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All comments by Peg Kaplan
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I'm not a passed hand, so I assume 3 is forcing.

Might not it be better to see what partner does after my call, rather than raise immediately with only 2 card support for his suit?

Particularly when, given the preempt, it's possible that the spades aren't breaking wonderfully?
14 minutes ago
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Alan, I do think that North can make a call, should they so choose, whether my hand bids or not.

When the 3NT bidder takes a long time to bid 3NT, we really can't be certain what they are weighing. Are they thinking about passing and hoping that partner might reopen with a double? Are they worried they might have too little for 3NT - or - too much?

Do they have a stiff in one suit and that is a concern?

My own view is that you are only barred if it is fairly clear what partner is considering. Here, I would think not.
10 hours ago
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“I am NOT proposing that bridge be part of the curriculum – merely that it be an ”after school activity“, or something on a Saturday morning.”

Brett - what you are suggesting is not an option in Minnesota. I was not suggesting part of the curriculum. I am asserting that to do anything on K-12 school property or associated with it demands a certified teacher to be doing it.

And - as for your comments about college programs - what is being accomplished CURRENTLY in Minnesota is again, quite different from what you describe (and much better!)

Our Honors Dean, Matthew Bribitzer-Stull, has had a program in place (I think 3 years now) when students can take bridge classes at University of MN. I've gone a couple of times to the classes to take photos. Not sure how many are enrolled this year, but I know in the past, they had over 40 students in the classes.

And - this is my second year coaching students at a fine liberal arts college about an hour south of Minneapolis, Carleton College. While we do not have as many students as U of MN does, and this is a “bridge club” - not an actual college course - our students are very engaged and enjoying learning.

Last summer, 2 Minnesota teams, one from each of our programs, won trips to Atlanta and competed in the Collegiate Bowl. One team made it to the KO phase.

And, a team consisting of players from both U of MN and Carleton entered the Spingold - and - MADE OUT OF THE ROUND ROBIN! At least one player on the team had been playing less than one year!

The next day they played against the Nickell team. Yes, they lost by a lot. But not only did they get a few double digit swings in their favor throughout the day, the student players also got many compliments from Nickell players and Koach Kokish.

It CAN be done. It IS being done. We just need lots more people getting involved and doing the hard work to find and engage and encourage our students!
11 hours ago
Peg Kaplan edited this comment 10 hours ago
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Steve - I think you must be misunderstanding Nicholas' statement.

Surely you do not think that in this sequence:

P - P - 1 - X

that “double” is for penalties … do you??

As I understand Nicholas' statement, he is essentially making the point that he would not raise on the given auction with 3 - but - he would with 4+
11 hours ago
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Karen - your tale of attempting to get bridge taught in school is a sad reflection on many aspects of education today…. Too bad it hits our great game, too.
14 hours ago
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Over 1, Alan? Or are you asking something else?
March 17
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You nailed it, Mike!
March 17
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Apparently people have very different ideas of what a 1 bid shows on this auction. I would never bid on a 3 count (unless I had maybe 7 spades or so…)

I would not bid with KQxx xxx xxx xxx as someone suggested, nor with QJxxx and out.

I'm in the very good 5 up to a moderate 9 camp.
March 17
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Michael, I sure get the sense that lots of people are confusing these two auctions. I sure treat them differently!
March 16
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Or bid 3, Barry.
March 16
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I would not bid 1 with Henry's first two examples. I would with the third.

Fascinating to me that people can have such differing views as to what these fairly simple bids show!
March 16
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Don, actually I really don't think like that. Times change; habits change, preferences change… I was simply addressing the issue that “teaching kids to play bridge in schools, prior to high school” may well be easier said than done.

As you may note, I am a big supporter of online bridge; something that definitely didn't exist when I began to learn the game. While online misses some of the fun of F2F bridge; you don't get to see someone's smile, or go out for dinner or a drink, etc., when the game is done … you have an array of other positives with online. I don't think I need to enumerate all.

A friend of mine just returned from a vacation in Arizona. He said that there were TWELVE club games in near proximity to one of the cities he visited. I know STATES that don't have more than a few functioning club games - if that.

My goal is that when we old goats are gone, there are still people playing the game - lots of ‘em - and enjoying it.

And, as I have said many, many times - we all can’t be world class or even expert. Let's have venues for those who prefer a “social, fun” sort of bridge game - and a different set of rules and formats for those who want the “hardcore, ‘this is war’” kinda setting.

As Heraclitus said, “Change is the only constant in life.” Let's only aim at making the change the best is can be in today's world.
March 16
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Jeff, I won't disagree with anyone who claims that the odds of your becoming a good to world class player are greater if you learn as a kid rather than high school or later. Evidence it is easier for your brain to learn a variety of tasks earlier rather than later…

That being said, I'm not sure what the current status is today, but I know that years ago, in our state, you COULD NOT TEACH BRIDGE IN SCHOOL (including high school!) unless the TEACHER was an accredited and licensed teacher in our state.

Anyone know how many bridge teachers out there who fit this requirement - and are interested in doing so?

I can answer for you - very, very VERY few.

All for doing what can be achieved. But - there may be more than a few other states where what is being recommended cannot, as a practical matter, be done.
March 16
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Brett, I am having a tough time trying to figure out why you think that learning bridge at the high school or college level is “FAR TOO LATE”!

Most of the people that I know learned during college - and some after that. While not are all champions, I do know a number who are - and some who are in the HOF. For instance, Bob Hamman didn't learn bridge until college; Ralph Katz started at age 16. Jeff Meckstroth also started in high school.

I myself learned rubber bridge in college - but did not play a lot and only started playing duplicate while in my 20's.

Don't get me wrong. I think it's great if we can get more and more children playing bridge at a young age. Yet that being said, I also think that high school and college is not too late AT ALL for people to become formidable players!
March 16
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Henry - since this hand was not forced to bid over 1, what types of hands would you consider to be “minimum” or “average” for a bid of 1 in this sequence?
March 16
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Thank you, RFP!
March 16
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Richard P - you can't answer “something else” and not tell us what that “something else” is!
March 16
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Yes, we are playing a different game, Ian.

When my partner doesn't overcall, and over a DOUBLE with his LHO passing, can't bid more than 1 - I really have great difficulty imagining partner with a heart suit that is playable opposite my stiff ace.

I have no problem with some thinking differently. But - you requested a poll and got it. 90% thought it reasonable for West to bid 4.

Those of us who voted this way are not “unethical” as some have alleged and I assume we are people who play by the rules. This is a judgement decision; the vast majority have the judgement that 4, based upon previous calls, is reasonable.
March 15
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David - expressing the belief that (in my mind) this is pretty clear cut is quite different than:

“The lengths to which people will go to dodge their responsibilities under the Laws are really quite bewildering.”

“I don't mind people not knowing the first thing about ethical behaviour in bridge (and if you don't think there is a problem with the deal in the OP, you are squarely in that category). It is, after all, quite a difficult subject.”
March 14
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Samantha, I hate to say this - but - I do think that this one aspect of today's world is a factor.

Our schools (at least in the US, generally speaking) have a much lower bar for core subjects and tough, serious academia. Of course I could be wrong - but - I think this “dumbing down” of curriculum and high standards may well be at least part of why we see fewer people learning the game today.

To play decently (or better), you need to have some sense of logic, problem solving, math (counting to 13?!), etc., etc.

Of course this isn't all of it - but - some.

On the other hand, I think many people who once played in clubs because, if you wanted to play duplicate (outside of tournaments, it was kinda “that or nothing.”

Today, you can play with people of any level from all over the world at any time of the day or night. Can't conceive that this hasn't altered our game and surely affected clubs - and perhaps some tournaments, too.
March 14
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