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I play a number of board and card games with varying degrees of skill, but using "algorithms" to avoid the most obvious mistakes. Depending on the game, if you can beat me, you are probably not a beginner, and perhaps a pretty good player.


2d
comment Is there a reasonable suit preference signal on this lead?
One of my preconditions for the suit preference signal was that West had three honors, meaning that he plans to "steamroll." If E has Q72 and South Jxx, playing the queen for a spade lead still works. East takes the ace of spades and South's jack is trapped. My convention "sort of" encourages E to discard his Q, unless dummy has Jxx. But in that case, South would see that also, and (probably) know what to do.
Nov
11
comment Why would you not move pawn two spaces during first move in chess?
@gbianchi: This question is "on topic" here. It could go to chess SE, but I'd just as soon see chess SE "merged" with BCG. Leaving the question here would be a step in that direction.
Oct
27
comment Is there a viable “Japan First” strategy for the Allies in Axis and Allies?
Not a bad answer, but one of the premises of the question was that the Japan player was better than the German player. If the German player is good enough to "suicide" his fighters vs. shuck-shuck, you have a very good Japanese player.
Oct
27
comment In Axis and Allies, Can Infantry Building Lead to a “Stalemate” in the Early Going?
Welcome to the site. An upvote for a good answer.
Oct
26
comment Do you need more to “pre-empt” with a major, than a minor suit?
I just realized a couple things and am checking to make sure I got them right: 1) "That 3-level pre-empts in a major may typically be made on stronger hands than in a minor is because the top=end of minor preempts tend to open a Gambling 3NT instead." So even if true, "effect has no relation to cause." 2) If we have a nine card (or better) major suit fit, the "flattest" fit you'll have is 8-7-7-(4), but as a practical matter, you are likely to have TWO "eight card" (or better) fits. And if so, two chances out of three you'll have an eight card major. Thanks for your help.
Oct
11
comment In bridge, do people go through cycles of under- and -over bidding?
@PieterGeerkens: But "expert" standards change from era to era, and twenty years from now, at least some of what we do today would be considered mistakes given the knowledge of the (later) time. So a related question might be, what did experts do before the promulgation of the "law of total tricks" that might have been acceptable at the time, but might be considered mistakes today?
Oct
10
comment Running an introductory bridge lesson
@SimonRose: I think my answer was misunderstood. I do NOT a allow "competitive" bidding on the first lesson; no overcalls, balancing, takeout doubles, or pre-empts, and no conventions. Basically, the first team to bid gets to bid to their maximum, then we play; hopefully the next time, someone else gets to bid. But I want people to get a "taste" of bidding the first session.
Sep
26
comment Do you need more to “pre-empt” with a major, than a minor suit?
So the point is to find a major with minimum length (and strength) as opposed to the best suit? Interesting.
Sep
24
comment About the latest Axis and Allies 1941
@dpendery: I have expanded my answer to include "issues" I have with "factories," bombers, and AA guns.
Sep
23
comment In bridge, are the two “equal vulnerabilities” basically equal?
@amalloy: It's true that the sacrifice is more expensive against GAME "all red than all white." But some of the time, the save will be against a SLAM, which will be a larger save "all red than all white" (1000 vs. 500). And if I'm not saving a slam some of the time, I'm "saving" too much.
Sep
22
comment Can you raise a one bid with only two “filler” honors in a suit?
With a dummy of xxx, I'd "hate" to see you declare with xxxxx. Because then the opponents have AKQJx and can take 3 or 4 tricks in "our" suit depending on the split. With QJ in dummy we'd take one trump trick more if you have as much as Txxxx or even 9xxxx.
Sep
20
comment Can you raise a one bid with only two “filler” honors in a suit?
@PieterGeerkens: I haven't (yet) done this in bridge, but in "real life," I once "mapped out" someone else's system, then took it far beyond its original boundaries.
Sep
20
comment Can you raise a one bid with only two “filler” honors in a suit?
@PieterGeerkens: Fair point. To your earlier comment, [Bergen's style requires]..."a very good system agreement to avoid playing inferior contracts." That's the point of my "mapping algorithms," to determine when Bergen's (or some other expert's) method can be used. I'm afraid to use such algorithms when they are NOT corroroborated by an expert.
Sep
20
comment Can you raise a one bid with only two “filler” honors in a suit?
I don't consider this "lying." When raised, I am hoping (in this instance), to see xxx "or better." By my calculations, QJ is "better" than xxx. Likewise, I consider KQJx "better" than xxxxx, and would not be unhappy to see partner open with it, even playing (adjusted) "five card majors."
Sep
19
comment Can you raise a one bid with only two “filler” honors in a suit?
As I understand it, your big fear opposite a "one" (as opposed to 2 or 3 bid), is that your partner's five cards are xxxxx. Because QJ is quite useful opposite KTxxx, ATxxx, or AKxxx, and to a lesser extent, Txxxx. On the other hand, if you have xxx opposite xxxxx, you're "up the creek" anyway, even if you have eight. It's hard for me to think of holdings opposite which xxx works better than QJ.
Sep
16
comment Is “Longest Road” an overrated strategy in Settlers of Catan?
It seems like the best strategy then, is "hit them where they ain't."
Sep
12
comment In Axis and Allies, could a house rule upgrading the German navy finally “balance” the 1942 game?
@JoelVanZanten: Added 1942 to title.
Aug
26
comment Are there times when a hand with a seven card suit is too strong for a three level pre-empt?
QJ with seven is about five tricks, one less than the "usual" six. So (at that vulnerability), you need an extra trick to compensate.
Aug
17
comment Can you raise a one bid with only two “filler” honors in a suit?
I find QJ (and likewise KJ and KT) a problematic holding. When "stranded," QJ could be worth as little as 1.0 to 1.5. In the middle of partner's five card suit it should be worth a whole three, and often more, call it an average of 3.5. To compensate for the 1.5 value of the missing trump, I would need four points in side honors (7.5-1.5= an adjusted 6). Likewise, counting KJ as 4.5, I'd need three points (a king or so) in side honors. Wasn't planning a two-trump raise with 6. (In my questions, I have a tendency to "sneak" in a extra jack or other upgrade somewhere, as a result of my "algos.")
Aug
17
comment Can you raise a one bid with only two “filler” honors in a suit?
@PieterGeerkens: "Money." One tenth of a penny a point. Winner takes home about one dollar.