Poultry Mega Kung-fu Bridge Battle!

Having mastered the martial arts, a Langshan rooster turns to mastering the essence of Contract Bridge...

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Thanks BBO!

Just held this in a pickup game:

You're third seat and partner, in first, opens 1. Do the math.

Even I can't botch the auction on this one. Ending in 7NTXX, you are delighted to see this:


We sank our Battleship!

Just posted this hand in the BBO Forums... I was East:



Over there, I'm asking three main questions:
  • Should I have pushed to 6♠ over pard's signoff?
  • Was cuebidding s a good call? I could've taken the RKC call instead.
  • Should I have just blasted to slam at some point, knowing that we had a big fit and a couple strong hands.
What I didn't do, but will do here, is point out that partner was an idiot anyway. We play 2NT as 'Jacoby-esque' - essentially a GF major raise that promises only 3 card trump support. The clearly defining characteristic of his hand is the void, so a 3 bid would've been helpful. Oh well.

Anyway, back to my issue. How would you bid the East hand?

Friday, February 15, 2008

The Flu is bad for bridge....

Sorry for the lack of content here or at the other blog this past week. Shortly after my last post, I came down with the pan-asian chicken flu. I've been mostly out of commission since last Thursday, and only returned to the land of the living today.

In addition to robbing me of all health and vitality, "the Froo" appears to also have taken away any declarer play skills that I had. I've played a couple hands online and versus BridgeBaron and I'm playing like absolute TRASH.

With any luck, I'm on the mend in both departments. Anyway, more content later.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008


Well, I finally pulled the trigger on something I've been thinking of for a while.

Read all about it here. Hope it flies (rather than dies).


Another thing to add to the list of things to address... I've developed a predilection for various cuebids. The trick is that I occasionally space, I think, on what those bids actually mean. Take the following debacle I caused, for example:



What do you bid back over partner's 2♠? You know you probably want to be in 4♠ at least. I thought "Ah! I'll be artistic and cuebid!". So, I bid an "elegant" 3. My plan was one of two things. Either:
  1. Pard will see this as agreeing spades and cuebid with a great hand. Or...
  2. Pard will see this as a generic GF cuebid, limit their hand, and then I can bid game.
So, imagine my joy when partner answered back with a jump to 4! I was thrilled thinking we'd agreed spades and were now cuebidding controls. This was reinforced in my head since we had bypassed the 3-level altogether and a possible, logical stopping spot of 3NT.

So, I decided to cuebid back my heart control. The auction so far:



And that's where it stayed... Passed out at 4. So, I waited (very) anxiously for dummy to come down. Sitting north, I saw:


4♠ and 4 both rate to go down (lose 2 ♣s, 1, and 1), though I'd still rather be in 4 than 4.

As it is the defense led/won the AK, but erred by leading a 3rd round. West ruffed with the 2, which I overruffed. West had 4 s to start with, so I was now able to pull trumps, lose the A, and the rest came home.

So, the next chapter to finish in the bidding guide is on competitive cuebids.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Bridge Birthday

A riotously personal note here for family and close friends who peep this blog.

Yes, my birthday is coming up. Yes, bridge is my obsession. And, yes, I have gift ideas for the uninitiated:
  1. I'd really like a subscription to The Bridge World magazine.
  2. I'd also like to get some back issues of BW starting with 2007. Binders and issues can be found here.
  3. There are tons of books on my Amazon wishlist.
So, if you are inclined to spend money (which you know I wish you weren't) there are some ways to spend it.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Monday, Monday

No blog post of any substance today. Wound up being up most of last night sick, so I'm hardly in the mood.

Before being sick, however, I played a solid set of hands on BBO and might post one or two later this week. I feel weird doing that, knowing that what I found puzzling at the table usually is born out of ignorance rather than a real judgment call.

Anyway, talk to you all more later.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Brain = extra crispy

So, as I've noted before, I'm spending some of my free time trying to pull together a bidding 'study guide' for myself (and any future pard) based on BWS with added gadgets. I've jokingly called it 'KFC Standard', which sounds more pleasingly more like fast-food chicken heaven than anything related to bridge.

Thankfully, I'm getting close to being done. I've put a fair amount of work in and I'm starting to burn out. A couple things have crossed my mind during this exercise:
  1. I still have a massive weakness in competitive/defensive auctions. On the plus side, I know this and can at least work to address it.
  2. Beyond the written law of BWS, it's just amazing the variations in bidding style that are out there. 4-card majors versus 5, natural versus completely artificial, etc.
  3. With all that variation, it becomes clear that a well-constructed, standard system will serve you awful well... Assuming you know it inside and out.
I'm just still amazed, I guess, by the emphasis that's placed on bidding. While it's obviously important to reach the right contracts, you aren't going to get very far bidding thin games and slams without the cardplay skills to pull them off.

I'm not saying I have the cardplay skills either... I just think I'd take that over ultra-scientific bidding prowess anyday.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Well, I thought I said...

Playing on BBO the other night under one of my alter egos. I pick up the following sitting south:




What do you bid? You've played 10-12 boards with this pick-up, 'expert' pard and thus far they've really seemed to know their stuff.

Well, I decided to try what I thought was a splinter in s since I figured we had at least game in s, if not more.



Partner stewed and stewed over their bid, finally calling 4. So what is P's 4bid? If it's a cue, then what to bid next? I chickened out, scared that I hadn't splintered as intended, so I bid 5 to end the discussion.


As it is, we missed a cold slam. Pard was irate, stating that my 3 bid should either be a limit raise in s or a natural bid. I'm not sure I see it that way. I figure 2would be some sort of limit-y raise, but 3 would seem to show fit and some degree of shortness.

On the low heart lead from E, 5+2 was good for a whopping -2IMPS since the majority of the field was in 6. Truth is that I could care less about the botch and overtricks. I just want to know that I bid right.

So, how would you bid the S hand?

Monday, January 21, 2008

Benito's rules

  1. You must have a good reason not to lead trumps
  2. If you don't lead a stiff, you don't have one.
  3. Every card on defense should mean something.
  4. These rules have exceptions, learn them.