The Tao of Gaming

Boardgames and lesser pursuits

Me likey IMPS

Quick bidding question — what’s your plan with

 S: Ax
 H: KJxx
 D: AKJxx
 C: Kx

Answer — Learn to count to 19. Yes, your humble narrator stopped counting at 16 points, which was not the correct answer. I saw the King of Clubs, but declined to assign it any value. I specifically thought “AKJ twice is sixteen.” Needless to say that cost me a cold (vul) game. Minus 10.

Despite this disaster, I managed a second overall (out of 30 pairs) when none of my other decisions were particularly bad (I gave away an overtrick here and there — me likey IMPs), and several were good. Several gifts were donated, of course, but generally a solid game. I believe this ranks as my best tournament finish.

Which is just a roundabout way of gloating and way of mentioning why I’m not discussing other games. So … no new content for you!

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Written by taogaming

June 5, 2008 at 11:13 pm

Posted in Bridge

5 Responses

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  1. Looks like a 2NT opener to me. Why stop at 19! 🙂
    (Edgar Kaplan might agree with me, even though he’s dead: Kaplan and Rubens Evaluator).

    Not to diminish your accomplishment at all, but IMP pairs is all about getting gifts at the right time (when a vul game is at stake) and not blowing 10 IMPs by missing a game or slam or going for a number. About half of that is under your control, and the better you get, the less frequent the part that you can influence.

    JeffG

    June 6, 2008 at 3:35 am

  2. Oh, I’ll admit that there’s a ton of randomness in IMPs (or any single session game) …. my main reason for liking it is that I always seem to get at least 2 bottoms a session when I have to decide whether to make an agressive or passive (opening lead or defensive switch), and wind up blowing one or more tricks on the decision. I never get those right. At IMPs those are non-decisions, for the most part. Make the play that could set them.

    In fact, all of the gifts at our session involved my partner stepping way out of line and then not getting smacked. (We agreed to open light, pre-empt light or very light, etc). Twice opponents went to game and then misplayed it assuming partner held more than 13 cards for her bid. At least once I’d have needed an RPN calculator to compute the penalty …. and my RHO held a trump stack, double would have been undoubtedly penalty (If you are going to overcall light, do it at your first opportunity, not second. Even I know that), but she inexplicably didn’t take the sure large positive.

    That and the bizarre auction that almost died in two spades and then slowly competing up to 4S, which made. (The following contracts were bid to play. 2D, 2H, 2S, 3C (I think), 3D, 3H, 3S, 4C, 4D, 4H and 4S.

    Brian

    June 6, 2008 at 7:14 am

  3. It’s not so much that there is lots of randomness at IMPs, but randomness at IMP pairs. With a field of mixed strength, if you get lucky enough to play against weak opponents on the swing hands, you have a good shot at winning. If you play those hands against the strong pairs, you are going to have a hard time beating average.

    IMP team games, however, are nowhere near as random, and are my favorite form of the game. In general, team games are far less random than pair games, but IMP pairs exacerbates the randomness because only a few hands are important. Board-a-match teams is probably the least random form of the game, but it’s incredibly tiring; I like the opportunity to relax once in a while that’s available at IMPs.

    JeffG

    June 6, 2008 at 12:41 pm

  4. It’s not so much that there is lots of randomness at IMPs, but randomness at IMP pairs. With a field of mixed strength, if you get lucky enough to play against weak opponents on the swing hands, you have a good shot at winning. If you play those hands against the strong pairs, you are going to have a hard time beating average.

    IMP team games, however, are nowhere near as random, and are my favorite form of the game. In general, team games are far less random than pair games, but IMP pairs exacerbates the randomness because only a few hands are important. Board-a-match teams is probably the least random form of the game, but it’s incredibly tiring; I like the opportunity to relax once in a while that’s available at IMPs.

    JeffG

    June 6, 2008 at 12:41 pm

  5. For me 1C 🙂 (polish club)

    Radek

    June 13, 2008 at 4:29 am


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