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All comments by Avon Wilsmore
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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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Kelsey and Glauert, in their very good book, Bridge Odds For Practical Players, call this subject “freedom of choice” rather than “restricted choice”.

Anyway, BOFPP will tell you all you need to know about this and other odds-related matters. Recommended.
May 10, 2014
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Leading A from A10xxxx in preference to a singleton club is a little strange
May 10, 2014
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The old Irish Lightener!

I've actually seen that done. The void-holder was annoyed to find that the pause before the lead to a slam was not caused by his partner's thinking…
May 10, 2014
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In other words, if W has 10x there is no problem.

The question was, is this an application of restricted choice?

The answer is, no.
May 9, 2014
Avon Wilsmore edited this comment May 9, 2014
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And why is it that “W cannot have 10x”?
May 9, 2014
ATB
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There is much to be said for a shapely declaring hand hiding its side-suits.
May 9, 2014
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