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All comments by David Caprera
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Playing 15-17 in third chair may be best for bidding appropriate games, but it loses the preemptive value of opening 1NT. Often 1NT steals the bacon and wins the “hidden imp” (-50 into -90). 14-16 white and 15-17 red in third hole is designed to take this into account. Does that make it superior? I have no idea but it does appear to be the direction many top players have headed.
May 15, 2016
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We play 3S as 5-6. We play second round transfers with a relay continuation. 1N-2D-2H-3D->3H-3S+ BUTL (balanced,shortness up the line). For other than this one sequence, it gives us two ways to splinter. Second round transfers are the answer.
May 15, 2016
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It would seem to me that there is only one legal way to bid. Playing with bidding boxes it is by placing your bid on the tray. And you haven't bid until you have done so. Assume a player writes to his screenmate that he plans to bid 6D, but before bidding discovers he missorted his hand and he has less diamonds then he originally thought. Must he still bid 6D? I think not. Flight plans may be “plans” but they aren't bids and it is only the bid that should count.

This is not about a player's credibility. Was there UI? Did it suggest a logical alternative? What might other players in the same peer group do? And we now have the option of a weighted (“split”, as noted, was wrong terminology) ruling in close cases.
May 15, 2016
David Caprera edited this comment May 15, 2016
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Steve, sorry I may just be dumb on a Sunday morning, but what assumption are you making about the distribution of the imps won and lost? Is it normal and with what variance? To say that, “on average” one team wins .1/.25/.5, doesn't mean much unless we know how the outcomes are distributed. It isn't like flipping a coin where the outcomes are either +1 or -1, in bridge you can win or lose 24 imps on a board. I have no idea what that distribution looks like but I am guessing it has “humps” around game swings and slam swings. For the “Bird fans”, a double dummy simulation might be able to come up with such a curve; the “Anti-Birds” would want some sort of empirical study of hands played in top events.

I may be missing something. Perhaps you could give us a more detailed explanation of your assumptions and methodology?
May 15, 2016
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Raising with that pattern seems quite safe. They never have enough of the green suit to double you.
May 13, 2016
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Actual pairs were Balicki-Golebiowski and Gawrys-Klukowski
May 7, 2016
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Go Jolly! I am changing my pick to win it all!
May 6, 2016
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I was playing with Marshall Miles. National pairs event. Dummy had AKJ9x and no outside entry, declarer had rebid 1N, and I sat behind dummy with QTx. Declarer played to dummy's J and I played an in tempo 10. Declarer, having rebid 1N with a singleton, proceeded to cash the suit from the top. Marshall never said a word.
May 3, 2016
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We play transfer lebensohl as if it had gone (P)-1N-(Y). Particularly when X is a minor, you may want to play in that suit.
May 3, 2016
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I agree with your friend. My point was that the counsel should advise the CEO, but when the stuff the fan, they should report to the board. The “I resign” approach doesn't work.
May 2, 2016
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It would be interesting to ask Peter Rank who he thought was his client, but my guess is that he would say “he advised management but was ultimately responsible to the board.” If this new in-house counsel is the CEO's lawyer, then I predict it will not take very long before the President and the Board seek independent counsel.

Does in-house counsel need to be licensed in Mississippi? I believe the ACBL is incorporated in New York but is certainly headquartered in Mississippi. It would depend on the Mississippi state bar rules about which I have no expertise, but my guess is “yes”. (To be followed by Mississippi bar exam jokes.)

And Jan, I AM SHOCKED! Are you really suggesting that San Francisco is a more attractive location for a smart, energetic, young but experienced lawyer to live than is Horn Lake? Say it isn't so!

(Definitely Pogo.)
April 30, 2016
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How does a political body reform itself? Good question. Let us assume that there are too many members on the ACBL board of directors and that the district's are of such disparate size that some have become disfunctional. It is going to be the rare board director who says, “Eliminate me” and the equally rare district board that says, “Dissolve our district.”

But if not the board, who? The president? Not if he has a one year term. I doubt this could be accomplished in a year. And not the CEO/management, not their role and the CEO serves at the pleasure of the board. That leaves one answer, the membership. We have met the enemy and he is us. What we need, and what we should have, is the right of petition and referendum.

In this computer age, it should not be difficult to collect electronic signatures for a ballot initiative and a resulting election on questions which go to the heart of the organization. If people don't care enough to vote, that is their problem. While I am generally a fan of representative democracy, there comes a time when the electorate has to speak up. Perhaps that time is now.

(To be followed by throwing all the ACBL score pads into Boston harbor.)
April 30, 2016
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My point was that ACBL had it backwards. The ACBL counsel should advise management but report to the board, not the other way around. When shit happens, who is in charge? That is the real issue here. Should the CEO be a “strong form of manager” or is the board and President Monzingo where the buck stops?

Bob Hamman has suggested that we need a commissioner. Let the CEO run the business, but let the commissioner run the bridge. I find that idea appealing.

But if this new in-house counsel is going to be reporting to the CEO, then the board needs a lawyer. And never forget the CEO serves at the pleasure of the board.

(If this appears to be an attack on Hartman, it isn't intended that way. I like the guy, he has a tough job, and I think he has done some good things. My problem is more from a structural perspective of how the ACBL should be run.)
April 30, 2016
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It is commonly thought that 5332 opposite 4333 is better played in notrump with the exception of a nine card major suit.

It is also thought that if playing imps, a combined 28-30 hcp is “safer” in notrump.

So, we ask for 5M if we have a 3+M, we are balanced, we have the combined requisite hcp's, and we are not 4333 nor balanced in the 28-30 range.
April 29, 2016
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Playing double transfers, better to play next step as no big fit to give responder room to further describe his hand, 3M as fit for responder's major, 4C double fit (with 4D hexkcb) and 4D as big minor fit (2-5).
April 29, 2016
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My partner may be an “expert” but in terms of guessing his intention, the most relevant information is my partner's age. Every junior would treat it as takeout. Conversely, every old time rubber bridge player would say “penalty”. Perhaps the real question is, “ What is the youngest age at which you would expect partner to treat this double as penalty?” (Even though I am a jurrasic 62 years of age, I am young at heart and I think it should be takeout.)
April 27, 2016
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Golfers have an exception, “Rub of the green.” The rest of us live by a simpler rule, “Shit happens”. (I learned yesterday that it can be measured in fucktons.) The rule should not be changed anymore than a player who misplays a hand but scores an extra trick should be denied the more favorable result.
April 26, 2016
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The problem is the 3C bid. Big hands bid 2S. Yes 3C is F1 but short sighted. No perfect answer.

If I get dragged to the given auction, I bid 5H on Ax.
April 23, 2016
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