Monday, August 15, 2005

New Life Master

My playing partner became a Life Master this past weekend while we were playing in the Swiss teams in the Houston Sectional. Needless to say he was happy as it ocurred during our win of the second round.

To recap a bit about the Swiss teams. Our first round was to say less than stellar would be an overstatement. We were simply outclassed is the best way to put it. I got totally snookered on a 7NT bid by my right hand opponent (rho) and the very first hand of the day. Here is the bidding the best I recall:

LHO is dealer and opens - 1S, P, 2D, P
2H, P, 4C, P
4S, P, 5C, P
5H, P, 7N

Now the worst part of this deal is I am sitting with 4 hearts to the 10, 5 spades to the QJT and 4 diamonds to the 10. After being squeezed by the declarer I eventually pitch a heart. That was the kiss of death for the contract since now after 3 rounds of hearts all are gone making declares 6 of Hearts good for 2220. Our team mates showed hearts versus the diamonds which would have told me to hold on to the hearts for the set.

Oh well that is the way it goes sometimes.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Yuck

It was a bad night in Bedrock. We placed or scratched in bridge terminology but i am not proud of the score in the least. Our play of the hands was ok and we set some contracts but our bidd and leads needed some improvement for sure. But then again that is what the club games are all about anyway.

I had a conversation last night with the club tournament director (TD) over our opening bid of 2 Diamonds. Standard American and 2/1 players use that as a weak bid showing 6-card diamond suit and a weak hand, obviously there are other treatments I will not go into at this time. But in our system it is a 11+ hand showing any 4441 hand with the singleton in any suit. Here is the statement made by TD "I will not let anyone use a 2 Diamond Multi-colored bid in any game I direct." So curiousity got the better of me and I asked why. "Because I don't like it." was the response. What a reason! That is akin to a child saying they don't like green peas because they don't like the color green.

Then we talk about where 2 D Muliti is legal to play and not play. According to the ACBL a 2D Multi bid is totally allowed for play in the General Convention Chart, this is also the chart used by clubs for determining the systems allowed to be played. After a bit more of discussion I believe I have finally determined why this TD will not allow its use. Simply stated the reason he doe not allow it is he either does not understand the bid, know how to defend the bid with interference. In my book if I do not know how to defend a bid I go look up a defense for it. Lack of initiative on your part does not constitute reason to disallow a perfectly legitimate system not to be played.

I guess there are TD's who think that just because they get a piece of paper that allows for them to be the TD (referree) they can make use of the liberties allowed by the ACBL. Actually if a TD wanted they could restrict the games to just one system such as Standard American Yellow Card. Now wouldn't that be a dull and boring game. Bridge is supposed to be first and foremost a fun game. Secondly, it is a thinking persons game. If you don't want to think and be inventive that is perfectly fine but don't stymie those you want do forge onward and upward.

Tonight we play again at Exxon. We are getting ready for the Sectional tournament in Houston this weekend. Wednesday we will get together and bid in the bidding room of BBO.

End plays and squeezes work for me.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Thursday (BCH) Results

For those of you who like to win coming in second is akin to loosing. So with that thought you could say we did not win last night. But I don't have the Vince Lombardi attitude, we came in second with a 61%; first place was 63%. For a couple of novice players we did pretty good I would say. One word about the field quality though. In my humble opinion the field was not nearly as strong as I expected or anticipated it to be. Normally the field at this club is a bit better so it must have been one of those nights therefore I am not going to get overly excited about our placing.

One of the best things I enjoy about playing Precision is "thumping the opponents." By that I mean when I open strong and partner has a positive response then it is normally best if the opponents not get too careless or carefree even if you’re at favorable vulnerability. It happened last night to a person new to the club, mind you this lady was NOT new to bridge. Additionally, this lady has by her own admission "played" Precision and still thought she could steal the auction from us. What should have been an average to average plus board became a top.

In a nutshell she is sitting to my right and interjects a 2S bid after a 2C response from partner to my 1C (strong unlimited) opening. Sitting behind her with 5 of her spades anticipating playing in 3NT I dutifully double her bid awaiting partner to further describe his hand. What does my partner now freely bid 3D and I know he is sitting there with 5/4 in the minors minimum with me having the big cards in the majors as well. Up jumps the opponent bidding 3S which in my book is asking to be thumped. Thinking ahead I had already knew we could bid and make 3NT with a high probability for making an over trick for 630 and with a possible additional trick if I could finesse spades through the RHO. But I decided why go for 630 or even 660 when we have a better than average possibility for setting the opponent 4 for 800! Sure enough dummy comes down with a mediocre hand at best along with a small singleton spade. To spare you the drudgery of the hand we proceeded to set her 4 for a top. THUMP!

Next game Tuesday and then it is the Houston Sectional next weekend.

End plays and squeezes work for me.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Tuesday (Exxon) Results

One must take the bad with the good. So for those of you who want to know our game last night was a bit less than stellar. However we did come in third place which is not bad but also not good either. When you have your mind set on winning coming in third is equivalent of "kissing your sister". Not that is all bad but setting your sights on the top spot and not making it is a downer. This club is not a strong club by any means. By that I mean the caliber of the entire field is rather weak with the exception of about 3 regular partnerships. So we need to work on our game a bit more to be able to persevere and keep weak fields from embarrassing us.

In retrospect we played respectable. We are working on our defense and last night showed we are improving. For those who know duplicate bridge we use Journalistic leads with Roman discards and Roman attitude signals to each lead.

Our system style is called Precision. Now Precision is a name given that really is wide open. There are a huge amount of variants of Precision with only the barest of basics common among those using it. We have modified our Precision based upon a gentleman in the United Kingdom - Oliver Clarke, and his playing partner Jason Hackett. We have also added some twists to it from the Key Lime Precision (KLP) from Dwayne Hoffman. Starting in September we will be modifying our system, gradually, probably 100% towards KLP. Dwayne has offered to mentor or teach us his system.

That is it for today's posting, come back again Friday for another update as Pete and I play at a different club Thursday night. This club has a decent game with a better caliber of player. One of the things partnerships must do is to afford itself the opportunity to play up if they are going to improve and get better in the long run.

Houston Sectional is August 13-15, we plan on entering the Knockouts and winning our second consecutive KO in a row. Our Swiss Team is made up of a very decent long standing partnership of two Silver Life Masters. Normally this rank will put us in the B ranking which will give us (D players) the exposure to better players we desire.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Guest Book

Sign my guest book and let me know your thoughts and that you were here!

See you on the return trip.


Details on the first bridge game back with my regular partner. Look out opponents we are going to kick some butt !! Come back tomorrow for the results (good or bad).

Monday, August 01, 2005

Push for the NAP & GNT

It is now August 1 and my bridge partner and I are now starting our push towards winning the "C" Flight of the North American Pairs and Grand National Teams. To enlighten the curious this is duplicate bridge at its best. We are far from the high echelon of B and A Flights but one must start somewhere.

My partner P and I have been working on several new wrinkles since P has been away from competitive playing for 2 months now due to an ailment. But during that time we have been learning new defensive as well as offensive schemes to take to the bridge table. Prior to our mini-hiatus we were being quite competitive with only a few minor setbacks due mostly to my overly aggressive bidding nature. After all bridge is a bidding game isn't it?

Tomorrow we start with our first club level game with the new system. Then during the middle of August we have a Sectional tournament (Houston) followed by a Regional Tournament (Dallas) and then another Sectional (New Braunfels). Depending on how we fair we are either going to add, delete or change some of our bidding and play techniques.

Stay Tuned for more on our adventure in winning!

Friday, July 29, 2005

TGIF

Another week has come and gone. Now for the weekend. It is going to be an uneventful one, nothing planned just relax and enjoy.

Now if we can get some rain to ward off the heat who knows. Have a good weekend yourself.