Join Bridge Winners
All comments by Leonard Helfgott
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In a way, this sounds related to the disgusting and repulsive “Sominex Coup” where a player deliberating plays so incredibly slowly that opponents virtually fall asleep waiting for a play and err because of the long wait. Perhaps they shouldn’t err, but it is most irritating and revolting all the same. Now to be sure several players at my club are unbelievably slow, but not with ill intentions. However there are at least two players at my club (no names but anyone who plays there knows who I am talking about) who I believe perform this Sominex Coup intentionally. As far as the actual case above, player should be informed/educated/chastised as the director and club owner warrant. NOT a free pass!!!
June 7
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No, Nick. It was your partner on Wednesday night. :). I agree with all you say in concept, but the sades here are a bit too good for my weak 2D bids.
June 6
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Agree with philosophy although I try very hard to avoid “too strong for two, to weak for 1” philosophy. Here with a crappy suit you have another reason to pass, although with twi bulls, a stiff and Qxx spades I would also open one heart. However, I think the poor result was due to a major weakness in usage of Spiral. That is, is is not designed for and works poorly for hands of invit. Strength and only a 4CM—- because you will often be stranded in a 4-3 fit at 3level. If the partnership can work out situations where another 3-level fit (an 8 card fit) can be found then this flaw can be reduced. In your case if 3H would show 3S&6H and partner had doubleton heart he could pass 3H. Another example might be 1D-1S-2S-2NT and now over 3C responder can bid 3D to play with a 4-4 or 4-5 hand.
June 6
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I think its a matter of philosophy. Some only go with maximum and pass with middle range. Whether game or slam, I think this is a bit archaic, unless your partner invites very light and bashes anything close. I think it is much more popular to accept with dead center middle range, whether game or slam, and whether MPs or IMPs. And it would be hard to argue that this is weaker than dead center with that suit, albeit Qxx and KQ tight elsewhere.
June 6
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I didn't notice the scoring and bid 6NT thinking matchpoints, but at IMPs I think 6C superior
June 6
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Did you mean Mr. Roarke from Fantasy Island?:)
June 6
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What about Jxxx x Jx KJT984? That looks like a 3C bid to me. You payoff when partner has a good hand and 4 spades. Otherwise its a winner
June 6
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I wouldn't normally call 2D but I have one partner who does this regularly and I half expect it and live with the increased variance. Would never open an aceless 9 count with 1D, so 2D is OK on “strength” and diamond quality/length. If partner doesn't have 4+spades then 2D is likely winner, if he does, its a loser.
I would add that with 10xxx Qx KQ9xxx x I would consider 2D completely automatic—its the quality of the spade suit that deters me.
June 5
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North was solid, his lady friend South was flight C.
June 3
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Yes, I agree than the primarily value is allowing for 3 card raises, but there are traps and some care must be taken. If opener has only 3 cards and a minimum, then you DON'T want to be trapped at 3 level on 7 card fit, so the SPIRAL (or locally MINMAX) bidder should either have a 5 card major OR a game forcing 4 card major (4M or 3NT) (with specific exceptions). It is very easy for an inexperienced player or someone new to SPIRAL/MINMAX to misuse this with poor results.
With a 5 card major you are generally looking for strength and 5-4 vs 5-3 fit with invitational values, or possibly slammish opposite maximums, but the bifurcation of 3 trumps vs. 4 is the most important key.
June 2
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Barry: Never played robot bridge or on line bridge at all (and don't plan to start). But Not playing ever at a National in first 40 years of experience leads to: (18^2)/4200=7.7%. Even now, little Nationals play.
June 2
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Agree with Craig, Martin and Melanie, above
June 1
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I would risk a 1D overcall with that. Double might be right, but I shudder to even contemplate partner’s 4S bid and I cannot recall my strategy ever backfiring on me.
Come to think of it, even an unusual NT with superstrong 4-6 is worth consideration—-not ideal to be sure, but hugely better than a double with <2 spades, IMO.
June 1
Leonard Helfgott edited this comment June 1
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I think many of you misconstrued my writeup. East is a sound B player and South is the C player.
North is a very experienced VERY , VERY senior and skillful cardplayer (who still works 4 days a week, drives at night and plays bridge with his lady friend—any guesses?) and I was West. I didn't wish to risk an undiscussed 2Nd double with a good B player in a new partnership, so I thought (and still think) 3D was OK., catering to a 4333 bust. (Thanks Richard Reitman and others). 3C doubled and passed would be down 1 as She held K ATxx x AQJ9xxx. 4C would be nice but a simple 4D would have been preferred and I would of course try 4S now for +420.
PS-afterwards I mentioned that I MUST have spade tolerance for my double(at least 2, hopefully 3 )
He asked what I would do with a huge hand with 0-1 spades. I said no matter how strong my hand I’d find another bid, some other bid but never double. I think Jeff Goldsmith once offered that advice.
June 1
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Craig: If the pointed suits were reversed it would be more clear, but with 9/11th of hcp in a suit needing the lead, and the possibility of bidding 3D over 2H as well, it doesn't seem clear to use Michaels, even if you are 100% convinced it is Michaels, IMO.
May 31
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Hi Oren: Great reporting as usual. Maybe It’s too early for me, but on board 12 could not repeated club forces threaten 4S?
May 31
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A related issue is whether you need 5D to make an inverted raise of 1D? If you chhose to raise to 2D with say xx xxx AQxx KQxx, as I would, you may pay off to the singular 4=4=3=2 pattern, which is about 5-6% of all 1D openers.
May 30
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Martin: Nick and I disagree regularly, including on this issue. While I did hold 5 diamonds here I would also risk 3D with K xxx KQTx QTxxx. 5=3=3=2 is a specific parlay I am sometimes willing to risk.
May 29
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Craig: You are right of course. I was trying to convince my partner/ mentee that his choice of 3NT was entirely wrong. His creative logic was that so long as we were already at 3 level, why not try for the 9 trick NT game. In fact I did hold K xxx KQTxx QTxx and there are 5 cashables off the top even with club finesse onside. Of course the lesson might be only partially learned because on the run of the diamonds (they didn't find heart shift) I actually MADE 3NT via bad defense so bad habits may continue.
May 29
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Good diamonds and good hand
May 29
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