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All comments by Shawn Drenning
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If you withdraw in the Spingold/Vanderbilt do you save money on the sessions you don't play or do you pay for all 4 sessions ahead of time?
June 7, 2012
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That did the trick!
May 24, 2012
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The game worked for me at first, but now if I play there is no sound and nothing happens when I type numbers.

I have adblock disable for bridgewinners and am using firefox 12.0.
May 23, 2012
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As a non-expert player playing with non-expert partners, I've found that when there is UI many of my partners (in an attempt to be ethical) go out of there way to make a bid that will essentially guarantee us a bad result. If it is a close call I want my partner to make the bid not suggested by the UI, but if it's not a close call I would prefer my partners not try to come up with reasons why a bid they know won't work out well is a logical alternative. Of course, if our opponents disagree they should call the director.
May 22, 2012
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I'm hoping the conclusion to all of this is that Victor Jusner and Michael Rosenberg are, in fact, the same person and this is just an elaborate ruse to throw us off the trail :)
May 22, 2012
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If our opponents are less likely to balance after 1S-P-P- because they know we might have this hand, maybe that is a good thing for the times we don't have this hand (assuming opps know our tendencies well).
May 20, 2012
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“Having the ace of your suit is a big negative.”

I'm just curious if this is a gut feeling, based on personal experience, or based on something else. I seem to remember reading something like this in Kit's book “Matchpoints,” but I think on this website he has said he no longer stands by that claim (due to computer simulations someone ran). On this hand, of course, the scoring is IMPS, not matchpoints.
May 12, 2012
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I voted for “winning.” I think second would be “playing well,” but honestly I don't like losing and getting a 45% makes me grumpy even if I played well (or did any of the other things listed). I have been accused of being too competitive though . . .
May 12, 2012
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FWIW, playing 2/1 (and not flannery) I suggested (not claiming originality here) to my partner that we should respond 1S to a 1H opener with a minimum 3=1=(4/5)=(4/5) shape and a decent spade fragment. Multiple people told me that this was a psyche and would be an illegal agreement.

Ultimately I emailed rulings@acbl.org and was told that responding in a 3-card major constitutes an illegal agreement under the GCC, but I could use my bridge judgment to deviate from my agreements.

I find the ACBL's stance on this very confusing. It seems to me that if every time my partner opens 1H and I have min 3=1=4=5 hand with good spades I use my “judgment” to respond 1S, then we have an agreement. I have similar thoughts about opening a 16 point 6322 hand with a bad 6 card minor 1NT (I would almost always use my “judgment” to do so, but it is not a legal agreement).
May 10, 2012
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I abstained although I would go with 4 spades and a heart stopper at the table I think. A secondary question seems to be what should opener's priorities be with both spade support and a heart control. If responder has no spade suit or heart stopper, but values, double might be the best shot at 3NT.
May 7, 2012
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It's not clear to me what the best way to do this, but it seems like something is wrong when Meckwell is not on either Bermuda Bowl team. The top players will talk about the importance of “team chemistry,” but you'll have a hard time convincing me that the US would not have had a better shot of winning this year if Meckwell (or another top pair) replaced one of the pairs with a sponsor playing.

Of course money is a factor and some top players have said they would choose not to represent the US if the conditions of contest changed. Personally I'm inclined to say let them go–I'd rather root for a weaker team that wants to play over a stronger team that will only play if the money is right.
April 27, 2012
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Here's the complete list of teams: http://usbf.org/index.php?option=com_entries&event=28&task=list

There are quite a few very strong teams not listed in poll that I don't think anyone would be too shocked if they won, so I might bet on the field versus any one of the individual teams listed (but would bet on one of the five teams listed winning over one of the other thirteen teams winning).
April 16, 2012
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A good book on this sort of thing (written by a bridge player who is a mathematician) is http://www.amazon.com/Expert-Bridge-Simplified-Arithmetic-Shortcuts/dp/097534191X/ref=pd_sxp_f_pt

I believe Rubens suggests that taking into account the effect one suit breaking well has on another suit breaking well is way too complicated to do at the table, but the effect is small enough that it is safe to only use the information if deciding between two lines that appear to have very similar odds.
April 2, 2012
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I suspect it is the same hand. A friend asked me about it–I posted because I was surprised that a lot of people he asked thought 2S was the “normal” bid. I think either pass/2D I could live with, but don't see what 2S bidders are hoping will happen.
March 27, 2012
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I'm willing to be convinced otherwise, but I would bid 1H without too much thought. Perhaps you should make this a poll.
March 26, 2012
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This is in response to Jerry and others.

I don't know the exact details of what happened this time other than that when the board came up they called the director and said pair did not have required defense. When this came up in the past against the Singapore team (this was what I heard, but I was not there so correct me if I'm wrong) I believe the Singapore pair told Meckwell ahead of time they were playing multi, but were unable to print a defense, but had written one down by hand. They asked if this was ok and were told “we'll see if it comes up” and as soon as they opened multi the director was called and Meckwell said the defense was unreadable/unacceptable etc.

Certainly I think everyone agrees that just because Meckwell have won 50+ national championships that doesn't mean they aren't entitled to have the defense/have the rules enforced. The question (as I intended) is whether, if you accept that Meckwell don't actually need the defense (if they do they should get it), do you approve of them calling the director (either to get in opps head or prevent them from playing multi)?

Personally I would never do something like this (because I don't want opponents to think I am a jerk), but typically I am playing with my friends to win bracket #7 of the compact knockout, not professionally to win the Vanderbilt.

More generally, it is interesting to me whether people think players should follow the rules as they are literally written or follow their spirit? It seems that a number of people (~40%) have no problem (or approve) of the tactic Meckwell employed in the Vanderbilt. On the other hand, I suspect (to give one example) that far fewer people would approve of a pair that took advantage of UI whenever they thought they could reasonably get away with it and let the directors/committees decide if there was a violation (it seems to be almost a matter of pride among some bridge players I know to make the worst bid they can think of when they have UI so as to appear ethical).
March 23, 2012
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It seems to me if they show both majors, often we will want to try to play in 3NT and there should be some way to diagnose stoppers (e.g. bidding 2H/2S shows a stopper in that suit, but not the other).

@Josh: I'm curious what your followups are over 2H/2S or 3C/3D. Can opener then cue a stopper?
March 14, 2012
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