Join Bridge Winners
All comments by Kevin Cline
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Thank you for providing many happy hours!
July 14
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The number of tricks needed for game in contract bridge was not a singular design of Vanderbilt's. It's just a simplification of auction bridge scoring, where clubs scored 6, diamonds 7, hearts 8, spades 9, no trump 10, and thirty points were required for game.
June 15
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I thought it was Marty Bergen.
June 15
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Meh. I see no reason why duplicate scoring should reward the same actions that are best at rubber bridge.

No matter what the form of scoring, it is up to the players to maximize their expectation with each action. It's of no importance that different actions may be required to maximize one's results at matchpoints, IMPs, or rubber bridge. For duplicate pairs, it is important that each board has the same weight, although of course some boards will be nearly flat. IMP pairs is a poor event when the field is of widely varying strength. When the field includes players from near-novices to experts, and some boards swing 3 IMPs while others swing 12, it makes a big difference which pairs you meet for the big boards.

For a short team-of-four match it seems that board-a-match is less likely to result in random upsets. We've all seen markedly stronger teams defeated in a seven or eight board IMP match because an 80% slam went down and the other seven boards only swing a few IMPs.

Playing duplicate, I want every trick to count. Making a slam or making an extra overtrick are equally enjoyable.
June 13
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I count this hand as about 2-1/2 cover cards: SA, HQ about 1/2, plus possible spade ruff, but only one trick on defense. The HJ would be more valuable in any other suit, so this hand has only 6 working HCP. Not enough defense for a mixed raise IMO. I would want another outside Q for that call, e.g. Ax QJxx Qxxx xxx It's not clear what a “max passed hand raise” means. Does that cover a 10HCP 3334? 3433? or more like a 9HCP 3451?
June 3
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Harald, yes, I am calling. “Law 21g.1: A player may not ask a question if his sole purpose is to benefit partner.”

If the defender in the pass-out seat is not considering a call other than pass, it is improper for them to ask before their partner makes a lead. They can easily wait until their partner has led. Players in open events should know this. If they don't and do it against me, they soon will.

After the final pass but before the opening lead the declaring side should give an explanation of the auction.
June 3
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Steve, happily the players at my club know better. In a tournament, I call the director if the leader's partner asks questions before the final pass. Anyone playing in an open event SHOULD know better. If they didn't, they soon will.
May 31
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It seems it would make sense for the robot to just deal some number of random hands consistent with the auction, then solve each double dummy and play the card that has the highest expectation.
May 27
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2 is a one-round force.

There's a lot of bidding, and obviously some of the bidders have less than the usual number of high cards. I wonder what they might be bidding on?
March 30
Kevin Cline edited this comment March 30
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–deleted–
March 14
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Client may be directed to NEVER pull the pro's 3NT. BTW, it looks like they will score better in 4S.
March 13
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@Eric Kehr – How would I feel? If I alerted as required by the sanctioning organization, I would feel fine. I would hope that the other pair might review their results and instead of blaming the other pair, would take a note. I'm sympathetic to club owners who have to accommodate the players that show up, but I'm not sympathetic with players who want to succeed at bridge without really trying. Or maybe I'm just shouting into the wind, there are no longer enough competitive players to make a game, and I can either live with it or stay home.
Feb. 8
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An open sanctioned club game is not like to people playing tennis for their own amusement. If it were there would be no need for a director.
Feb. 6
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Is bridge a competitive activity or not? I don't have a lot of sympathy for adults who want to play a game with rules, then complain that even though other people follow both the letter and spirit of the law, it's some how not fair (or not fun) because they are unprepared. Why can't players moving up just accept that they have some things to learn? Is there another game or sport where this is the norm?
Feb. 6
Kevin Cline edited this comment Feb. 6
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IIRC Bob Hamman said: “The best aren't all that good and the rest are even worse.” Max, thanks for a great article.
Jan. 12
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Oops. It was KTxx on my left, xxx on my right.
Dec. 27, 2018
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These are far from from the worst bids or plays by Life Masters. With QJx in hand and A9x in dummy, needing all three tricks, the play went Q-x-x-x. J-x-x-x. The Life Master on my left ducked twice with KTx.
Dec. 25, 2018
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“Platinum is off the table” – Let's hope it stays that way. Platinum points aren't needed for any of the attendance awards so there no reason to have them awarded for club events.
Dec. 19, 2018
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Ed, Today's kids are learning to think at about the same rate that the kids in every generation have learned to think. The difference is that today we hand almost every kid a high school diploma.
Dec. 17, 2018
Kevin Cline edited this comment Dec. 17, 2018
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“The downside is players who know the odds will do better than those who do not which caused the demise of Board A Match.”

I don't think that's it exactly. BAM died because it reduces the variance of IMPs giving weak teams have little chance to pull off an upset. When some boards swing 16 imps on a complete guess (or an anti-percentage play that happens to succeed), a weak team can get lucky on a single board and beat a stronger team: push, push, lose 2, lose 5, win 16, lose 1, lose 6, lose 1. A 16-14 victory at IMPS, but a 6-2 loss at BAM. After a couple of 30% sessions at BAM the bottom half of the flight stays home.
Dec. 17, 2018
Kevin Cline edited this comment Dec. 17, 2018
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