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All comments by Shawn Drenning
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Lead a spade still, if partner has something like K109xx of spades and a minor suit stopper is he really gong to double 3NT here?
Oct. 6, 2019
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Gross, I hope LHO got a procedural penalty.
Oct. 5, 2019
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On this sequence, it really looks like partner wants to know about the club control, so why not bid 5H that feels logically (to me) to confirm a club control but an unwillingness to bid a slam?
Oct. 5, 2019
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“1C-1S-1N-3S and 1C-1S-1N-2D-2N-3S”

I thought typically one of the sequences shows a slam try with essentially self-sufficient trumps and the other shows a slam try where some help is needed filling in the trump suit (no idea whether or not you consider this “sensible”).
Sept. 30, 2019
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For sure, but I think the bigger loss of rebidding 1NT with (1-3)=4=5 is not hiding the second four card suit, but the fact that now my 1NT does not promise 2 cards in partner's suit. I have been coming around to the style that responder almost always responds to 1m with a 5 card major and it seems that this works better if with a really weak hand responder can rebid 2M and know it is at least a 52 fit (but I have no dogma about this and happy to be convinced to rebid 1NT with a singleton)
Sept. 29, 2019
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“hough losing by RKC battle to that hideous 1430 that everyone wants to play but can't do right”

Curious if you could elaborate on what you mean by this?
Sept. 29, 2019
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There have been a recent series of articles in the Bridge World called Einar's advice that I likely need to reread before I can internalize in any practical way (I think broadly it suggests in some situations taking early tricks in your known long suit and/or leading your known long fit rather than making a more obvious lead in a side suit). The theme of leading hearts instead of diamonds (although the fits are the same here, you do not know it) reminded me of those articles. I would be curious if someone who has internalized the theme of those articles could 1. help me understand it better 2. tell me if the fact that leading your known fit here works better is in any way relevant to the theme or if I am just seeing connections where there are none :)
Sept. 29, 2019
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Partner might care if you rebid 1NT with a singleton in his suit.
Sept. 29, 2019
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“From my own experience, in casual club partnerships, Two Way is too complicated.”

Why? I get that 2-way is often presented as a more advanced convention, but to me it seems conceptually easier as long as you remember meanings to 2/2. After that you may not know what you're doing (but neither do the one-way NMF pairs), but seems less likely you'll have a major accident.
Sept. 28, 2019
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“The other advantage of 2-way is avoiding ambiguity about whether Responder's third bid is forcing.”

I think playing at the club-level, this is a HUGE win for 2-way NMF!
Sept. 28, 2019
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I think it would be better to teach newer players two-way NMF and not bother with one-way because it is easier, especially with shaky agreements (because you establish immediately if you are in a game-force).

I think there are lots of auctions in one-way NMF that most advancing players do not understand. Off of the top of my head

1. Is (say) 1 - 1 - 1NT - 2 - 2 - 3 forcing? If it is not, how do you find the heart fit and make a slam try?
2. Assuming opener jumps with extras, what is (say) 1 - 1 - 1NT - 2 - 3 - 4m? Is it agreeing hearts or making a minor suit slam try?
3. 1 - 1 - 1nt - 2 - 2 - 4nt? This sequence came up for me and I passed thinking that 4NT was quant, +520 did not compare well against +1520 . . .
4. Do they even know 1-way NMF shows invitational values? I got a bad board on the auction 1m - 1M - 1NT - 2om - 3NT because my partner bid NMF with an 8-9 count hoping to improve the contract in a 53 major suit (but willing to play 2nt)

So, yes, I agree with Billy Miller if he is advocating 2-way NMF.
Sept. 28, 2019
Shawn Drenning edited this comment Sept. 28, 2019
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Except (see upthread) there are LOTS of people who do this!
Sept. 28, 2019
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“ One cannot appropriate a time-honored term”

Do you any have evidence that this is the case? Briefly looking on the internet I see

1. Larry Cohen suggests xxx is a HSGT, see https://www.bridgewebs.com/northbay/BB10%20-%20Larry%20Cohens%2012.pdf
2. The first hit when googling BridgeBum says that xxx is a HSGT https://www.bridgebum.com/help_suit_game_try.php
3. John Adams, who does not strike me as a confused noob based on his posts thinks that HSGT specifically means a suit like xxx (see below)
4. Players I have encountered in real life that know what they are doing (e.g. Grand Life Master) have described xxx as a typical holding for what they call a HSGT.

I also see people who call Barry's approach a HSGT (Karen Walker: http://kwbridge.com/gametry.htm, a pamphlet by Patty Tucker).

I am still not convinced that “help suit game try” means the same thing to everyone (and for this reason, I always clarify when it comes up in real life) and think that Barry and those applauding his methods are missing the point.
Sept. 28, 2019
Shawn Drenning edited this comment Sept. 28, 2019
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“Is there anyone who doesn't see why it's important for a game try to be unambiguous?”

No.
Sept. 28, 2019
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You mean by balancing if we pass?

In any event, yes, I understand that passing has some merits and it is something I considered. My main objection is to the idea I see on BridgeWinners a lot that “going with the field” is something only done by uninspired players who are satisfied with a slightly above average (and never winning) score.
Sept. 28, 2019
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While I prefer the treatment you suggest, I think to some degree you're attacking a straw man here. If your students are playing the style of HSGT where they will bid a suit like KJx, then obviously they cannot also make a HSGT with “the weakest possible suits”, but no one has claimed this. Some people's definition of a HSGT is different than yours (and yes, I understand that you think Mike's approach is terrible, no need to remind me); no one is suggesting your students play a blended version of everyone's definition of HSGT.

“I care enough to comment when I read what I know to be the thoughts and beliefs of people who simply don't get it and will never get it unless someone cares enough to help them understand why they're wrong.”

So Mike is a person who “(doesn't) get it” and never will unless someone like you enlightens him? Surely you recognize (or should) that this comes across as arrogant and condescending whether you mean it to or not. I think it's possible for you to offer your wisdom to the community without simultaneously insulting the less enlightened among us . . .
Sept. 28, 2019
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“Being with the field all the time usually yields 55% if you play and defend reasonably well”

I do not know where you got the number 55%, but as usual these things depend on how clear an action is. Assuming that either pass or 2H will end auction (not at all clear) if I pass I lose opportunity to win matchpoints playing 2H better than the field; I do not want to do this unless it is clear that I have enough of an edge passing (or the field declares much better than me :))

My goal at matchpoints (for the most part) is, given the information I have, maximize the expected number of matchpoints I will win on a hand. Sometimes I judge that the best way to do this is to play in the contract I think the field will be in. Obviously, you and Richard think passing is the percentage action; that does not mean those of us choosing to bid 2H are doing it because we are afraid of the variance of being in an anti-field contract.
Sept. 28, 2019
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“Shawn, if you think telling partner to re-evaluate his hand based on upgrading his honors in your xxx suit is a good idea”

I don't think I ever expressed an opinion on what I thought of this treatment.
Sept. 28, 2019
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I usually describe my game tries as natural (to emphasize we do not bid xxx) and mean by that that I have a 3+ card suit where fitting honors would help. Maybe this is misleading though because I would not make a “natural” game try with a suit like AKQx, but would with KJx.
Sept. 28, 2019
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“A weak holding like xxx is not a help suit game try. That's a very common misconception”

I'm not convinced this is a “misconception”, but rather a matter of definition. I think some pairs who know what they are doing call bidding 3C here with xxx a “help suit game try” (my impression is that this was a more common treatment in the past based on the people I have encountered who play this way).
Sept. 28, 2019
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