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All comments by David Burch
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LHO has on average 16 HCP (accurately it's 15.79, so 16 is a good enough approximation). You have 7 HCP, leaving 17 for partner and RHO. Assuming RHO would bid with 9-17, partner has 8-17. This will be weighted to the lower end, so I would guess partner has 10-11 and RHO has 6-7 … on average.
May 11
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I'm with you to a certain extent, Eric. When I was teaching myself about squeezes (Simple, Double, Compound… and then it got too difficult), I categorised them on threat type. So a Criss-Cross Squeeze for me is a Double Blocked Threat Squeeze, which tells me that I may have deliberately to block a suit.

By the way, I am not very adept at squeezes.
April 26
David Burch edited this comment April 26
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I'm no expert, so probably shouldn't say anything. However, my partners and I play:

(1D) - 1S - (X) - 2S is 3-card support in a weak hand
(1D) - 1S - (X) - 2D is 3-card support in a good hand
(1D) - 1S - (X) - 3S is 4-card support in a weak hand
(1D) - 1S - (X) - 2NT is 4-card support in a good hand
March 30
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No, Pete, it's Buddy Holly's “It Doesn't Matter Anymore” - but judging by the length of this thread, it does matter after all!

Ah, The Hollies, the most under-rated band of the 60's: “The Air that I Breathe” is the best love song ever and then there's the immortal “He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother”. Well done on spotting “Sorry, Suzanne”!
March 14
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Totally off topic, sorry Suzanne, but I do appreciate Larry Cohen's Buddy Holly reference, and also David Burn's Beatles reference earlier.

For what it's worth, there is more to hand evaluation than simple HCPs. So I consider that the announced range is a guide to the strength of the hand and not a prescriptive number of points.
March 12
David Burch edited this comment March 12
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Being young and trendy, I'm non-binary, lead-fluid. If I don't like the suit I'm leading, I lead high to suggest a switch. If I do like it, I lead low to suggest a continuation. Including doubleton leads.
March 1
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… and what was partner actually doing? Pray tell.
Feb. 24
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I can offer a very simple and reasonably accurate formula for the probabilities of HCP holdings…

Start by assuming 10 HCP occurs 10% of the time (it is actually 9.41%), subtract 1% for each HCP lower or higher than 10.

For example: the probability of 6 HCP is about 6% (accurate value is 6.55% and the probability of 14 HCP is also about 6% (accurate value is 5.69%).

By this method, the probabilities in your 13-16 HCP range are: 7%, 6%, 5% and 4%. The true values are 6.91%, 5.69%, 4.42% and 3.31%.
Jan. 21
David Burch edited this comment Jan. 22
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With that shape, I might have opened a dull 1… but you never know!
Dec. 25, 2018
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Take-out, I opened a frisky 1NT with a 1-4-4-4 hand.
Dec. 24, 2018
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“You play suit-preference at trick 1. 10, 9, 8 are, by priority, suit-preference high. 2, 3, 4 are, by priority, suit-preference low. 6, 5, 7 are, by priority, encouraging.”

Is this Dual Meaning signal legal? I guess it must be in the Senior Trials.
Dec. 16, 2018
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“I never win, never win; Baby, I never win…”

Here I Go Again
The Hollies
1964
Dec. 10, 2018
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It seems strange to me that such Dual Meaning Signals (as in East's Heart at Trick 1) are illegal here in England according to the Blue Book - HANDBOOK OF EBU PERMITTED UNDERSTANDINGS 7F3 (b):

“7 F 3 Dual meaning signals
Dual meaning signals (when following suit) are not permitted.
Examples of prohibited dual meaning signals:
(a) One message (typically attitude) is given according to whether the card played is odd or even; a different message (typically suit preference) is given according to whether the card played is high or low.
(b) One message (typically attitude) is given if a specific card (say a 6 or a 7) is played; a different message (typically suit preference) is given if any other card is played. It is, however, permitted to use a particular category of card to express doubt or no preference. For example, when giving suit-preference a partnership may agree that a middle card shows no preference between the two suits.
Such dual meanings are permitted for discards.”
Nov. 2, 2018
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In England, we have this thing called The Blue Book, which states in para 5C3 “To be considered a ‘Strong’ opening bid or overcall, the minimum allowed by agreement is either or both of:
(a) any hand of at least 16 HCP
(b) any hand of at least 12 HCP with at least five controls.

Partnerships may agree that an artificial opening (such as 2C) may be made with a hand that would not historically have been considered worthy of a forcing opening, such as a balanced or semi-balanced hand with fewer than 18 HCP, or a hand with a lot of playing strength but limited high cards (such as eight solid spades and little else). This must be disclosed clearly. For example, the opening could be described as “Either a strong hand or eight playing tricks in a major”. This applies even if the minimum agreed strength is in line with (b) above.
There is no restriction on the strength of a natural two-level or higher opening bid but similar requirements for full disclosure apply.”

I'd say the hand is strong under (b) above.
Oct. 26, 2018
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If you were called to another table where this had happened, would you enforce the rules? Yes? Then you have to do it at your own table, too.
Oct. 20, 2018
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This sort of thing is just why I will never trouble myself to play the same sort of shenanigans bridge that many of you seem to.
Aug. 22, 2018
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After East accepts North's insufficient 1H, my second bid as South would be to repeat my 1NT opening - and away we go!

Secondly, surely the director should not advise North as to whether a particular bid (2C in this case) is comparable or not before North chooses what call to make should East not accept the 1H bid, and the director should only rule whether North's bid is comparable or not after it has been made?
Aug. 2, 2018
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Since I play 12-14 NT, I'd open 1NT to avoid the inevitable rebid problem. So, using the system described, it's a 1NT rebid.
July 5, 2018
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Put me down for a 4 splinter by North on the second round. The bidding so far makes it look like a 30 point deck, and I have 17 of them and partner has opened. I have already indicated 4 Spades, and my splinter says I am looking for a slam in your suit.
June 25, 2018
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Hi Christopher. Yes, of course, if we had been able to discover that East held 5 minor suit cards in addition to 6 Spades, then the 3=3 Heart split becomes impossible, and the finesse becomes the better proposition.

I hope you enjoy the book. It was something I penciled in on P70 when I read the book for the second time in 1985 that put me onto the pair-wise comparison method. I wanted to use vacant places work out the “the probability of the 3-3 break has again risen to over 52%”. My penciling at the foot of the page is:

4-2 3-3 2-4

10:9 10:9
10:9 9:8
____ ____ ____
10 20 8

P(3-3) = 20/38 = 52.63%

It was only years later, when I re-read the book in 2013, that I realised the true significance of this penciling.

I still wonder whether Kelsey & Glauert knew about the pair-wise comparisons method. If they did, they certainly did not disclose it, but on p.68 they do mention that the odds of 3-3 and 4-2 distributions are precisely in the ratio of 11 to 15.

It is interesting that the odds of distributions can always be expressed as the ratios of whole numbers - something that is lost behind the familiar table of percentage odds.

All the best, David
June 16, 2018
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