MIT/DL Bridge Club - Contributions

Lecture Series, Notes and Book Recommendations

Lecture Notes and Schedule

From time to time, lectures are held before the game. Here are the notes for those lectures.

Book Recommendations (Beginner to Intermediate)

     Author Titles and Recommendations
     William Root Commonsense Bidding, How to Play a Bridge Hand, How to Defend a Bridge Hand (I)
Karen Walker: You can't go wrong with any title from this master teacher, and these are three of his best. Commonsense Bidding is the most complete guide to basic bidding, published in 1986 but already regarded as a classic. The How to titles are comprehensive guides to play and defense, with hundreds of hands that clearly demonstrate strategies, techniques and psychological factors. Each title was named Bridge Book of the year (Commonsense in 1987; How to Play in 1990; How to Defend in 1994).
Brian Duran: If you are going to invest in any bridge book, money or time, these should be it. This is where Gloria and I started, this is still where I go when I have basic questions or wonder what the standard approach is. Commonsense Bidding is is basically a bible. How to Play is excellent, the first 8 chapters being stuff we have covered in class, but in a more detailed and complete manner, plus quizzes. The last few chapters are more advanced items. I felt I could read this book for the first three years of my bridge career and still get something out of it. How to Defend is a little weaker in my mind, but does have lots of good problems and is very clear on Standard defense which is useful when playing with new people.
     William Root and Richard Pavlicek Modern Bridge Conventions (I)
Brian Duran: A little more advanced, but the next book to get after the above three.

Articles by Club Members

     PDF   Intervene over an Opening Bid with a Strong Hand (A) ... by Pete Matthews, May 2020
In order to establish a framework for discussion, this article starts with the essence of the standard takeout double, one- and two-suited overcalls. Modern expert methods to sort out hands where doubler has 3-card support for partner's suit bids are then introduced. These methods start with and extend those of Mike Lawrence in Chapter 12 of The Complete Book of Takeout Doubles, 2nd Edition.
     PDF   Leaping and Non-Leaping Michaels (A) ... by Pete Matthews, May, 2020
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.
     PDF   Fragment Spiral (A) ... by Pete Matthews, March 2020
A fragment spiral inquiry is often used when opener may have raised responder's major suit holding only three card support. This article describes a better system than basic "3-3-4-4" spiral raises. Charts compare these with other methods. A major rewrite for clarity, with few changes in methods from the July 2019 version. This conventional inquiry has been renamed from semi-natural spiral.
Deals for practice bidding (cut in half vertically).
Corresponding Hand Records.
     PDF   Practice Deals & Opening Leads (A) ... by Pete Matthews, February 2020
This article describes using free and low-cost software to (1) create deals to practice bidding for a specific situation or convention, and (2) perform simulations to determine what the best opening lead is, with a specific hand and auction.
     PDF   The Imprecision Bridge Bidding System (A) ... by Pete Matthews, December, 2019
Imprecision is a variant of Standard Modern Precision with the one diamomnd system replaced, multi-range 1NT openings, and a version of Bart to find a safe partscore (or game) after this auction: 1C [strong, artificial, forcing] — 1D [0-7 HCP]; 1M [4+ cards, forcing] — 1S or 1NT.
     PDF   Inverted Minor Raises (A) ... by Pete Matthews, July, 2019
Expert standard bidding uses inverted minor raises. This article describes the entire system, including two competing styles for continuations after the single raise: (A) forcing to 2NT or three of the minor, which the author plays; or (B) forcing to three of the minor, a newer, more complicated method.
     PDF   Major Suit Game Tries and Raises at Bridge (I/A) ... by Pete Matthews, updated, February, 2019
The author leads with his tried-and-true principles of game tries over standard raises and responding to them, 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, aka winners, are introduced. The slow-down raise, mini-splinters by responder, and jump mixed raises 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 Marty Bergen, Ken Eichenbaum, Andrew Gumperz, Lew Gamerman and many others are considered in the Appendix, plus tests of specific game try methods. Three pages of annotated references are included. There are lots of ideas and arrangements of ideas here.
     PDF   Disrupting Precision Minor Suit Openings (I/A) ... by Pete Matthews, October, 2018
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. Opponents may try to use it to eat your lunch. Be prepared, or go hungry!
     PDF   Roman Keycard Blackwood, Delayed Kickback and Crosswood (A) ... by Pete Matthews, re-revised, July, 2017
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.
     PDF   Bridge Playing & Simulation Software Review (A) ... by Pete Matthews, May, 2013
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!)
     PDF   Anatomy of a Bridge Deal (A) ... by Pete Matthews, revised, March, 2013
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   Playing Faster! (I) ... by Gloria Tsoi, January, 2013
Words of wisdom from the club's fastest player!
     PDF   Opener Rebids 2NT (A) ... by Pete Matthews, October, 2012
Years in the making, the author presents his survey of available methods and those he recommends — slip out page 4.
     PDF   Unauthorized Information at the Bridge Table (I) ... by Steve Willner, September, 2012
This 2-page article is highly recommended for all novice and intermediate players.
     PDF   After One Diamond - Two Clubs (A) ... by Pete Matthews, revised, March, 2012
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.
     PDF   The Raptor and Roadrunner 1NT Overcalls (A) ... by Pete Matthews, January, 2012
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   Flannery and Major Nightmare Solutions at Bridge (A) ... by Pete Matthews, revised, November, 2011
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   Explorations of Roman 3-Suited Openings at Bridge (A) ... by Pete Matthews, revised, October, 2011
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   Legal and Illegal Switches (A) ... by Pete Matthews, revised March, 2011
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).
     PDF   Leong Transfers after Opener Rebids 1NT (A) ... by Eric Leong (assembled by Pete Matthews), updated December, 2010
      PDF   Bridge Bidding Systems for Finding Major Suit Fits (A) ... by Pete Matthews, revised, December, 2010
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.
     PDF   The Unbalanced Diamond System by Marshall Miles (A) ... by Pete Matthews, December, 2010
This article provides a detailed summary of the bidding system, as described in Miles' book. It fills in some gaps, and discusses potential improvements.
     PDF   Bridge Scoring, Strategy, and Tactics (I) ... by Pete Matthews, revised November, 2009
This article describes bridge scoring and its impact upon play, essential information for intermediate and novice players.
     PDF   Miles Responses to a Strong Two Club Opening (A) ... by Pete Matthews, July, 2009
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.
     PDF   Morgan Transfers after Opener Rebids 1NT (A) ... by Pete Matthews, July, 2009

Publication Notes

July, 2018: Pete Matthews Jr wrote or edited all the articles above. Pete has moved the official repository of all his own Articles, Session Notes, and Publication Notes to his own site,

October, 2020: Pete probably won't maintain articles, or add articles, at MIT any more. The primary PDF links in front of his articles now go to pages under

The Club Manager and Director materials are only here. Pete seldom directs bridge games any more, so it is unlikely he will update any of these materials.

These are the salient Publication Notes:

Session Notes

Club Manager and Director Materials

      For the Player
      AC2   PDF   MIT/DL Bridge Club Standard Convention Card ... by Pete Matthews, revised July, 2012
This is the bi-level convention card that the club has used in the annual Individual and Pro-Am events since 2007. All players use the black agreements. Players may optionally include all or some of the red agreements. They must describe in an easy sentence what parts of the card they do or do not play. Players using the card may neither write on the card nor use any conventions not on the card - but they may look at the card at any time during the game. (The AC2 file is for the old ACBL Convention Card Editor by Lee Edwards.) The latest revision adds advanced features: 1D-2C forcing to game & 1D-3C invitational; Lebensohl 2NT over opener's strong reverse; RKB 1430. For all players: new suit over partner's overcall forcing (necessary with Q=LR+, and novices won't care). Prior versions: AC2  PDF    AC2  PDF    AC2  PDF
      DOC   PDF   Standard Convention Card Overlay ... by Pete Matthews, revised November 2019
This overlay explains how to use the club's standard convention card. The intent is to print the convention card, and then print the overlay on top. If you open the overlay file, it will look empty: scroll down - the content is at the bottom of the page. Prior versions: DOC  PDF    DOC  PDF    DOC  PDF vember 2019
      Directing a Game
      XLS   PDF   MIT/DL Bridge Club Preferred Pairs Movements ... by Pete Matthews, revised November, 2009
A one-page summary of movement options for the director of the game.
      XLS   PDF   MIT/DL Bridge Club Individual ... by Pete Matthews, May, 2012
A one-page summary of movement options for the director of the game.
      DOC   PDF   MIT/DL BC Team Movements ... by Pete Matthews, January, 2010
A one-page summary of movement options for the director of the game.
      XLS   PDF   5-Table Round Robin Teams ... by Pete Matthews, July, 2009
A chart for five teams, one set of pre-dealt boards, and hand records.
      XLS   PDF   6-Table Round Robin Teams ... by Pete Matthews, July, 2007
A chart for six teams, one set of pre-dealt boards, and hand records.
      XLS   PDF   7-Table Round Robin Teams ... by Pete Matthews, July, 2007
A chart for seven teams, one set of pre-dealt boards, and hand records.
      DOCX   PDF   Pete vs. ACBLscore: Wrong Board Played ... by Pete Matthews, November, 2015
What to do to score the game, when players play the wrong board.
      EXE PRO   Round Timer ... by Rich Waugh
We found this old program (the EXE) on the web and run it on the club laptop (Windows) to time the game and announce round changes.
An optional profile (the PRO) configures the timer for eight rounds, no hospitality breaks, no new boards with 3 minutes to go, 22 minutes per round plus 1 minute to change. (Standard timing is 6 minutes per board, plus 3 minutes per round, so this is 2 minutes extra per round, for a 3-board movement with no late plays permitted.) For a different number of boards, adjust the minutes per round, remembering the extra minute to change already scheduled. Place this small-game profile into C:\Program Files\Round Timer\Profiles, and File-Load it to establish these defaults.
      Webs   Web Movements ... by Tim Hill
Boston-area director and Westwood DBC club owner Tim Hill provides the definitive work on the web, and perhaps anywhere, on web movements for duplicate bridge. The main link, to the left, is to the "For Directors" page on the WDBC site, which provides the current Web Movements package. Use the following links to get to the OLD, 2011 version of this package, which has a different organization: TXT   ZIP   Included are 112 movement files for ACBLscore in three variants each. Full documentation is in "Web movements.pdf", in the ZIP file; the TXT file contains the e-mail accompanying this distribution. Web Movements are recommended in Fairness in Matchpoint Duplicate Games by Marvin French. If your club regularly has 10 or more tables, has a dealing machine, and you are technically inclined, web movements may be for you. Electronic scorepads are recommended, because with travelers, some tables may see many fewer scores than other tables.
      ACBLscore Movement Files
The ACBLscore program contains built-in movements, mostly Mitchells. The program allows editing and saving of movements into external movement files. Numerous movements are supported by external movement files that come with ACBLscore. Additional movement files may be obtained from other sources, such as the adjacent links on this page. The ACBLscore program is installed into \ACBLSCOR on your hard disk. Movement files have the type of BAM (board-a-match), IND (individual), or MOV (pairs), and are stored in a folder of the same name under \ACBLSCOR. Place a movement file in the correct folder, and ACBLscore will make it available as an external movement. For movements available here, download them and then drag/drop.
      BridgeMats BridgeMats ... by Pete Matthews
Bridge movement table mats and the program to create them from ACBLscore movement files. Presented with the preformatted mats are ACBLscore movement files for both individual and pair movements, including a zip of all of them. The BridgeMats program will dump (report on the contents of) a movement file, and will calculate rover individual movements.
      Dealing Machines
      Video PlayBridge Dealer 4       Duplimate Mk IV_bis       Duplimate Mk 4.4
Differences in speed are noticeable, but of minor concern.
      DOC   PDF   Using BridgeComposer with PlayBridge Dealer4 ... by Pete Matthews, February, 2012
BridgeComposer is is used to create a set of random deals for duplicate bridge, and to create hand records for players after the game. PlayBridge Dealer4 is used to deal the cards for that set of deals. This is a user manual. The BridgeComposer part of the instructions are on one page, compared to eleven pages for Dealmaster Pro (below).
      DOC   PDF   Using Dealmaster Pro with PlayBridge Dealer4 ... by Pete Matthews, July, 2009
Dealmaster Pro is is used to create a set of random deals for duplicate bridge, and to create hand records for players after the game. PlayBridge Dealer4 is used to deal the cards for that set of deals. This is a user manual.
     DOC   PDF   Duplimate Mark IV (bis) vs. PlayBridge Dealer4. ... by Pete Matthews, revised October, 2009
A comparison of the two prominent dealing machines for duplicate bridge, with remarks by Harold Jordan.

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