Join Bridge Winners
All comments by Ron Zucker
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Because his response, given that he's shown so much of his hand, is going to be 6 if he holds the K.
Sept. 13, 2016
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Wait, Yu. You MAKE grand slams? If I made them more often, I wouldn't have to ask this. (Though this one did, indeed, make, but I felt a little sick when I played the A and LHO played the 8…)
Sept. 12, 2016
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
In my book, 4 is a serious slam try and demands cuebidding. If partner starts with 4, I'll bid 4 and let him/her know where the problem lies. If partner starts with 4, 5 should be find. And if partner bids 4, I'll be thrilled.
Sept. 12, 2016
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
OK, this is a helpful analysis once dummy comes down, and thank you for it. But what does it say about my 5? Is that a bad bid?

Bidding is hard. There is so much to find out and so little space to find it out. Did I bid poorly? Can you give suggestions?
Sept. 12, 2016
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Thank you, Steve, for the reference to Andrew's excellent article. I did not know of that article.

To my surprise, the opps did, indeed, stop in 4NT on the auction 1-3NT (13-15)-4NT-P I was surprised. I admit that 1m-3NT as 13-15 is one of my least favorite methods for this exact reason. I did not consider during the auction that they might stop short of small slam. They didn't even really explore diamonds, and, with the Q offside, as it was, 6NT had no play anyway.

But here's the problem I have. We can't know during the auction, if we're playing a more or less standard system, that partner made an excellent judgment to bid 2. What it it's the normal bid, say with one more diamond and one fewer spade?

If so, I think my 5 looks right according to his article. Odds are very, very good for this hand. But I can't be sure during the auction, especially with someone I haven't played with a ton.
Sept. 12, 2016
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
It is very difficult for me to fault South for 3NT after 3. The K and solid hearts make slam awfully good now. That's why I think that N should have bid 4 over 3, effectively saying, “I'm not sure what you're looking for, but I probably don't have it.”

Once N bid 4, of course, partner doesn't have the above hand. Perhaps S should stop there. Still, AKJxx of hearts, the K, and the Q, which is still consistent with the bidding, makes this a more than acceptable slam (I make it about 75%, though I'm sure I'm missing something. As such, while South's glasses were definitely rosy, North's 3 bid after a totally minimum opening were what led South down the primrose path, into a tangle of thorns.

I'm out of flower cliches though, so I'll leave it at that.
Sept. 8, 2016
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
John, why do you assume only three hearts? Partner would not bid 3 over 3 with only 4.

I don't think that makes the problem easier, but I'm curious.

And yes, the double of 1 is clearly penalty in my book. A snapdragon-ish double would be convenient on THIS hand, but is not what I play, and I think it loses out overall.
Aug. 30, 2016
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
But I don't care what bid they make. It's a binary decision. If you bid on, you KNOW the red suit situation, and you're basically driving to slam unless partner shows a missing spade honor (it would have to be something like AQJxxx Jx xxx Kx). I'm more interested in the thought process.
Aug. 30, 2016
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
We ended up going in a slightly different direction, choosing to use what the Internet has dubbed (I have no idea if it's accurate) Meckwell Light with a few tweaks. To wit:

1-1 is a “mini-positive.” 8-11 HCP, fewer than 5 spades. 1 is 5+ spades, 8+ points, and 1NT through 2D are transfers with 12+.

2 opening is intermediate with 6+ diamonds. This means our 1 is 0+ D, but in return we get our diamond hands off our chests easily and we have 3 card major suit raises (using the Steve Weinstein guidelines) available. With 1-1, we can even distinguish longer (i.e., passable) diamonds from longer clubs.

Opening majors are 5 cards. (Thanks to a comment above, I looked and did a bunch of hand generation analysis, and the 1M-4M bids are such a big win it was worth it to swallow my preference for 4 card majors.)

NT are variable (10+-13 1st and second seats non-vul, 14-16 all vul plus opposite a passed partner non-vul.)

1-1-1 is Koke-ish. (Not truly Kokish, but kinda.) 20-21 balanced or 4+ hearts, with or without a longer minor. Responder rebids are what Kit has published on the 2 level, with 1S being a stall, 1NT being 5 spades and 0-4 points and 2S being 6+ spades in a bad hand.

1D-1M-1NT frequently on a stiff.

1D-3m 6+, natural and invitational. 1D-2m not game forcing, with some dances available to get out below game. 1D-2M reverse Flannery. 1D-2NT game forcing.

If you like, I'd be happy to send you our system notes. They're not totally complete, as some areas, like cuebidding agreements, competitive bidding and such, carried over from our time playing weak NT. But they're not half bad.
Aug. 30, 2016
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
I disagree with your categorization here. South doesn't have a CLEAR 4 bid, but certainly North can do no more. North has the death holding in clubs (Jxx) and the Intensive Care Unit holding in hearts (Qxx). So if ANYONE is bidding 4, it's South. But that's a big if, IMHO.

Now, should s/he bid it? On the one hand, it's red at IMPs. On the other hand, the K is worth less than full value. But the stiff club and the J are worth every bit of their value. I don't think South did anything WRONG, per se. But I think it's 80% the card gods and 20% South.
Aug. 30, 2016
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
FWIW, my LHO was an expert with a 3rd in a world pairs event, multiple high NABC+ finishes and over 10,000 Master Points, only a NABC+ win away from GLM. But it wouldn't matter. Even if my LHO is not very good, perhaps especially if so, that's no reason not to know what WE are doing.
Aug. 16, 2016
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Since Richard mentioned it, it's a coastal thing here, and I am forced to ask a question. Who said that first, Kit? You or Stevie, or did you both hear it from someone else? It does seem to be his mantra.
Aug. 16, 2016
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Sorry, Dave. Neither I nor my partner posted this as a bidding problem, so I was unaware it came up that way. Since there are probably salient comments, would you please point me to the problem? Thanks!
Aug. 16, 2016
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
OK, for what it's worth, Eric is right on THIS hand. I posted it to find out if my double was a bad action or if I hit bad luck (or both). Given that a number of players join me in doubling, I'm going to choose bad luck. The whole hand:

North:

KT9x
Jxx
J
QJxxx

West:……………East
AQJxxx…………..x
Qx………………AT9xx
Txxxx……………Q9xx
-……………….xxx

I chose to double, thinking it likely that they were in a 3-4 or, at worst, 4-4 fit, and that with partner holding the spades and me with strength in the other suits, a trump lead should hold them to 5 or so tricks. Unfortunately, well, not so much. -690 was a cross-field bottom, with 3NT making.

However, I'm still not sure that my double was wrong. I posted it to find out what others do. I feel better now. FWIW, the normal score was 2SX-2. Our East was very lucky to find his partner 6-5.
Aug. 2, 2016
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Just for the record, as the 74 seed, who did beat the 21 seed, I was wondering this exact scenario, but figured I'd find out tomorrow.

And if there was any justice in the world, given my skill level, 74th seed in a field of 64 seems about right for me…
July 25, 2016
Ron Zucker edited this comment July 25, 2016
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Thank you, Kit. It's not about this hand. It's about the next time, and how I should have thought about it. Thank you for explaining your thought process.
May 5, 2016
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
I live in DC. There are many AirBnB options, often in easy walking distance to the host site. But do be careful about the last train problem. MetroRail stops running at midnight week nights. Additionally, we are currently going through serious disruptions to service, with single tracking adding a lot of time to non-rush hour and especially weekend trips, since there are significant safety problems due to insufficient safety/upkeep since the system was opened over 45 years ago.

That's not to say that staying in Rockville or Bethesday is a bad option. I think it's an excellent option. DC has a good public transit system, and both have nice hotels very close to Metro available at a competitive price. But please ensure that you make your playing plans aware that the game might force you to RUN to the Metro afterward, or force you to take a cab/Uber home. (Or find a friendly DC local who drove in from the suburbs…)

I look forward to seeing all of you! I hope there will be a BridgeWinners dinner or other social event during the Washington NABC's. There are many of you I'd really love to meet F2F.
April 29, 2016
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Open to suggestions on my thought process, so reporting.

First the auction at our table:

West (me)- East (pard)
1 - 2NT(1)
3 (2) - 3NT (3)
4 (4) - 4NT (5)
5 (6) - 5NT (7)
6 - P

(1) Standard Jacoby, and yes, we all know it's inferior, but fine in an infrequent partnership
(2) Would accept a limit raise. Fewer than 16 HCP, no stiff, no void, no 5 card side suit
(3) Spade cuebid, serious slam try
(4) cuebid
(5) RKC
(6) Two without
(7) Specific King ask, guarantees all the keycards

My LHO (a friend, competent defender and frequent partner) also led a low heart. Opps play UDCA.

I admit that I erred by rising on the heart and got the bad news. RHO (another friend, etc.) pitched a high diamond (discouraging). I've played with both often enough that I'm fairly certain I can trust their early attitude signals, but never their count signals and not necessarily later signals. Moreover, from the trump lead with my only cuebid being diamonds, I'm fairly certain the king is offside just from the lead, to say nothing of RHO's discouraging pitch. RHO could play the 2 here and I still suspect that LHO has the K. I think the Q is a mirage, and I'm not planning to hook it.

I played a heart to hand, rho pitching a spade. If I'm right about the K, I need LHO to hold the club king, so I should play a club hook now, as it gives me some options if it loses to a short club king. I played a club to the T, winning.

Good news, but I still have a problem with the 4th club if LHO has Kx of clubs and I lead the CQ to the next round. However, I decided that if he has Kxx of clubs, to go with four hearts , he can be endplayed. So I pulled a third trump, played a low to a low card from LHO and the A (if RHO was getting cute with Kxxxx of clubs, let LHO err by ruffing air) to which RHO followed, pulled the last trump, noting that RHO now pitched a club, played AK of spades, ruffed a spade (LHO pitching a diamond), and tossed in LHO with a club to lead, perforce, into my AQ of D. With the clubs 3-3, I could have made this MUCH easier by just leading the Q earlier, but I didn't know that at the time.

Basically I decided that LHO being 4-4 in the rounded suits and having the K was more than I could handle, so I didn't play for it. But I'm not sure that's right.
April 17, 2016
Ron Zucker edited this comment April 17, 2016
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
So, I'm confused. many people comment that bridge “encourages” playing lower with masterpoint rewards. And I get that. I'll earn fewer masterpoints for for a finish I'm more proud of in my NABC+ event than in an event I'm less proud of.

But I see it more like Leo. There will be those who will chase the masterpoint reward system. I'll never have as many MPs as they do, and that's fine. I prefer to chase a different reward. Obviously, I am a very different person than those who chose MPs. I'm not upset that they have more MPs than I do.

In other words, I think you choose the reward you're after. I'm after enjoying a game I love. I don't care if I win or lose. I do care if I played well or poorly, or if I learned from my mistakes. I measure success in the number of hands I'm going to preface with the words, “You hold…” in the next few weeks, the number of hands I can post here to learn from.

I don't resent other players having other goals. The beer card. A backwash squeeze. A great bamboozle. Who among us has never led a card and wanted to (though I hope never actually done) get up and do a little dance while saying, “Winkle!!!!” Those are all goals, too.

My goals are more esoteric than masterpoints. but I don't resent those whose goals are masterpoints. Indeed, given that I want to play top competition wherever I can, I welcome any event that pulls out those who don't. I love, as we do locally, an A-X flight and a B-C-D flight. I don't care about the strat. You could just run an A flight and B-C-D strat for all I care. But it gets rid of players with 1800 points who don't want to play against the best.

So, while I agree with Jeff Ford's comments above about not being able to play in the top bracket (and I do understand why the directors don't always want to let us play up, and the late Henry Bethe made an excellent argument about it on this site, but it's still annoying), and it's why I rarely attend regionals, I also think that the ACBL is supposed to represent its members, and people vote with their feet.

It's hard to argue with larger table counts. Comments like this can come off as simply disliking change. And while I bow to nobody in my willingness to be a crabby person, I'm ok with change. And with meeting our clients' wishes, as demonstrated by higher table counts.

As for those who have said that they wish there was one day of a huge pairs event with no KO running, we tried that in this area with the Machlin pairs at our regional. 1 session qualifying, 1 session Barometer final. No new KOs, though those who had started the day before finished their KOs. Many more pros in the field.

You know the rest of the story. We had to go back. We barely got two sections. Just nobody showed up.

I'm all for reminiscing about the good old days. But I refuse to wear blinders. Let those who want to chase MPs play down. Let me play the open events. I'll see you at the NABCs in Washington. I'll be the one trying my hardest in the open Spingolds. I won't win, but I sure will enjoy it!
Jan. 6, 2016
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
No. Of course not. That's why I think a per diem is reasonable. It was the size that stuck in my craw, not the existence. $71 was a bit much, especially when connected to $200+ per session rates.
Dec. 22, 2015
.

Bottom Home Top