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All comments by Avon Wilsmore
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Phillip Martin wrote an article about the late John Lowenthal:
https://sites.google.com/site/psmartinsite/Home/bridge-articles/remembering-john-lowenthal

Of Lowenthal, PM writes:
“He was a stickler for honest reporting. I once wrote up a hand he had misdeclared, identifying him simply as “my partner.” John chastised me for this. “You name me when I do something good,” he said, “so you have to name me when I blunder, as well.””
May 24, 2014
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On documenting a system:

1. There is a product called BbnOrganiser. The author says:

“BbnOrganiser is a program for processing a bridge bidding system. Its main features are:

- Edit the bidding calls and their meanings.
- Store the bidding system in a file obeying the Bridge Bidding Notation (BBN).
-Import BBN files in the current file.
-Generate an HTML file or an ASCII text file by exporting the bidding system.
-Compute probabilities of hand distributions.”

It is available here:
http://bbn.tistis.nl/

Documentation here:
http://bbn.tistis.nl/bbn_doc.htm

I have never used it so I do not know if it is good, bad or otherwise.

2. The BridgeBuff product has a “bid sequencer” feature described here:
http://www.bridgebuff.com/sequencer.html

On system:

You will find a lot of conventions and system agreements here:
http://rpbridge.net/rpsy.htm

and here:
http://ebookbrowsee.net/weak-notrump-system-kokish-kraft-jan-2008-doc-d364005619
May 23, 2014
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Deleted… in the light of new facts.
May 21, 2014
Avon Wilsmore edited this comment May 21, 2014
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In the late 70s it was commonplace to play, “If a pass is forcing, a double is for penalties”.

Unfashionable though it is, I have not progressed.
May 21, 2014
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So the deal provided is missing two big cards; J and 9.

Note to authors: Make every effort to provide accurate details.
May 20, 2014
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Yes, everyone bids, on the votes to date.

But the 4 bidders are forcing to game while (probably) needing to hold their black suit losers to one. Good luck.
May 19, 2014
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There are other points of view regarding the work of Bird and Anthias.

From Michael Rosenberg's In The Well session, 23 Aug 2013:

AW: “Do you have an opinion about the “anti-establishment” conclusions of Bird and Anthias on opening leads?”

MR: “Yes. A strong one. I think the idea that one can determine correct single-dummy play by using double-dummy analysis is just plain wrong.

I think doing this is not just useless, it's misleading.
The only simulations that could be relevant are ones which are done with single-dummy analysis. And there is almost nobody I would trust to do one of those (and it would take a LONG time).

Obviously, I can't prove any of this. But, to me, believing in this stuff is not “evidence-based” -even though that's exactly what its proponents claim. The “evidence” is a snare.

I could write a book about this subject. I'm not going to.

Meanwhile, I hope all my opponents, and none of my teammates, are believers in this….”


From Eric Rodwell's In The Well session, 26th Feb 2014:

AW: “Do you have an opinion about the conclusions reached by Bird and Anthias regarding opening leads, from their work with simulations?”

ER: “Hi Avon,

Avon calling! So I guess I'll answer. Those books were quite interesting.

The problem with using DD (Double Dummy) analysis is, suppose it goes 1NT-3NT and you have 53 Q943 A83 10843, the S5 is the best double dummy lead.

This is because:

1) Partner, playing DD, never misreads the lead as being from a 4+ card suit. He has A842, dummy J76, and he knows
that Declarer has 4 cards in Spades and not 2 and defends
correctly.

2) Declarer never missguesses any suit combination DD.
So, if the layout is dummy having xxx and Declarer
AKQ9, Declarer will, DD, play to the 9. And partner will
split with J10xx if it could help DD. So, unless entires
are a problem you aren't doing you side any damage,
DD, by leading the S5.

Same argument for Ace leads against suits. If you never missguess what to switch to, I'm sure leading an Ace will a lot better than it would in practice.

With these caveats in mind, I do think the books had a lot of useful insights.”
May 17, 2014
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He opens that hand with 1?

He needs to be given a chance to participate in a supervised duplicate.
May 15, 2014
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Kx x Kxx AKQ10xxx
is typical.

Bidding on is hyper-aggressive.
May 15, 2014
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Older book:
Opening Leads, Robert Ewen

Newer book:
Opening Leads, Mike Lawrence

Non-beginner:
Improve Your Opening Leads, Kelsey & Matheson
May 15, 2014
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Ed, there are some ratbags out there…

From this article, 9 Aug 2013:
http://bridgewinners.com/article/view/nickell-assael-appeals-hand/

Josh Donn says:
“I was discussing with an expert player who agreed with me that this case had little or no merit, but despite that he said to me he would always appeal in a situation like this because “there has to be at least a 5% chance the committee will make a terrible decision so why not?” I think the current situation in which a “rational” player will appeal “just in case” in these situations is unacceptable. It's one more reason I am against having an appeal process altogether (minority I know).”
May 14, 2014
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True… two extra chances. One small, one tiny…
May 14, 2014
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Yes, “must” means must. But why the change? What is the virtue, gain or benefit of replacing “must” with “should”?

Prtesumably Ed can enlighten us…
May 13, 2014
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Perhaps someone can clarify the benefits of “should” over “must” call the director?
May 13, 2014
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7NT will also make when W guards everything: 4=4=0=5.

4=4=2=3 with Q will not do; W follows the standard defence of unguarding the suit on the left (spades in this case) and pitches after the two menaces on the right.
May 12, 2014
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For that matter, what happened to the rule of 2 & 3?

6 + 3 = 9.
May 12, 2014
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Related: A few years ago I defended 3NT with Qxxxx in dummy on my left.

Declarer cashed the Ace and I dropped the K from KJ10 (Josh: That's not a “random falsecard” and I did not “spend all my energy” worrying about it; it's to be found in Why You Lose At Bridge, 1945).

My trickery troubled declarer not one bit - partner showed out.
May 11, 2014
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Art Buchwald provided a template for US Dept of State press releases… it's in Son of the Great Society; a compilation of his WaPo columns.
May 11, 2014
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Culbertson must have been quite a character… his autobiography was in Bertrand Russell's library and BR wrote that it was one of the most interesting books he had ever read.
May 10, 2014
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X and lead a trump…
May 10, 2014
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