Alberta Bridge News

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Site Search - Google - crosby @ 23:11 PST
Without charging anything , Google's "web crawler" program indexes your site of all documents linked by your main program. This is very handy for me as I do not have to do the work myself. Google updates its index on an ongoing basis so it will not have all the latest articles but it has 700 indexed it says.

To read every article in this Library would take you months. In order to use a Library effectively just search on a topic in which you are interested. I use the word "pitbulls" in everyone of my artices. So if you do a search on that word you get every article that Google indexed on my site

Try a search on patterns or pattern , forcing pass , D.S.I.P. , KCB , serious 3NT , Q bids or even a name like Tom Gandolfo. Google does its thing and provides every article on the site for you !!

Sunday, October 10, 2004

Coaches Corner - crosby @ 15:57 PST
The Internet can assist the game of Bridge . A Bridge Library easily accessible to help Bridge players become better is the motivation for this site. I have added a new front end to Coaches Corner where the latest documents are placed. I subdivided the documents into 10 categories for easier reference. These documents are written on an ongoing basis and are not aimed at beginners. Ideas , treatment and conventions are discussed or any topic that strikes me as interesting. Coaches Corner is just that . A place to go for self coaching to bring your game to a new level . To reach the status of expert can not be done by just playing. You need to study and learn before you bring these new skills to the Bridge table . It is work but it should be fun learning new concepts and improving. Good Luck !

Thursday, July 08, 2004

The Practice Room - crosby @ 06:53 PST
This site is about bidding. There are many other sites out there that feature play of the hand or defense. We emphasize bidding because I think established partnerships who are excellent bidders will win more often then not . Improving declarer & defensive skills come slowly where bidding skills can elevate your game drastically in a relatively short period of time.

There are many new bidding ideas & concepts that are discussed on this site. If any treatment or bidding understanding does not make any sense to you obviously you will not try it. What about partner ? Do not force the issue with him. If you like a treatment and he does not , just forget it. Learning new conventions , treatment & understandings takes effort by both of you. You can not discuss new things and expect them to be implanted for life & they will be used on command when they show up. Humans do not work that way ( as least this human anyway ).

Probably of occurrence vrs memory work to learn the system is the criteria for changing your system. You have spent decades learning your bidding so why change ? You must change as bidding improves over time as new ideas surface. Not keeping up is like a Doctor ignoring new treatments or any professional ignoring new ideas in their field as they are discovered.

Anyway , Richard Pavlicek has generated many hands to try new bidding idias. He has a 100 hands on each of the following subjects : NT sequences , majors , minors , general or specific areas like 4th suit forcing & new minor forcing. I have incorporated his hands with my CHAT software. ( Refills over time )

If you adopt a new idea from this site, give your partner a call and practice with the relevant hands in the practice room. You will be surprized that you do not know the ins & outs of the new bids as well as you thought you did. Discussing vrs CHAT builds up partnership confidence as you know the sequence has been discussed before trial by fire. Losing 12 IMPS due to a bidding misunderstanding hurts a lot less on this site's bidding room then in the finals of some knockout.

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

D.S.I.P. Doubles - crosby @ 21:58 PST
Benito Garazzo wrote a system for the Italian junior team which he named Ambra. In it , he explained his concept of penalty doubles. Trump stack penalty doubles were virtually extinct in his system. This got me to thinking about my 35 years experience in this game. The majority of disasters in Bridge occur around the ambiguity and confusion brought about by the trump stack penalty double. I decided to do some research around the concept of building a system without having trump stack penalty doubles included.

Penalty doubles were intoduced when Bridge was invented to punish bad bidders or unlucky bidders when they ran into bad trump breaks. Today, like the early years of Bridge, there are still bad bidders. In match points & Rubber Bridge the trump stack penalty double is still an effective tool.

In IMPS there is a different method of scoring. Say the opponets bid a silly vul 4H game which goes 3 down vul . Your partners are in a sane partial making +110 so the total swing is 410 and 10 IMPS. Say you swing the axe at you table and double them for 800. This means you are +910 for +14 IMPS. You are not rewarded very much for these types of penalty doubles as the IMP scale takes it away.

OK. I decided . Lets see if trump stack doubles are even needed in IMPS. I discussed with my regular partner Tom Gandolfo and he was amenable to the idea. I discussed with Dr. Stan Cabay the foremost Bridge theortician in our neck of the woods. He likes the idea and feels the concept has merit. O.K. we need a name for the double that replaces the trump stack double. The name we decided on was the D.S.I.P. penalty double. The acronym stands fo Do Something Intelligent Partner.

I have written many e-mails on the sunject and have them on my web site on DSIP.

Research will continue as thowing out something as basic as trump stack penalty doubles is a huge step. Tweaks will be needed as we put the theories into practice. Here is a summary of the theory developed thus far . During our research on this concept we keep track of examples of D.S.I.P. that actually occur in play. Stay tuned ..

Thursday, August 28, 2003

England - crosby @ 13:11 PST
Hi All:

We have finally managed to set up our computer and to obtain broad band so that I can send mail now. Things are going very well. Have rented accommodations (three bedroom house). Everything here VERY expensive! Travelling around the north east and finding wonderful sights to see. Love to hear from you!


E-mail Address(es):

Work-in-Progress - crosby @ 02:39 PST
This site is still work in progress. The original intent of the site was just as a coaching/teaching tool for the Pitbulls. I want to convert the site to an Alberta Bridge site. I want to emphasis the forum as a focal point and get as many Alberta players as possible participating . Why , well Alberta winters are cold and keeps yours truly from golfing . I have the time to moderate and maintain this site . I also enjoy discussing bridge as its been my life long hobby.

So far I have kept some things from the old site . I have archived about 300 e-mails in a Library with a very good searching capability . They can also be viewed by clicking on the title .

I have left "Challenge the Pitbulls" on the site. This was intended to re-enforce systemic ideas discussed in the e-mails as a teaching tool. The hands are from Pitbull matches , sectionals or Thursday nite IMP games . I did a lot of work on these and there are 125 hands in quiz format right up to date to when the Penticton trials occurred.

The Vugraph section will remain. These are selected hands I chose for learning value for players at the level of the Pitbulls. I used an excellent program from Holland to display the hands and go through the play or defense card for card. This is an excellent teaching tool for improving the play of the hand or defense.

All sites need pictures , so the Gallery and Calendar will remain and continue to get updated ( contributions welcome ) .

I have added a news section , a polling booth , links to other Bridge sites , newspaper columns , quotations and Coaches Corner. I have plans for new concepts some of which are modelled after the Bridge World Master Solvers Club. I would like to round up a number of Alberta experts to constitute a panel for difficult bidding and opening lead hands. Scoring will be simple arithmetic . What the majority of the panel decides will be the "correct" bid . They will show their rationalle and the Alberta Bridge player will get an insight on how they arrive at their bidding decisions.

Being a computer geek myself , I might have a Bridge software section for those who are interested in that sort of thing.

I will be open to suggestions on how to make the site as informative and interesting as possible. The Internet can be a usefull source for improving your Bridge. I comb the Internet frequently to see whats out there. These new ideas will be passsed along via this site when applicable.

Coaching the Pitbulls - crosby @ 01:45 PST
When I was asked to coach the "Pitbulls" , I had to figure out the best way to do it . What I wanted to do is set up a web site and have formal Forum software on it. This way I could "post" e-mails on it and everyone could comment and reply . This would be a springboard for discussion and discussion is the best way to improve ones Bridge. I did not have a site with the Forum software at the time , so I decided to emulate a forum by sending e-mails and recruiting a group of local experts ( Klimo , V Nowlan , Stan Cabay , Osama , Tom Gandolfo ) who were on a cc list . This essentially would be a forum as they could add their insight also . Klimo contributed over a 100 e-mails sharing his Bridge experiences . Stan Cabay sent many e-mails and we all benefited from his knowledge . The Pitbulls replied and argued points themselves or asked questions. Before they played in Penticton over 1000 e-mails were sent back and forth over an 18 month time span.

This is second best to a true forum or Bulletin board. I have set one up on the site now . See the instructions on how to register for the forum . A true forum has the advantage of seeing the e-mails posted and replies and anyone can jump in and add their 2 cents worth or ask questions. Also new topics can be posted and it is not "one person oriented" as with a coach. This Forum is open for business as the Alberta winter sets in .

After Penticton , I no longer send e-mails to the Pitbulls. I put them on the site under Coaches Corner and I also have posted them on the Forum . These are all new e-mails written after Penticton and will be a starting point to get the Forum off the ground. Please feel free to jump in and participate. To post a new topic or respond to a topic you must register first. Guest status just allows you to browse but not do any of the fun stuff.

Friday, July 25, 2003

England - Peter & Lloyda - crosby @ 04:12 PST
Hi All,

Just a note to keep you up-to-date on what we're up to over here.

We moved from Preston, where we were staying with Peter's cousin Jennifer and her husband Stan, to Darlington, where Peter has many more relatives. We are staying with Peter's uncle Len, who was in Edmonton for Dave's wedding, so you might have met him. He has a nice big house here and is making us feel very welcome. He lives here with his son Matthew, 20 and his daughter Claire, 22 who is in the New York at the moment.

We have been to the Darlington bridge club, called the St. George's Bridge club ( results published on the net! ), and it is really beautiful. They are the centre for bridge in the northeast of England, being a recent amalgamation of 3 smaller clubs here. There are games every night and both times we went, there were 12 tables. The people were very friendly to us, although the median age is quite high. There are the usual good players and bad. When we went on Saturday afternoon, there was bridge at 4:00 and a BBQ afterwards at 7:00. They told us that the Saturday game is poorly attended unless they organize something special. Sound familiar?

With the relatives being here and the club being so nice, we decided to make this our home base, and we have rented a 3 bedroom house, which we hope to move into on August 7. Lloyda is really pleased with it. There are 2 large bedrooms ( one for anyone who wants to visit - any takers? ) and one for the computer. There is also a sun room with a sofa bed, for any overlaps. It also has a nice back yard by English standards and a garage. If anyone wants to visit, check out flights to Manchester as they are cheaper than the ones to London, and much closer to here.

Last night we went to a place called Stockton, about 20 miles from here to do some shopping and go to the movies. There was a casino next door to the theatre complex, so we went in to look around. However, in England, you can't just wander in! You have to fill out an application for membership, and wait 24 hours for approval! We all did that, so we'll be able to actually go in next time. They have poker in the evenings, so Peter will have a go at that. Let you know how it is.

Len had a party for us on Sunday, and all of the relatives showed up. Must have been 40 people there. These relatives sure know how to party! Dancing and singing til all hours. Some still here on Monday morning. Tough drinking and driving laws. We had a great time.

Must run, talk to you later,

Peter & Lloyda

This Web Site - crosby @ 04:05 PST
I plan to change the focus of this web site during the fall & winters months . Originally it was intended to use the Internet for coaching PITBULLS , a group of top local women players who set their goals to do well at the CWTC's. Since I observed marked improvement in their Bridge , I feel it would be fun to continue the site for Alberta bridge players. Discussion is the best way to improve your Bridge. For learning purposes ,it is better then playing as you learn not to repeat your mistakes if "you see the light" thru discussion with Alberta's Bridge experts. Ideas are welcome ..

Thursday, July 24, 2003

Golf at Cardiff - crosby @ 17:14 PST
Lorna and Bill McDonald are having their annual pre regional golf tournament. This is scheduled for Aug 2, 2003 at 11:00 . Green fees are $32.00 and burgers will be ready at Lorna & Bill's place at 6:00. Let Lorna know 459-7129 by July 27 please ..

Red Deer Tournament - crosby @ 17:10 PST
As usual , Doug will have a pre regional tournament in Red Deer . The festivities start on the morning of Aug 9th and the play on the 9th and 10th . Last year one of my old partners Subash Gupta attended all the way from India. This year , not to be undone "Vish" Viswanathan another of my old partners is arriving from New Jersey and will be playing with yours truly. Vish will also be staying on for the Calgary regional and is looking forward to seeing how well his friends have aged.

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