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1♦ is automatic for ME, but I understand and appreciate the arguments of those, even if I disagree. Are the “automatic voters” really arguing that any other style is weird?

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If all the members of a team want to concede, and their withdrawal does not inconvenience the directors or ruin the movement, I don't see who the victims are or why a concession is bad sportsmanship.

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I don't understand this argument, Phil. Opening leader knows how many clubs SHE has. She doesn't know how many clubs partner has. How can third hand “know” how many clubs opener has in order to encourage/discourage confidently?

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You are lucky to have Debbie as a teacher, but she's lucky to have you, too. How often do you see someone as serious as you who also has a sense of humor and perspective about the game, and a willingness to stretch his abilities.

It's also great that you have a team of friends. What if that double of 3C had not worked out? I'm guessing you wouldn't have feared going back to your teammates to compare. That's the way it should be but too seldom is.

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The 2D bid was not weak, and presumably is right in the middle of the indicated range, despite the high-card count. Or am I misinterpreting the “enterprising” above?

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I voted for “terrible” because I know I don't want to be in slam, but if you are grading on a curve, this wouldn't make my top ten terrible for the year. So I'm sort between the two choices: “Bad slam, but I've been in much, much worse.”

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Boxing? Gymnastics? Figure Skating? These are just a few sports that rely on one set of judges to determine the finish when either contestant/pair/team might disagree?

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Sarah, the whole tenor of your post indicates you care about ethics, so please understand I am not accusing you of wrongdoing, but something is desperately wrong if your opponents aren't informed that you never lead from unsupported aces or from kings in suit contracts. This information strikes me as more crucial than whether you lead third and low or fourth best against suits, let alone whether the play of the queen asks for an unblock.

I'm not familiar with the EBU convention card, but is there really no place to make important notes about important “other” agreements?

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Let's put it this way. The first time I went to Arthur Bryant's (when Charlie Bryant was still alive, RIP), you lined up to order with stanchions and belts to control traffic flow . Almost half of the people in line could not move by facing front – they sidled along sideways.

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Hi Geoff,

Congratulations on all of your recent success. I've always been impressed by your defense with Eric. To what extent are you rule-based about whether to give count, SP, or attitude (or none of the above), and to what extent do you give partner “what he needs to know” on every trick?

Has your philosophy of opening leads changed much over the years? Are there one or two players who you think are particularly great leaders?

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From my brother, Phil, a retired math teacher:

First off, if you shuffle a deck and randomly deal one person 13 cards, the number of possible hands is “52 choose 13” which comes out to: 635013559600 which is a HUGE number of hands, each of which is equally likely. This number is so big that if you were dealt a new hand every second of your life, it would take you over 20,000 years to reach that number of hands. You are very unlikely to have been dealt the same hand twice in your entire illustrious bridge playing career.

Anyway, just for interest here are the number of hands containing each given number of aces

192928249296 no Aces 278674137872 one Ace 135571202208 two Aces 26162863584 three Aces 1677106640 four Aces

which means you have approximately a 30.3% to be dealt no Aces, 43.9% to be dealt one Ace, 21.3% to be dealt two Aces, 4.2% to be dealt three Aces, 0.3% to be dealt all four Aces

Back to the problem, for Mr. A the calculation is fairly simple. Once he starts with A spades, he will get dealt randomly 12 more cards from the 51 cards remaining in the deck. There are a total of 158753389900 hands he can end up with, each equally likely. Of these hands, 69668534468 contain no more Aces, so dividing, he has a 69668534468/158753389900 chance of not getting any more Aces which is about .439 = about 43.9%. So subtracting this from 100%, Mr. A has about a 56.1% chance of getting at least one more Ace, (that is, ending up with two or more Aces.)

For Mr. L, the calculation is a little more complicated. Using the numbers from above, if you just deal 13 random cards, and subtract the no Ace hands from the total number of hands, there are 442085310304 total hands that contain one or more Aces. The number of these that contain exactly one Ace is (from above) 278674137872 hands. So dividing, we get .630 which means there is about a 63.0% he gets no additional aces. That means, subtracting from 100%, he has about a 37.0 % of being dealt two or more Aces.

So Mr. A has the decided advantage of about 56% as compared to 37% for Mr. L.

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I see the merits in all three of the possibilities. I lean toward 1N mostly because whenever I end up in hearts, at least one of my spade honors seems to get ruffed out.

Dave Feldman

Dave Feldman

Dave Feldman

Dave Feldman

It's also great that you have a team of friends. What if that double of 3C had not worked out? I'm guessing you wouldn't have feared going back to your teammates to compare. That's the way it should be but too seldom is.

Dave Feldman

Dave Feldman

Dave Feldman

Dave Feldman

Dave Feldman

Dave Feldman

Dave Feldman

I'm not familiar with the EBU convention card, but is there really no place to make important notes about important “other” agreements?

Dave Feldman

. Almost half of the people in line could not move by facing front – they sidled along sideways.

Dave Feldman

Dave Feldman

Dave Feldman

Dave Feldman

Dave Feldman

Congratulations on all of your recent success.

I've always been impressed by your defense with Eric. To what extent are you rule-based about whether to give count, SP, or attitude (or none of the above), and to what extent do you give partner “what he needs to know” on every trick?

Has your philosophy of opening leads changed much over the years? Are there one or two players who you think are particularly great leaders?

Dave Feldman

First off, if you shuffle a deck and randomly deal one person 13 cards, the number of possible hands is “52 choose 13” which comes out to:

635013559600 which is a HUGE number of hands, each of which is equally likely. This number is so big that if you were dealt a new hand every second of your life, it would take you over 20,000 years to reach that number of hands. You are very unlikely to have been dealt the same hand twice in your entire illustrious bridge playing career.

Anyway, just for interest here are the number of hands containing each given number of aces

192928249296 no Aces

278674137872 one Ace

135571202208 two Aces

26162863584 three Aces

1677106640 four Aces

which means you have approximately a

30.3% to be dealt no Aces,

43.9% to be dealt one Ace,

21.3% to be dealt two Aces,

4.2% to be dealt three Aces,

0.3% to be dealt all four Aces

Back to the problem, for Mr. A the calculation is fairly simple. Once he starts with A spades, he will get dealt randomly 12 more cards from the 51 cards remaining in the deck. There are a total of 158753389900 hands he can end up with, each equally likely. Of these hands, 69668534468 contain no more Aces, so dividing, he has a

69668534468/158753389900 chance of not getting any more Aces which is about .439 = about 43.9%. So subtracting this from 100%, Mr. A has about a 56.1% chance of getting at least one more Ace, (that is, ending up with two or more Aces.)

For Mr. L, the calculation is a little more complicated. Using the numbers from above, if you just deal 13 random cards, and subtract the no Ace hands from the total number of hands, there are 442085310304 total hands that contain one or more Aces. The number of these that contain exactly one Ace is (from above)

278674137872 hands. So dividing, we get .630 which means there is about a 63.0% he gets no additional aces. That

means, subtracting from 100%, he has about a 37.0 % of being dealt two or more Aces.

So Mr. A has the decided advantage of about 56% as compared to 37% for Mr. L.

Dave Feldman