Join Bridge Winners
All comments by Oren Kriegel
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“If I wanted to spar for no points, I wouldn't have traveled to a tournament to pay entry fees.”

You've already won the points. You're up a huge amount at the half and the opponents do not believe they can win. If you play the second half, you're just going through the motions—the outcome is not in doubt.

“All remaining players now need to agree, rather than my getting to play the number of boards I wanted to play, which is what I paid for.”

If you need to compel demoralized opponents to play the second half of a match they already feel like they've lost because your teammates wouldn't agree to play the number of boards they came to the event to play, maybe you should look for different teammates (although maybe not, since apparently you get good results with them).

“Which I could have done at home.”

Sure, but I said “can.” You have more options than you would otherwise have, and I fail to see how that's a bad thing.

“Everything you stated would still be an option had my team stayed home and paid nothing to play. If those were my goals, I would have done so.”

But you've already won your match, at least according to your opponents. Also, it's not true. You get to advance to the next round of the event (or earn the masterpoints for winning the final), which you wouldn't get to do if you had stayed home.

I would argue that you don't get anything by refusing to accept the opponents' concession that you couldn't have gotten by accepting the concession and electing to continue playing (or not) against your teammates.

Is ACBL-sanctioned bridge really so great that you'd rather slaughter dead opponents for 12 boards rather than play a non-sanctioned game against living opponents?
22 hours ago
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I think the “didn't the opponents come to play?” line of argument is a weak one. Nothing is barring the team from continuing to play if the opponents concede. Aren't there still tables and cards and bidding boxes in the playing area? If so, you can play against your teammates. There are plenty of advantages:

- You're probably playing better bridge than you would play against the opponents you just obliterated, particularly since they're down so much they're thinking about conceding
- You probably like your teammates better than whatever random team you were playing, and wouldn't you rather play with people you like?
- You can play as many or as few boards as you like, since you're not playing in an official match
- You can usually play at a faster pace than if you were playing the other match
- You can mix up partnerships for fun or practice
- You can run to the bar before you start the second half (particularly if you're playing the last session of the day)
- You can play for money or make some side bet if you enjoy that sort of thing

It's totally improper to suggest that a team should concede if it's down X number of imps, but I can't see any reason why a demoralized team should feel pressured into continuing to play when it's doing poorly and/or is down some ridiculous number of imps.
Feb. 22
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Useful to be playing some form of Good-Bad 2NT.

Without that agreement, the big vote for 3 on this hand is a good reason to pass when you have a so-so balanced minimum on this auction.
Feb. 21
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Hear, hear!
Feb. 17
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To each his own, but 1 - 1 - 2 isn't a reverse, even if it shows just 16 HCP.
Feb. 17
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I think your selective quoting of my comment takes it out of context and inaccurately suggests it is not germane to the discussion.

The issue of whether or not 2 is natural arises when opener passes, as well as when he doubles. When he passes is a more pure case, and the need for 2 as a natural bid is probably greater: if you pass 2, West will often pass, and partner will have no further opportunity to act.

East's double confuses the issue, because one could argue that even if it's right to play in diamonds, West will either bid (taking you off the hook) or pass (allowing North to rescue himself). I merely pointed out that at least some (and I would say most) of the time when West passes the double and it's right to run, North will have no reason to do so.

Is your “usual case” of (1m) P (1M) 2M an example of a cuebid that is played as artificial in your parts? If so: yikes.

The poll about (1) 2 is relevant, although I was one of the “2 natural” minority. I think that poll isn't particularly well designed, since it can easily be interpreted as asking what's the standard use for 2 in that situation, rather than asking about the respondents' preferred use. I would still expect Michaels to be the majority position if the poll explicitly asked about readers' preference, but I think the vote would be closer than in the actual poll.

Suit-length probability tables are interesting, but they are only one relevant piece of data. Another is whether there is a reasonable option available for a certain hand-type. I submit that there is not a good alternative available for hands that desperately want to bid 2 natural if 2 is played as artificial, but that you can cope fairly easily with a stopper-ambiguous 2 bid: you still have plenty of room between 2 and 3NT to conduct a stopper-search.
Feb. 17
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The difference could be several hundred total points if 2 is down a couple and 2 makes (probably not on this auction, since East doubled, but if West passes, you could go down many hundred while 2 makes).

Plus, I could counter with: I don't care about cuebidding 2. 2 or 2, what difference?
Feb. 17
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2 should be natural on this auction. 2 is available as a cuebid, and if 2 is artificial then a hand with long diamonds (a very plausible hand-type) is stuck. Even if East passes (so the opponents' purporting to have 7+ hearts doesn't confuse the issue), 2 should be natural and 2 should be the cuebid.
Feb. 17
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I suspect a minimum with long diamonds opens something else, probably 2.
Feb. 17
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The problem with East's J being a falsecard is it's far more likely to catch West than South. Some players actually believe their partners' signals…
Feb. 17
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If you're not going to double, surely 2NT showing 6=4 in the minors is better than 3, which strongly suggests a fifth club.
Feb. 17
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What's the rationale for splitting the spade-diamond hands like that? The benefit of the limited 1 and 2 rebids are probably outweighed by the downside of having to jump to 2 on invitational hands. Jump-shift auctions are bad enough without lumping more hand-types into them.
Feb. 17
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What do you do with spades and diamonds and 16+ HCP?
Feb. 17
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Seems like an unusual use for 2. I believe you that it shows that, but I would be interested in knowing what 1 systemically shows and why a 1 rebid isn't appropriate on this hand.

Playing 4 as invitational also seems rather unusual. Doesn't that feel like threading the needle?

North should force to game. Buying the Q and the A and out makes 5 a big favorite if South also has the expected heart shortness. 4 seems normal, and 6 is probably a better bid than 4.

South should probably accept the invite (who came all this way to play in 4?), but that seems like small-time compared to North's evaluation.
Feb. 17
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Larry Cohen's version of Jacoby 2NT does use 3 as any minimum, which is the version that the post stipulates is in use.
Feb. 16
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I think using 3 to show some 5-4-2-2 and then relaying to ask for the distribution is a poor use of space. Although it could certainly be important to learn about opener's exact shape when he has one of those patterns, it seems like just cuebidding is more useful on the whole.

That said, over 1M - 2NT - 3 (minimum) or 1M - 2NT - 3 (extras, some shortness), I like the relay breaks to show a hand too strong to splinter with directly over 1M (15+ HCP or so). Responder's 1st step asks, of course, but his 2nd/3rd/4th steps show strong splinters up-the-line.

1 - 2NT
3 (min) - ?

Responder bids 3 if he wants to know more about opener's hand, but he can also show: 3 = club shortness, 3 = diamond, 3NT = heart.

Same deal over 1M - 2NT - 3: 3 would ask, but 3/3NT/4 show shortness up-the-line.

No reason you couldn't play that structure over 1M - 2NT - 3, but you start running into problems with space, which is where I came in.
Feb. 16
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True, although there are hands with spade support that don't want to employ one of those raises. Perhaps 3=6 in the majors or a strong balanced hand that might play well in 3NT despite a spade fit. The cuebid neither shows nor denies support.
Feb. 15
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Natural makes sense. Artificial makes sense (and I think is how most experts would play it).

Spade raise does not make sense—if you're going to play 2 as a cuebid, then there are other hand-types that will be included in it that don't contain primary support, e.g. extra values with hearts too weak for a 3 rebid or a strong balanced hand without clubs stopped.
Feb. 15
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Yeah, that's a good agreement. Should probably have analogous agreements for steps ending at 4M (play 4M+1—and maybe higher bids—as a stronger version of 4M) and ending at 3NT (4+ are the same type but stronger).
Feb. 15
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Also, why isn't it the right time for Blackwood? In context of having a nonserious slam-try (I might have serioused), West certainly has a slam drive. Blackwood seems like as good a way as any to reach 6, and maybe partner will surprise you by showing all the keycards and the ability to bid a grand when you check on kings (KQJx and the K for example). Maybe grand is only in the picture if opener forgot to Blackwood before, but stranger things have been known to occur.
Feb. 14
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