Join Bridge Winners
All comments by Allan Stauber
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Yes! This topic had come up before, but I intentionally omitted it here to see if anyone would mention it. I didn't want to influence anyone's opinion. I've had a comment that it is OK, but I said that seems wrong to me. Also, for probably 20+ years, I haven't followed law changes very much, but it seemed like it was illegal for a long time and still is illegal to take advantage of the info from a partner's lead out of turn.

Possibly, it might be logical from some holdings with AQJ and a sure or likely entry.
Aug. 2, 2018
Allan Stauber edited this comment Aug. 2, 2018
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I said I didn't add all the usual info about the situation. I don't think anyone should assume anything about the form(s) of scoring in effect. Anyway, I mainly posted it because it looks so bizarre to a big percentage of players, and a lot of them probably have played this form of bridge!
June 16, 2018
Allan Stauber edited this comment June 16, 2018
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Yes Michael, they were playing a form of Roman.

As I added toward the end, I think that the combo of the wide point range for 1NT and also that the HCP range was so high made it more likely that the opener might bid 2NT on this auction after the balance, as compared to that happening with most other 1NT ranges.
June 15, 2018
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I've seen many apparently non-vanity FL plates in the Palm Beach Co., FL area that begin with AKQ.

Some form a legitimate bridge, poker, etc. holding. Of course, some of those combinations might have been bought as vanity plates instead.
Jan. 24, 2018
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Paul D East offered a mathematical proof that:

Prob( lead trump from Qxx ) > Prob( lead trump from void ).

BTW, in some situations, leading a trump from Qxx may be the best chance to beat a grand slam. Not being as magnanimous as Paul is, I will leave the proof to the readers. (A low one probably is a better choice unless the leader is the Rueful Rabbit.)
Jan. 9, 2018
Allan Stauber edited this comment Jan. 9, 2018
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Restricted to 13 cards? That is much too strict.

For example, in the RPI (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute) annual bridge tournament years ago, I know that hands often had more than 13 cards. I saw one with 17!

Since these hands routinely produced several tricks after the other hands were out of cards, they had more potential for producing game with little or no help from the CHO (center hand opponent). It is mean-spirited to prevent players from using conventions when they are more likely to be of value. That is a clear ZT situation.
Aug. 16, 2017
Allan Stauber edited this comment Aug. 17, 2017
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BTW, psychic runouts have many purposes besides getting to play un-X’ed, mucking up the auction in some other way, etc. When willing to have it go float or in some other circumstances, they can be used to help describe 3-suiters, some 2-suiters & exact lengths of each, some 1-suiters, etc. They also get the strong hand to play the contract more often. If the psychic run-out is X’ed, subsequent SOS XX’s and other bids are used for these purposes. When I used to play pretty often, occasionally my partner or I might make 2 or even 3 XX’s before we got to our best contract.
July 26, 2017
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It's tough to have the best of all worlds when in 2 level competitive situations. X's often are for takeout or at least tend to be. However, in such situations when there's a good chance that the opponents are scrambling, in trouble, etc., I think it may be better to lean toward penalty X's, especially in the “over” position.

Unfortunately, this is further complicated by what the X'ing side already has shown, vulnerability, form of scoring, etc.
July 25, 2017
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There was mention of N not X’ing 2 on the last board, but now that I see the actual deal, it appears that 2 was DONT or some kind of scramble. Whatever it was, S also has a reasonable X:

4 trumps, a singleton, etc. And even if W has a real 1NT bid, he has at best a J in and N’s HCP’s therefore rate to have even more than the usual good trick-taking power in this situation, etc.

If N can’t stand it, it is OK to pull. But on this deal, regardless what E-W did after that, obviously N-S also should have won the match with breathing room besides.
July 24, 2017
Allan Stauber edited this comment July 24, 2017
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I didn't see that anyone posted the deal, and I couldn't find it elsewhere either. Anyway, even without it:

1. Weren't the opponents playing some strong NT overcall range? If they were, evidently 13 HCP's at most makes it very unlikely that RHO thinks he really has a strong NT.

2. Even without knowing the range, per what others have said, it seems far more likely that partner is not psyching, and RHO is.

3. X of what LHO bid may be reasonable, but without seeing the hand, that's far from certain.

4. As John indicated, if there is a chance partner will pass a 4NT bid (meant as an ace asking bid) that you don't want him to when he is not psyching, you usually try to do something else such as Q-bid first to try to set a trump suit even if you have no intention of playing in it, etc.

Etc.
July 23, 2017
Allan Stauber edited this comment July 23, 2017
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It depends somewhat on your 1 opening “style.” For example, a famous player told me this story about one of the best players in the U.S. (I better not mention any players' names, partly because I wasn't there, and I can get into enough trouble on my own hands.)

The hand was something like:

x xx AKQxxxxx Qx

With the opponents passing throughout, the bidding was something like:

1 1
2 2
3NT P

For some reason, the LHO didn't find the killing club lead! :)
July 22, 2017
Allan Stauber edited this comment July 23, 2017
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Since a lot of quote marks are popping up in the comments, I also put them around “accidentally” in the article.
July 19, 2017
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Yes, Steve uses some similar conservative approaches. When I used to play a lot years ago, we were together on various teams. Usually, he played with Fred Stewart. But one of the times that Steve and I played together, the opponents did bid higher than we did on a few deals. For example, on one deal, I think we defended 5X, DOWN 9!

A quite memorable event for us was the 1984 Reisinger when he played with Fred, and I played with Mike Smolen. We liked to make the game interesting so with one session to go I think we had about 12, and the teams in 1st and 2nd had over 20. We may have loosened up a bit. We gained about 8 boards on the team that had been in 2nd to tie them for 1st with two other teams! Someone said it was the only winning tie in Nationals history for more than 2 teams/pairs (at least at that time). I think we gained about 14 boards on the team that had been leading!
July 19, 2017
Allan Stauber edited this comment July 19, 2017
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What Jim doesn't tell you is that it is great to be able to blame the bar when you get to 7NTX, and after the lead is made, concede the first 13 tricks! Of course, earlier that day, I had “taught” him my system over 1NT. That might have had something to do with it. It worked wonderfully until I bid 2S over his 1NT. Then things went a bit off the rails!
Feb. 11, 2017
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I have complained occasionally that bids above 7NT should be allowed for reasons that didn't even include this one! This makes my case even stronger!
June 28, 2016
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Tragically, Jim Fox was my supposed “partner” when he perpetrated that action on me during our Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) days! Earlier during that especially tragic day, he also was supposed to have learned my system for our 1NT openings. Evidently, he learned it through the 1NT part, and that was all!

Furthermore, I don’t recall that it was redoubled, so even if we were vul, he probably didn’t concede anywhere near the number of total points that I did. In any case, an opposing woman took pity on him, and said that he didn’t have to concede all the tricks just because he was in a bad contract. He replied, “Madam, this is not a BAD CONTRACT. This is a COLD BOTTOM!” He then conceded all of them anyway.

I should have reported him to the Conduct and Ethics Committee for intentionally losing tricks that he didn’t have to lose, but I also took pity on him! He probably could have been taken at least one, especially if the opponents misdefended — often a great possibility! Besides that, for all he knew, some of the other RPI players or even urchins who were there might have been playing my methods, and might have known them as “well” as he did. Thus he might have lost us some matchpoints and even masterpoints. He also might have affected other results in the field.

I didn’t realize the extent of my injuries at the time, but obviously this disaster had lifelong implications for me, and now I just bid my partner’s hand and mine.

It’s possible that the statute of limitations has expired, but if so, perhaps the ACBL will change it retroactively to include this egregious case. I have decided to file the case now. I hope that the bridge world finally will get justice.
May 8, 2016
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Maybe George thinks that he is CLAWED less by the tarantula than he is by CLAUDE!
May 8, 2016
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Well, there are bridge stories about vulnerable endplays, virgin rubbers, hooking, tricks, etc. but for some reason, bridge publications and websites ban the ones that I have!
May 6, 2016
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That’s so sad. I knew he had some serious health problems, and I hadn’t seen him at tournaments for quite a long time. However, he continued to make interesting comments on the web.

I had many interesting hands against Henry, including one in the 1981 Spingold. Warren Rosner (who also tragically passed away a couple years ago) and I saved in 2X. As usual, we tried to enhance our opponents’ enjoyment of the game. We took ZERO tricks (but lost only 1 IMP due to the scoring methods in use then).

Henry said another pair had done a better job of enhancing their enjoyment at those Nationals. Their opponents took zero tricks at the 3 level! (Maybe he said in 3NTX. Anyway, there have been many NT hands for which huge numbers of tricks depended on the opening lead.)


Rest in peace, Henry.
June 9, 2015
Allan Stauber edited this comment June 9, 2015
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Regarding Ron Gerard: While these may not quite be usual bridge claims, I've heard him say it doesn't matter what he and his partner will do, or what they did. For some obscure reason, it always seemed to happen when I was on his team at the the other table!!

Al, The Plumber of the Depths of Lunacy
Dec. 21, 2014
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