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Articles

All articles are PDFs. Articles with Bold Titles are of ongoing importance.

Date Media Title (Level), Summary & Notes
Dec 2018 J Improving 2/1 Game Force, Part 1, by Fred Gitelman (A)
This article was originally published in Canadian Master Point, November 1993; repaired by Pete Matthews Jr from available sources and posted with permission of the author.
Topics: PROBLEM 1: The lack of definition of the 2/1. PROBLEM 2: The (misguided) principle of fast arrival, Serious 3NT, Picture Bids. Likely the earliest published, useful description of Serious 3NT methods.
Dec 2018 J Improving 2/1 Game Force, Part 2, by Fred Gitelman (A)
This article was originally published in Canadian Master Point, January 1994; repaired by Pete Matthews Jr from available sources and posted with permission of the author.
Topics: Likely the earliest published, useful descriptions of Last Train to Clarksville (LTTC) and Lackwood.
Dec 2018 J Improving 2/1 Game Force, Part 3, by Fred Gitelman (A)
This article was originally published in Canadian Master Point, June 1994; repaired by Pete Matthews Jr from available sources and posted with permission of the author.
Topics: Responses to cheapest jump shift, used as replacement for Jacoby 2NT. Improving Forcing 1NT Auctions.
Oct 2018 J Disrupting Precision Minor Suit Openings (I/A)
In the Precision bidding system, the one club opening is used for most strong hands. When this comes up, it offers an opportunity to get in the way.
The most common Precision opening is one diamond. The opponents may try to use it to eat your lunch. Be prepared, or go hungry!
Sep 2017 P Major Suit Game Tries and Raises at Bridge (I/A)
The author leads with his tried-and-true principles of responding to game tries, but shows their shortcomings. He then proceeds to modern methods, which aim to avoid game tries when possible, and to conceal potentially damaging information from the opponents. Losing Trick Count is discussed and sure cover cards are introduced. The slow-down raise, mini-splinters by responder, and jump mixed raises (always) are recommended. Reverse two-way reverse Drury is introduced, with full game tries available to both partners. The limit raise is merged with the forcing raise both to gain space and for competitive advantage. Important ideas by Ken Eichenbaum, Andrew Gumperz, and many others are considered; three pages of annotated references are included. There are lots of new ideas and arrangements of ideas here.
Comments are invited on this DRAFT.
Jul 2017 P Roman Keycard Blackwood, Delayed Kickback and Crosswood (A)
Asking for aces or keycards is a major tool in bidding sound slams at bridge. Roman Keycard Blackwood (RKB) is the prominent such tool. This article introduces Crosswood, where the other minor is used to ask for keycards, when a minor suit is trump, and Delayed Kickback, which usually lets you ask with 4 spades, when hearts are trump. Exclusion Keycard Blackwood (Voidwood), void-showing responses, Gerber & Super-Gerber, the Queen Ask, responding to 4NT quantitative, Reverse Baze, and more are here. The 6trump response to the Queen Ask, to show a source of tricks, is introduced. This is a full, playable keycard system in twelve pages, including several options. Slip out pages 9 and 10 for a portable reference. 2016 version
Aug 2015 P Leaping and Non-Leaping Michaels (A)
Leaping Michaels and its extension to Non-Leaping Michaels allow you to bid strong two suiters after the opponents preempt the bidding. These tools are part of a system to cope with such preempts, including the jump to four of a major based on distributional values.
May 2013 P Bridge Playing & Simulation Software Review (A)
This article surveys the top five bridge playing programs for Windows computers: Jack, Wbridge5 (free!), Shark, GiB and Bridge Baron. Two more programs are considered for their capability to let you design your own bidding conventions: Bridge Buff and Blue Chip Bridge. Finally, tools for for performing bridge simulations are evaluated, including a simulation to evaluate three dealing tools: Bridge Buff, Dealmaster Pro, and Deal (free & best!)
Mar 2013 P Anatomy of a Bridge Deal (A)
This article presents a deal with a somewhat unusual bidding decision. More than just providing the correct answer, it show methods to determine that answer.
PDF  Deals analyzed: GiB plays 3 diamonds doubled, by East. PBN 
PDF  Deals analyzed: GiB plays 3 notrump, by North. PBN 
PDF  Deals analyzed: double dummy, North may hold 5 clubs. PBN 
PDF  Deals analyzed: double dummy, North plays 3NT without competition. PBN 
PDF  Spreadsheet of results. XLSX 
Oct 2012 P Opener Rebids 2NT (A)
Years in the making, the author presents his survey of available methods and those he recommends — slip out page 4.
Mar 2012 P After One Diamond - Two Clubs (A)
The author describes his system of playing a two club response to a one diamond opening as forcing to game, if either partner raises or bids notrump. (The system also works with two clubs always forcing to game, but that is a slightly inferior method.) The crux of the system is a key bidding trick.
Jan 2012 P The Raptor and Roadrunner 1NT Overcalls (A)
The Raptor 1NT overcall and its Roadrunner derivative promise a major suit and a longer minor, typically 4-5 or 4-6. High card strength is usually that of a normal opening bid. Evaluation of the systems through 40 deals is followed by a one-page description of each convention. Defenses are provided. The main advantage of these conventions is that they are fun to play, as they appear to be results-neutral, or slightly better - with the loss of the natural 1NT overcall. The author has only played Raptor, and only at Matchpoints, where a single board won't swing an entire session. Supporting materials for this article include:
PDF  Detailed analysis of 40 deals, 34 for Raptor, and 6 "Flannery" deals where East opens in front. PBN 
Nov 2011 P Flannery and Major Nightmare Solutions at Bridge (A)
This is the definitive article on the web about bidding systems for deals where the opening bidder has five or more hearts and three or four spades. The Tucker 1NT rebid is introduced and recommended over approaches based on standard methods, the Flannery Two Diamond opening, the Kaplan Interchange, Opener's Transfer Rebids, Opener's Gazzilli Two Club rebid, and Kaplan-Sheinwold Updated (KSU). This sixth version of the article adds evaluation of Transfer, Gazzilli, KSU, and Extended Flannery methods, more Tucker context deals, and Extended Flannery context deals. Want to start playing Tucker? Just pull out page 2. Also see A Major Nightmare below. Supporting materials for this article include:
PDF  Detailed analysis of 36 "Non_Tucker context" deals, plus 22 deals where responder has a game-forcing hand with spades but not hearts, two per page. PBN 
PDF  Detailed analysis of 53 "Tucker context" deals, two per page. PBN 
PDF  Detailed analysis of 51 "Flannery context" deals, two per page. PBN
PDF  Detailed analysis of 18 "Extended Flannery context" deals, plus 24 more, four per page. PBN
PDF  Spreadsheet summarizing bidding evaluation results. XLS 
Oct 2011 P Explorations of Roman 3-Suited Openings at Bridge (A)
This is the definitive article on the web about specialized openings for hands with 4-4-4-1 distribution. Conventions analyzed that are already in use include: Blue Team Two Diamonds, Mini-Roman Two Diamonds, and Split Roman Two Diamonds. The author also describes and analyzes new conventions: Triple Roman Two Diamonds (in two point ranges), and Quad Roman Two Clubs. These conventions are considered in the context of Eastern Scientific (similar to 2/1 Game Force) and Unbalanced Diamond (a system with artificial openings). This second version of the article adds the Miles Roman Two Diamonds and supersedes the Quad Roman Two Clubs with Triple Roman Two Clubs. The first set of extra deals is evaluated with the main contenders. Supporting materials for this article include:
PDF  Detailed analysis of the original 49 deals, one per page. PBN 
PDF  Double spreadsheet summarizing bidding evaluation results. XLSX 
PDF  North-South hands from the bidding evaluation, for practice bidding.
PDF  Notes on interference by opponents, for practice bidding. DOC 
PDF  Extra deals, set 1, from the bidding evaluation. PBN 
PDF  Extra deals, set 2, for practice bidding and possible analysis. PBN 
Mar 2011 P Legal and Illegal Switches (A)
Switches in meanings of bids can improve normal usage and conventions. Unfortunately, the ACBL General Convention Chart interferes with some, such as three of the five switches described here: Brozel (Pete-zel is OK), Cappelletti (Hamilton, Pottage), NAMYATS, the Kaplan Interchange (a Flannery alternative), and the Tucker 1NT rebid (OK, and better than the Kaplan Interchange).
Dec 2010 P Leong Transfers after Opener Rebids 1NT (A) ... by Eric Leong (assembled by Pete Matthews Jr).
Dec 2010 P Bridge Bidding Systems for Finding Major Suit Fits (A)
Montreal Relay, Transfer Walsh, Crowhurst, New Minor Forcing, Checkback Stayman, Two-Way NMF, Leong Transfers [rev. Dec 2010], Morgan Transfers, Fourth Bid Transfers, Fourth Suit Forcing, X-Y-Z.
Dec 2010 P The Unbalanced Diamond System by Marshall Miles (A)
This article provides a detailed summary of the bidding system, as described in Miles' book. It fills in some gaps, and discusses potential improvements.
Nov 2009 P Bridge Scoring, Strategy, and Tactics (I)
This article describes bridge scoring and its impact upon play, essential information for intermediate and novice players.
Jul 2009 P Miles Responses to a Strong Two Club Opening (A)
Provides an overview of popular methods of responding to a strong two club opening, and a breakthrough by Marshall Miles: artificial two heart bids by both responder and opener.
Jul 2009 P Morgan Transfers after Opener Rebids 1NT (A)


Session Notes

Date Media Title (Level)
2018-11-21 P Threading a Major Nightmare (I)
2018-09-17 P Unusual Double (I)
2018-08-28 P Four Deals from Warwick (I/A)
2018-08-21 P Double and Cue Bid (I/A)
2018-08-09 P Opening Lead against 3NT (A)
2018-06-19 P Nashua Deals (I/A)
2018-01-26 P Defensive Problem (I/A)
2017-10-23 P Charlotte Precision Problem (I/A)
2017-10-18 P Which Major (I/A)
2017-06-06 P Dubious Grand Slam (I/A)
2017-05-02 P Precision Slam (A)
2017-03-15 P Two Westwood Deals (I/A)
2016-05-03 P When You're Hot (I/A)
2016-03-26 P Trumped in Westwood (I/A)
2016-03-15 P Three Slams (I/A)
2015-09-24 P Low from a Doubleton Honor (A)
2013-11-05 P Redouble Trouble (I)
2013-08-16 P They Play Flannery (I/A)
2013-04-23 P What do you call an eight card suit? (I/A)
2013-01-29 P Two Deals (I/A)
2013-01-06 P At the Individuals (I/A)
2013-01-05 P Opener Rebids His Minor (I)
2012-11-09 P Two Leads from Mansfield (I/A)
2012-08-30 P Unauthorized Information (I)
2012-07-06 P The Tale of the Four of Hearts (I)
2012-06-26 P Preemptive Bidding and Signalling (I)
2012-05-29 P Two in the Glue (I/A)
2012-05-22 P Defending with a Strong Suit (I)
2012-05-08 P Make This Slam (A)
2012-03-20 P Singleton Ace (I)
2012-03-13 P Trump Coup (A)
2012-02-25 P No Misguess (A)
2012-01-17 P The Rueful Rabbit at MIT (I)
2012-01-17 P Bid Their Suits! (A)
2011-11-22 P It's a Bitch (A)
2011-10-25 P Count! (I)
2011-09-02 P A Major Nightmare (A)
2011-08-11 P Over a Third Seat Weak Two Spades (A)
2011-07-19 HTML Drury and Jump Shifts (I)
2011-07-12 P Opener's Second Suit (I)
2011-04-09 P Diabolical Lead (A)
2011-04-08 P Double Restricted Choice (A)
2011-03-29 P Weak 6-4 Majors (I)
2011-03-22 P An Easy Grand (A)
2011-03-01 P Misplay This Hand (A)
2011-02-15 P Almost a Small Nightmare (A)
2011-02-15 P The Five Level Belongs to the Opponents (I)
2011-02-08 HTML J75432-K10-AKQ-J9 after 1NT Forcing (A)
2011-01-25 P 7-5 Misfit (1D - 2C) (A)
2011-01-18 P Easy in Spades, Tricky in NT (A)
2011-01-11 P Suit Combination: A109xx - Qxxx (A)
2011-01-04 P Balancing Preempt (A)
2010-12-28 P Strong Jump Shift (I)
2009-06-02 P Relay Precision Slam (I/A) [posted 2018-02-27]


Imprecision Logs

All items are for advancing or advanced players.

Date Media Title
2017-12-09 P Imprecision in Action


Club Manager and Director Materials

For the calendar years 2006 through 2016, I was the manager of the MIT/DL Bridge Club. Since I'm much better when I'm prepared in advance, compared to coping with directing issues on the fly, I developed tools that helped to run the game more smoothly. Those tools are still available on the club's site, http://web.mit.edu/mitdlbc/www/contrib.html#Manager:

Since I seldom direct bridge games any more, I am not presenting the materials here, at this time.


Publication Notes

Much of the material on this page originally appeared on the MIT/DL Bridge Club site, on the page http://web.mit.edu/mitdlbc/www/contrib.html.

This page (http://3nt.xyz/bridge.htm) is now the official home of this material. Look for updates here.

The Adobe Acrobat Reader plugin for Firefox may not display BridgeComposer PDFs correctly on Windows 7. If you encounter this problem, disable the plugin and use Acrobat Reader in a separate window: Options - Applications - Portable Document Format - Use Adobe Reader (default).

Media Codes

To describe attributes of the intended media, PDF documents are noted with these Media Codes:

Media Orientation Columns Size Description
P Portrait 1-2 8.5"W x 11"H US Letter, usually single column, best for printing and viewing on a moderate to large screen. Articles published before July 1, 2018 and most other bridge material is in this format.
L Landscape 2 11"W x 8.5"H US Letter, print using less paper for proofreading or making notes, or view on a large screen. This version is seldom provided on the site. With 2-up printing, format J covers most of the function of format L, so this format should seldom be used.
J Portrait 1 5.5"W x 8.5"H US Junior (Half Letter), best for large print on letter paper, printing a book or booklet on Junior size (or larger print on larger paper). Best viewing on small screen. Select the "Fit" option when printing from Acrobat Reader to enlarge print to fill Letter pages. Also see 2-up printing, below. All articles published after July 1, 2018 should be in this format.

Note: I invented these three codes for use on this page.

Formatting for Small Devices and Printing

In MS Word 2010, select the Page Layout tab.

Once these required settings have been established, they should not need to be changed:

  1. Click the little corner-arrow in the bottom right of the Page Setup section.
  2. Margins tab: Top, left, bottom, and right all 0.3". Gutter 0.
  3. Paper tab: Height 8.5".
  4. Layout tab: Header 0.5", Footer 0.1".

Switch to Media Code L:

  1. Orientation: Landscape
  2. Size: Letter (8.5 x 11 in)
  3. Columns: Two
  4. References Tab - Table of Contents Section - Update Table - (select desired option) - OK.
  5. Also do the Index, if there is one.

Switch to Media Code J:

  1. Columns: One
  2. Click the little corner-arrow in the bottom right of the Page Setup section.
  3. Paper Tab - Width: 5.6" - OK. [This switches Orientation to Portrait.]
  4. References Tab - Table of Contents Section - Update Table - (select desired option) - OK.
  5. Also do the Index, if there is one.

Large Printing for Media Code J:

  1. File - Save As - PDF (new file type).
  2. Open the PDF using Acrobat Reader, and type Ctrl-P.
  3. Select the Fit button, any other options desired, and then Print.

2-up Printing for Media Code J:

  1. File - Save As - PDF (new file type).
  2. Open the PDF using Acrobat Reader, and type Ctrl-P.
  3. Select 2-up printing and then Print. The following illustrates this for a Dell 3760 color laser printer, using the "Multiple" button.
Dell 3760-PS Multiple, 2 pages per sheet, print both sides

Most photos © Karen C. Matthews. Unless specifically attributed otherwise, all other content © Pete Matthews Jr.