Join Bridge Winners
All comments by Simon Stocken
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Aug. 29, 2017
Simon Stocken edited this comment Aug. 29, 2017
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Aug. 29, 2017
Simon Stocken edited this comment Aug. 29, 2017
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Sorry 14+ to 17
Aug. 29, 2017
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"David Gold: 6c showed akxx or akxxx plus all key cards. Looking for 7. My actual hand the most likely, also 5125 possible when 7d also best, with 6124 I correct to 7n being able to count 13 tricks. 6c was to avoid a no play 7s facing xxx club…
Aug. 27, 2017
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Agreed. Sound bidding has made many a world champion. After watching some world class players a little these last few weeks (and in Toronto) I've been surprised some players haven't been opening some hands - plenty of sound bidders doing very well.

I've been introduced recently to a much more aggressive style although not yet played it much myself. What I see I've liked. Counting losers was the basis of this approach and systemically the system advocates opening 7-loser hands with as few as 8 points providing you hold spades.
There's plenty more to it of course. I opened 1S on one such 8 count and we got to 3S when the opponents were cold for 4H. They didn't consider entering the auction. 3S was cold for 8 tricks but a poor J doubleton switch half way through the hand gave me 9.

The moment I assume anything about an opponent (especially one I've not met) is the moment I'll take a tumble. I don't even allow those thoughts (I try not to at any rate) when faced with seemingly weaker opposition.

Thanks for a more congenial second interaction
My words were not that well chosen perhaps.
Using a phone is not easy to interact with the BW site.
Aug. 26, 2017
Simon Stocken edited this comment Aug. 26, 2017
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Don't know where I got the Poles from.
Americans and Bulgarians.
Aug. 26, 2017
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That's funny. I was convinced it had to be Mike's thread
Awaiting groundhog day…..
Aug. 26, 2017
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I don't think there's any point responding much further owing to the unfortunate tone of your response.

You seemed to think predictable is disparaging.
It's not. It's a great foundation for solid enjoyable bridge and successful too with more predictable outcomes.
The poles aren't playing that game. They are competing for a major event (when imo they should be defending the Bermuda bowl - perhaps in their opinion too). You force your opponents to make tougher decisions when you preempt. Bridge fact. On balance preempting works.

It is not a given that a weak two must have a good suit. It's merely your preference (and many top players). It means you go for fewer penalties. It's safer yes.
This is a great 6 count - 7 losers and thats with three in the spade suit.
Aug. 26, 2017
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The BAM was poorly attended it seemed. The BAM was not advertised apparently til later so teams had not allowed for this and one team that I know of booked flights that prevented them playing a 2-day event at the end.

Just as the main events are reaching their finish the venue is much quieter which seems a strange way to finish an event. Thoroughly anti climactic which seemed to me like a failing.
Surely this could be improved?

8 teams is way too low.
The winners were 2/3 of the previous BB winning team - why do the holders not have the automatic right to defend their title? We have the likes of guadeloupe but we dont have the reigning champions - how is this right? Probably a question for another thread….
Aug. 26, 2017
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It's a language Mike.
As long as partners speak the same language it works very well generally.

You've opted to only play a more traditional Queens English type of bidding. Predictable, traditional and proper. Predictable for partner predictable for you and predictable also for your opponents.

The Poles communicate with a slightly different language. Not so predictable not so easy to understand. More pressure on partner but he's a world champion so he's up to that challenge one presumes. Much harder at times to play against.

Personally I'd prefer a predictable opponent like yourself rather than an unpredictable one.
I have had some great success 1st at green opening non traditional weak twos and weak threes.
On this hand I think the Pole would open 3S some of the time with 6-4-2-1 and a decent suit, first and green.
Aug. 26, 2017
Simon Stocken edited this comment Aug. 26, 2017
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It's a percentage game.
Preempting works
Odds are in 1st seat opponents have majority of points. (11.33 each on average when you hold 6 points. )
Provided partner doesn't jeopardise tricks by leading spades it's a percentage winner. Perhaps even if you occasionally lose when partner takes an action expecting a better suit, it's still a percentage winner.

Mixing up your bidding is winning as two opponents (as opposed to 1 partner) will be less able to predict your hand. Besides partner will have seen some of these poor suit preempt before.
6-4-2-1 is a big winner for declaring.

If partner is strong there are two benefits to playing 4S from your side on hands that otherwise would have had to transfer over a NT opener - protecting your kings and concealing shape. (Or a club opener with transfer Walsh's)

I suspect they might treat this as a maximum opposite a range enquiry. 3 second round controls and a great honourless oxymoronic suit (it's one more card than many weak twos)

It's also a seven loser hand and I think opening it is a massive winner. Two thirds of this team won the Bermuda Bowl in Chennai. I respect their knowledge and experience and it's a matter of style. An aggressive style leads to more variance but makes you a much harder opponent and a stronger competitor. A lot depends on partner's expectation and temperament when the bid goes against you which some of the time it will. My guess and I have no statistics to back it up is that it is a percentage winner especially if 2S is the most effective 2-level pre-empt (I'm not sure if this is true)

They'll be opening this 1S before long…..
How little is needed from partner to make 4s cold? Two aces and a fit would be the minimum.
Aug. 26, 2017
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The hand would be much easier to see if dummy's diamonds were Axxx
Aug. 26, 2017
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East does best to lead SQ when in with KD and now South can't recover.

Therefore it is not right to cash AK spades

So win KC and one high spade but not both. Now QD (if you've cashed one spade) leaving Ace as an entry.
(You can play ace and another diamond if you cash no spades)
East has to win KD
East has to play 4th club or else declarer has 5 winners outside Trumps and 5 trump tricks.

On 4th club trump with H8 and follow west's discard. Throwing SK if west throws a spade. Otherwise a diamond.

If west throws spade dump KS and cross to DA but don't cash DJ
Next trump small diamond. Trump small spade over trumping west.
Now trump JD with QH and have trump coup at trick 12

If west throws a diamond also throw a diamond. lead 10 hearts then 9 of hearts then cross to high spade if not covered and trump DJ with Q of hearts. West will likely cover in which case cash Spade then trump with QH to trump coup west at trick 12.
Aug. 26, 2017
Simon Stocken edited this comment Aug. 26, 2017
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You have 5 tricks outside Trumps
You need 5 from Trumps.

East playing the 4th club allows west to discard a diamond reducing your outside winner count to 4 tricks.
Therefore 6 trucks are needed from Trumps. Declarer can do this provided he Trumps the 4th club with H8 and sets up the trick 12 trump coup by trumping dummy's final diamond with HQ.

But if declarer cashes AK spades first then east can destroy declarer with SQ allowing west to discard the 3rd diamond…..
….. see below
Aug. 26, 2017
Simon Stocken edited this comment Aug. 26, 2017
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7-3-2-1 is just under 2% (18 hands in 1000)
7-2-2-2 is just over 0.5% (5 hands in 1000)

The HQ false card might work very well
4H is a better contract than 4S as you can discover one major suit distribution - hearts - before tackling spades
Aug. 22, 2017
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I flew out of Lyon on Tuesday and the extra security took very little time.
Lyon the city is empty and the airport the same.
I arrived early only to find the check in didn't open til 2 hours before take off.
Online check in clearly optimal

Essentially - this is no longer an issue.
Aug. 17, 2017
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I had my first full-time job at The Acol. Jane and Andrew co-managed the club. I will not forget her. She had a brilliant bridge brain.
Aug. 11, 2017
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No - nothing frivolous intended. I'm reminded of Reese's Play these Hands with me with a touch of Mollo with your own distinctive style. I agree about Kit's corner and the format as you say. I also like books - I've read bridge books into the small hours. I like a book with pages when reading in bed. A screen sucks and is not good for the system.
Aug. 10, 2017
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Personally I think it's absurd.
Hanging phones round your neck in a plastic bag. Really?

Phones on the table - bonkers. There's barely enough space as it is. It certainly would not stop cheating. Any self-respecting cheat (do they respect themselves? - I doubt it) would have several phones. Perhaps put them on the table at the beginning of the session. Press the off button and then put them away.

Director announces play please turn phones off.
The matter is done. It happens at the table on the first round.
If you haven't done it, then you deserve whatever penalty is forthcoming. Not all phone infringements will get caught. Directors have so many more important things to do than worry about this.

Personally I would make it an incremental financial penalty - it's not primarily a bridge issue, it's a social issue so why make the penalty bridge-related? The current penalty has been chosen because this is deemed to be the most likely to have an effect, I'm guessing. I don't want to win this way anymore than I want to lose this way.

The cheating arguments for phones - if you are bent on cheating, you will find better ways than the phone. Listen to those discussing boards, look at the next table along etc etc.
If you are in a more important match - having your phone on the table proves nothing. If you were intent on cheating, you'd have additional phone(s) in the toilet or whatever.

Leaving them at the hotel - ridiculous.
You need the phone once the bridge is done. The only safe and sensible place to have it is on your person turned off. As back-up you have it on silent the moment you land in Toronto or wherever, so if it is turned on you can slip out to turn it on but it will never make a noise.
My lodgings in Toronto were 20 minutes away by foot. I was never going to leave my phone ‘at home’

You sit down. You turn it off. Put in your bag. Your pocket if you must. No amount of elbows (the most implausible explanation I've ever heard) will turn my phone back on. Bridge players are very smart - this is a no-brainer.
Aug. 10, 2017
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Thanks Ken - fascinating stuff. Can you tell me how I might get hold of your book and the costs please
Aug. 10, 2017
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