Monday, February 27, 2006

I wanted to say, but then I forgot.

Seems like everyday I pick up some grain of information. And wait to blog, because it's just a thought, or an idea or a concept. And then I promptly forget what it was till it comes up again.

So, here's some things I'm noting before I forget:

1W-x-p-1Z-p-2Z. 2Z is a strong raise. I don't know how it happens but really basic things get lost in the shuffle of the whole learning process.

Western Cue: If they bid one suit, and you cue, you're asking. If they bid two and you cue you're showing.

kqt is a great holding to lead from, and you generally should.

I need to do a lot more reading.

None of the good strong club systems have cool names. The obvious answer is to just rename the best one to something cooler. I vote for Thud.

Over an x on the 1 levl (p opens they x) a new suit even at the two level denies 10 and promises a playable suit.

When playing in a misfit better to play from the weak hand for transportation.

Monday, February 20, 2006

The Secret Lives of Robots

"If you have a decent shot at game opposite a flat 0-count then you should force to game."

Hannie was explaining about MisIry and we talked a little about strong two suited hands generally. We went to bid some and I got this monster red hand. I signed off someplace below game, and when we looked at it we realized that I had underestimated my trick taking power, assuming we played in a red suit, of course. That's one thing I learned this week.

Playing the known card:

This came up before. Bob talked about it. It's hard to internalize though. The idea is this Say you hold the ten and the queen, and the jack has already been played. There's this temptation to take the trick cheaply as possible. However, if you're already known to have the queen you should play it, then declarer still has to guess the position of the ten.

Both Mike (MickyB) and Hannie pointed this out. I played 3nt and went down one on a hand that should make. I kind of choked at the table. I was playing with MickyB against Hannie and Jlall and I had this moment where I just lost focus and wanted to go hide for a while till I felt better. But this known card came up in clubs.

Yesterday, watching the last table finish up at the HB tourney, I was chatting with one of the GIB robots. East. East is far more talkative and forthcoming than west. It's nice to see them out, kibbitizing and socializing.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

On a less extreme note.

I found this on the web, and I thought, anyone who wanted to explain bridge to the uninitiated might find it useful:

Of course explaining the game is far easier than explaining the concept of masterpoints. I've decided to just agree that if you get enough of them you can trade them in for a vcr or a new car.

Warning crackpot leftist rant to follow (VMISFWAMB)

One of the best things about BBO is the great people that I meet. Take Justin Lall. What a nice young man. He’s articulate and polite, very accessible and of course, a great bridge player. He’s answered questions for me, including personal questions, like what he thinks of Ghestem. I’ve watched him play, often with others from the US Jr. Team. I played against him in a team match, his team largely made up of the US Jr. Team; they creamed us, but what a thrill. But there is one thing about the young men that troubles me… none of them are girls. (Certainly not their fault.) Where are the great American players under the age of twenty-five without a Y chromosome? I blame the media.
The American media paints us in a troubling light. The world often sees us as a society of vapid materialistic indiscriminate sex fiends who are morally bankrupt, which is sad, but sadder if we see ourselves that way. Granted, there is progress since the days when the prevalent view accepted that women were less intelligent and less capable then men. I would guess that few men believe that, or at least would admit to holding that opinion. But while we agree that women are smart and capable, are we telling young women that intellect is as important as popularity and sex appeal? If we were, would more young women play bridge?

Monday, February 06, 2006

Playing live with a partner with no pants

When I started playing bridge in May, I thought I'd never play live. I remember when I played in 1997 that almost every trip to the club involved tears. I have no idea why I decided to try again, but I remembered that the Culbertson was always nice. I liked the people there. They didn't serve a big fancy dinner, and they weren't in a big fancy space, but it was nice there. So, I decided to see.

Anne, the owner, really went out of her way to find me someone wonderful to play with. And the club has moved to an art club. It's very pretty and they have a fancy dinner available. Check it out.

None of the horrible things I envisioned came to pass. I didn't revoke, or bid out of turn. No one cried. No one called the director. And, I had a very nice time.

Ok, the pants. And how odd that pants figured prominently in my entries the last couple of days. First Larry's now Erics. What can it mean? I arrived. I was asked to check my coat. I went downstairs. Anne was busy getting lunch sorted, when I introduced myself. She paused to tell me my partner was already there. She said something like, "What was he wearing? Is he wearing pants today? Oh, no he's not." And I thought, "Oh My!" And I thought, "When I used to play everyone wore pants." Then I thought, "I've taken off my coat, but that's where I draw the line."

Eric, was a charming man, who went out of his way to make me feel comfortable. He's also a very good player. He also has a nice sense of humor. In spite of a couple of bad boards we came in third. Our worst hand follows:
Opps opened 1s, Eric bid 1nt, pass to me. I had six points, the Ax of hearts, and Q seven in clubs. With some other junk thrown in in spades and diamonds. I bid 2s, lho x'd. Eric duitifully bid 2c, and rho bid 3h, p-p- to Eric, who x'd. And I did not bid 4c. And they did make 5h. And it was not a good board. After, I asked Eric, would you have been horrified if I'd bid four clubs? Turns out he was a little perplexed that I failed to. Funny thing is, I'd decided to, but when I reached into the bidding box, all I came out with was a pass.

Oh yeah, so you don't get the wrong idea about the Culbertson, he was wearing shorts. There was no disrobing or odd nudity at the Culbertson today.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Everything you ever wanted to know about Larry Cohen

Today Larry Cohen did a think with Larry on BBO. It was a lot of fun to watch. One of the best parts was running commentary with Luke Warm. Well, we were very disappointed that Larry didn't do a Q & A after. I really wanted to know things like, what he thinks about "I Fought the Law" and especially, I wonder, if Larry and his wife, played bridge against Marty Bergen and his wife, who would win? But Jimmy has promised that if he gets the opportunity to talk to Larry he will ask. He'll also suggest that Larry play bridge in leather pants. Why? Well...
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