Friday, January 27, 2006

Lions and Tigers and Bears Oh MY

I had sort of a big day yesterday on BBO. Bob held an inpromptu discussion on weak twos. He made the interesting point that not only are we taking a bidding level from the opps when we preepempt but we're taking away a big part of their convention card. One of the things he said that I liked best was: If you bid a weak two in first seat you're only preempting one partner but two opps.

I played with Bob in an Abalucy open tourney and it was so much fun. Of course, I made mistakes, and felt especially embarrassed. Bob was a total sweetheart when I did, and after we reviewed the hands that went awry. For me the most exciting moment was when I picked up this hand:
H: X

And RHO bid 1c. We'd been talking some about bad doubles. I think doubling here is a lie A huge lie. So, I didn't I passed, thinking surely I'll have another chance to do something, even if it's just take a lot of tricks on defense... but I worried too, that they'd play in 2h or something, which would make me sad. P balanced with 1s, I replied 4, Bob made 5 and all was right with the world. Except, I felt like I wanted to have a larger vocabulary in that situation. I KNEW I could trust him to balance.

Later, I played against Hannie and Cherdano. I played with szuetam, who was totally a doll. I thought it was really sweet of them to be willing to play with me. I think I learned something about aimless and pointless false carding.
You can't just throw an innappropriate card that doesn't really address declarer's questions in hopes that it will just confuse him. Especially if he's a better player than you are.

This week I'm reading Bergen's book on hand evaluation and Jim Jacoby's Jacoby on Bridge. I'm enjoying them both, and they both say many of the things that Bob says about hand evaluation. But even though everyone is saying the same thing, I think it's not redundant. It' s good to hear it rephrased, so hopefully it sinks in, repetition is good. Course Jacoby wrote this in 87 when people still played 16-18 nt as a rule, and he advocates a four card major open that just scares me.

I'm venturing with more frequency into the main club. I have mixed feelings about that. I suppose there are arguments for playing in BIL and playing in the main club, but one thing that's always true is that in BIL people as a rule are friendly and polite, and seem to be enjoying themselves. And that's a nice way to play bridge. Bob suggests that I make it very clear from the start that telling people when they sit that it's a friendly game if they don't want to behave they can go elsewhere. I have my speech on the matter preprinted and ready to post.

Finally Claire is back from Vegas, and I'm thrilled to have her back. Claire is my mentor. And she's just lovely and wonderful. I think it takes a special person to be a great mentor. It's a lot like any type of volunteerism, where the idea of donating one's time is far easier than actually doing it. I think this may be especially true with online bridge, where when you log in your mentee is there, and I think mentor's feel compelled to be there and on, all the time. That doesn't happen as much with live bridge I'm sure. And it's a lot of pressure. Most mentor's quit after a few sessions (this is what I heard talking with other billies.) I had a mentor before Claire who never wanted to play with me. But Claire's not given up on me yet, even though I'm sure I try her patience.
I've been really lucky to have had really great players and teachers make themselves available to me, and I feel a little like I'm cheating on Claire. But as long as she doesn't feel that way, all is right with the world.


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