Linda Lee — My personal bridge blog

More Bridge Sites Reviewed (or rereviewed) and other stuff

We are getting ready to head out to Washington and I am a bit psyched up for it.  The car journey with Ray is always fun and I am actually playing bridge with Colin.  Because we are playing the new system I am going to be scared but I should have some great stories to tell.  Then I am planning to play with Sylvia.  We continue to practice and seem to do quite well together.

My computer is back good as new.  We have moved to a new highly reliable email service.  Yeah!

I have been writing and writing and writing today.  First I sent a proposal to the CBF about sponsorship (not the kind where someone plays big bucks to be on the team).  It is just a set of ideas but I hope it helps.  We have been helping out Canadian teams a bit for the past few years and we would like to continue to do so but we would also like to see other people help too.  The CBF teams are hopelessly underfunded.

I have written blogs and articles.  My fingers are tired!

I realized that with all I am writing about and the huge number of internet sites to review this effort is going to take a while.  So let it.  My reviews will be interspersed with other blogs.  You can always find them by using the category tag on the side of my blog.

So first for today I am looking at the paid content on Ron Klinger’s website.  I don’t usually do that but when they offered me the chance I thought since I knew Ron was such a fine player and writer it would be worth a visit.  I notice Ron has some blogs up which are available to all even nonmembers.

First thing as a subscriber you get a daily problem.  This was one I received.

Daily Problem 556 – Ace and Nine or Asinine

Posted 21 July 2009 by Ron

North dealer : Nil vulnerable

Right-hand opponent opens 1, which could be a weak no-trump hand. What action would you take, not vulnerable against vulnerable with:

heart AJ
heart KQ2

After 1 : 1NT, 3NT : Pass, West leads the 7: four – king . . . Do you take the king or do you duck?  Sorry, I won’t have the solution till tomorrow. But here is what I know.  If the suit is 4-3 it doesn’t matter what I do.  I will give up a club and then can cash at most three spades.

So what do I know about from the lead.  The missing spades are QJ1082.  West almost certainly does not have the remaining spades since then he would have lead the 7 from QJ10872 and East doesn’t have all the remaining spades either since he would have played a lower spade not the king.  So the suit doesn’t split 6-1.  So we are left with the 5-2 splits.   If West would always lead the Q from QJ10 then he is missing one of them (presumably the jack or 10) so East must have it.  East has to have the KJ or K10 and I must duck.  I got it … cool.  Nice problem.

One of these a day could be fun and good for my bridge.   There are some play problems and a weekly quiz which I try.  I get 3 out of 5..hmmm.  I see that I did accidentally enter one wrongly.  This is the one I got wrong.

West dealer : Both vulnerable
    • North
      spade Q 9 7 5
      heart A Q J 9 4
      diamond K
      club K 9 2
  • spade – – –
  • heart 6 2
  • diamond A J 10 8 6 5 4
  • club J 8 6 4
West North East South
Pass ? 1heart pass 1spade
Pass ? 2spade pass 2spade
all pass

West leads the A : king – two – nine. What do you play at trick 2?  I thought about the club jack but for that to work East needs a trump trick or the heart queen and the club ace and queen.  That seemed far fetched on the auction.  So I played ( a bit of desperation) for East to have four good spades and a stiff diamond where my diamond play can work toward promoting a third trump trick in East’s hand.  But now that I think of it that’s pretty silly.  East does have the club ace and queen and the heart king (yes really).  South was bidding on air.  The deal comes from the 2006 Rosenblum World Open Teams.  There is also a daily new player problem.  Ron also answers queries which are available for all to see in the library and a bit more.  Overall the material is  goof and very suitable for advancing players.  Is it worth the money?  That is something for you to decide but because people are paying for it the site can be kept current with new material each day.  There is a lot of free stuff on the web but not all of it is useful.  You decide.

After all this work I decide to look at one more website.  I find an interesting collection of websites authored by Robert Frick.  Among other things Robert designs web sites and he has quite a few of them.  If you go to his home page you will be staggered by the number of diverse topics but my interest is Frick’s Bridge Page.  There is a bit of this and that but the psychology part interests me.  An essay on the post mortem and types of errors is interesting.  I am going to quote a bit from this article.  See what you think:

Embarrassing Vs. Ignorable Errors

Let me also discuss errors that are embarrassing versus those that are ignorable. Suppose you have a 5-3 spade fit and you are deciding whether to play 3NT or 4 Spades. The norm is to play the 5-3 spade fit, so your partner will probably be upset if you bid 3NT and that doesn’t work. If you bid 4 Spades and 3NT was better, your partner probably will not be upset. So if you bid 3NT, you had better be right; bidding 4 spades is safe. Similarly, if you are deciding between 3NT and your 4-3 spade fit, then you better be right if you bid spades. Your partner will not be upset if you bid 3NT and 4 Spades was the better contract. In fact, your partner probably won’t even notice. …

If you are a normal human being, you try to avoid embarrassing errors. …

So, do what you think is right. Do not be extra afraid of making embarrassing errors, and do not be content with making ignorable errors. In the post mortem, don’t beat yourself up for making an embarrassing error. Your partner also must be sympathetic to embarrassing errors, assuming your were just trying to make the best judgment.

An article on Getting along with your frustration, anger, guilt but not letting them ruin your bridge game is worth a quick read.

There just isn’t enough written about bridge psychology so its good to find some tidbits.

I also went to his squeeze page where he claims he has some squeezes you have never heard of.  It definitely seems worth ready in my abbreviated visit.  It seems to me there is some good stuff here although the pages are a not graphically exciting.

Reviewed: Robert Frick, Paid content: Ron Klinger


Dave (Memphis MOJO)July 21st, 2009 at 11:00 pm

GL in Washington!

ArikJuly 22nd, 2009 at 6:06 am

Regarding Daily Problem 556 – I think I would win the first trick rather than duck.

The layout I’m concerned with is W having led from QT872 or QJ872 and E having respectively KJ or KT doubleton. Ducking the first S will untangle the blockage the defense has in the S suit and if W happens to hold the Club A as well he is in a position to cash 3 more Spades (4 Spades in total)

On the other hand if I win the S A on the first round – then due to the blockage the defense cannot win more than 2 tricks in spades.

As you rightfully analyzed 6-1 split can be ruled out and 4-3 split is of no concern as the defense can only cash 3 spades in that case.

ArikJuly 22nd, 2009 at 1:22 pm

With regards to the Daily Problem 556 – Ace and Nine or Asinine –

I would play the spade ace on the first round.

My reasoning follows:

First, if spades split 4-3 it doesn’t matter which spade I win, the defense can only get 3 spades and the club ace.

6-1 split can be ruled out based on the lead of the 7 and the subsequent play of the K.

So we’re left with the 5-2 splits to be analyzed.

We can assume W didn’t lead from 72 doubleton unless E played a very subtle false card – the K from KQJT8.

If W led either from QJ872 (E having KT doubleton) or from QT872 (E having KJ doubleton) the right play would be to win the ace of spades on the first trick thus creating a blockage in the spade suit.

In that case if W happens to hold the club ace he can either play the spade Q dropping his partner’s now singleton J or T – dummy’s spade 9 will become a stopper – or play a small spade to his partner singleton honor but then the communication between the defenders is broken.

If we duck the first spade we enable the defense to untangle this blockage.

And if W has the club ace he can win 3 more spades when he comes in.

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