This blog provides supplementary thoughts and ideas to the site. If you haven't seen the main site, there is a lot there including the Martel and Rodwell interviews, photos, and articles. This blog is focused on advancing bridge theory by discussing the application of new ideas. All original content is copyright 2009 Glen Ashton.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

True Expert

Monday night found us playing an IMP league make-up match with playoff implications. Here's a problem for you:

S: A987
H: KJT87
D: 32
C: Q4

It goes 2D weak on your left (could be a five card suit), 2NT by partner, pass by RHO.

You bid 3D, Stayman in your methods. LHO passes, and now partner announces 3D as a transfer, and then bids 3H. RHO passes, and then you bid ?

The expert with the above hand was one of our opponents, and what he did next showed that he was a true expert. He bid 4H, bidding as if he never heard the announcement. He knew that announcements are for the opponents only, and he could not use that information to take another course of action.

Notice that he could easily have bid 3S here, making it look like he transferred to hearts, and then bid spades naturally. This would get his side to the best contract, while bidding 4H over 3H risked playing in a 5-2 fit, with perhaps 3NT better, or having a 4-4 spade fit. Nobody would be the wiser - the only person who would knew that he bid 3D as Stayman could just keep quiet, and his team's playoff chances would still be alive.

Instead he took the right action, and even though I said nothing at the time, I made a mental note: "Now there's a true expert".

The actual board was a push (they had a 5-3 fit), and after a lot of IMP exchanges we won the match which found us in the playoffs on Wednesday.

In the first half, I had:

S: KQT875
H: Q75
D: K83
C: 2

I opened 2S, a weak two that could be a five card suit. LHO and Karen passed, Karen usually not having 3Ss as we bounce the bidding with a fit. RHO bid 3C and played there, making 5 on our poor defense.

At the other table, holding this hand was Jurek Czyzowicz. On the same auction (but with 2S promising 6), he doubled 3C for takeout. This got partner Steve Brown to bid 4S with:

S: A2
H: AK932
D: 65
C: T876

That was 10 IMPs to their side, and we were well on the way to our playoff exit.

Jurek, Steve, and our teammates Waldemar Frukacz and David T. Willis all start play in the Canadian Bridge Championships today. Good luck to all. Rosters are at:

Linda's look at handicapping the team event is at:

On Friday night Karen and I won a ACBL BBO speedball that was notable because on board 2 we had handicapped our score with a -790 and -13 IMPs as result of our poor defense (tm).

Say the following occurs at your local club. Both opponents are very successful players. You finish a board with a good result for your side thanks to frisky bidding, and then one of the opponents calls for the TD (tournament director). The TD arrives but immediately goes away with the opponent and they have a discussion away from the table. The player silently returns, while the TD goes quietly back to their computer. Later, in checking the score comparisons, you find the result of the board you played has been changed to A+ (average plus) for the opponents.

This occurred, but =at a place that prefers to remain undisclosed, but not located in Canada=. The two opponents were US stars. While quiet handling problems can be cool in many cases, I think open communication is important when score adjustments are in play. =Sadly the place where this had happened has asked that everything remain private =

Update: the parts marked between = = are later updates to reflect the wishes of the place to remain private. If they had read the book, Brand Bubble, mentioned in this post:

they might realize that what consumers need to see is this loop:

feedback (good/bad) -- brand acknowledgement - brand improve/change/fix/update/repair

If a brand attempts to close down or hide this cycle, anywhere in the cycle, they lose consumer trust. This does not mean that the brand loses consumers, but just that consumers will not trust them to do the right thing. For contrast, see this Best Buy short clip titled "The Marketing Capability: the Future is Digital":

= end of update =

We now have a great set of days of vugraph to look forward to. The schedule is at:

Thanks to all involved with these presentations, and in particular the BBO folks and the tireless never-sleeps coordinator Roland Wald. Once I get the lawn cut (it is way too long), I hope to pitch hit as a commentator for a less popular event, the type where my typos are forgiven and frisky bidding is common place.


  • At 11:23 AM, Blogger Memphis MOJO said…

    "Later, in checking the score comparisons, you find the result of the board you played has been changed to A+ (average plus) for the opponents."

    Unacceptable. TD must step up to the plate and tell the "villains" what the ruling is.

  • At 5:09 AM, Blogger warren said…

    A possibly belated good luck to the local (Ottawa) participants in CNTCs.

    The nice part about your "expert" story is that it's one of the easiest ways that a beginner like me can learn to emulate an expert.


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