Join Bridge Winners
All comments by John Miller
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David C… “Is a defender entitled to ask how many masterpoints you have or how frequently you play?” I find this dangerous ground. Back in the 1980's I was playing a sectional pairs with a since deceased player who was a politician when he wasn't playing bridge. He was a successful player, built on his ability to read people rather than great technical skill. I was dummy on a hand where he had a two way guess for a queen. Our opponents were two kids from the college bridge club I ran. There was little from the card play to go on to guess the queen. At trick 10, my partner asked, in his innocent-sounding southern drawl, “How long you kids been playin' bridge?” One twittered nervously, the other confidently said “A few years.” He successfully hooked the twitterer for the Queen.

That incident always made me feel uneasy. It is clearly different that the context in which you posed the question, but I tend to doubt such questions could be allowed in a manner that narrowly circumscribes the appropriate contexts in which to ask, and, absent that, there will be unscrupulous players who take advantage in the cracks.
Feb. 27, 2018
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Shortly after support doubles became widely used, Bill Lohmann, an excellent player from Atlanta who stopped playing many years ago, had his partner double a two-level overcall after a bid and response. The partner of the overcaller sat, waiting vainly for an alert. Finally he turned to Bill and asked if that was a support double. Bill answered “Yes, for your suit.”
Feb. 21, 2018
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Not an answer to the question, but wrt the bidding problem embedded in the post, a simple solution (which I adopt) is not to play double negatives after 2-2-3.
Feb. 21, 2018
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“Not to mention fornication…” Now there's something we can all get behind.
Feb. 18, 2018
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You know I am a kind partner. I also like to build fences when I can. Wondering if the risk/reward of leading a low one is good. Won't be good if Qxx shows up in dummy and declarer has a stiff.
Feb. 16, 2018
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Follow up … I led the J and Qx came down in dummy. Declarer ducked, and my partner went into the tank. I immediately saw his problem as he had Ax. After some time he ducked, my hand was dead, and declarer made 3N. Oddly, even though the diamond lead “helps” declarer, he doesn't have nine quick tricks, and partner would be forced just to lead A and a low one later as the only hope to beat 3N.

The thought I had was that maybe the 3 is the right one to lead if you are leading a heart. Nobody chose that, though. It's also not without problems, as partner, holding Ax, will think the suit won't run and may switch. However, he hasn't blocked the suit and may lead one to you later to get you in to lead through the dummy … and be surprised.
Feb. 16, 2018
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Had to give it with this auction to get input on the point I want to understand better.
Feb. 12, 2018
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Don't lead the King from that holding.
Feb. 12, 2018
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I would play the five, upside-down encouraging. I have the agreement that if it is plausible to tap the dummy, then attitude prevails. If you do not have that agreement, my guess is the best card is the nine. I think you really want partner to continue hearts
Feb. 10, 2018
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It says I looked at my hand and realized that I accidentally opened an eight count.
Feb. 5, 2018
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When you post on a thread like this on a Saturday when there is no tournament within traveling distance.
Feb. 3, 2018
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East can't give attitude from Kx unless the x happens to be the lowest spot. Similarly, from xx, he can't give attitude, because either x may be the lower card from Kx.
Feb. 2, 2018
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Which heart is the low heart? It may matter whether partner knows you have exactly three or could have four.
Feb. 2, 2018
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An understanding of the laws of bridge.
Feb. 2, 2018
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Uh, oh, they might crack it. Americans, be very careful with what you say.
Feb. 2, 2018
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Is the “u” a short u, or an oo?
Jan. 30, 2018
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And … who is Mutha? One of my favorite sayings to my kids is “you win or you learn.” Either way it's a victory.
Jan. 30, 2018
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As a UVA alum almost contemporaneous with Ralph Sampson (three of four years) we appreciate your sacrifice. I chided a Duke buddy this weekend about the academic school which graduates its athletes (well, more than most) beating the NBA AAA team.

Underneath the alumnus posturing, though, there is a point that transfers to bridge. Tony Bennett's teams always perform in a manner where the team is greater than the sum of its parts. Declarer play is pure talent, and the best are much like the players Duke recruits year after year. Defensive play at bridge requires the discipline and teamwork that Bennett's teams always display. Being a partnership game, pairs that hone their partnership defense often achieve results greater than the sum of their individual skills.

If you are a youth who is the equivalent of a Duke basketball recruit, you'll have whatever support you wish in developing your game. If you are below that tier, developing a sound partnership with someone else at your level and becoming excellent partnership defenders will get you results greater than those around you would believe possible.
Jan. 29, 2018
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Welcome to the Bay Area. I will say that the Bay Area is better than LA in most every way, including the caliber of bridge playing. (And everyone in the Bay Area agrees with my last claim, even if they might not be so bold as to state it publicly.) So, you will find new challenges, as well as new opportunities to improve.
Jan. 29, 2018
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Embrace your inner defender! It's hard work, but it pays off. There's a saying in basketball that “defense never takes a day off.” Your shot may be hot one day, cold the next, but your defense can be consistent. The same is true with bridge. Whether you are a more aggressive or conservative bidder, some days the cards swing your way and some they don't. If you are an excellent, consistent defender, you will always be over 50%, and on your good days, be a winner. Moreover, if you develop this skill and your peers don't, you will be way ahead of them. Years ago when I won the intercollegiates the difference was that we chalked up a ton of partscore swings from accurate defense. Individually they were tiny, but there are a lot of opportunities and they add up if they all go your way.
Jan. 29, 2018
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