All comments by Will Roper
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I like how I am trying to identify flaws in my own methods at 1am :) Here goes.

> Helps them to penalise: By putting weak hands through the slow route you give them multiple ways to penalise. They are less likely to do this against a GT hand.

> Helps the defence: Expanding on the previous point. Going slowly inherrently uncovers slightly more information than the quick route. The hands where this is more likely to help them are the ones where our combined assets are weaker. Admittedly this could be seen as a positive to a player whose plays mostly imps with thin game bidding.

> Scramble destination: With some hands the identification of a, larger than expected, double fit could make blasting game more attractive.

> General logic/understanding. People play 2N as a good raise. You don't play 1-(2)-?: 2N = Weak and 3=INV as a general rule of thumb. Similarly the default after 1-(4)-4N seems to be:
a) Good raise/RKCB
b) The minors
c) Combination of a and b
d) Other

As I said, certain non systemic partners adhere to this style that artificial scrambling NT contain good raises and are prone to forgetting the reverse.
April 25, 2017
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Second time I have seen the basis of this idea bandied around this week. The other was a bit more simplistic in that it suggested after direct interference over a short club they played as if partner hadn't opened.

I like the basis of the idea, particularly that you aren't using 2N for a transfer starter. I am just imagining the chaos it would cause if I included it in my system:
1-(1)-2*-(P)
2**

2 = Transfer to Diamonds
2 = Transfer to Clubs

Not for the faint hearted!!!
April 25, 2017
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I agree with most of the above and did in my initial post. The major reason we inverted 3 initially was symmetry with our 4N=weak T/O approach.

As to the proposed alternative to Lebensohl, this is what I play already over weak 2s where it is more effective as a tool. It still has some upsides against regular Leb in this position though.
April 25, 2017
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There are arguments to both sides.

I usually play Scrambling similar to what Michael R suggests above. Can be a bit of a nightmare with some partners who forget we reverse the 3 bid. I don't find I miss (m)any games with this approach and it is very useful at MP so I have stuck with it.

If I was to play Lebensohl here (and I have considered it) then I think I would invert the meanings:

2N = INV+; F1
3m = Weak
3 = Weak

I think this also has merit over (2)-X-(P)-?.
April 25, 2017
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I am not a fan of 4 at matchpoints. If you go down that route you might as well just blast 6.

4 = Marginal. Aceless and minimal. But the 6th Club is useful and you know partner has 0-1.

4N = …. I imagine without discussion it will be taken as 1430 or a slam-try. I don't have much more than my original slam-try. Perhaps I am regretting my 4 bid. In for a penny, in for a pound.

6 = Well 5 is apparently either 1KC (or do you play 3041?) or a sign-off. Why do I bid 6 over either.

I also would have opened 3 on the East cards which might not work very well here.

Interesting bidding problem as to whether North should drop 3N after 2-3-3-X-P-3N-P-?.
April 25, 2017
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Nope :)
April 22, 2017
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I know this and have used it to great effect in the past. The problem is I simply don't think opposite my partners that we are beating 2x. Those hands would usually open. 2xx or 2x+1/+2 are still reasonable swings in the out column.

At teams I don't like competing for dead rubber part-score boards. The risk-reward ratio's simply don't stack up.
April 21, 2017
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Firstly I think it must be right on DD defence to play the A. If you mis-guess and they are 2-2 then there are some positions where you are now just off. If East has both minor kings then a club will seal your fate. A diamond will put you to a guess. Meanwhile if you mis-guess and they are 3-1 then there is plenty of play still in the hand. Hence A.

So thats T3 sorted. So now we know that are 1-3. If East holds both minor Kings it is right to play another trump. This stops West from blocking our comms and allows us to get to this four card ending or similar:
-
-
AQ
Qx
<>>>> -
<>>>> -
<>>>> Kx
<>>>> Kx
-
x
x
xx

On the last heart you can throw a club and either pick up stiff K or throw East in.

Whilst this play is neat, it only really is right to play a trump if East has both minor Kings. A better play at T4 is a spade up. This works on two levels:

a) Gives us the spade count
b) Puts West to the test immediately. If they don’t duck then we can still always get to the above ending.

This leaves you well placed. Will happily guess what to do next but first I need to know what have the opponents played thus far.
April 21, 2017
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How do we know East has xx. Do people not lead from KQx these days? Would be surprised if LHO had KQxxx + stiff + possible minor king and didn't bid 1 as a passed hand.
April 21, 2017
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Interesting hand. Am pretty on the fence. I decided pass as my partners tend to be pretty aggressive. Also expect 2 to get passed out too often. Would definitely compete at MP.
April 20, 2017
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Agree about Pass vs 3N.

Double vs Pass. 4 making is similar to Pass vs 3N. We are only costing 1/3/6imps and potentially collecting 2/9/12.

Slam making hands seem to fit into 4 categories:

1. Hands partner would have bid already (bigger point for those who play trash multi etc)
2. Hands partner will double on in protective
3. Hands that we cannot convince to bid slam after doubling or end up in the wrong spot
4. Hands that don't fit into 1-3. I.e hands where doubling wins

All this, among other things, leads me to think that pass is a big favourite here.
April 19, 2017
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I was NOT at the table and cannot state exactly what happened. However there are several points which I think are missing:

1. The director was subsequently called back by N/S who complained that the young player was moaning ridiculously about the ruling. We couldn't hear exactly what was said, we were at the next table, from the young players but this looked very excessive by N/S.

2. The table wasn't only towards the bottom end of the room, but there had been some sort of mix-up with the boards?? I think they might have played each other twice. So a small bit of sympathy to N/S in what I imagine I could be an irritable situation.

3. Lastly I cannot say how many times the director was called to this particular table but it was more than any other fixed N/S that I could tell. I think the director was called on more than the two occasions described when the young players were there but I cannot say for sure.

As to the hand I wouldn't call the TD, I would allow the high diamond to stand. I would advise the young players afterwards. Our game is dying and this is a perfect example of one of the reasons why.
April 17, 2017
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Interesting hand as to which major you should default with here. Personally 3 for me since even if partner has clubs stopped, 3N may not be the place to be. I can see the attraction of 3 though.

Also useful to try and define these 3m bids more. For me I like this bid to show 5-5 and put the 5-4hands through 2N. This allows for better definition and means that you worry more about black suit stops here.
April 12, 2017
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I used to play a variant of DB's gadget but found it wrongsided a lot of NT contracts as well as helping the opponents identify the best lead.

I now play that 1-2-2N= and 1-2-3=Weak NT thus automatically wrong-siding the diamond hands……
April 12, 2017
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Dw it wasn't the oddest thing in that tournament. Iirc I only had 6 to go with my 13count….. That might have been a clue. It was mildly bemusing if nothing else.

If you like making heavy 4M openings then it might be a good idea to play 3N=Good 4M bid (assuming you don't already). Can help separate the good from the trash. Doesn't help here though.
April 11, 2017
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5 first round would be sick. 5 now is gambling. You win if go for 100/300. Flat if 500. Lose if 800/1100/they weren't making/you push them into a good slam. All in all I think you have to pass.

On a different day the 3-0major split would spell -500 and this hand wouldn't bother you nearly as much.

I don't mind the 4 opening, but I assume you knew that considering you once called the TD on me for a wide ranging preempt :-)
April 11, 2017
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My partners know my thoughts on this Dave and tend to agree with me on these things…Ergo they would also accept the bid. If my partner did not then:

a) We would have a discussion as to why they didn't accept the bid afterwards.
b) I would automatically Pass such that the auction takes its most second natural course (I would not pass out 1).

Ed R: I disagree. The reason I accept the bid out of turn is because I want to play proper bridge. However, within the current rules it is a courtesy and one that I need not exercise. There are 4 people, that I can recall, whom I would actively rather not play bridge against and as a result why should I extend them such a courtesy. As far as I am concerned these 4 have stooped extremely low at some point such that they don't deserve it. From a different post, it appears I am not the only one to think this way.
April 9, 2017
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I find these barring rules poor and destructive. If you bid in this scenario then the whole auction becomes distorted and it is a lottery as to who gains. The person who does is usually left thinking that they wish they could have won the board properly.

My general approach to these bids is to call the TD to make sure it is registered then accept the bid out of turn. If this affects the result then maybe I look like a fool. However, at least I got to play proper bridge. The only reason I might not follow this policy is an opponent repeatedly trying it on….or if they annoy me generally.
April 9, 2017
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Like the rest of my team, I was somewhat surprised at West's 5 bid. It would never have occurred to me so kudos since it worked. A similar situation came up several boards later which proved that West was consistent in this approach.

This hand came up for heavy discussion afterwards. Partner thought I was odds on favourite to hold the Ace of spades and was mildly worried about some endgame situations, where I have to give dummy a spade. All 4 of us agreed afterwards that a heart is best.

As to why I abstained….I had a marginal decision over 4, which my partner didn't save me from, and thankfully got said decision correct. Hit a very nice position and should most days incite a double for win 5. Instead, I concede a double game swing….bit fed up of this hand :-)
April 6, 2017
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From scrolling through the responses a major con has been missed. The two most frequent reasons for me being called to a table on a duplicate night is:

a) Entered wrong declarer into bridgemate
b) Entered the wrong board into bridgemate

A common example of b is Table A is about to play boards 19-21. These boards are passed to Table A with 21 at the top and they forget to play 19 first. However, they score the result under board 19.

This usually now fouls board 19 which isn't satisfactory for anyone.
April 1, 2017
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