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All comments by Oleg Rubinchik
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I am really curious if it was the same world class partnership who psyched against me. One by artificial 1 (precision) opening, second by artificial response on that opening. By the way, I did not filed out form for recorder. What about you?
Aug. 27, 2013
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Mine very typical conversation with relatives and friends.
- How did you do?
- We won 2 session Swiss.
- Congratulation! Could I see your prize?
- Err… They gave us certificate for one session entry fee and I used it the next day.
- You mean you traveled for 4 hours, paid entry fee for 2 sessions, won, and as a result got the right to play the next tournament for a half price?
- Yes.
- And what was the point of spending all these time, efforts and money?
- I just enjoy the game.
- Pity you are not enjoying something else there you can actually win stuff. Did you think about poker?
Aug. 22, 2013
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My favourite partner has a very solid style of pre-empting. I will not be too surprised to find him with the full opener hand after his pre-empt. Once I saw him pre-empting with a hand I would consider as a possible (15-17) 1NT opening! (I am not joking, he once opened 3 clubs holding something like:
s. xx
h. xx
d. Axx
c. AKQ10xx )

My other partner is a big believer in 2-3-4 rule.
With another guy we have discussed never pre-empt with H-x-x in other major.
With forth partner we have discussed to pre-empt very aggressively. Pre-emptive bids for us strictly deny outside Aces or Kings.
Sure if I will play with any of these 4 partner and opponents will ask me about our pre-empting style I will let them know whatever we discussed or know from experience.
If I am playing with somebody else I will reply “did not discuss”.
I will never reply “normal” because I have no ideas what world “normal” means.
Aug. 20, 2013
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If during the bidding your partner gave some explanation about your agreements that is different from actual agreements and you became a declarer, it is your duty to correct partner’s misexplanation before the lead.
For example, if you don’t have an agreement (explicit or implicit) about certain bridge situation and partner explained like you have some agreement (said something like “I expect her to have 3 hearts” in situation than his expectation based on his bidding understanding, but not on actual agreements), after bidding completed and you or your partner became declarer, you have to say something like “We did not discuss with partner if I have to hold 3 cards hearts support in that bidding.”
Of course I don’t know, but it is possible that your opps had problem with some of your partner’s explanation earlier in match and they decided to ask to give you opportunity to correct. I don’t know how legal is it, but honestly I don’t see much of the problem. If explanations much agreements I would just reply “My partner correctly explained our agreements.”
Aug. 19, 2013
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I am a little confused here. Pass was game forcing originally or pass became GF after West confirmed by 3 that his 3 cue-bid was done with spades support?(sorry if this question was answered earlier, discussion became too long and easy to miss something.)
Aug. 13, 2013
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This topic remind me two incidents I was involved.
In 2004 during the national in NY in the middle of the board I was asked the same question. I honestly reply that never saw partner passing my No Trump with 9 points. As at happened in that particular board partner did pass with 9 points. Opponent misguessed, became very agree, called me liar and asked TD. (TD was on top of situation. She had no problem with my explanation but had problem with his behavior.)

Another situation happened during some regional couple of years ago. I decided to experiment with high level pre-empt with 5 cards suit only. At some moment declarer (much more experienced compare to the opponent in first case) asked my partner if I could pre-empt with 5 cards suit. Partner replied something like “He should not”, then look at his own hand and added something like “but who knows, he could.” No surprise, declarer guessed distribution correctly. I know it will not work against players like Kit Woolsey, but for lesser players questions like that could be used to provoke readable reaction.
Aug. 13, 2013
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Not sure about parallel universe but in published ACBL case books, name of Bobby Levin mentioned (unless I am mistaken) in 14 cases. He won 4 times, lost 10 times.
Aug. 9, 2013
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I agree in terms that we could not accept beneficial for hesitators bidding treatments unless they can prove their agreements. Not very probable, but I saw some people with almost 200 pages system notes; if they could bring their notes and show that agreement in the similar situation is written there …
As for difference between “encouraging” and “accepting” it is not always easy to describe agreement in complex situation by few words and without knowledge of future problems people could choose not the best explanation for future self-defense. Real agreement about pass could be something like (I have no actual information, just speculating) “We should play game if partner has spade support and should try to look for other possible game if he does not.”
Saying that if EW cannot prove they have an agreement like I stated before (and I am afraid it is the case) they are out of luck. 1 minute hesitation in that bidding is a bad thing.
Aug. 9, 2013
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But if 3 was invitational and East's pass accepted the invitation that they are in GF action and 3 is a slam invitational (better than direct 4). We need to know more about methods in use.
Aug. 9, 2013
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About teams bracketing.
In St. Louse I played in the same team with my friend from Russia, who came to USA for a business (actually a science research) trip and took couple of day to play bridge. He is not any kind of bridge pro just a reasonable bridge player. Because he is not ACBL member and have no masterpoints I asked the head TD how many we should count for him for bracketed KO. Answer was 10000 (Ten thousands). I found it very useful to have non-acbl member in team in order to get into the good bracket. :)
June 24, 2013
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With my favorite partner we have explicable agreement for this vulnerability only that 1 major - (preempt) - 4 major creates forcing pass situation.
April 26, 2013
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Hi Shan,
You well may be right. I know they play preemptive, but have no ideas what they have checked in their convention cards. I have no problem to believe they marked it wrong. I am sometimes not sure what is the correct box to check in ACBL convention card too. It looks easy, but simplicity sometimes is very deceptive. For example, speaking of checkbox for jump overcalls, I would prefer to have other options: forcing, constructive not forcing, preemptive, destructive, convention. It would give people opportunities to better describe their agreements. Probably (I don't know, just speculating now) my friend wanted to say that they preempting aggressively non-vul, but right in the middle (“not crazy”, as they said) if vul.

If they checked it wrong it can cause you think you got missinformed, but, if they said 3 was preempt it is what they play. I am sorry for miscommunication and bad feeling it caused, but bridgewise there were no MI (even if my friend could have a problem to prove it).
April 1, 2013
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Hi Shan,
I did not check their convencional cards and was not at the table or on AC meeting. They asked my opinion before make decision to apeal and told me facts as I wrote them. They did not specify lead, Albert said he lead the suit and I asumed it was . I completely agree that if opponents play intermideate jump shift they must alert and explain. But they are not playing intermediatly, they play it as preemptive. At least it is what they claimed and what each of them playing with me as a partner. I guess it was some kind of miscommunication issue at your table that cause you to feel you were misinformed.
As for Bakshi it was not missinformation at all. Just good tricky bid that cause me misguess the Queen. I did not bother to check his convension card, just accepted he overplayed me and went to the next board.
March 28, 2013
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Hi Jonathan,
With all due respect I cannot disagree more about appeal case 7. By the way bulletins write up of this appeal it awful. My friends and regular teammates were E-W there, I heard that story from them and personally was shocked by director’s decision.
As far as I understand them issue was a very simple one. My friends play jump overcall as a preemptive bid. Not constructive, not intermediately – just preemptive. They have preemptive checked in both convention cards, they alerted and explained that bid as an preemptive. George (in bulletin they put players sits wrong) decided to pre-empt with his 12 points. A little heavy, I agree, but it was his decision. David Bakhshi did exactly the same against me (in different board). As far as I know, Albert led diamond, not spade as written in bulletin. My sympathy with declarer, he just got unlucky with unclimatically strong preemptive bid.
Director was called. She looked in George cards, and said because he had 12 points his bid should be explained as an intermediately, no preemptive. Attempt to explain that according their system bid is preemptive but on this particular board player decided to pre-empt with stronger than usual hand was not taken into account. She said they playing intermediate jump shifts, and should accordingly mark their convention cards and explain.
They appealed and explained that they explained exactly according their system agreements – jump overcall is preemptive: light non-vul and sound vul. I believe the majority of people playing it exactly the same way. I completely believe and even agree with South that explanation (and agreement) made West to be strong favourite to hold King of hearts, but there were no misinformation. I have no ideas why AC decided to look at declarer play at all.
March 28, 2013
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Majority of ACBL directors are the very nice and knowledgeable people.
Unfortunately, in tournaments like NABC very many directors and some of them less professional than others.
I have two stories about director calls during the St Louis NABC, one of them is funny, second not at all.
Funny one: In a side game, I am declaring 2 spades contract. In one moment I have to make a discard from the table. Dummy already dead and what card I discard have no difference at all. I shrug my shoulders and say “play heart”. My partner turns over the smallest heart. Now the fun began.
“Why did you play heart?” asked from my partner nice old women sitting on the left of me.
“Because I was asked to do so,” reply my partner.
“Director!”
Director came.
“Declarer said (she said some word that I have never heard) and dummy discard small cards.”
I was trying to explain. “Sorry, dummy discard small heart because I said “play heart”. I could not say what she said because I simply do not know that word and what it means.”
Director completely ignored me. He asked my LHO what card she wants to be played from the table and turn the card she said.
I did not make a noise about it; As I wrote earlier it was completely irrelevant that moment what card to discard from the table, but director making decision did not know about it. He clearly thought that his job is to satisfy nice old women, but not objectively enforce the bridge rules.
By the way, I am absolutely sure my LHO was not the person who tried to get something for nothing. I guess my strong accent and my body language make her to believe I said something different from what I actually said. Absolutely no problem with her, but some uneasy feeling toward the director who did not want listen the second side before making decision.
Serious one:
Vanderbilt round of 64. We are weak team playing against one of the tournament favourites. Second quarter. So far score is very close. My LHO open 1 diamond (precision), partner double and RHO bid 2h alerted and explained as weak hand, 5+h and 4+ spades. In a future bidding we had an accident and lost a lot of imps. During the next board I discover that LHO open 1 diamond with 1 point and RHO made a bid with completely different distribution. (2 spades, 4 hears 5 diamonds and 2 clubs.) I called director. Opponents claimed that they both psyched. Who am I to doubt their words?
“Is it permitted to psyche by artificial bids?” asked me.
“Sir, it is just bridge,” firmly said director and walked away.
Who am I to dispute?
But now looking at ACBL convention chart I see that:
DISALLOWED
2. Psyching of artificial opening bids and/or conventional responses
Should not director know it?
And worst of all I have a very strong suspicious what behaviour and decisions by director would be completely different if sides were changed.
Downfall of our team started right after this board and there was no reason to appeal director’s ruling after match is over.
March 27, 2013
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2 opening for me, especially in IMPs.
March 7, 2013
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Does everybody Ok with 3NT bid?
March 6, 2013
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My 4 bid here is a reason why I will pass in situation like http://bridgewinners.com/article/view/bidding-problem-827/
Feb. 19, 2013
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Different answers for different partners :(
Feb. 12, 2013
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I joined to the game in the middle of tournament as a partner of C player. I don’t need to try to win the event; I don’t think it is possible. I guess my goal should be to keep my partner happy for the rest of the evening.
What are my choices?
Double “do something smart, partner”. I would do it with my regular partner. But I am afraid my current C partner will get confused. Out of question.
3 hearts is a reasonable practical bid, but my partner could feel that I have no trust to him and planning to hog all the hands. He/she will not be happy if I will go down and there is no guaranty 3h is makeable.
3 clubs. Maybe this is a good contract, but I don’t really want to ask my flight C partner to declarer difficult contract and this one looks difficult.
I simply see no other choices except pass now and “Sorry I should bid more. How would you understand if I double, Partner?” after the board.
Feb. 11, 2013
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