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All comments by Stephen Cooper
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I had AKQJxxx :)
June 24, 2016
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In 1974, playing in an IMP match in the Montreal Bridge League, Eric Kokish was my (mentor)/ partner. RHO opened 1NT, 15-17, and I made a “penalty” double, just as the maestro had taught me. LHO, with a very nice 1543 11 HCP, redoubled for business. Eric had some Yarborough with a 5-card club suit, but passed, as he knew what he had taught me. 1NT XX paid out 1000 as I ran my seven spades and my club ace. Team-mates scored +650 in 4 for a nice swing.

The bad news is that it hasn't come up again since.
June 24, 2016
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Another thread, perhaps discussed elsewhere, is the change in the game brought on by online play. Neither of Jeff's scenarios could have come up playing on the Internet.

Are these physical errors an integral part of the game? Portions of the Rule Book get thrown out online: One cannot revoke, bid out of turn, make an insufficient bid, lead out of turn, drop a card, play two cards at once, show one's hand, etcetera. Does that improve or diminish the game?

A long-time tongue-in-cheek description of a good player is, “S/he can follow suit”. Apparently, that is a basic skill. Online, everyone can do that! I've lost my edge.

Of course, one must cope with “mis-clicking” instead…
June 24, 2016
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Jeff,

Are you still longing for Bridge to be played more like Golf after this weekend's farcical application of the rules in the US Open? That created a travesty of the event, although everyone - the organizers, the USGA, the players, the fans - lucked out in that it did not determine the winner.
June 21, 2016
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My partner and I won Silver, a half-matchpoint behind this Hawaiian pair :). I guess the CBF could not afford a second photo.
June 1, 2016
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I support the theory that partnership is a critical aspect of bridge. However, just to set the record straight, Morrie and I only played together once before, at last year's CNTC. Not even online since then.

Ray and Steve are very good and their years of partnership experience are an asset. However, I am not sure about Andy and Jim having played together much before…Andy played many years with David Lindop, with much successs.

We were lucky against the Miles team - they played well. We lost our next match to Lecuyer by well over 100,and conceded with 1/3 to go. It evens out. Lecuyer team played great, and every mistake (at our table) was punished.
May 27, 2016
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I agree. Um, no; disagree?
April 12, 2016
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I agree with the point about resulting. I do not suggest there is just one “correct” answer, nor that the winning answer is necessarily correct in theory. However, experience relates to winning answers. If you always tend to lead passively in analogous situations, you might want to look closely and see how often it was right!
March 21, 2016
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SPOILER alert: Here is the on-the-field answer. Opener had six solid hearts and Ax of diamonds. Dummy had KQxxx of diamonds and out. On a red-suit lead, declarer has the first eleven (!) tricks. On a black suit lead, it is easy to cash our five tricks. Dummy had: xxx, xxx, KQxxx, xx.

Oh, and we are down in 4 as they can cash three diamonds and one heart.

So the lead makes a three-trick difference! Partner has AQ10x, xxx, J10x, KJx
March 20, 2016
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In practice, 4 is down and 3 is beatable, thus it is a valid lead problem. I will reveal details after the hand has been given some time to attract some answers.
March 19, 2016
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WD to the winners. We played them the last round of the final session. We got 81% and 73%. I think they may have been like a golfer on the last hole of the event playing with a 3-stroke lead. Don't hit it in the water. Helped us sneak into 5th overall,
March 15, 2016
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I wasn't disbarred; I resigned from the Law Society, and stopped practising law to go into a different line of work. But I get your point - I am a former lawyer, no doubt.

Curiously, while I lawyer I was ineligible to serve on a jury but I am able to now.
March 4, 2016
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One more narrow question. I have represented clients at ACBL discipline hearings, at a time when I was a lawyer. The ACBL has since changed that rule, forbidding it. However, I am no longer a lawyer. Would I be eligible to represent someone today?
March 3, 2016
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Is this a serious enquiry? There are 12 monthly issues per year. Maybe your other 8 issues from 1994 are just delayed in the mail.
Jan. 26, 2016
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Here is an interesting angle.

As most of the BW material is high level, it eliminates a large number of players who have no such aspirations. They enjoy playing, but are not that interested in studying, and improving. It is hard work! (For my part, that's when I began to enjoy golf, so I get it. I have accepted where I'm at - bad - , and just have fun.) In Bridge, I have been playing since 1966 and am still interesting in learning and improving.

But here's the thing. I have been a regular contributor for many years. Recently, I wrote an article called “Hold ‘Em Bridge”, which compared high-level bridge and Texas Hold ’Em strategies. I ran into Steve Weinstein and Zia and Geoff Hampson and other of the top 1% of players at the Vegas Nationals, and asked whether any of them had read it. NONE had. I got the distinct impression that they did not make a point of reading TBW.

In other words, the top 1% players don't read it, the average players don't read it, the new players don't read it. There is just a small group of devotees who remain.

Notice that there are no comments in this section from any of the “1%” (I apologize to any players who have commented here who I may have missed and thus offended if they are in that world-class category).

It begs the question: Who exactly is the intended audience?
Jan. 24, 2016
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I have my own, “Ethical or not?” In private self-alert/self-explain situations, (either online or with a screen), consider a simple scenario: You play weak notrump, and rebid 1NT over partner's 1 response to your 1. You announce “15-17” balanced, which is exactly what you have, but sometimes you might rebid 1NT with, say, 15-17 and a stiff spade. Must you tell this (private) tale? Note YOU DO NOT HAVE THAT HAND - you're 4333 or whatever.
Jan. 21, 2016
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It was played 18 times, IMP - Pairs, and 3 bid to slam.
Jan. 15, 2016
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Thanks for all the input. I was tweaked to put this question up when I saw the thread about the Kokish relay(BIRTHRIGHT). I like the help-suit slam try idea. It makes most sense when big hand faces little hand. I believe it is Kokish himself who suggests using 3NT by opener as a relay for cue-bidding (rejecting 3NT as a landing spot), and leaving a new suit bid as showing length. It could possibly be an alternate trump suit. I think this diamond piece would qualify, as you have no problem going back to hearts if the diamond bid excites partner.

With hearts trump, you might use 3 as the relay asking for cue, and responder's 3NT then is a spade cue.

2-2-2-3-3NT shows spade help-suit slam try.
Jan. 15, 2016
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If we play the original version, and name it on the card accordingly, do we get an all-expense-paid trip to the Promised Land?
Jan. 15, 2016
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