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All comments by Paul Gipson
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My local club players have changed as they've aged.

Thirty years ago some of them used to read bridge magazines and go to minor congresses. This caused an explosion in certain conventions because one player would hear about something and it would spread: Crowhurst became popular because they hated opening a weak no trump with a 5-card major; unassuming cue bids were a fad; one or two tried the multi-coloured two diamonds opener; 4C was always Gerber; a surprising number misplay Ghestem.

All of these are still popular except the multi, which was always too difficult for them.

Nowadays there is only one phrase I hear and it is clear that one man will be solely responsible for any new club myths that develop, even if he is misquoted.

“Did you see Andrew Robson's column?”
Jan. 31
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My partner held

Qxx
Q10xxx
x
AQ10x

You may think this is a little light for a vulnerable takeout double and this is what my partner thought too. However he felt he'd taken too long thinking and it was better to take some action.

I doubt anyone else at the table thought he'd done anything other than take the appropriate time after the stop bid.

Fortunately diamonds were 5-3 and spades were 3-2, so seven spades proved the winning bid even though a poor contract.

I could not think of anything good happening by bidding diamonds at some level, although I gave it a lot of thought, and eventually just leapt to the grand slam.

Not a perfect problem, but it did happen in the semifinal of a relatively important event.
Jan. 27
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One might hope that the selectors were watching all the boards and will have some idea who was unlucky (or lucky) over the four days and not just the last few hands.

On the other hand, selectors are always in a lose-lose position by the nature of the job.
Jan. 21
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This is a good place to start - https://www.bridgebase.com/forums/topic/81295-bidding-table

As Michael says, the latest Chrome update has broken constraints but not advanced scripts. BBO hope to fix this shortly but use Microsoft Edge if you want to try it out immediately.
Jan. 16
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The bigger problem is that you can only put prepared hands, use constraints, or create a script that defines the hands, for bidding or teaching tables. However neither of these types of table will get into your history so you will lose the hands and your bidding/play unless you explicitly export individual hands to a BBO folder - this is an option in the bottom right window.

The smaller problem is that you cannot predict how the robots will bid any hand :)
Jan. 15
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There are multiple Holiday Inns in the city, so I didn't want anyone going to the wrong one. It also means any screams at the venue are attributed to the howler monkeys next door.

As the Blackadder is five miles south of me and joins the Whiteadder (pronounced Whit'adder) before flowing into the River Tweed, it is unusual that someone knows just the one river :)

The Blackadder family were an integral part of the constant Borders’ feuds in the 16th century, although I've never seen Edmund referenced.
Jan. 8
Paul Gipson edited this comment Jan. 8
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Pretty sure seven of them did, I didn't ask the eighth.
Dec. 21, 2019
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This was not a UI problem but the poll confirms my surprise at the action of many of the participants in the event.

The hand was rotated for the poll, but the original board can be seen at

http://livescore.sbu.org.uk/seniorstrial/0/index.html#000RB0000820020020000000A2

(It is board 82 in the trial)
Dec. 18, 2019
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From my experience playing in Iceland is great fun and the January tournament is many people's favourite.

However the system regulations are very relaxed and the locals are barking mad, so system cards are used to express precisely how their madness presents itself.

You will come across pairs greeting you warmly and, with a smile, presenting you with a system card with three or four Brown Sticker conventions. If you are lucky you will already have come across a couple of them before and discussed defences between the rounds, but solid meta-agreements are worth their weight in gold. No written defences permitted here.

It is very, very different to playing in the ACBL. I reiterate it is a lot of fun and I hope you get the opportunity to play sometime.
Dec. 12, 2019
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I believe that ‘fitted transfers’ over 2NT are the norm in France.
Nov. 17, 2019
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Experienced does not equate with strong and there are many experienced club players who prefer to play as ‘Advanced’ to avoid beginners.

Most players at my local club have been playing for over twenty years and they exhibit many of the traits above. A major reason for this is that this is normal in their circle: they play with many partners at the club and a club style has evolved. For example, Gerber in most auctions is prevalent.

I suspect a lot of the ‘culprits’ you are playing with are in a similar situation. These traits have become common in their circle and they believe that they are more common than they really are.

However, to be fair to these experienced players, you only need to speak to a WBF or EBL Director to hear similar complaints about styles at the highest levels.

In many countries, it is normal to bypass spades with a balanced hand in the auction 1-1-1NT: in many other countries, opener specifically denies four spades. So a lot of people expect the former to be alerted, whereas it does not even occur to the rest.

This is not to start a debate on this, just to show that even at the highest levels there are groups of players convinced that there are many playing bad practices.
Nov. 10, 2019
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I'm amused by people quoting Michael Byrne

It was, of course, put in solely for your amusement. It's no surprise that his suggestions for the majority of English Bridge readers, who play weak no trump and four-card majors, rarely come up in your discussions.
Nov. 4, 2019
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I did look this up in English Bridge before commenting and Michael Byrnes' recommendation is 1C with 4144 unless your clubs are weak, when he said 1D was acceptable (http://view.pagetiger.com/ern9ujera9hj/dsvgnoiw457h#page18.html). I would expect this to be expert standard.

But despite my local club being in England, they don't get English Bridge and have probably never heard of Michael so they rely on suit below the singleton as recommended by Crowhurst amongst others.
Nov. 4, 2019
Paul Gipson edited this comment Nov. 4, 2019
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Most Acol players at my local club religiously open the suit below a singleton, despite my advice. So they would all open a classic takeout double of 2 with 1, which I believe would be sufficient to fail the comparable call criteria.
Nov. 4, 2019
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Thanks to everyone who responded, including those who messaged me privately. You'll probably see the result of my deliberations in January.
Oct. 15, 2019
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Taking longer than the regulations say is normal is a long time to sign off after a key card auction.

The initial reaction from partner will be, “I wonder what took him so long”, and then partner *may* start thinking in a position he would not normally do so. Even if their first thought is, “this is a UI situation”, it is inappropriate.
Sept. 24, 2019
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Another ageist US-centric comment :)

None of the current Scottish juniors has ever shuffled or dealt a pack of cards for bridge. The U16s may not even understand the concept.
Sept. 23, 2019
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I'm sure the WBF will eventually catch up with itself - http://www.worldbridge.org/competitions/wbf-championships/youth-teams/
Sept. 23, 2019
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The initial reaction when I posted this to the Scottish Juniors has been positive.

Scotland does not have anything like the number of juniors as England and have never qualified for the World Championships (or even finished about halfway in the Europeans). None of the players are professionals or semi-professional. It is a very different scenario from England.

They have enjoyed junior events in the past and see the U31 event as continuing to play international events, especially as it will be some time before they can dispose the seniors clogging up the Open team. It will probably keep a number of them playing serious bridge, both locally and abroad.

If this is a good enough reason to have this category and whether the SBU will want, and be able, to finance it are debates that will now start.

England, not least due to Alan and the team he works with, have been incredibly successful in junior events and have been able to build on this, have a critical mass of juniors to work with, and have successful senior teams to aspire to.

But there are the smaller NBOs to consider.
Sept. 22, 2019
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Or, more likely, have to choose which series to drop funding for in order to support this one.
Sept. 21, 2019
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