Join Bridge Winners
All comments by Rainer Herrmann
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I have yet to find the Bridge player who outplays the field but needs to rely on the judgement of the field in the bidding. The whole concept is crazy.

If your aim is to win you are not competing against the field, you are competing against the best players in the field.

Here, whatever your playing skills are, your advantages over the best players in the field is much smaller (if at all) compared to the average playing skills of the field.

Bridge is a mixture of many skills: hand evaluation, judgement, technical, logical deduction, deception etc.

Why should my success rate increase if I deliberately delegate some of those to the field and rely only on the remainder?
14 hours ago
Rainer Herrmann edited this comment 13 hours ago
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I do not understand this.
If I have a balanced hand valued at 19, for heavens sake, why would I want to preempt?
The only one who is likely to get preempted is partner.
If the field misses game (or slam) why would I want to miss game?
Sorry I take every opportunity I get to bid better than the field.
Bid with the field and take your averages.
But do not tell me this is the way to win at this game.

This whole argument about “bidding with the field” is totally misguided.
March 19
Rainer Herrmann edited this comment March 19
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It seems to me that if your 5 card major is not excellent and you want to bid over 1NT you do not care much whether you have a minor or not.

Telling opponents you have a minor does not seem fair.
March 18
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I agree and though I am for full disclosure, some seem to forget we are playing Bridge. I am against having to alert and explain what is Bridge.

If I play against someone, who opens 1NT marked on the convention card as 15-17 and say it turns out he had

ATx ATx ATx JT9x

I would respect his evaluation skills. It would never occur to me to call the director, neither if he downgraded next time

KQx KQx KQx QJxx
March 11
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“If an opponent's call has a highly unusual or unexpected meaning, they are supposed to alert it.

When their call is not alerted, one is supposed to assume that it has a usual or expected meaning.”

If you are inexperienced, you take unusual or unexpected actions all the time without realizing, usually to your own disadvantage.

You can only alert, if you are aware that you deviate from standard.
Inexperienced people often have limited knowledge about what is standard.
March 10
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Have you ever raised children?

Taking the knowledge and experience level of the perpetrator into account is common sense and has nothing to do with double standards.
March 10
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On page 9 you write:

East's defense of winning the ace of clubs, drawing dummy's last trump, and shifting to a diamond may look obvious. The problem is that it can't work. East can count declarer's tricks, and can see that declarer will have 2 club tricks coming which will get declarer up to 8 tricks. In order to have a legitimate chance to defeat the contract, East needs to duck the king of clubs. East is willing to let declarer discard his other club on the ace of hearts, since if West's diamonds are strong the defense will get 3 diamond tricks. Declarer can cash ace of hearts discarding a diamond, ruff a heart, and lead a club up, but then declarer would still have to guess the clubs. This isn't trivial, since West would have defended the same way (covering the ♣10 with the queen and playing small on the second round) with an initial holding of AQx.

This would give West at least Q KT5432 xxx AQx

Compared to the actual hand this hand has a much better chance of making game even opposite a passed partner.
Would you ever consider this a weak 2 at all white in third seat?

If not this does not look much of a legitimate chance either.
March 5
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If u don't want to bid 4♠, why not try 3♥, then possibly 3nt? :)

Yes, why not tell LHO to lead the ace of hearts
Feb. 27
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There is not much need for the club queen
I know some would open even Axx xx xx Axxxxx, but they would be in a distinct minority, whether brought up on Acol or anything else.
Nevertheless looking for the perfect dummy at matchpoints is rarely right.

If you want to suggest 3NT the way to do this is to bid 2NT, because if at all this hand should declare most of the time 3NT and be hidden from the defense.

Even if partner rejects 3NT most of the time, whether this is a long term winning matchpoint proposition to suggest notrump can be argued.

Leaving the defense in the dark what to lead and how to defend by closing shop and bidding 4S is more likely to be a winning proposition at any form of scoring.
Feb. 27
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Here is a very old but good analysis from OK Bridge:

It lists declarer advantage according to level and trump / notrump

http://crystalwebsite.tripod.com/double_dummy_accurate.htm
Feb. 23
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“Many players have a skewed view of risk. I blame their mothers.”

No that is not the reason.

One is that many of us have grown up playing Bridge for total points.
Another is that our memory is selective.
We remember the catastrophies, not the many small successes.
And if the deal turns out to be wrong for you, you need an understanding partner. They are in short supply.
Feb. 21
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The old saw is bad, not the bridge.

It implies that (contract) bridge is about total points, which is becoming a rarity at serious level.
Total points means various possible outcomes have very different costs and rewards.
One deal can wipe out superior bidding and play of an entire match.

This is much less so when playing matchpoints.
Imps is somewhere in between, but Imps is much closer to matchpoints than total points.
Just look at Kits corner, which is all about IMPs.
Most bidding actions Kit recommends would be the same at matchpoints but would be insane at total points.

Why is accommodating to matchpoints difficult?
If you can not accommodate to matchpoints why were you able to accommodate from total points to IMPs?

In card play we try to accommodate to most layouts of the cards when we try to make or break a contract.
Why not in the bidding?

Of course you can hope that partner is 4=1=3=5, but this is just one distribution of many partner can hold.
Most of the time when they have a fit we have one too.
Feb. 19
Rainer Herrmann edited this comment Feb. 19
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If you play game tries and assuming opener shows 4 card support, I think Nagy game tries are superior to other game tries, because they hide the concealed hand.
So do not sent any message except that you are at least invitational.
Bid 2NT.
opener, who will be dummy, can either show concentrated values, decline or accept.
If opener accepts he can suggest 3NT if suitable or control bid at the 4 level in case opener would be slam suitable when responder is better than invitational.
Feb. 18
Rainer Herrmann edited this comment Feb. 18
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If Bridge is such a great game (and I think it is) why does it need promotion and marketing in the first place?

Do not get me wrong, I am just more optimistic about the future of Bridge.

Of course offers are needed, where people can pick up the game, but promotion and marketing?

No!

Fads are coming and going.
But what is valuable to humans remains and does not need modern marketing and advertising, which intrude our privacy all the time and are a mere nuisance.

Bridge is in the same league like Chess and GO and it will not die out any time soon.
Feb. 5
Rainer Herrmann edited this comment Feb. 5
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I find a bit of a conflict - contradiction would be too much - between how you argue on page 3 in favor of bidding 4 and what to do over 4 on the next page.

On page 4 you write:

“An important consideration is that North didn't bid 4♠ voluntarily. He didn't have the opportunity to stop in 3♠. His only choices were to defend 4♥, which he might not be defeating, or compete to 4♠.”

Well isn't that an excellent reason not to bid 4 ?

If North continues voluntarily with 4 a sacrifice of 5 becomes much more attractive and a double much less.
How big were your chances in the first place that 4 would make and they would let you play there?

I doubt North would have bid 4 unless pushed, but at these colors I would not expect good opponents to bid 4 unless they are pretty confident to be within one trick of their contract.
So the double is not such a good bet in my opinion.

The actual (unlucky???) outcome happens far too often in my experience.
Feb. 3
Rainer Herrmann edited this comment Feb. 3
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“Mostly, in bridge, it's tough to get away from personal opinion. What I dislike seeing is personal opinion stated as if it were fact - when I believe that opinion to be incorrect.”

Nicely said, but don't we all do this all the time?
Are you immune to that attitude?
To me this attitude looks human.
I do not think this is particularly confined to Bridge.
It is life and we do this all the time, particularly when our emotions are involved.
There is a lot of hypocrisy.

When it comes to single hand evaluation methods it seems best to keep quiet how you evaluate a bridge hand.
There will always be someone, who will ridicule your method.

Yes I know, the expert method is “hand visualization”, which in the early stages of an auction is the most subjective method of all.
Feb. 3
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To Michael:

What you, Kit Steve, Richard and Josh seem to believe is that West did not have enough to jump raise.

Fair enough, but the corollary of this is that in a strong notrump context and the trend to ever lighter opening bids the single raise of responders major has become unwieldy, particularly if opener sometimes raises on three cards.
Responder can rarely judge the mesh of the card after a minor suit opening and a single raise.
If responder passes after a single raise, he will often miss game when the mesh is good and if he bids on he will often go down in three of a major when the mesh is not so good.
With the actual East hand East would of course pass a single raise, but would you bid on with say
JT8xx QJ9 xx Axx ?
I very much doubt it. We could then have a similar discussion why we missed an almost cold game.

If you accept the logic of lighter opening bids there is certainly also some logic to reduce the requirement slightly for opener to jump raise and for responder being more conservative when to accept.

To Craig:

I disagree with your evaluation of the East hand.
I do not mind when LTC or NLTC does not take into account tens or jacks.
But once East spades gets raised there is a big difference between East holding JT8xx J9x xx Axx and
JT8x J9x xx Axxx.
These 2 hands do simply not belong into the same category.
LTC or NLTC has to adjust for trump control.
Early proponents of LTC like Harrison Gray knew that.
The value of additional trump length has a significant impact on the number of tricks you will take in your fit.
If you do not adjust you can forget about NLTC.
Feb. 3
Rainer Herrmann edited this comment Feb. 3
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“Don't bet on your own card-reading unless you're actually good at it.”

How do you get good at card-reading, if you never bet on it before?
Jan. 13
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deleted
Jan. 13
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Double as a transfer to the next highest suit is surely a great agreement if you got the next highest suit.
When you hold a genuine takeout double or a general strong hand less so.
My point was more whether it is sensible at IMPs to compete directly when in your own words chances for game are slim.
Jan. 13
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