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All comments by Stu Goodgold
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The version I play has responder's 3 level bid as natural, at least 5 of the major, and a slam try. Not sure if your method of splintering for partner's minor is better or not. It is probably more frequent though.
July 4, 2013
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Zachery, If I bid 4H (Texas xfer) and partner passed after alerting, I would think partner got distracted and pulled the wrong bid card. Much more like than he opened a weak NT with 6 hearts and a stiff spade.
July 4, 2013
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Essentially what I play after 2C-2D.
June 24, 2013
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Sam, you and I might wonder why someone who is inclined to learn bridge from a certified teacher would never want to play duplicate. But we have a jaundiced slant on the issue.
If you took a class in digital photography to better your amateur skills, would you appreciate the instructor pushing you to enter photo competitions (for a fee) and primarily taught what it takes to win such a contest?

Phil said the majority of his students are social bridge players. They want to be able to play compatibly with their social circle of friends. It might be nice to tell them about the competitive duplicate game, but an instructor should teach to the level his audience desires. The students are there voluntarily; they don't have to pass the course, and they will leave if they lose interest, are bored, or are overwhelmed by the material.


June 23, 2013
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The rules of chess are simple and easy to learn, even for a 6 year old. The rules of Go are even simpler. Neither has created a major interest as a spectator sport, especially compared to baseball. The appeal of a game to a general audience has to do more with cultural appeal and physical action than with simplicity. I personally think soccer is exceedingly dull, but it is the biggest spectator sport in the world (the US excepted) due to cultural appeal.

The US Chess Federation has the opposite problem of the ACBL, namely their membership consists largely of school age kids, especially among women. Most of these drop out when reaching college graduation age or before. The USCF promotes their game in elementary schools and is very successful, but that doesn't guarantee these children remain members when they turn adults and face work and family responsibilities. The same would probably occur if the ACBL were successful in getting school-age kids to play bridge more.

Kids play organized sports such as Little League in large numbers, but that doesn't mean they continue in organized sports when they grow up. They might become fans and watch these sports when adults, but bridge is just not a big spectator sport and is unlikely to ever become one.
June 22, 2013
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Steve,
2N-P-3S!-4S is not your common everyday auction. Since 3S is a relay to 3N, usually to play and rarely a runout to a minor, I doubt many partners have specific agreements here.
As opener I've pretty much described the nature of my hand, so would just leave it up to responder. Of course, Dbl is a reasonable alternative by opener.

Scott,

With you sample hand, as opener I would bid 4N (to play) since I have wasted values opposite partner's short suit. Responder can still bid on.
June 18, 2013
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2N P 3S! P
3N P 4S! P
5C P 5D P
5H P 5S P
5N P 6D P
7C AP

3S = relay to 3N
4S - both minors short in spades
5D, 5H, 5S = cue bids
5N = interest in grand.

Whether North is up to pushing on to grand is certainly questionable.
June 17, 2013
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North could have supported clubs at his 2nd bid, or should have cued 3S over 3C. 3D does not describe his controls at all. And with 2 aces and the K of clubs, why is he passing with 5C. Maybe the opps can cash 2 hearts, but what in the world is partner bidding 2C GF on?
I am with the others saying 5C is a bad choice for South; there are other forcing bids which describe his hand better.
June 16, 2013
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Bob, you make a good point that a BIT is relative. Originally I viewed Neil's “5 seconds” as a normal tempo for an auction at this level, even among experts.

I am now inclined to agree with you after Neil said his partner bid 5D relatively fast and Dbled 5S relatively slowly. Stating partner's tempo is irregular doesn't cut it for me. Neil must have sensed his partner's quickness and slowness as meaning confidence in one and lack of confidence in the other, so there is definitely UI to him.

June 16, 2013
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Normand, I always took Goldwater's rule to heart until a couple of years ago. On the old rec.games.bridge a poster asked about an opening lead out of turn, noting that Bob Hammon was supposed to be on lead. Many of the replies said let the client lead and quoted Goldwater's maxim, until the original poster later added that Hammon's partner was Zia.
June 10, 2013
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Like everyone else here, I greatly enjoyed SB and the humorous stories of his TD experiences. Not only were they funny, they added a greatly needed element of humanity to the TD profession by allowing players to see the extreme situations TDs have to handle. It is sad that a humorless reader of Bridge Winners complained about these articles; it does the rest of us a great disservice by stopping SB's stories.

Gary, as an insider you obviously know who SB actually is, so his identity is probably known to others as well. Even so, you made a nice effort to continue the stories with the Spider Harris tale. In my book that does not makes you a gad buy! (can't resist a Spoonerism myself)

After all, the line attributed to TD Solly(?) when the priests at table 7 were late is an all-time classic: “Our fathers who art at seven, hurried be thy game.” Today's policy of making no remark which might have the slightest hint of offense would probably have censured him for that one. It would have been a tremendous loss to bridge lore.



June 10, 2013
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As you note, the optimal game theoretic strategy comes down to a 50-50 guess. In a live game, even at the USBF level, one might ask why the opening lead was the SA. In a ‘non-descript’ auction, it is often better to make a passive lead.

Then there are miniscule hitches and personalities that can be taken into account. Might you consider Zia to be the Super Saboteur type? Or he is more likely a step beyond that?
June 7, 2013
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OK, based on your correction, I now blame South 100% for not returning a high club.
June 7, 2013
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I abstain but if trick 2 is correct, it is South 100% for playing the C8 out of turn.
June 7, 2013
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A bid is either alertable or not; there is nothing in the alert rules that say you alert based on what skill level you think your opponents are at. The TD advised you to alert 2N in the future, so even he thinks it is alertable. Apparently he ruled no damage based on queries of other players and that the expert opponents should have protected themselves.

Did the TD ask West if she wanted to change her pass? Based on Law 21B1 West can change her pass but not East.
June 5, 2013
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5N should be “pick a slam”, obviously between 6S and 6NT.
Since this is matchpts (you said a club game), it may be important to get to 6N. GSF makes little sense - why would partner make a try for 7 when he was willing to sign off at 3N? Plus you only made an invite with 5S.
June 4, 2013
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Apparently they expected you to be at the same level as your pickup partner, whom they must have known. E/W comments are disgraceful, but you indicate their rudeness was not an isolated incident.
You do us a disservice by keeping the name of this club anonymous. We would certainly all like to avoid it.
June 4, 2013
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Alvin, the results of the poll show that all 44 voters agree that the withdrawn DBL by South is AI to North (item A). Since the voters include some experts on the Laws, I would take that to be the proper ruling, ie. North could correct 3C to 3D based on the withdrawn Dbl.

Of course, there is also AI that since East's 2D actually shows the majors, it is likely the minors are breaking unfavorably. And because West bid 3H over 3C, N/S would have to go to the 4 level to play in a minor.
June 3, 2013
Stu Goodgold edited this comment June 3, 2013
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Who knows? East is a B player and maybe was foolishly thinking of bidding 4H. East did ask at her turn to make a call, at least. No one claimed this auction was sensible! It was just a technical law query.
May 29, 2013
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David, North's Dbl of 2H was penalty. South's original dbl of 2D was for penalty, but he did not have a penalty double in my opinion, just Jxxxx in diamonds with 2=1=5=5 shape and 3 HCP. His pull to 3C was based on his lack of defensive values.

And yes, East was the one who asked about the meaning of Dbl over a theoretical 2D natural, even though it was West who was declarer. E/W are B players.

West could have asked what South's 3C was but did not; if she did the answer would have been no agreement. Bridge logic does indicate that he has a weakish hand that could not justify sitting for 2HX.
May 29, 2013
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