Join Bridge Winners
All comments by John Portwood
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Partner has something - but what? I'll play to set up diamonds and hope declarer has two losers. Playing a heart risks AQ (split) and playing a club could set up the King for a heart discard. I am hoping for A, heart through, A and Q or a trump misguess.
Aug. 20, 2013
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I think the important thing to do is to catch the beginners before they can form bad habits. It is certainly a good idea to get ethics in early and perhaps there is a simple explanation handout available.

Has anyone tried filming a bridge deal where 4 experienced players make deliberate (planned) unethical actions, which can be pointed out in a running commentary?

(The EBU is currently running a successful series where one player continually forgets the bidding system and otherwise creates situations where the director is called and explains the rules. There is no ‘unethical’ play but situations arise where the player is showed making the ethical decision and the explanation given of why such a bid is ethical.)
Aug. 20, 2013
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It is not promising but leads from the majors look too aggressive on this limited auction. You have 11 points so partner should have a maximum of 4 and you don't want to waste his JXX or JXX
Aug. 15, 2013
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I don't like leading from K9XX - although I have selected it as being most likely to defeat the contract. The slam hasn't been bid using Blackwood and the best chance seems to be to take two heart tricks
Aug. 15, 2013
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OK - if so that changes the complexion. Then you are right - partner can then rebid 3N asking for spade values (it can't be natural) - or even give delayed heart support. At the moment you don't know where to go, nor do you know everything about partner's hand.
Aug. 11, 2013
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3 is only suit preference despite the 3 rebid and is non forcing so the question then becomes: is 3NT a sensible option - you know that you may (not will) have communication difficulties. IMHO 3NT is viable owing to the 9 and 9 and I therefore applied Hamman's law. Partner is not disbarred from carrying on if he is 6-5 in the minors.
Aug. 11, 2013
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I bet the answers would have been substantially different a year ago.
Aug. 8, 2013
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Ok - my last regular watching of NFL was back in the early 80s (I am UK remember) and it wasn't - or if it was I don't remember - pointed out that a 2PAT was obvious before the play started. (Mind you it doesn't seem to stop a surprise one being attempted - you may gain more on the element of surprise than you lose by not having the optimum formation set up)

So P(WIN) | two touchdowns and no other scores and P(1PAT)=1.0

= P(2PAT)+ (1- P(2PAT)) * P(2PAT) * P(OT) (convert 1st or (2nd if the first fails and OT)) OR
= P(OT) …. (two 1PAT) OR
= P(2PAT) … (1PAT + 2PAT)

since P(2PAT) < P(OT) it is obvious that the third option is a losing one so if we exchange P(2PAT) with ‘x’ for simplicity and assume P(OT) = 0.5 we get (for the 2-point strategy to win)

x + ((1-x).x)/2 > 0.5
2x + x - x^2 > 1
x^2-3x +1 <0 - which is solved by the quadratic formula
Giving x > 1.5 - sqrt(5) / 2 = 0.38 as calculated previously.

Note that (for completion of proof) if P(2PAT)>0.5 the equation must be amended to

x + ((1-x).x)/2 > x. Fortunately this simplifies to 1-x >0 which is true for all 0.5<x<1.

However given that the average american knows SFA about probability it would be pretty hard to convince them that the correct strategy had been taken, especially when it failed!
Aug. 8, 2013
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I think that people are forgetting that if you try the 2-point conversion and it fails then after the second touchdown the opponents KNOW you will be going for the 2-point conversion. This must reduce the probability of making it somewhat. - whereas in bridge the probabilities are fixed.

Of course if the opponents know that you know what the correct strategy is in a single event then they know you will go for the 2-point conversion on the first attempt as well, thus reducing the probability of making that one.

You must therefore NOT adopt the strategy of going for the two points all the time. Although the 1-point, 2-point strategy is derided, I suspect that in game theory it must be regarded as having merit as you have the option of going for the 1-point, 1-point option as well - thus increasing uncertainty.

The exact maths is beyond me but going for the 1-point only part of the time and the 2-point the rest (in the second touchdown) must score better if only because the chance of winning is improved with the increased chance of the 2-point conversion winning.

Isn't game theory wonderful?

What I will add - it would appear that since the probability of getting a 1-point conversion, even against specialist kicking teams is virtually 100%, surely the defensive coach shouldn't put on the kicking team at all! They should just put on the regular defensive team with instructions to assume a 2-point attempt. This MUST reduce the chance of a 2-point play working to less than the chance of 1st and goal, ball on the 2-yeard line, working - which must be a lot less than 47%.
Aug. 8, 2013
John Portwood edited this comment Aug. 8, 2013
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If you have a singleton, perhaps you could have an agreement that if you throw one card from each other suit you want a trump promotion, if you throw two cards from the same suit then you want the other suit lead. If you ruff the third round then you know what to do yourself i.e. cash the Ace before declarer throws away losers.

Aug. 8, 2013
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Leading the A has the advantage that once you look at dummy you can decide whether to play spades (admittedly the most likely) or Diamonds next. Partner gives suit preference for spades and that is that.

And you're right - leading trumps is very frequently the worst thing that a defender can do, once declarer has announced a good fit. As is illustrated here - declarer draws trumps and sets up his second suit - goodbye tricks.
July 21, 2013
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But lets QXX make a trick - assuming partner has an entry.
July 17, 2013
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Went for club king to help shorten my trumps. Don't want declarer to ruff a couple of hearts and throw me in a few times.
July 17, 2013
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Since you underbid your hand by about 4 tricks and can't do much to catch up I suppose a double would be nice - and cashing AKQJ of hearts before giving partner a club ruff (he discarded his clubs on the hearts), spade to the Ace and another club ruff even nicer.

Bidding 5 is a safety measure - you MAY make it or be 1 or 2 down but have stopped any double game swing.

I would possibly have bid 5 on the first round - after all partner might be short in clubs or have an Ace - and I wont mind seeing 6 appear.
July 17, 2013
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Since I have the points I'll go for my suit. Very unlikely K will cost a trick.
July 17, 2013
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I play a version of the Schenken 2 - after the Ace responses you bid the next suit up (Not NT) asking for Kings, Queens, Jacks on a similar basis OR you bid NT to show a very strong balanced hand (usual responses, partner takes over) OR you bid the final contract.

Playing this way, you don't have to rebid 3NT after 2 to show 25 points balanced (which is too high) as you can open 2 and rebid 2NT over 2 - if partner has one or two aces and thus goes beyond 2NT in his response then there is no problem!

2N = 20 - 22
2 .. 2!NT = 23-24
2 .. 2!NT = 25-26

(There is no point opening 2NT on 19 points - if partner can't respond there is no game and if partner has a bust you are too high anyway (statistics show that 2N - p - p - p is going off 70%+ of the time))

TBH it is usually the strong balanced hand that comes up most often as you must have a suit that is self supporting (here Hearts) as you have self-agreed the suit by opening 2
July 17, 2013
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In a competitive auction you MUST,MUST, MUST tell your partner your fit and any other suits you have. Failure to do so, as Yuan shows, is totally losing tactics.

You get your hand type and distribution off your chest - partner (but not necessarily the oppos) knows whether there are going to be lots of tricks - double game swings and the like, or whether he can sock the oppos on strength knowing that the distributional tricks aren't there.

(I would play any NEW suit forcing a response at and above the 3 level as a fit jump or fit non jump. Cue bidding the opponent's suit at the 4 level would be a splinter)
July 17, 2013
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I play a weak NT so many (but not all) 12 points are in my ambit. My rules are:

If opening a WNT I must have an expectation of winning 4 tricks and have strength in 3+ suits if the cards lie favourably - this means that hands with QX, JXX automatically get ditched. So the hand quoted is a minimum WNT.

(Why do I need 4 tricks? If I hold 3 then someone will hold 4 - if it is my partner then he'll bid anyway, if it is not my partner then we would be going down in a contract)

In 1st or 2nd I must have a sensible rebid over any response by partner. (I realise Strong NT players will have a response of 1NT in these occasions - but do you really want to rebid 2NT on 12 points balanced after a 2-level response?)

In third I would much rather have a major if bidding on a weak distributional hand and the weaker the hand the better the suit has to be.

In 4th I apply the rule of 15.
July 12, 2013
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Isn't 7 on on a squeeze. Assume a spade lead. - if spades 5-2 then AK ruff spade, trump, ruff spade draw trumps coming down to
X AJ9 opposite
AKJX

There is also the possibility that just 1 spade ruff is needed ending with

X X AJ9 opposite
AKJX X with Yuan having to hold Q QXX KQ as his last 5 cards.

Of course with a lead through AKJ the squeeze is broken.
July 9, 2013
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C4H9SH - it would be nice if you could inform BBO about a psyche so it could track players. In this case surely 4 would be a splinter showing a maximum hand.
July 8, 2013
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