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All comments by Steve Fama
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I appreciate the Captain Haddock reference….
April 13
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3 3 & 3 would all be Help Suit Game Tries. 3 would be a general strength ask.
April 11
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Good 7 to bad 10 points in support of . A good 10 count with 3-card support would be bid via 1NT(F) then 3 (or 4 depending on opener's rebid).
April 9
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If I recall the story correctly, when Reese was in his heyday he opposed a long-time club member who was unimpressed by Reese's reputation as an author. The exchange went something along the lines of:
LTCM “I'll have you know sir, I've never read a bridge book in my life.”
Reese “Yes, it shows.”
Feb. 19
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Poker has the additional attraction of being a gambling game where most players believe, truthfully or not, that they can win MONEY!!
Dec. 14, 2018
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Didn't Norma Desmond declare 3NT in Sunset Boulevard?
Nov. 8, 2018
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Great story , Ken!!! That gave me one of the better laughs I've ever had reading Bridge Winners.
Oct. 21, 2018
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Keith, Thanks for responding. In the example hand, wouldn't 5 by North have been a Queen-ask. I can see your point about 5 although I'm not sure how it would be understood by partner without prior discussion.

My question above, “ what if N-S have in their written system notes that after a signoff, Teller, holding 3 Keys, will always bid on? In that case, can Teller still bid after a tempo break and should they be allowed to keep their result?” intended as a more general inquiry in addition to being applied to the specific hand. I understand the concerns regarding Hesitation Blackwood and the expert commentary.
Oct. 18, 2018
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After reading through these, I have a question about hand #R3 from the Toronto casebook. The hand involves a Hesitation Blackwood auction. After getting the 0-3 Key response, Asker broke tempo before signing off in 5. The Teller, holding 3 keys, went on to 6 which made 7. The result was rolled back and the panel concurred.

My question is, what if N-S have in their written system notes that
after a signoff, Teller, holding 3 Keys, will always bid on? In that case, can Teller still bid after a tempo break and should they be allowed to keep their result.

Yes, I do have this in the notes for one of my partnerships. We even include the comment “No Hesitation Blackwood!!” We normally do have a copy of the notes with us at the table.
Oct. 17, 2018
Steve Fama edited this comment Oct. 17, 2018
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I seem to recall that during the final versus Italy in Rio, Brachman played with Passel for the first two segments and was -7 in the first 16 and +68 in the second for a net of 61 IMPS over 32 boards.
Oct. 9, 2018
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I believe that comment was attributed to John Crawford.
Sept. 23, 2018
Steve Fama edited this comment Sept. 23, 2018
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Thanks to all who voted. When this hand occurred in a local duplicate, there was a significant tempo break by South over the 1 call, in the 45 second to 1 minute range. The tempo break was agreed to by all at the table. After North bid 3, I called the director and described what had happened. We were directed to play the hand out and call the director back if we felt there had been any damage. After 3, my partner balanced with 3 which I made. The director later reviewed the situation with N-S to ensure they understood as South is, I believe, not very experienced.
Aug. 5, 2018
Steve Fama edited this comment Aug. 5, 2018
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A quote from Willie Nelson….”Par is
anything you want. I have a hole that is a
Par 23, I nearly birdied the darn thing.?
May 28, 2018
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I believe that was the late, great Ira Rubin.
April 30, 2018
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Agree 100%. It is unfortunate that this article is not available on The Bridge World's web site.
Feb. 23, 2018
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My vote is for Hugh Kelsey. Of all the writers in my collection of 200+ books, 3 writers, Kelsey Reese and Lawrence, stand out for the impact their writings have had upon my game. Killing Defense and Master Play were two of the first books I ever read when I originally got interested in the game back in the 1970s. I find them both still as fresh and fascinating today.

Killing Defense opened my eyes to the vista of what is possible at the card table.Adventures in Card Play still the one book I always keep on my my nightstand. It never fails to shed some mall measure of light or open a new window. His series of booklets on Test Your…(Pairs Play, Communication, Timing, etc.) are excellent for focusing on a particular theme and as a brush-up.

Master Play is still, IMO, an unrivaled work. I've lost count of the number of times I see other writers use the phrase, “this hand, based on a theme from Reese's Master Play” or something similar. Reese's development of the over-the-shoulder style also helped in teaching me how to think about a bridge hand.

Lawrence's How To Read your Opponents' Cards was another very early read for me. It taught me a lot about what I should be thinking about at the table. His later volumes on Overcalls, Hand Evaluation and Balancing all taught me a great deal about the game. I particularly liked the way he demonstrated how small changes in one card can have a major effect on the auction. As I started to develop a more complete set of bidding system notes for my regular partnerships, I used this tactic a lot.
Feb. 21, 2018
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“B. For play and defense, books are essential and I laugh at any self-professed expert that has never picked up a book.” I seem to remember that once upon a time, Reese was playing rubber bridge at a London club against an older member who, in the course of a heated discussion, proudly stated that “I'll have you know sir that I have never read a bridge book in my life.” Reese's response was “ Yes, it shows.”
Feb. 21, 2018
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…When you read Peg's comment and your first thought is she was playing on OKBridge……
Feb. 4, 2018
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Martin, I did specify that any bid through 3 is a NFB. The action taken with the 2-0-4-7 hand you mentioned would depend on the strength of the hand, whether we deem it to be worth a force or not.
Nov. 29, 2017
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I emailed the ACBL's Ruling the Game Department back in 2013. Email and reply pasted below.
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My original email….

My partner and I play 2/1 with a 15-17NT, 5-card majors and Reverse Bergen raises. We’ve worked on dealing with interference over a 1 or 1 opening. We play Negative Doubles through 3. We also play Negative Free Bids through 3. We alert these and explain as “5-11 HCP, usually 6-cards or longer, denies 3-card or longer support for opener’s major.” We have defined our response scheme to a NFB.

In order to make this work, our Negative Double may also be a big hand (more than 11 HCP), not suitable for a NT bid and lacking 3-card support for opener’s major. For example, on the auction 1(partner)-1(overcall) responder holding -2, -AKJ1097, -K932, -87 would double and bid on the next round.

Our convention card is marked Negative Doubles through 3 and has the notation “may be big hand”.

Do we need to alert our Negative Doubles because they may contain this second hand type? The frequency of the big hand has proven to be rare, maybe once every 8-10 sessions or so.
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ACBL's reply…
Your negative doubles are for take-out. Irrespective of your implied (common) agreement here no alert is due.
Nov. 29, 2017
Steve Fama edited this comment Nov. 29, 2017
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