Join Bridge Winners
All comments by Steve Willner
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 ... 46 47 48 49
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
I don't think the announcements for 1m opening bids are well thought out. I don't care how short the minor is. What I want to know is the hand type. Let's consider 1 openings. They might be:
1. shows 4+ (now rare)
2. shows 3+ (normal)
3. usually 3+ but could be 2 if 4=4=3=2
4. could be 2 in any balanced shape outside NT range(s).
5. NF and usually length but could include 4=4=4=1 (rare)
6. something else, usually forcing, e.g., strong or Polish

Presumably everyone will agree that 6 gets alerted. Most will agree that 1 and 2 get nothing, though it wouldn't be crazy to announce them. Nobody will much care about 5 because it's so rare; either an alert or some announcement would be fine. The question is what to do about 3 and 4. On Open and Open+, it makes a difference what defenses are allowed. (Not having noticed before, I was surprised to find that on Basic and Basic+, defensive methods over Quasi-Natural openings are restricted to those allowed over Natural openings.)

One nice thing about announcing all 1NT openings is that when there's no announcement, opponents know immediately that something is wrong. It might be a good idea to extend that principle to 1 openings.

1 is even worse because many strong-club players use it either to promise or to deny a 4cM. An announcement is fine if it's just a balanced hand outside the NT range, but it's the implications about majors that are important.
May 9
Steve Willner edited this comment May 9
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
I don't know why crumpled convention cards (now “system cards”) are seen as a good idea.

Howard Piltch said that special alerts were his idea. No matter who came up with the idea, special alerts worked badly in practice. Announcements, which replaced them, work better.
May 7
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Ahh, the good old days!

“All opening 2-bids natural and game-forcing”

As of 1963 – I was very young at the time! – Goren had natural and strong but not GF.

“2 and 2 to play opposite 1NT opener”

I don't think I've ever seen that. Some played 2m natural and forcing, but Goren had 2=Stayman with 2 natural and NF. I don't remember any other methods except the few radicals who played transfers. 2 natural and NF is part of K-S, and I think it's pretty popular now (though probably minority) opposite mini-NT.

“2 over opponents 1NT natural, just clubs”

Normal back then. Now rare, even in club games, but not that bad. I'd play it with a pickup partner.

“All jump raises of partner's opening bid are game-forcing”

Part of Goren and not a bad method, though I don't think anyone plays it nowadays.

“All 2nd round jump rebids by responder are natural game-forcing”

Part of Goren. Richard Pavlicek advocates this or at least something close to it, and I think it has a lot of merit. Few if any play it.

“A free raise shows extra strength, more than if no competition

”Strong jump overcalls, regardless of vulnerability"

Those two are gone and not missed. Even back in the day, some played intermediate jump overcalls, and a few still do. More than just the few radicals played weak, but WJO weren't popular.
April 13
Steve Willner edited this comment April 13
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
With that timing, one has to be pretty fast with the bathroom visit.
April 10
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
If you are declarer, you shouldn't expect to have to play the dropped card. Defenders have to play the card if partner could have seen its face.
April 5
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
That last is good if you can tolerate the wider balanced ranges, but you are better off reversing the meanings. In your example, 2NT should _deny_ 3c, and 3 should _promise_ 3c. Advantages are being more likely to right-side NT if you play there and giving a step or two more room when no fit is known.

The method is a standard part of Polish club, where the strong balanced types would have opened 1, never 1.
March 27
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
“make a profit 2 out of 5 years”

When I looked into this several years ago – and I wasn't then and am not now either an accountant or a lawyer – the legal standard was intent to make a profit. The IRS had a policy of accepting that you met the standard if you indeed showed a profit for two years out of five. Things may have changed, or I may have misunderstood in the first place.
March 24
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
I thought one had to have intent to make a profit for Sch C, but I'm not a professional. Sch C allows one to take losses if expenses are greater than income, but I'm sure that's allowed only if one intends to make a profit. If expenses are less than the subsidy, one would have to pay self-employment tax. Sch C looks like a good practical solution, though, if one can make the expenses exactly equal the subsidy.
March 23
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Schedule C is correct if you a professional, defined for tax purposes as intending to earn income from bridge. That's no good for those of us who aren't professionals. We report the reimbursement as “Miscellaneous Income” on Form 1040, but I don't see a way to subtract off the expenses.
March 22
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
“By the way, reimbursement of personal expenses is not taxable as long as the reimbursement does not exceed the amount of the expenses.”

That makes sense to me, and it's what a CPA told me (admittedly prior to the 2017 changes), but I don't see how one would fill out a return to reflect that. The income on the 1099 has to be reported, presumably as Miscellaneous Income, but where can the corresponding expense be deducted?
March 19
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Outstanding! Thanks, Shireen.

This paragraph quoted from Mr. Mollo's 1966 book deserves attention:

“What made Mr. G cheat? The stakes were not high and the money meant nothing to him. What possible inducement, then, did he have to endanger his name and reputation? Why, for that matter, should rich people ever be dishonest for small amounts? The answer lies in the thrill of winning, in the sensation of coming out on top, of lording it over others, which is often a greater incentive than mere money. It is the glory that is so intoxicating.”
March 18
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Thanks, everyone. 2 would have been the winner on the actual deal, but it could have been silly opposite a doubleton .

One correction that doesn't affect the problem: “cannot have a game force” wasn't quite right. We could have a game force with a long suit or a balanced 9-count that wants to take a shot at game, but there won't be any doubt how to bid either such hand.
March 16
Steve Willner edited this comment March 16
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
If anyone wants to try LaTeX, I recommend a free account at overleaf.com . Overleaf has a nice web interface, and you don't have to install anything on your own computer.

To get started, whether at Overleaf or with your own install, try to find someone who already has LaTeX notes. That will show you the format, and editing from a starting place is far easier than setting up your own first document even if you have to throw away all the existing text.

If you do your own installation, you really want the emacs text editor. But that has its own learning curve.
March 3
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Breaking this into a new thread:
“Moving to an electronic playing environment … will almost completely take away their ability to read other players at the table”

Why would it be worse than with screens? Have North and East face to face in one room, South and West face to face in another, and “the other table” likewise in another pair of rooms. You'd want to have players on opposing sides together anyway to facilitate explanations and because having every player observed by an opponent eliminates some forms of cheating (e.g., text partner's mobile phone).
March 2
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
As can be seen from the above, there are lots of methods available. Which to pick is a matter of what hand types you want to prioritize and how much complexity you can tolerate. With Hank's example, you'd want to be playing transfers, but when you are dealt a weak hand with some diamonds, you'll want 2 to be natural NF.

As I see it, the first tradeoff is whether you want 2 to be natural or artificial. Natural NF has quite a lot of merit, but it reduces the number of available sequences for stronger hand types.

If you make 2 artificial, there are lots of things it could mean. Many are listed above. Others (unless I missed them above) are invitational or better in an unspecified major and puppet to 2 as part of a triple-puppet method published in TBW 2003 Sep by Bill Schramm. I've played the “inv+M” method, and it's complex but good in letting responder declare. (There are different methods available depending on, among other things, whether your 1NT can include a 5cM.) The triple-puppet has many of the advantages of transfers on the strong hands. It may actually give more sequences because there are at least four ways to bid 3 or above. A disadvantage is that many contracts are played by opener, including all signoffs except spades.

I don't think there's much difference in overall merit among the various sensible methods. The important thing, as so often, is for both partners to remember the agreements.
Feb. 28
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Does any of these programs (even the non-ACBL ones) work with Bridge-Tabs?
Feb. 28
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
I'm assuming Bud's question is for a Tuesday, where the opening 2 was illegal. As in any judgment decision, the Director has to look at all four hands and consult. If the auction might have gone 1-ap or 4-ap or anything else, the possibilities can be weighted.

In this case, I doubt 1-ap is possible. Give responder a 5-count, and opponents have 25 HCP and at most three spades between them. Are they really passing the deal out? More likely seems to be 1-P-P-balance-4 or perhaps a direct overcall and then 4. I suppose you could give some weight to opener rebidding only 3, hoping to be “pushed” to 4 and doubled. You might also give 4x some weight, though if it's very much, the opponents weren't damaged, and no adjustment is needed at all. Anyway, this is a normal judgment decision. Non-offenders should get some benefit of doubt but not an excessive amount.
Feb. 21
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
I recorded over 1000 hand (not deal) distributions in the 1970s, and the suit lengths were as expected from random dealing. That's in contrast to the result reported by Robert Harris above (if I understand him correctly – I haven't checked the numbers) and in the ACBL Bulletin from a club in the UK. My hypothesis is as others have said: randomizing the individual hands before the deck is reshuffled makes a big difference.

I have many more than 1000 hands recorded now, but I haven't added them all up and checked the statistics.

One other caution: suit lengths are not the only attribute that needs to be randomized.
Feb. 21
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
To answer Randy's question, even if late:

An adjusted score requires both an infraction* and damage. The text quoted above in red clarifies that damage is required. There's never an “auto-adjust,” but if an infraction causes damage, _then_ you adjust. Damage from an illegal 2 bid could be that the bidders reach a better contract than the field or that the defense is misled. Existence of damage is a normal question for judgment rulings: what would have happened if the infraction had not occurred.

So is the 2 bid illegal? On Tuesdays (Basic+ Chart in Randy's club), yes. Either there's an agreement to open such hands 2 or the bidder psyched. Either is an infraction. Investigate damage.

On other days, using the Open Chart, the bid is legal if done by agreement but not if psyched. The agreement is probably alertable, and a proper explanation is certainly required if the opponents ask, so there might be misinformation. As with any MI ruling, investigate whether the opponents would have done better with correct information and adjust if so.

Regardless of whether there's damage or not, you could give a PP for an illegal agreement or illegal psych, but I wouldn't normally do so except for a repeat offense.

*Some irregularities that are not infractions will also merit an adjusted score, but that's not relevant here.
Feb. 21
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Sort of like
http://web.mit.edu/mitdlbc/www/MITDLBC-INDY.pdf ?

(As the link title suggests, this is used for the annual club Individual and by some pairs in the pro-am.)
Feb. 20
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 ... 46 47 48 49
.

Bottom Home Top