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All comments by Simon Stocken
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I'm interested in this but the video has been removed.
Can you let me know more details if you are unable to republish the video
Thank you
April 20, 2017
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I work for the David Davenport Foundation - David was Chairman of the Portland Club Card Committee for many years and made a major contribution to the 1997 edition of The Laws of Rubber Bridge. He was working on the next edition right up until his death and was much concerned that the Portland club made a significant contribution.

He bequeathed £500,000 for the teaching of bridge to children and in schools. I am currently the Foundation's sole employee - it's a part-time role. I have been a bridge teacher all my working life (every member of my family, siblings mum and dad are all bridge teachers too) and I helped Andrew Robson establish his club in London (along with my brothers).

I followed up Morten Bilde's recent visit to India (reported on BridgeWinners) and last month oversaw two groups of 30+ bridge-playing children in Mumbai, whom Amareshe Deshpande originally taught. Amareshe has since secured bridge in this school 4 times a week for a year during curriculum time.

I then went to Raibidpura, a village in Madhya Pradesh India, where there are more bridge players per capita than in any other place in the world. This was a huge success and many children there are already on their way to becoming decent players. I took a suitcase full (52lb - 23 kg) of playing cards, teaching cards, bidding boxes, boards, score cards, pens etc. This I did out of my own pocket having secured them at cost price thanks to the generosity of the Andrew Robson Bridge Club. I may get reimbursed by The Foundation, I may not. (I only did it because British Airways granted me mysteriously two pieces of checked baggage as I was checking in after playing duplicate at Andrew's club… it's of little importance to me whether I do - the point is my small piece of philanthropy has and will continue to make a significant difference to the bridge club of Raibidpura. Progress in Raibidpura will ripple outwards throughout India and beyond as a model for what is possible when you introduce bridge to children. The Indian government has endorsed bridge and chess as activities suitable for teaching in school.

I will submit a much fuller report in due course.

Morten Bilde has been teaching bridge now for two years having quit his job. He gets no remuneration. I am lucky to be able to benefit from David Davenport's legacy. I will be in Toronto for the summer Nationals. I am hoping to interest people in my ideas for developing the game for children - they are certainly ‘outside the box’ in more ways than one.

We are also hoping to entice Shiv Nadar (whose company HCL sponsors the HCL tournament in Delhi in September - one of the biggest purses in bridge). Shiv Nadar is involved with three schools in India and Amareshe is in touch with them - this fits with my remit too.

My experience so far (and Morten's also) is that working directly with the bridge federations is not the best way forward. They are doing what they can to nurture young bridge talent. What we are doing is more radical and I'm certain will prove to be more effective.

www.bridge4kids.co.uk is the site I've created.

I'd be interested to hear from anyone with ideas that might help develop the game for children.
April 20, 2017
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2 is a pretty obvious down one surely - three aces, two ruffs and the K
April 2, 2017
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Excellent Rajesh!
March 12, 2017
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Hi Rajesh - I have been visiting Morten in Denmark today and last night and will be visiting Raibidpura from March 29th - 31st.

I am a bridge teacher from the UK, working for a foundation dedicated to teaching bridge in schools and to children. Denmark has a progressive approach - largely thanks to Morten and we will be collaborating together as from today.

A huge thanks to Amareshe Deshpande who connected us all together and to Bridge Winners where I first ‘met’ Amareshe - I will meet him in person in Raibidpura. The irony is that I came to bridge winners because I wanted to find out more about the cheating scandal.

I am looking forward to my visit immensely. The man who established the foundation - David Davenport - I discovered recently was born in India.

www.bridge4kids.co.uk is the website
March 11, 2017
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I bid 2.
I wasn't that keen on 1 initially (1NT so I can get to play clubs? or Passing were options but I felt passing would end the auction against this opposition and my optimistic streak won out)

Partner (a client) held:
K9
J10983
AKQ93
10

Partner raised this to 4 which was passed out.
West held:
A1042
AKQ652
5
A7

West's reasoning for not doubling was that we would run to 5.
It did not matter how many tricks partner made as long as she made one.

6 EW Pairs went minus (Many Easts opened 2 or 3)
4 NS Pairs went minus (-500, -800, -1400)

We were the only pair to play undoubled.

Dealmaster has 7 tricks available in or for NS so in terms of results - repeating 2 is the winning action on the hand. It also saves partner the stress of playing 4H (Partner did not enjoy the experience even the outcome was utterly irrelevant)

Thanks for your comments. I didn't have a weak 3 response available
Nov. 7, 2016
Simon Stocken edited this comment Nov. 7, 2016
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Create a charity dedicated to teaching bridge to children and schools. I'm backed by a substantial charity here in the UK to do precisely this.
July 31, 2016
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Agreed on your hand we will miss 7D. Instead we will be in 6NT for a great MP score.
Very few will bid the grand in my experience of pairs events.
We will beat all those in 6D or 6S.
I'm advocating practical ahead of overly scientific. The small edge garnered by science is often countered-balanced by the information revealed and the opportunities to make lead-directing doubles.

I don't think use of RKCB here merits a stint in the asylum.
April 25, 2016
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Anyone for RKCB followed by 6NT?
There are advantages in declaring this hand as South, one of which is a far more interesting play problem if they don't give you the contract on a club or a heart lead.
Bidding 6D immediately has benefits - certainly I'm not settling for less.

If you and partner have all these sequences worked out, then great feel free to bid round the houses, let them double for the right lead or just listen to you describing it all.

My point here is that all the bidding reveals info for your opponents and how much does it help you? Very few partnerships have these sequences worked out. I also appreciate that Barry's article is an endeavour to work out the meanings for these sequences, all of which I find fascinating.

Personally I've been working on a GF 2C response to 1M which can show any GF hand (those with 4-card support will usually use Jacoby, those with 5+ hearts will usually respond 2D to 1S).

After the 2C response, opener shows minimums immediately and all other bids enable responder to become declarer in NTs or the unbid major. Frequently responder gets to 3NT and no-one has any clue what he has in his hand (including an unbid solid 7 card diamond suit for instance). The advantages are legion.
Added advantages are that you are not wasting three 2 over 1 responses (if opener's suit is Spades) which occur most infrequently.
Thus the 2D response to 1S can be used as a transfer showing 5+ hearts with 8+ points (freeing this hand type from the 1NT response or the 2C response when GF).
The 2H response (to 1S) then shows 8+ points with 3+ spades, freeing up all the Bergen responses with huge advantages.
The 2S response is a weak raise (up to 7 points).

After a 1H opener, responder can choose to bid 1S naturally with 4+ spades or when GF with 4 spades respond 2C (with GF values) and conceal the spade length.

I believe this is where the bidding of the future will take us as the advantages in concealing declarer's hand will gain tricks regularly when declaring 3NT and 4 of the other Major.
It also wins massively on grounds of frequency - I rarely use 2 over 1 sequences in a bridge session but I will regularly have hands with 3/4 card support for partner's major and limited strength.
I think I am right in saying that Big Bang is about developing a bidding system based on frequency.

The Full (ish) scheme of responses is:

Responses to 1S Opener

1NT - semi-forcing up to a bad 12 (forcing if you like to play it this way)
2C - GF any
2D - 5+ hearts, 8+ points
2H - 8+ points, 3+ spade support
2S - 3-7 points, exactly 3 card spade support (very occasionally 4 when weak)
2NT - Jacoby
3C/3D/3H - I do not have a partner yet to play this scheme with so I'm yet to assign these bids, but would welcome input
3S - 4 card support pre-emptive

Over 1H the same principles apply

2C - any GF (may have 4 spades)
2D - 8+ points, 3+ heart support
2H - 3-7 points, 3 card support
2S - Weak Jump

etc
etc

The responses to 2C are where it gets interesting and are for established partnerships. Happy to share my thoughts if anyone is interested - very much work in progress.
From a teaching point of view a 2C opener is GF any, so why not a 2C response? There is a logic here for beginners learning bridge.
April 22, 2016
Simon Stocken edited this comment April 22, 2016
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4th highest came to us from whist - a game of remarkably little skill.

Teaching 4th highest is almost pointless - the learning players are usually years from being able to benefit from the information.
Teaching Low like makes way more senses.
April 15, 2016
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open 3h - put the pressure on. Weak twos are relatively easy to defend
April 4, 2016
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Apologies 4th suit forcing is usually played GF in any system. I did not clarify.
April 3, 2016
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In any system 2C is GF. The bidding is the same on any system (except strong club) - I don't see that 4S even knowing partner has good diamonds is necessarily a better contract.
April 2, 2016
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Certainly an option - 2 over one is my preferred system, as it is for many tournament players in England. I refuse to play with family members (they are all bridge players/teachers) who play Acol and they've agreed top come round to my view and see the benefits over Acol.

On this hand (see belowfor full hand) I was playing with a client so I was keen to practice my declarer play. I'm with Ron (below) - spades were not going to be trumps on this hand. The only advantage being to protect partner's club holding.
April 2, 2016
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Partner's hand was
K109x
x
AKQxxx
KQ

I was playing with a weaker partner so bid 4H, which scored 9 matchpoints out of 36. Most players simply bid 4S.

I put the problem to Andrew Robson who came back with
2C - 10
4H - 8

How would the auction continue after 2C?

4S makes 11 tricks while 4H makes 10 tricks.
Spade Q onside with everything breaking.

Thanks for the comments
April 2, 2016
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Thank you Michael - 2am brain-melt. I'll check it out tomorrow
March 31, 2016
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2 over 1 after a 1 opening has 3 hands to show GF hands (excluding those with 4 card support)

After a 1 opener there are two GF bids (2 and 2).

These 2 over 1 sequences rarely occur, so on grounds of frequency it can be argued proponents of traditional 2 over 1 are ‘wasting’ useful bids.

A method that is becoming more popular is as follows:

Over 1

2 - GF (may have s)
2 - 8+ points 5+ hearts
2 - 8+ points good raise to at least 2
2 - weak 3 card raise

Over 1
2 - GF (may have s)
2 - 8+ points good raise to at least 2
2 - weak 3 card raise

—–
Robson-Allfrey use this basic outline.

After the 2 response there are various options (which can get complicated). The structure involves showing minimums early and transferring into an unbid major.

The advantages are considerable:
Here are a few in no particular order

1. information leak is minimised
2. Responder can choose to declare all other-major contracts and NTs (should this be what's required)
3. No more Bergen raises needed - they all go though the transfer (showing 8+ points with support)
4. Hands with 5+ s and 8+ points get to bid their suit over 1 by transferring to 2 - opener can complete with a minimum and a small doubleton. This also takes the hands out of any Gazilli continuations.
5. Extra bids are freed up on grounds of frequency.
6. 3 level bids are not needed for Bergen

On an aside as a bridge teacher - it is entirely consistent and logical to have a 2 response like a 2 opener - i.e. GF.

———–

I've also started teaching my beginners (I teach children) that if the first bid by your side is 1, 1 or 1 it promises 5 cards. This means they don't have a problem grasping that an overcall requires a 5-card suit.



March 21, 2016
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It's a shame Eugene.
Naturally I don't agree.
Are you the policeman - who decides?

I'm interested in how this can be used to benefit bridge. Is “I suspect that bridge-players being more intelligent than average are not enamoured of Trump and his divisive campaign.” this your only objection? If I reframe my post will I be allowed to repost this? I'm really not interested in the politics here
Feb. 22, 2016
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I am trying to initiate a discussion about how bridge can benefit from the wordplay around the word Trump and Notrump. I am not interested in the political pros and cons of Mr Trump. You certainly don't want to hear my views on all of this - I'm not an American citizen so I wouldn't presume to offer my half-penny's worth.

So far Barry Rigal and Matthew Weingarten (below) has got the idea of my post.

It's about publicity for bridge as the average age of players rises annually. The Thai bridge club incident put bridge in the limelight (worldwide) recently. The “Is bridge a sport?” debate similarly attracted publicity - this got more coverage last week as bell-ringers were trying to get their activity recognised as a sport - the newspaper articles referenced bridge and its failure to be acknowledged as a sport. The cheating scandals got some column inches. Bridge has an image problem - nothing new there- it's been downhill since Culbertson. Bridge has a problem with the name itself - google bridge and there's not much coming up for the card-game, plenty for engineering structures.

Bill Gates with a No Trump baseball cap?
It's really a post looking for people who think outside the box. If there is any potential in what I propose, then it needs to be humourous and light-hearted I think to optimize.



Feb. 22, 2016
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I play Fisher Grabs.
Grabbing shows a maximum, picking a minimum
Feb. 18, 2016
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