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All comments by Jeff Lehman
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Not a matter of processing logic or not. I'm sure both Jeffs agree that logic plays a big role in bridge play. Just a question of what foundation does a brand new bridge player need to process logic.
10 hours ago
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Although I am not a club owner, I am a bridge player with interest in seeing owners of bridge clubs attract more players. A big shoutout to Bridge Winners, Steve and Jeff B, and Silvana for establishing this forum and contributing to it information such as that above by Silvana about Facebook ads. I hope many club owners benefit from your counsel.
June 21
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Jeff B: The comment immediately above makes more sense to me.

Left to their own devices, the newbie youth players (that is the group I teach) will often lead their aces, then their kings, etc. Well, when they lead their ace and their partner does not own lower honors, they are establishing tricks for the opponents, not their side. And when they lead an unsupported king and their partner does not own the ace or queen, it hardly matters which of their opponents owns the ace! This is why our first several lessons (after learning which card wins a trick, what constitutes a contract, etc.) focus on basic techniques to win more tricks rather than on matters such as gathering information and using logic to determine how to use such information.

I am sure that to many readers of this website, it is hard to remember a time when the benefit of leading toward an honor or promoting not-quite-high cards or establishing long suits was not obvious.

Gathering information and using logic to process that information is highly important in bridge for any player who has played only a little. But not for the brand new players.
June 21
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Shouldn't the first matter taught to newbies be “how to win tricks”? Doesn't a newbie declarer first have to know that the opponents' owning the ace in front of declarer's king means the king is a winning trick, before the newbie has to know how to determine which opponent is likely to own the ace?

I am skeptical that declarer's learning the logic of who owns the ace should precede declarer's learning which position of the ace earns declarer's side a trick for his ownership of the king.

Stated a different way, shouldn't a player need to understand what information is helpful to winning tricks and what information is not helpful to winning tricks, before engaging in a search to gather information?

That being said, I will test my skepticism by buying the other two newbie instruction books mentioned in this thread, including Jeff Bayone's. I'm always willing to learn something new.
June 21
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I think there are differences in the basic elements for newest players from the not-quite-newest players.

For the newest players, the most important elements, I think, are establishing a goal for a hand (counting tricks, for example) and then learning basic techniques to accomplish the goal. Examples are leading toward high cards (i.e, finessing), promoting not quite highest cards, establishing small cards in long suit, managing entries.

I think that only after having some foundation in being able to execute basic techniques, does a player get into the highly important elements that Steve mentions.

No quarrel with the attraction of free food!
June 21
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If auction went 1NT-(2)-P-(P), opener would be expected to double with a doubleton diamond; otherwise, opener would pass and defend 2.

I am not following the “eaten alive” comment.

Let's go back to responder's position over 2. If responder has more than 7-8 points, responder will not pass 2. What I said is that responder's double presumptively shows 7-8 HCP, semi-balanced hand, and a doubleton diamond. Might the word “presumptively” have been overlooked by your comment? Responder can double with other hands and then bid something unexpected later.

https://sites.google.com/site/psmartinsite/Home/bridge-articles/countering-notrump-interference
June 20
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As Phillip Martin suggests – and keeps life simple for those of us who value simplicity and cannot be troubled to have myriad agreements that vary depending upon what 2 happens to mean for the opponents this round – double is presumptively a semi-balanced hand of 7-8 HCP with a doubleton diamond. We're hoping for doubled blood if opponents bid to a level beyond their LOTT level – where opener will assume that we have 3 cards in the non-diamond suits. If our hope is not realized, then we can compete in some other suit or allow them to play unmolested (which often happens when their suit splits 3-3 and neither of us can make a subsequent penalty double).

Meanwhile, if we are shorter than two cards in their suit, we can compete in our longest suit if we want.

Otherwise, we pass.
June 20
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Peg, would your partner have bid over 4 on the hand you cite above?

I am trying to learn what hands of opener would pass over 4 on this auction yet would bid over 4X.
June 20
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Should opener pass a second double by responder? Opener chose to pass over 4 after responder made a presumably major suit penalty-oriented double of 2. If responder doubles a second time (this time over 4), should opener now bid? I honestly don't know: opener does have extra club length (even though he did not show that over 4) but then opener also, unexpectedly, has one top spade honor and no top club honors.
June 20
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Against 4X, would East be up to leading the K? After something like K, A discouraged, small to J, A, and small spade, the result will be quite bloody.
June 20
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Some of the items listed should be included in a better-designed convention card; even in that absence, full disclosure is to be recommended and the caveat some have made about alerts (“if in doubt, do”) applies even more strongly to less regulated agreements such as the one you mentioned.

One problem is when the side that had planned to announce its agreements ends up on defense.
June 20
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Might Bill be suggesting a difference in motivation between the play for a twelfth trick at 5 (where the aesthetics of the squeeze might be more attractive than the everyday play of a diamond finesse) and the play for a twelfth trick at 6 (where all that counts is making the play thought most likely to win)?
June 20
Jeff Lehman edited this comment June 20
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I have the feeling that this hand would make a good submission to The Bridge World for one of its Bridge Movie productions.
June 19
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Help my by advising whether what I am about to say makes sense to you.

I teach a new youth player playing a notrump contract that it is preferable to attack a suit where the player has many developable not top tricks rather than a suit where the player has a few top tricks. (Observation tells me that new players like to begin by leading all their highest cards, thus establishing winners for the other side and not for their side.) I teach this by a hand illustration contrasting of how many tricks one wins when doing the former compared to the latter. That is a demonstration of the Why of the advice.

Do you consider that illustration of Why to be an element of Logic? I think of logic as correct reasoning, to be contrasted with incorrect reasoning. I am not seeing how the above illustration of Why is an element of Logic. Tell me why you do.

So far as the example David gave, I don't think that is an example I would find productive to introduce to students very soon. But it is an example of correct reasoning, hence, Logic.
June 19
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Oh, Steve, that is easy to explain. Master points are not important to US; we're all-in on how the beauty of the game at its highest levels is what attracts US. But master points are horribly important to the THEM of the bridge world. (And, of course, the reverse for ratings: that is important to US, who are all better than our accumulated mps suggest, but we overlook other options for “correcting” bracketing that will scare THEM who do not want to see their ratings suggest that maybe THEY are not as good as their accumulated mps suggest.)

Tongue in cheek.

On a more serious note, why not take advantage of the attraction of masterpoints to the THEM of the world? Why not use that attraction to drive player behavior, much like US tax law uses tax reduction from itemized deductions for charitable contributions to motivate gifts to charities and for mortgage interest to motivate home ownership?

If we think that teaching programs/recruitment and playing in tough fields are “good for bridge” (and I do), why not grant extra master points to (at least some games) of clubs that have active teaching and recruitment programs and offer tough fields? Use the “free” master point currency of ACBL to motivate player action that is considered to be long-term beneficial to bridge.
June 19
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No, Ray, I am not saying his suggestion is wrong. Indeed, I am asking Michael about his thoughts about the attraction to his peers of strategy and tactics.

At the non-beginner stage at which Michael is, I suspect his suggestion is right. What I am adding to the equation is the client-service based experience that if you tell a customer, even young ones, that you are going to deliver to them something that you will not deliver for quite some time, you are inviting disappointment.

Of course, free food can overcome all of above.

See my comment to David Levin below if you are really interested in this subject.
June 19
Jeff Lehman edited this comment June 19
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Pertinent observations, I think, David.

My current thinking is to change the “pitch” to tactics and strategy. Those are elements of bridge that one is taught pretty quickly (would include techniques such as finessing, establishing not top tricks as winners, preserving entries, etc.). That such elements are later supplemented by elements of logic to include searching for clues and the drawing of inferences from discovery (would include projecting distribution and high card location) can be mentioned, too.
June 19
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I don't know about “amusing”, but I find observing how poorer players play to be helpful to improve my ability to teach. Without exactly asking the players “what were you thinking?”, one can guess what thinking precipitated a poor play … and that helps improve a teacher's ability to relate to students' needs.

And I bet the many players better than am I would say the same about observing my misplays!
June 19
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@Steve G: The audience the poster is trying to address is “serious intermediates” who will be taking lessons. I think that term implies players who do want to learn from others how to improve their games. Other players might be trying to do their best, but, like you at golf, are satisfied with doing so on their own.

I completely agree with you about the need for the we're-all-serious-about-trying-to-improve players who dominate this website to avoid dismissing the interests and motivations of the bulk of players who are into bridge just as constructive recreation. However, I don't think the recreational duplicate players are the audience the poster will be addressing.

Btw, I think those players who don't care to play up (#14 on Steve Moese's list) probably have similar absence of care about lots of the other items on the list.
June 19
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A side note, repeated from one of my earlier comments, is this: what is it about Logic that produces a positive connotation to youth, while Math and Puzzle Solving (or Problem Solving) don't produce a positive connotation?

I'm all for finding a successful sales pitch I can execute, but I am looking for help to understand what does work – that is, is perceived positively – and not just what does not work.
June 19
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