Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Smarter bidding

Happy New Year! I see I haven't blogged for a while.
(I was forced to edit the title of this post, it was attracting some odd and unwelcome comments)

I have been playing a number of club games with Peter and placing in A, so that's great. I am also on an IMP League team, we got off to a bad start with 2 losses but had a much needed win and morale boost in our last game. The losses were, in part, due to my lack of discipline. This is a reoccurring theme and one that Peter has been working on with me. My ACBL Bulletin was delivered today and wouldn't you know it, Frank Stewart is in on this too.

Discipline in the bidding is taking the action you know is best when a tiny voice in your head is urging you to take a flyer. Discipline is having a reason to bid and being willing to pass when no bid is just right. Discipline is acknowledging that you have a partner and letting him use his judgement.

I am going to print this out and stick it to my PC.

I would like to add, discipline is having the hand for your bid. Here is a good example, playing on BBO with a semi regular partner.

I am dealt K5, JT6, T843, KT92 rho passed, yes I passed, LHO opened 1C, partner doubled
(P) P (1C) X
(1S)P (P) X
(P) 1N

I like my 1N bid but now partner jumps to 3N and I start to feel sick.

My dear partner tables; JT,AQ4,AK65,AQ83 making 10, thanks p!

That's all I wanted to say, I am working hard on becoming a disciplined bidder.
And finaly, I have given up caffeine! Day 5 and the headaches are barely noticeable now but for the first 4 days they were excruciating.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

2/1 Epiphany

Richard and I came 2nd in our section, 5th overall with 58% at the club the other day, nice game, more lessons for me;

1H (P) to you... Qxx,Jxxx,xx,Qxxx - your bid?

I passed , I should have bid 2H via 1nt, both Peter and Richard said they would have bid 2H, we have some work to do on these. I am used to playing “constructive raises” so;

1M:2M 7(8)-10 3 or 4 card support
1M:1N* 2x:2M weak 6-10 3(2) card support or 2-5 4 card support
1M:1N* 2x:3M 10-11 exactly 3 card support
1M:3M 10-11 4 card support

Once again, ‘everyone’ plays this differently, Im surprised it hasn’t come up before.

Update: apparently I need to add 'Bergen' raises! Another one to get wrong or forget, Im still working on lebensohl.

Anyway, I wrote back during my blogging at the regional about an epiphany I had regarding 2/1 auctions. I’m not sure it was an epiphany in the true sense of the word as Wayne pointed it out to me, but it has had a large impact on my bidding!

1S:1N 2H:3m
1M:1N 2D:3C

3m here is to play, its not an invitation, its not game forcing, its not even mildly tempting – 1N has limited partners hand and 3m says I have zero tolerance for your suits, lets play in my long suit. I think this is an old habit remaining from sayc where a new suit by responder at the 3level is 100% gf, that and, again, not thinking it through before I bid.

2nd team game tonight, the first wasnt great maybe we will do better tonight.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

6403 distributional 9 count

I have joined an imp league team at the VBC and matched up with a new partner, Richard. We had a “warm up” game last night – and won 67.86%, how nice is that!!

One of our top boards was where I opened 1st seat, vulnerable with a 6403 9 count and Richard made 4 hearts, while the other tables did not reach game. I tend to open these distributional hands, regardless of point count as they have so much trick taking ability but I’m not sure where to draw the line.
The other side to this is the opps generally are not happy with my opening, should we announce that we open distributional hands on <10

edit: I wonder how my openings will change now that I have discovered I need some discipline :) Jan 19 2010

Tomorrow Bill, Jennifer and I head off to Sun Peaks for our first ski race/holiday of the year. It has been a great start to the season with a lot of snow dumped on all the mountains, it has turned to rain here on the local mountains but Im hoping at Sun Peaks it is still snowing. 2 days skiing, 1 day visiting Cody and Vikki in Kamloops and our 10th Wedding Anniversary! Bill, my bridge widow did not see the funny side of it when I suggested we head to San Diego for our anniversary. :)

Next game will be the first team match on Tuesday.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Unusual vs. Unusual Unusual vs. Michaels

Here is another post on Unusual vs. Unusual. I have found this to be an excellent gadget, logical and easy to remember, you can even safely spring it on partners undiscussed :-) I first played 1M (2N*) with Richard, I don't remember the responses we used, they may have been reversed. This is the only "catch" , you must discuss this part with your partner. Is 1M (2N*) 3 gf in hearts or spades? It does not matter which you chose as long as you chose one! Peter & I have chosen to bid ‘up the line’ so clubs is for hearts and diamonds for spades. Keep it simple and easy to remember. We have also extended this to include unusual over Michael’s and, as I discovered the other day, it applies over 1N (2N)

1M (2N*) 3m *clubs and diamonds

3 = limit+ with 's
3 = limit+ with ♠'s

Contrast these with 1♠ (2N) 3♠ or 1♠ (2N) 3 which are competitive only (i.e. to play, showing no extra values)


1m (2m*) 2M *hearts and spades

2 = limit+ in
2♠ = limit+ in

Contrast these with 1 (2) 3 or 1(2) 2 which are competitive only (i.e.to play)

1♠(2♠*) 3x *hearts and a minor

3 limit+ in ♠
3/ natural gf

1(2*) 2S/3x *spades and a minor

2♠ limit+ in Hearts
3/ natural gf

If you do not have the values to force to game, or if you have both minors, it is necessary to negative double.

Unusual vs. Unusual also applies over 1N (2N*) *minors, I have included the comments from our bidding notes on this:

Do you play anything over 1N (2N) ? If 2N is showing the minors, 3 could show hearts, 3 could show spades each with invitational values, while 3 or 3♠ would be to play. This is Unusual v Unusual, same responses that would apply if the auction had gone 1♥ -(2N) - .
However, unlike 1M (2N) 3m, 1N (2N) 3m must be M5+ since partner could have as few as 2M

Monday, November 16, 2009

Bouncing back

Life is back to normal :) I played with Peter in the North Shore game today, had a good solid game and finished with 53% and another fraction of a Monster Point to add to my gradually growing number. lol When will I have enough to fly to San Diego?
I'd love to go to the nationals, it won't be this time but I will get there one day.

Wayne headed off this morning on his way to San Diego. I wish I had managed to spend more time with him and tap into his expertise. However, 8am - 11pm days at the regional didn't leave much time for anything else.

I think the most valuable yet simple lesson I took away after playing with Wayne and Peter last week was to slow down and think during the auction and the play. Think, plan, review, replan - easy to say, harder to do. Playing online tends to be done at breakneck speed, if you stop to think you are either bombarded with ????????'s or simply booted from the table.

I did some of this today - it is ok to slow down and think when you have something to think about!

Caffeine; I stopped drinking caffeine drinks (tea, coffee) on Saturday and by Sunday morning I had the worst splitting headache you can imagine. Jennifer was singing with the choir, so on our way to Church I had to stop at a coffee shop for a large Latte, 20mins later I was feeling a lot better. I need to stop drinking the damn stuff but I obviously need to plan a little better, a few quiet days at home with some ibuprofen handy might do the trick. I best check the bottle to make sure the pain killers don't contain caffeine. This is what withdrawing from drugs is like!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

tap declarer

Here is another fun hand from the Regional, board23 Friday evening pairs. I should say, fun board if you weren't trying to play this in 2♣.

If learning this game isn't difficult enough there is also the specific bridge language you need to learn - 'tap' for me, coming from New Zealand, was where we got the water. I suppose I am saying faucet now. Tap dance, tap shoes, now how about 'tap declarer'. Peter has been showing me hands as they come up, where it is right to tap declarer, hopefully this is one of them.

'Tapping' means leading a suit where you know declarer is void, forcing him to ruff, thus shortening his trump and losing control of the hand. This is an extreme case hand in regards to 'tapping' since there is no other play available but I think it still demonstrates the point.

When this hand came up, I passed 2♣ smoothly and, unable to lead partners suit, I led the second obvious choice ♥3 hitting the jackpot. Partner played heart AK and I ruffed 3rd round of ♥, I'm not sure how the play continued but each time I won the lead, I continued with ♦ to make declarer ruff.

Result 2♣-2 for 300

crazy 12 card deal

Here's a crazy hand from the Regional, board18 Friday afternoon pairs.
I'm south here and couldn't believe the bidding until I saw dummy - thanks partner!

West led Heart Ace, East playing the 10 (encouraging), West continued Hearts at trick 2 and I was expecting a ruff and ready to claim -1.
East turned up with a stiff heart and the spade void!
Claim 6 +1660 thank you!