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The blunder blog Probably shouldn't interest anyone but me

#1 User is offline   Antrax 

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Posted 2012-January-12, 02:05

I'm going to chronicle all the really stupid mistakes I make, so hopefully when I'm a decent player I can re-read this thread and laugh. I hope it's not too out of place, the mistakes I intend to write about are not ones where bridge advice would've helped - maybe just advice like "get more sleep"
Feel free to reply though in all honesty, I'm just abusing this forum. Hopefully it's not too obnoxious.

Jan. 10, partner and I are having an "off" evening. We arrive at a table where one of Israel's finest is subbing for his wife. His partner is nothing special and they have no agreements, but seeing as he's one of our mentors, I'm still anxious. None vul, partner deals and I see:
KJxx
AQTx
AK
QTx

Oh <expletive for some reason deleted? lol>, I hate strong hands more than I hate pocket aces. I'm going to get preempted to hell and back. However, partner surprisingly opens the bidding
1-(p)-1-(p)
2

This seems like a good place to show off my slam-bidding skillz. No leaping to 4NT! Seeing as I can't splinter, I plan on making a game try, and when partner declines, cue bid in diamonds.
2-4

Oh, wow. This means partner has at least the Q if not the ace. I guess it's time to roll out blackwood.
4NT-5

Two keycards? Damn, now I have to think again. We have all the aces, so a grand is in the picture, and it's possible the right strain is NT. Why oh why must this be on this table, with this opponent. Better ask specific kings to see if NT has a shot.
5NT-6

Well, we have all the keycards. I better make sure again, just to be on the safe side... yep, I have two aces and the K, partner promised the other two aces. I know we have three tricks in clubs, two diamonds, two spades, no trump losers so at least four tricks there. So probably 7NT is the place to be, but I'm scared partner has something like Ax and missing the J of hearts and somehow we lose a heart and go down. For some reason, I feel 7 is safer.
7-(X)-P-(p)

Damn, those wily experts. What is he up to? Does he have a void?
"Are you guys playing lightner doubles? (ha, I showed you, I know your conventions)"
"No, and also I'm on lead"
Oh. Right. So what, are trumps 5-0? What is he doubling on? Well, running to NT won't help. I pass.

"Now let me ask you something. What did 5 show?"
"Two keycards"
"Out of five?"
"Yep"

He leads and I eagerly await to see my mistake. Partner tables the perfect dummy: AQ KT9x Qxx Kxxx. Too bad the lead is the ace of clubs, as my clever game try of 2 somehow confused me enough to forget we're playing in hearts, so my K doesn't count. Everybody else were in 6H=, and I learned another reason why experts are experts - they can probably count to five.
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#2 User is offline   gwnn 

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Posted 2012-January-12, 02:19

It happens to the best of us :) I know it happened to me two or three times that I can't add up his answer to my quantity and compare with 5. It's not trivial and no bridge book, to the best of my knowledge, has ever tried to explain this process.
... and I can prove it with my usual, flawless logic.
      George Carlin
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#3 User is offline   WellSpyder 

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Posted 2012-January-12, 02:56

Last time my partner bid a grand after using RKCB the opponents scored a trick with an Ace. I don't think partner forgot what trumps were, he just added 2+2 and failed to get 4....
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#4 User is offline   Trinidad 

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Posted 2012-January-12, 02:56

I had something similar ages ago:

I have shown a good hand, we have agreed hearts as trump, and have started cuebidding. My wife and bridge partner pulls out 4: kickback (asking for keycards for hearts). I bid 4NT, showing 3. Despite this good news, my wife signs off in 5. I am thinking whether she could think that I have 0 keycards, but I conclude that she must know that I have at least 1. Therefore, 3 must not have been good enough and I pass.

My LHO, before she passes, wants to have an explanation of the bidding. I explain the auction and get to 5: I think "Oh %$@$# *$$#@$ @*%@", but say: "5 asked for specific kings."

Now she asks my wife: "And what does pass show?" and she sweetly answers: "He must think that 5 is a good contract." LHO thinks for a while and then she passes.

My wife goes down a couple in 5 in a 2-3 fit whereas 7 is cold: More zero than that you can't get. (Luckily it was MPs.)

While the opponents walk away from the table to get the TD "because they must have been misinformed about the meaning of 5", my wife asks: "Do I have permission to yell at you?". Obviously, I can't answer anything but: "Yes, you do." after which she uttered only one, not so nice, word and says: "Ok, after the TD has had a good laugh we'll play the next board."

Rik

P.S. This was the only kickback mishap we have had in our entire bridge career. I guess my wife's "yelling" made sure that I never make this mistake again. (It was also the only time that she has been angry with me at the bridge table.)
I want my opponents to leave my table with a smile on their face and without matchpoints on their score card - in that order.
The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds the new discoveries, is not “Eureka!” (I found it!), but “That’s funny…” – Isaac Asimov
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#5 User is offline   WellSpyder 

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Posted 2012-January-12, 04:57

View PostTrinidad, on 2012-January-12, 02:56, said:

..... my wife asks: "Do I have permission to yell at you?"......

I must remember to tell my partners (and my wife, now I think about it) they need to ask for permission before they yell at me! :)
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#6 User is offline   cloa513 

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Posted 2012-January-12, 05:56

Against forum rules to be talking anything bridge related in Water Cooler. Next we'll get a hundred posts about what will you bid with such and such.
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#7 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2012-January-12, 07:12

To address your overall stated intent:


Quote

I'm going to chronicle all the really stupid mistakes I make


If I did this, it would make for a very long thread.

Quote

the mistakes I intend to write about are not ones where bridge advice would've helped


This interests me, as it extends outside of bridge. One life lesson I have to keep re-learning is to speak up early on before things go to far. I was at a table where the lady on my left talked and talked and talked and talked. Only two boards, I'll just ignore it. Somewhere in the middle of the second hand I just lost it and said, much too loudly, "Good God will you please shut up" or something like that. Which makes me, from the Director's viewpoint, the bad guy. Generally I am a pretty easy going guy but we all have our limits, and I need to remind myself how to know when mine are being put to the test and speak up early enough so that I can deal with it calmly.

I do think that a fair fraction of my bridge errors have more to do with my psychology than with my lack of technical skill.
Ken
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#8 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2012-January-12, 07:51

It's a good thing that wasn't election night else you might have voted for Rick Perry. (This IS the water cooler, don't ya know.) :D
"Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please."
—- Mark Twain
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#9 User is offline   gwnn 

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Posted 2012-January-12, 07:52

Whenever you go down in grand, remember it could be worse: you could have been hit by a Zamboni.
... and I can prove it with my usual, flawless logic.
      George Carlin
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#10 User is offline   Trinidad 

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Posted 2012-January-12, 07:57

View PostWellSpyder, on 2012-January-12, 04:57, said:

I must remember to tell my partners (and my wife, now I think about it) they need to ask for permission before they yell at me! :)

It has worked extremely well for us: We never, ever get upset at each other at the bridge table which makes it very easy to play relaxed while staying focused. We both simply accept that the other makes more mistakes than we do, because each of us is (quite obviously) certain that s/he is the better player in the pair. ;)

Rik
I want my opponents to leave my table with a smile on their face and without matchpoints on their score card - in that order.
The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds the new discoveries, is not “Eureka!” (I found it!), but “That’s funny…” – Isaac Asimov
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#11 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2012-January-12, 08:39

View Postcloa513, on 2012-January-12, 05:56, said:

Against forum rules to be talking anything bridge related in Water Cooler. Next we'll get a hundred posts about what will you bid with such and such.

So maybe posting here could be included in the list, which would then make it on-topic.

#12 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2012-January-12, 17:51

View Postgwnn, on 2012-January-12, 07:52, said:

Whenever you go down in grand, remember it could be worse: you could have been hit by a Zamboni.


Or a cat. Cats hate grand slams.
"Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please."
—- Mark Twain
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#13 User is offline   Antrax 

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Posted 2012-January-25, 02:22

Jan. 25, end of a long evening.
LHO deals and it's passed to RHO, who opens 1
Looking at
KQT8xxx
Kx
xx
Kx

at favourable, I bid 3. LHO and partner pass, and RHO bids 2NT. I don't accept the bid, and RHO bids 3NT, which is passed to my partner, who doubles. Our agreement about doubles of 3NT is "they're not going to make 3NT", and the double is passed around.
I'm going to lead a spade, that much is obvious. I expect to get in with my kings and then run the suit.
I try to remember our agreements: does the T promising zero or two apply here, or must one of the "two" be the jack? I eventually decide that's the case, so I can't lead the T. Then I wonder if I want to lead fourth best or not, since partner knows my count anyway. I eventually settle for leading a low spade, playing partner for the J for some reason. Dummy shows up with Jxxx opposite declarer's Ax, and declarer merrily hops with the J, runs her solid six-card diamond suit, and cashes the A and A, conceding the rest, A deserved +550 if there ever was one.
A recap of idiocy:
- Not accepting the 2NT bid, which would probably be passed out for a bottom to them. Partner heard my 3, he can raise spades if he wants to.
- Not considering a lead other than spades. Stopping to think may have told me that with spades partner would just raise my bid, so his double is showing a good suit elsewhere, despite the lack of agreement. And since declarer opened diamonds, it's more likely partner's suit is clubs (AQ sixth of clubs, it turned out)
- When leading spades, caring more about the correct lead according to our agreements rather than the lead to defeat the contract. Even if partner has the spade J, why on earth would I want him to win it?
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#14 User is offline   gwnn 

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Posted 2012-January-25, 02:31

I think a spade lead stands out. your partner's double should ask for a spade lead. I don't like his double. How does he know you have the K?

Anyway, at least Rick Perry is out of the race. Not that the other candidates are that much better.
... and I can prove it with my usual, flawless logic.
      George Carlin
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#15 User is online   blackshoe 

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Posted 2012-January-25, 19:00

Question: If everyone writes in "none of the above is acceptable", what happens next?
--------------------
I have come to realise it is futile to expect or hope a regular club game will be run in accordance with the laws. -- Jillybean
Factor in Alzheimers, and I can not recall a bad result from aggessive action in this situation. -- Aguahombre
When I look through the hand records after a club evening, the boards I didn't play are always the ones where I would have done great. -- Cherdano
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#16 User is offline   ggwhiz 

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Posted 2012-January-26, 09:42

My first successful psyche was made before I realized I had counted my cards, not my points.

I only recall the bad ones while sleeping and often wake up screaming. :o

My fave is when my pard was running late to get to our game after playing baseball, ran to his car opened the trunk, threw his glove in and slammed it shut. Looked at his right hand and there was the glove. Looked at his left, no car keys.
The race may not go to the swift nor the battle to the strong. But that's the way to bet it.
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#17 User is offline   mgoetze 

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Posted 2012-January-26, 12:08

View Postggwhiz, on 2012-January-26, 09:42, said:

My first successful psyche was made before I realized I had counted my cards, not my points.


That's called a "misbid", not a "psyche".
"One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid, and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision"
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#18 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2012-January-27, 03:02

Have you considered offering partner a piece of bacon?
"Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please."
—- Mark Twain
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#19 User is offline   Antrax 

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Posted 2012-January-27, 03:26

Well, he doesn't keep Kosher but no, not in particular. What does it mean?
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#20 User is offline   gwnn 

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Posted 2012-January-27, 03:54

View PostAntrax, on 2012-January-27, 03:26, said:

Well, he doesn't keep Kosher but no, not in particular. What does it mean?

It's just water cooler slang :) avocados, bacon, zambonis, kittens and Republicans are common topics of conversation here, be it about food or otherwise.
... and I can prove it with my usual, flawless logic.
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