does make sense for me, but ACBL is way too restrictive.)
May 30, 2014
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Oh, yes. :)
I would love to share my gem too.

My LHO GIB hold on the fourth sit the following cards:

AQJ875
10
KQ1054
4

and should find a lead after that lovely bidding:

West……….North…………East………….South
-…………….pass………….pass…………..1
1………….dbl…………..pass….………2
2…………3…………pass……………..3
Dbl………….pass…………pass…………..3NT
Dbl………….pass………….pass………….4
4………….pass………….pass………….5
Pass…………5……………pass…………6
Pass…………6……………pass…………..6NT
All pass

Sure I was the reason for all that mess, but how nicely it worked out.

I was playing from the smart phone and had a finger slip - 1 instead of 1.

My CHO bid exactly the way you would expect from the self-respecting GIB.
My bidding was … err… ok, I paid my dollar and I can entertain myself as much as I want; thanks God there were no other humans on the table. (Looking at my bidding by sober eye, I am not sure if there were any humans at that table that moment.)

GIB LHO (or better to say LHP) doubled 3NT, but did not double 6NT and lead … singleton !

If you wandering, I hold:

109
AJ4
-
AKQJ10963

CHO had Kxxxx and fifth Ace, RHO hold the King. 13 tricks.

By the way, after checking protocol I found that three more players end up in 6NT (all made) and another three got to 6 doubled, all made.

April 29, 2014
Oleg Rubinchik edited this comment April 29, 2014
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Thank you
April 22, 2014
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I answered questions but did not save the link to spreadsheet with all responses. Is there any way to access results without re-do of the survey?
April 21, 2014
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For some suggestions “lunatic idea” is a very, very polite. In this particular case it is closer to compliment than to insult.
April 21, 2014
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I believe another answer is psychological. All of us have a tendancy to feel that our good results are deserved and exaggerate bad results. Teammates are more concern about unlucky results and they feel that number of “lucky” and “unlucky” boards are almost the same even if actually “lucky” boards happens much more often. Opponents, on the contrary, “forget” their own lucky boards and see an even bigger difference between the lucky and unlucky decisions of the suspected pairs than it actually is.
April 20, 2014
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Benoit Lessard: “Heres what I would say to my opps “I know the play clearly look like cheating and I would clearly felt ive been cheated if I were in your shoes I know that no matter what I say to you its normal that you will still think we cheated you, im totally willing to adjust the score..”
Great speech! :)
And you are expecting to find another partner in how many weeks? ;)
I certainly would not play as a partner with somebody who advised to adjust brilliancy, achieved by his partner, just because he is not capable to understand why he did like that.
April 16, 2014
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Exactly. There is a place that “could be” used, but there is no specific questions. There were too many instances then people forget to put that information. Better to ask before declarer play started just to make sure.
March 31, 2014
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I am not sure if it is easy to detect in CC if codded 10's and 9's used. Is there any special check-box in ACBL CC to indicate it?
I believe it is completely OK for declarer to look at CC for information he could easily see there and ask vocally for other related information.
And, by the way, I don't think declarer is expected to think before move 1 what information he will need in this particular board. Just collect all that could be useful, than start to think about play of this board.
March 31, 2014
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Imps, vulnerable against not. With 8 points, no easy-to-develop suits, passed partner and no clear agreements about possible continuations I decided to enter the bidding after weak no trump opening from the opps… Urgh… Looks like beginning of nightmare. :)
In the nightmare, I would bid 2 and we end up … and we end up… No, probably we will never end up. Bidding will go on and on until alarm clock starts to ring.

If I am sure I am awake I would most probably pass. I don’t think 2 will be story of success but there is no double. I will accept my fault for -300.
If opps will double 2, I'll run to 2.
March 24, 2014
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Minus 90 is better then minus 100. :)
March 21, 2014
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Good problem.
1. Pass or bid?
2. If bid, what to bid?

I don’t like my 4 choice, but
- Vulnerable, with partner who was pre-empted, with shortness in opponent’s suit, good own suit and reasonable help if partner has any major. I know I could feel sorry about it, but I’ll take the risk;
- If I would bid double I’ll lose diamonds. Double put much stress on the majors. Partner certainly will bid his major and I’ll pass. There are many problems with that scenario. If partner’s hand is relatively weak there is a huge risk to get doubled, especially if East has opposition in trumps. Even if partner has decent hand with 4-4 in majors, he could choose . After expected bad break, that contract on 4-3 could be very far from success.
- 4 bid looks safer. Quality of my trump make trump opposition less probable. If partner has a relatively weak hand, it will be much harder for East to double partial without any honours in trumps. On the first glance hard to see what I win by bidding not-game contract, but that bid not forcing partner to pass. 4 is a, kind of, “do something smart” bid. Majority of my partners will not pass it (in IMPs) if they have decent hand and a biddable major.
March 17, 2014
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I believe question is way too common.
I see at least three different kinds of situation with possible violation of partnership agreements with different answers:
1. “Bluffs”. They are never part of partnership agreements and _if_ in certain situations I feel psyche is a way to achieve better result I will do it. There are could be some ethical considerations, but with regular partners, I usually feel that system bid gives me better chances than bluff. With picked up partner chances to get good score by “normal” bidding smaller and psyches became more attractive and more legal at the same time.
2. “Table feels.” System required me to make certain bid but my guts tell me that I should do something else. Partner made “support suit invitation”, I do have support, but somehow I felt that everything is bad for us…should I accept? Partner asked me about aces and, after honest reply, we are too high…should I “miscount”? I don't know. If my feeling deceived me and breaking partnership discipline will cause us a bad result it will be a shame. Unless tournament situation is critical and I am ready to accept full responsibility for result I’ll follow system. I do keep track of situation like that. My guts are right in about 50% of cases. My “table feel” is not good enough to give us advantage on a long run. Accept the critical cases I would prefer to stick the system.
3. “System deviations”. Simplified example. Partner open 1, according agreements my system reply is 1, but structure of my hand advised to hide spade and bid NT first. With the regular partner it is not even deviation, it more like exception. It could cause some problem later if we are playing against lowers (partner not going to alert my bid because he is not expecting any deviations, but will accept that this is one of the possible hand for my bid. Director! Misinformation!) I believe this kind of deviation from partnership agreements with semi-regular partners are OK – it is just a way to make system better.
March 12, 2014
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I really don't like my 2 bid, but if you forced me to do it, I have to pass now or I will lose my partner.
March 7, 2014
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“The problem is the complaints beginning with the OP and the follow-ups by others are self-contradictory.”

Hi Mike,
I do not think there are any self-contradictions.
Problem is in different definitions. In your world (and ACBL world of course), masterpoints and titles are only marketing tools to force grandmothers to p(l)ay. In this world, all titles should be as much as possible functions of money spent; and other dependencies should be minimized. Dependence between skill level and masterpoints cannot be completely eliminated because it makes the product meaningless, but this dependence should be minimized, stay as much as possible only as an advertisement. That is why on the very top level masterpoint system seems working fine. It is just an advertisement.
Other people would like to treat earned titles as reflection of achievements and would like to see some respect to those achievements. In those definitions, nobble titles for beginners are nonsense. In order to earn titles player should get mature. At first, he (or she) should stop to use privileges of beginners and then try to get some master of title. Nobody wants to force grandmas to play in open events. Grandma could play in beginners’ pool by beginners’ rule as much as she want, but if she think she deserve to have a title she supposed to join the mature players and play by bridge rules. Otherwise there is no respect for title.
There is no self-contradictions in that logic. There are contradiction between this logic and ACBL commercial interests.

“I really don't see what the problem is as long as those who want to play up have the opportunities to do so.”

Problem is following - people who are not good enough to be on the very top level have absolutely no reasons to play often inside ACBL. I don’t need to waste my time and money for title if title I can earn is not respected. Yes, I love the game and sometimes would like to participate in big tournaments to play against the best, but that is it. Middle ages people are minority in ACBL land compare to grandmas but we are supposed to be a link to the new generation. Some people make extraordinary efforts to connect new generation to bridge but they will have only local success if natural link between generations is broken.
March 3, 2014
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Ok, thanks for advice :)
How would you bid this hand without masterminding?
Feb. 20, 2014
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Hi Tom,
Don't worry, he got his fare share of boards to declare ;) (Checked, probably not to fare. He declared only 4 times and I declared 6 times and 15 times we end as defenders). By the way, I open 1nt with 5332 and 5 card majors with any partner. 13 points was overbid of course, but I need to do something to keep our result above 50% :)
Feb. 20, 2014
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Hi Jim.
On this stage is the only lesson I want him to learn “bridge is game, bridge is fun.” All other lessons became due only after this one will be accepted. Accidentaly, in this particular board he got the second lesson - about importance of partnership trust. I did apologies for not trusting. It is not important for him to know on this stage that nobody will stay double with my hands, but very important to know that partnership damned to lose if there is no complete trust between them.

By the way, out of curiousity, which bid did you regard as “does not resemble bridge”? ;)
How would you bid (under current conditions, of course)?
Feb. 20, 2014
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Yes, it is exactly there question of trust come from. I should believe he would not double unless he has a DOUBLE!
Partner had:
QJ109x
A
xx
Q1098x

5 doubled was not a success. Spade to the Ace, Ace of trump, trump and down 3. 4 doubled would be much more fun for us.
I don’t think there is any moral in this story, just found it funny.
Feb. 20, 2014
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