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All comments by Leonard Helfgott
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Thanks for posting, Rich. Harold was a truly brilliant man in many areas, and a good bridge friend. We used to trade math problems at the tournaments, and he was usually one-up on me. I will certainly miss him. RIP Harold.
Oct. 7
Leonard Helfgott edited this comment Oct. 7
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I agree that “blame” ro North is unfair. Perhaps 80-90% is just “rub of the green” and the last 10%-20% to North, but even the recommended 3H over 3D poses problems. South would surely take that as a MUCH more oriented heart hand, perhaps even 4=6=2=1 or with a very strong 5 bagger That would expect a raise on Hx, as my partners might expect, so his choice to bid 5D was not unreasonable, just unlucky IMO.
Oct. 7
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Mike: Good point the constructive value of 3D makes 3H a gamefoce, although tou might wind up in a 7 card fit when he raises to 4H on Hx, as he should.
Oct. 6
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The latter.
Oct. 6
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Yes. Showing the strong diamond fragment seems more important than rebiddind clubs, soI agree with this and especially Ed Davis’ conments above.
Oct. 6
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I believe there was a Bridge World article a few years ago that supported your conclusion, 5332 oppos. 4333 fares better in 3NT. However, a 1D opening belies 4333, so presence of a doubleton somewher likely changes that.
Oct. 5
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Richie Schwartz told me the only thing he ever excelled in was horserace handicapping. Many experts attending his funeral in NYC would disagree.
Oct. 2
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I’m sure Nick is right that the disadvantage of a double with a void is inability to lead trumps, or to have 1 less trump than expected. However, this can be offset with sufficient defensive holdings elsewhere or other factors (e,g. Perfect shape, lack of other viable choices), IMO. With 3 quick tricks, a reasonable (Hxx) holding in spades, and a quasi-3 suited hand, the pluses of not bidding it as a 1-suiter may fully outweigh the void issue. If we considered a hand with more diamonds and considerably less defense, e.g. Qxxx —AQJxxx QJx, the overcall would surely have more appeal.
Sept. 30
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In The version of 2-way game tries I learned (called Kokish-Nagy I believe) opener used the next step (2Sover 1H-2H and 2N over 1S-2S) without shortness to ask responder for cheapest fragment he would accept game in and otherwise opener made a short suit try directly (1S-2S- 3C/3D/3H short and 1H-2H- 2N/3C/3D for s/c/d short). This hides opener’s shape when he isn't unbalanced, but flags his shortness. It may be better to invert this to hide opener’s shortness. But Zi do think 2-way game tries are more effective than random tries or bashing, IMHO.
Sept. 30
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BWS has gone through four changes in last 50 years. BWS68, BWS84, BWS2000 and BWS2017. In the 80s my style was pretty close to BWS84 and with the 2000 change I went with the flow and adjusted. However, BWS2017 has many new treatments and wrinkles that I would not be comfortable playing.
Sept. 29
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Richard: I agree.
Sept. 29
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Mike: I do think there should be a name for an invite such as this which essentially says “ get excited if you have a singleton ( or Ax) in this suit, for which xxx is ideal. It’s a fine understanding if you like it. I’m just very surprised the monicker “ help suit game try” ever caught on.
Sept. 29
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Richard: Agree. Once the spade fit is found, making some kind of game try in hearts seems better than trying to improve the strain ( which might happen anyway).
Sept. 29
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Mike: If you have an agreement to call this a “help suit try” , xxx or at most Qxx, that’s fine with me. I just think it’s a misnomer. A good understanding of expectations is always a plus, even if not optimal. I guess Barry was overly impassioned in his attempt to define things, although I agree with his opinions on usage.
Sept. 28
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Barry: Again 200%. I’ve never liked the term HSGT. I’ve always treated These as I would long suit tries. That is, they could be (and commonly are) 3 cards in length, but are often 4 (or even 5) and to me always contain at least one honor. KJx(x) seems ideal. You can call this natural (I do) or LSGT or even HSGT, but that's what I mean. Perhaps the term “fragment game try” is appropriate since fragment is usually 3-4 cards. If partner does this with xxx because he “needs help” I try to convince him to make some other kind of try, ANY other kind of try. I do prefer some type of two-way game try as I think that offers the best of both worlds.
Sept. 28
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What Barry said! Precisely and exactly. 100%, or maybe 200%(!). Thank you Barry for expanding on this most frustrating topic.
Sept. 28
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Michael: Funny you should mention this. I was going to preface my question by mentioning your well known secretiveness on this very issue, but decided to skip that. You kindly mentioned it for me. I think I recall reading your book (or portions thereof)well in that past, but forgot your response. What’s the book again?
Sept. 28
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Michael: Do you also prefer opening 1C with 1=4=4=4 suit oriented minimums such as: X Axxx Axxx Axxx?
Sept. 27
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The diamonds predominate, you may miss a heart fit but these diamonds play opposite a stiff. I’d like a trifle more to reverse.
Sept. 27
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Not as much so with clubs and spades. I’m willing to bid 1C-1N-2S albeit minimum and live with the results. HD usually 1H, but SD and HC are the tougher choices for me.
Sept. 27
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