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All comments by Avon Wilsmore
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Yes, 3 is superior and South's actions after 4 are bizarre.

And a courageous double of 6… not so easy to shoot 6.
Nov. 15
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The Weaker Suit For Trumps, Felix Vondracek, Bridge World Feb 1956.


https://www.bridgeworld.com/indexphp.php?page=/pages/readingroom/bridgedictionary.html

Vondracek phenomenon

The occasional deal on which the weaker of two (or the weakest of three) identically distributed potential trump suits offers the superior contract. Named for Felix Vondracek (VON-druh-check), who wrote an article about the possibility. Example:

WEST
♠ A K Q J 10
♥ A K 7 6 5
♦ A K 5
♣ —

EAST
♠ 4 3 2
♥ 4 3 2
♦ 4 3 2
♣ 5 4 3 2

East-West can make six hearts if hearts break three-two, but except for weak defense there is no play for six spades.
Nov. 15
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Remind me to lead from Kxx trump against that East…
Nov. 11
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The original Responsive Double was devised in 1954 by Dr Fielding-Reid, and applied to suit-X-raise-X only.
Nov. 10
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Shireen: Try https://www.newspapers.com/

Subscription-based, not expensive, and their articles were a great help in my Blue Team research.

Putting in:
culbertson match “madison square gardens”
gets nearly 8000 hits (many will be duplicates) and you can filter by date.
Nov. 10
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Bridge For Beginners: A Complete Course, Mahmood, Grant, Sharif, chapter 6

When Ely Culbertson staged a bridge match between his American team and Great Britain, he had actors in Madison Square Garden dress up as playing cards and duplicate the plays made before a packed crowd of spectators.
Nov. 8
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If “A simple overcall in a suit shows 8 - 12 points…”, a two-level overcall cannot be forcing.


1957/134
This is Avarelli's 2 overcall, 2nd seat, fav, over 1S:
8 KJ54 J108743 Q2


1959 Final/24
This is Belladonna's 2 overcall, 2nd seat, nil vul, over 1:

K87 Q7 AKJ854 53

Avarelli passed with a 2-4-3-4 seven-count.
Nov. 6
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Charles, I think you are making an error here.

The text says:

DEFENSIVE BIDS AFTER AN OPENING BID AT THE ONE LEVEL
(1) SUIT BID – A simple overcall in a suit shows 8 - 12 points and a one-suited hand, intended particularly to give partner a good lead if opponents buy the contract. Partner is not obliged to bid and a simple rebid of the same suit is not forcing. Naturally a bid at the two level requires more strength and is forcing for one round.


It is my view that the “bid at the two level” refers to the Advancer's move, not to the overcall.

Indeed, I have checked WC records and there are deals where the Roman Club two-level overcaller has modest values and Advancer passes.
Nov. 6
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I can help with 1969… PM me…
Nov. 6
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Yes, the Encyclopedia quote discussed discards.

And yes, Roman Odd-Even:
- is used when following suit
- has even cards conveying suit-preference

This has been confirmed on this page by quotes from Sheinwold and Wolff.

Roman Odd-Even when following suit was what Barry's original question was about… not a different method (no suit-preference) during a different part of the game (discarding).
Nov. 5
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We are in agreement - genuine Roman Odd-Even signals, as described by Avarelli and Belladonna in their 1959 and 1969 system books (odd = encouraging, even = discouraging and suit-preferance), are unplayable.

Sheinwold also agreed; that is why he wrote (quoted above):

I have never seen odd-even signals used without hesitations and emotions. If you play a card slowly and reluctantly, partner will understand that perhaps you didn’t have a card of the right kind, and he will make allowance for your “misleading” signal. If you play a card quickly and casually, partner will understand that you have no problem, and he will accept the signal at its face value.
Nov. 3
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Bobby Wolff discusses the Aces - Sharif Bridge Circus matches of 1971:


It was during the mid-week Open Pairs events, when I (and the other Aces) would play with members of the Circus as our partners, that something began to distress me. My partner (regardless of who it was) almost always suggested that we play a particular carding method which he was accustomed to using — and I, too, soon fell in love with it. It is known as odd-even signals and it can be used when following suit or discarding. Using this method, a “discouraging” even spotcard (like a two or an eight) also had suit preference overtones, allowing the tempo (obviously not discussed) to suggest just how much partner wanted that suit. Thus, playing an odd card would be “encouraging” — but only an even card could have a dual meaning.
Nov. 3
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Michael:

Barry's post says:

They were playing odd-even signals, at least on opening lead.

Roman Club was the first system to use odd-even signals when following suit to partner's lead.

Roman Club System, Avarelli and Belladonna:

When partner leads from an honor sequence, an odd card encourages continuation. If no odd card is held, a high even card fulfills the same function.
Nov. 3
Avon Wilsmore edited this comment Nov. 3
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We agree that standard signals are:
high = like
low = don't like.

This is binary.

We don't agree that Odd-Even just a “new ordering of cards.”

Odd-Even is not binary because of the injection of suit-preference into the even cards, as I outlined above.

This leads to “issues”, as Sheinwold describes, above,
Nov. 3
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Certainly agree against decent opponents… the chance of playing the hand is low, and backing-in just feeds declarer useful information,
Nov. 3
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Bill:

From the Encyclopedia of Bridge, 7th ed:

ODD-EVEN DISCARDS.
A signaling method that assigns different meanings to odd- and even-numbered spot cards. The discard of an odd-numbered card (3, 5, etc.) encourages in that suit. The discard of an even-numbered card (2, 4, etc.) discourages and often doubles as a suit-preference signal.
Nov. 3
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I do not agree with these recent comments. More specifically, I do not agree with Steve Bloom, below:

Suppose you are playing a (right-side up) 3-way signalling system.

Let's suppose not… ie, one plays, as I do, reverse attitude on partner's lead.

Say spades are trumps and partner leads CA.
- my low club says I do not prefer a shift to a red suit
- my high club says I prefer a shift to a red suit.

The card is, with rare exceptions, mono-meaning.

I do not agree with the comments that maintain that Odd-Even is just a reordering of the cards.

I requote Sheinwold, above:

What if you don’t have an odd card to encourage a continuation? Then some very high even card will have to do the job. Partner will understand.

What if you have only odd cards, but want to discourage a continuation? Or what if you have only a low even card but want to encourage a shift to a high suit? Partner will understand.


With Odd-Even:
- an odd card is encouraging or (not, from only odd cards)
- an high even card is high suit-preference or (not, from only odd cards) or (not, with only one even card)
- a low even card is low suit-preference or (not, from only odd cards) or (not, with only one low card)

The card is multi-meaning.
Nov. 3
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I'm not following these objections.

We are West and we are assigned three passes. I believe we are asked, “Of how many of these passes do we approve?”
Nov. 2
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So what did North have, to leave in a takeout double?
Nov. 2
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