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All comments by Stu Goodgold
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Thanks for the detailed explanation of how the MLB HOF works. One problem I see with the baseball methodology is that too many are inducted. A Hall of Fame should contain those who are household names to fans of the sport. There are some MLB HOF members that I barely recognize, even though I pride myself on baseball history. It would be better if the number were limited to 200 (or maybe 2 per year for a organization that's over 135 years old). At some point, to add another name the electors would have to throw someone out, or limit how many get in each year.

In NBA basketball, they had a 50th anniversary in 1998, naming the Top 50 players of all time. The basketball HOF in Springfield, which includes more than just NBA players, is overloaded with so many names, the Top 50 comprise the real HOF players.

At some point having a HOF that contains every one who did well in their career reduces the importance of a HOF. It should consist only of the luminaries of the game, not the above average players or coaches who won a lot.
April 8, 2013
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I play with lot of different partners. Every time I sit down with one I haven't played with in some time I like to go over the card, so we don't have any gross misunderstandings. Just the same, if there are certain defenses to conventions we are unlikely to see for the session, we might not discuss them for lack of time.

Weak NT is not too common is our club games, but is one worth being ready for in pairs. If you are playing teams and noted a CC on the table that was 15-17 NT, then you need not be ready for weak NT. As per my comment regarding the post on directors, if you feel there has been an irregularity, which in this case there certainly has, then call the TD and let him sort out the details. Don't try to settle this at the table with the opponents and don't accept that is was your fault.
March 27, 2013
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My encounters with directors have been mostly positive. Even though I know the laws very well, I do not state the laws or make rulings when playing; that is the director's job, not mine. Often others at the table will just tacitly assume everyone knows the penalty (such as an exposed card) and play on. I prefer to have the director come over; even if I am dummy I usually call the TD. As dummy I do have the right to call the TD once attention has been called to an irregularity, but not before.

The only gripe I have is that it is sometimes difficult to get a TD to the table, especially in a large tournament. Too often I have had to stand up and yell DIRECTOR because they are standing at the other end of the ballroom and often discussing something or chatting among themselves. It is especially difficult to catch the attention of a TD near the end of a session, when the room is noisy and chaotic and the TD are preparing the printouts or just cannot hear or see you.
March 27, 2013
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When was the last time a 4 person team won a major KO event like the Vanderbilt?
March 24, 2013
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This should be legal since it is not a dual message coding.
It also makes sense and I would consider it ‘just bridge’. If partner should know you have no useful attitude signal, then count is the secondary signal you should give.

This is not much subtler than giving suit preference when partner leads an A from AK and it is clear the suit should not be continued. Or giving count when partner leads an A against a high level contract.

Some experts use suit preference as the primary defensive carding signal, and I have encountered pairs who agree on count as the primary signal, so I don't see any problem with what you propose.
March 24, 2013
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Edgar Kaplan was attributed with saying when dealt 2 aces and a king, he always opened. While that might be a small exaggeration (would he really open K xxxx Axxx Axxx?), I do try to follow his dictum. Aces are underrated in the Work point count anyway.
March 23, 2013
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My style is to keep the bidding low when you know where game is and when slam is a possibility. Also my 2H cuebid does not deny 4 spades. It would probably go (uncontested maybe): 2H-2S;3C-3D;3S-4N;5D-5H;6C-6S.
March 21, 2013
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The days of women's events might be numbered for a different reason. The Board of Directors just passed new regulations for NABCs. Among the details is:

1.5 For any NABC+ event with or without a set masterpoint award, whevever entry is fewer than 30 tables for three consecutive years, the ACBL Board of Directors must review continuing this event on the National schedule.

Of course, the BOD can add or delete an event any time they want, but this clause makes them automatically review the Women's Swiss and KO. With tables well below 30 for 3 years running, these events may be hard to justify continuing.
March 21, 2013
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Some years ago in a regional pairs event, I was playing with a first (and last) time partner and picked up the biggest hand I've ever held - 30 HCP:
AKJ
AKQ
Axx
AKQx

I opened 2C, partner bid a basic 2D waiting, and I decided if partner had clubs I could probably get to his hand and could invite slam, so I bid 3C.

Partner went into the tank …… and passed, holding
xxx
xxx
QJTxx
xx

I won't say what my reaction was, but after the session I asked Billy Miller, who had been playing in the KOs, what was appropriate?

Billy replied: “30HCP and partner passed 3C? What's appropriate? Strangulation.”

Feb. 6, 2013
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Most play maximal dbls apply when
a) both sides have shown a fit (here would count as that),
b) the opps have bid at the 3 level, and
c) there is no intervening bid before 3 of your suit.

Clearly you could bid 3H as a game try, so maximal dbls do not apply. Whether it is penalty is a matter of partnership agreement apart from maximal dbls.
Jan. 30, 2013
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I voted other, and would add that the asker's partner may request the answer be repeated even though it isn't his turn. Many times the answer is directed to the asker and his partner does not hear it clearly.

I reread the Laws section on face down leads, and never realized that 3rd seat could no longer ask a question (other than what is the contract) after the open lead is faced. I think that should be allowed as well; at times dummy comes down with a surprise to the defense but not the declaring side. If this is an obscure alert or a style issue, it would be difficult to ask about it before seeing dummy.
Jan. 28, 2013
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Yes, minorwood and kickback or redwood are prone to errors. I find minorwood is especially confusing to a partnership using it without experience. So I prefer Kickback with these rules:

a) Game before slam - if 4x is a logical game, it is to play.
b) If 4x is logically to play then 4x+1 is RKCB. (repeat if necessary)
c) when 4x is RKCB, 4N instead is a cue bid in suit x.
d) If a minor is agreed, 4N by asker is to play.
e) after a kickback response, the next bid is a Q ask if not the agreed suit (or 4N as in c).
f) the King ask is the next available forcing bid after the Q ask
g) Responder shows a useful void by bidding steps 5 thru 8, which mirror steps 1 thru 4 (ie. 1430 is that is what you are playing).

That is a lot to remember, so not best for a casual partnership.
Jan. 24, 2013
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The GCC is clear that conventional rebids are disallowed, whether the defensive Double is conventional or not. The only legal loophole is that Redouble is not a rebid; it is a call. However, I doubt you would get far with that excuse with any TD.
Jan. 20, 2013
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You didn't say if the new bridge club in the community center is run as a non-profit, with volunteers doing the directing and administration. If so, your mother will always have a tough time competing and making a decent wage. It's like opening a consignment store only to find a Goodwill store opening across the street.

As for the ACBL, Ellis described it fairly well. They do not play favorites when issuing a sanction. Clubs are handled as separate organization from the ACBL, unlike units and districts.
While the ACBL has coordinators to assure regionals do not conflict (and districts do so for sectionals), there is no restriction on where or how many clubs may conflict.

We had 3 Wednesday night clubs operating within a 15 mile distance. That was at least one too many, especially with evening clubs on the decline. One of the long established clubs dwindled and failed; the club owner/director lost the thousands he initially paid to buy the club. One of the suriving clubs eventually had to vacate their location, then moved into the location where the dead club was before. The club fees were either $7 or $8 for all 3, so cost was not a factor here.

Perhaps the ACBL could do coordination, but that would put them in an awkward position. And they do not have the manpower to manage a club coordination.
Jan. 19, 2013
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Great article on the history of MPs. Just an addendum: The Great Western regional was a 10 day affair, starting in LA and then continuing in San Francisco. Participants took the train between the 2 locations and played an event or two on the train. The Great Western tournament goes back to before the Western US was part of the ACBL (which merged in 1957 I think).
Jan. 16, 2013
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I wonder how good a bridge player and partner Helen Keller would have been.
Jan. 7, 2013
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Congratulations on making so many of your goals for the year. I would suggest that concentrating on 2 of your goals for 2013 will make the biggest difference in your game -
“Drastically reduce careless mistakes at the table”, and
“Spend more time with my husband.”

Actually, the latter might affect your life more than you game, but that remains to be seen.

Dec. 31, 2012
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Surely declarer has at least 3 diamonds for his 2N bid. If he has 4 you will block the suit if you don't lead the D3. Of course, if declarer has 5 diamonds it is already too late and the suit is blocked. Given that partner has 2 or 3 HCP outside of the DQ, it is unlikely you will set this contract, so holding it to 3 should be good.
Dec. 26, 2012
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One of my partners likes to play 1M-1N! (forcing);2any-3N or 4M shows the balanced hand with 2 or 3 card support, respectively. I do like the 1M-2C! sequence you described better, but his method is playable and simple. In particular, 1M-2C shows a real club suit.
Dec. 20, 2012
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The most likely game is 3N. 2H shows about opening values and asks for a (partial) heart stopper. I'll pass any non-forcing bid partner can muster.
Dec. 13, 2012
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