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All comments by Roger Bryant
1 2
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A bit more on the Terence Reese story where a topless young woman strolled past his table. I was told that Reese may have been slightly distracted in that he didn't properly hear his opponent's bid - it was before the days of bidding boxes - and asked: “Two what?”.
June 5
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A great win by Team Mossop.
I was at the event - as a player until we were KOed and a VuGrapher on the final day - and I felt sorry for the losers. It's an uber-gruelling event: you finish after midnight on the first day; and you have two 32-board matches for each of the next four days. Team Amalia, the losing finalists were four-handed. Both semi-finals were one-sided. One team found themselves 16-85 down after 24 and conceded. Another, down 15-72 versus Amalia, played on, which, of course, they are perfectly entitled to do. An hour's break, and the final was under way.
They were edged out in a very close match, but very well done to Amalia: Kevin Castner & Phil King and Roland Rohowsky & Paul Gruenke.
May 8
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Nice. I also liked the EBU's report - in the April 1st edition of Bridge Magazine - that: the WBF have decided to introduce an UnDouble card into bidding boxes so that a player can undo partner's Double. Would be useful…
April 5
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I'm pleased to report that neither of the claimers was JM, who, coincidentally is my team-mate in the Gold Cup these days.
March 26
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I was defending the first one. (QJ doubleton was dealt; so no mistakes in discarding.)
I wasn't at the table for the second one, so I'm going by what the TD and others have told me. Despite the speculation upthread, I think it was clear to everyone at the table that W was on lead. (W had taken the previous trick.) W also knew that the other suit would gift a ruff-and-discard; so would have underled the K and hoped for the best. Except that Declarer claimed. There was some ill-feeling. Clearly one shouldn't get agitated when an opponent calls the TD, as long as it's done in a pleasant manner; so there may have been other factors at play, I'm afraid.
March 25
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And their imaginative defensive false-cards could really bamboozle declarer. Mine only seem to fool partner…
Nov. 21, 2018
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I remember playing against the violin maestro Alfredo Campoli during a London tournament in the 60s. Trying to be friendly, I said “Well played, Alfredo” at the end of a hand. “I'm just Campoli”, came the brief reply.
Campoli was a keen bridge player and Wikipedia tells us that he passed away before a game at Princes Risborough Bridge Club.
Campoli appeared in a few films (including one with Old Mother Riley), as well as Dr Who (IMDb).
Nov. 8, 2018
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The World Junior Online Championship ran on BBO over several months recently. A “player's Dad” told me that each player had a Skype screen-mate, mirroring playing with screens at a real table. I expect that I will be told - again - that I am out of touch, but it's something I'd not heard of before. I wonder if it could catch on as an alternative to a long journey in a national KO competition.
Thanks to all involved in the junior game. Have fun, everyone!
Aug. 8, 2018
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Depends who your partner is, I guess. Mrs Giggins, a prominent player at my local club, is a firm advocate of trying for a ruff. “Always lead your singleton”, she tells her partners, “unless it's a void”…
June 12, 2018
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Many thanks, everyone, very helpful. I've passed everything on to the club.
Hopefully they can keep the Hugh Kelsey books together as many have personal messages to Stuart. Stuart was a Scot who moved south to Solihull in England as a young man. I can only assume that he knew Hugh - a fellow-Scot - from when Stuart lived in Scotland. And the messages solved a mystery for me. I know Stuart's initials are G S, but I never knew what the G stood for. But I see that, in his messages, Hugh calls him George.
May 14, 2018
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Doesn't promise support, I'm told, Thomas.
March 22, 2018
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I felt W would be too threadbare for his X without J. After all, I had made a slam try on the way to 5. He'd played several of the earlier stanzas against us, so he knew we were solid. I had to place Q with E as I can't make if the Xer has it. As Paul says, I played W for J in the actual play, so there's no reason to think I'd have judged differently on a different defence. After K, I was just going to cross with a and play to K. If he ducks, I run the trumps and play another . OK, he may duck again, but I can either play another or throw E in with a .
March 1, 2018
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Yes, Richard, but screens are great if your partner happens to be ugly. (Oh, apologies, I am not being Politically Correct, am I?)
Oct. 9, 2017
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I was also a member of the team that lost the 1984 Final. The was another issue which made the Final a farce: the organisers had introduced a bizarre new regulation that allowed you to play a Forcing Pass system in the Gold Cup from the Quarter Finals onwards. Such a method was completely banned from other British events, but a noisy lobby had championed the rule change. (Then, as now, if you shout loud enough, you get what you want!) The Quarters, Semis and Final are played on consecutive days; so, having struggled through a very long Quarter Final (opponents arrived two hours late and weren't penalised) and a long, slow Semi Final, we discovered that we had to play against a Forcing Pass pair in the Final. Of course, we had no idea how to defend against it or exploit it. Great, eh?
Oct. 9, 2017
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Weird game, bridge, isn't it? One minute you're up against a champion, then you play against beginners. A reasonable player makes allowances in the latter case.
We really need to empower TDs to restore equity in unfair situations such as in the hand we are discussing.
You get similar problems where someone who is hard of hearing has misheard something; or where a player (perhaps with arthritic fingers) lets a card slip onto the table.
Most players would shrink from taking advantage, of course, but the game is ruined by those who seek to exploit every possibility for a undeserved gain.
April 19, 2017
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Verhees (West) had xx QT AQxx AQxxx
March 8, 2017
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Jeremy, I tried only once to get the regulation modified and I was unsuccessful; although, as you say, a modest change was subsequently allowed. I just think it bizarre that the sort of upgrades we see from Meckwell and other top players on BBO - often based on good intermediates - aren't allowed in England, thereby preventing players from following Meckwell's evaluation methods if they want to.
Jan. 6, 2017
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I tried to get the English Laws & Ethics Committee to change their regulation on Precision 1 openers. It says you need 16 points or to satisfy the EBU Rule of 24, which just depends on HCP and suit lengths. I cited several instances where world class players - Meckwell inter alia - had upgraded a hand to open 1 which would be illegal in England. No dice, on the grounds that if we don't have a proper limit, people will open 1 on substandard hands to badger their opponents out of what is rightfully theirs!
Jan. 6, 2017
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When the European Champions Cup was held in England last year, we used a similar system whereby the VG operator received one board at a time from a central server. (Presumably the software was commissioned by the European Bridge League, but I don't know whether it is the same as that used in Wroclaw.) There was no documentation on how to use it, although an expert on the software was on-site to help. Just as well: there were a number of crashes which needed the expert to fix. Indeed, we had to have a spare operator on hand to find the expert when there was a crash, so that the actual operator could stay at the table and record the bidding and play, and catch up when the problem was fixed.
I agree that it is impractical to go round each operator with a USB drive of the hands; but I felt the solution we were given was inflexible, over-designed and under-tested.
When VGing English competitions, we have a separate file of hands for each round. As long as the VG operator loads the correct file, there is no possibility of accidentally displaying a board from a future round.
Sept. 20, 2016
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Round 10 Board 29 Wroclaw
Sept. 8, 2016
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