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All comments by David Levin
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A Mike Scale of Idiocy could be based on the percentage of frequently posting Mikes (and Michaels) who would take the action in question. The lower the percentage, the higher the idiocy.
13 hours ago
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I'm playing West to hold at least one black king and trumps to be 3-2 (either way). So, I try the 10 at Trick 1.

1) If the 10 holds, then I lead toward the K.
1a) If the K holds, then I abandon trumps and take the top diamonds and a diamond ruff. If East overruffs, draws Dummy's last trump, and exits with a club to the queen (my unblocking the 10), then I cash the A and ruff a spade, hoping that West started with Kxx.
1b) If the K loses and a club comes back, I play the A, cash the A for a club pitch, and lead toward the J. If the A is onside, then after regaining the lead and drawing the last trump, I can give up a diamond (by leading to the nine) to establish the suit.
2) If the 10 loses and a trump comes back, I try the jack. If it loses to the queen and a club is returned, I try the queen (unblocking the ten), and if it holds, lead toward the K. If East takes the ace and exits with a club to Dummy's ace, I have to decide among the diamond finesse, ruffing the third round of diamonds in Dummy, and ramming spades through East.
13 hours ago
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I wouldn't want to have been the foam, though.
22 hours ago
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I've read that in Morphy's era, playing chess for stakes was considered ungentlemanly. But the absence of a wager on a chess game or match doesn't preclude deception. Suppose you're playing chess for fun against someone who you know is not going to play you again if he realizes he's the much weaker player. So, if you want the person to keep playing, you might conceal your strength by not taking advantage of every mistake–to maintain an advantage large enough for you to know you have a won position, but small enough for your opponent to think the outcome is still in doubt.

(I'm not saying that I would do this. I wouldn't. But, I might tend to select openings in which the real clash tends to occur later in the game.)

Also, it's not clear to what extent people become cheats due to their being cardplayers, versus becoming (immoral) cardplayers because they are predisposed toward cheating.
22 hours ago
David Levin edited this comment 22 hours ago
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I thought Hartston was an IM rather than a GM.
23 hours ago
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Aligned columns in a comment can be obtained by preceding the “table” with "[code]“ (without quotes) and following it with ”[/code]" (again without quotes). This will cause just about every character typed between these two tags to occupy the same width. Pip symbols might be slightly narrower or wider than a typical character.
Jan. 17
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Law 16B1a (2017 edition): A player may not choose a call or play that is demonstrably suggested over another by unauthorized information if the other call or play is a logical alternative.

That differs from “worst option for your side…”
Jan. 17
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Hamish seems to use a lot of gadgets, so maybe 2 didn't guarantee hearts.
Jan. 17
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“One reason to discard on A is to unblock the hearts. Otherwise, I can't run hearts even if I find LHO with Kx.”

Why not cross to South's 8 and then back to North's Q?
Jan. 17
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“Because, (1) if West is holding off the first round why should change his mind on the second round (unless he sees something that changes things)? (2) This way the defense comes out ahead whenever West holds the ten of diamonds (then West knows to win the second diamond.)”

East's dropping the jack on the second round works out badly when Declarer started with 10xxx.
Jan. 16
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If dealt AK and QJ, might East have considered playing the Q at Trick 1 (hoping to induce a diamond continuation if West gets in)?
Jan. 16
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“If they play a club early, taking out the ruffing entry, declarer can still eliminate the minors and play ace and a heart, which is superior to the finesse.”

I believe that if Declarer assumes that hearts are 3-2 (which is suggested by the play), then only the finesse works when East was dealt KJx (3 cases), and only A+x works when East was dealt Jxx (3 cases).
Jan. 16
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For information about professional indemnity insurance in the US, one's insurance agent might be a good source.

If the request is from someone who might come to the US and teach bridge, one could inquire with US insurance companies.
Jan. 13
David Levin edited this comment Jan. 13
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Bidding 4N seems to have some redeeming qualities:

1. It takes away that call from West.
2. N/S are at favorable.
3. East's presumed spade length makes it extremely likely that N/S have at least an eight-card fit.
4. South can establish many tricks by driving out high cards.

[Edited to correct grammar.]
Jan. 13
David Levin edited this comment Jan. 13
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If West had bid 5 over 5 and East had then bid 6 holding AKQ-eighth xx J Kx, I wonder where folks would be placing blame.
Jan. 11
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I would have thought that West's double followed by bidding 5 (in contrast to bidding 5 directly over 4N) showed slam interest.
Jan. 11
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Nice article. A couple typos:
* Page 1, second diagram, change the declarer in the auction.
* Page 2, next-to-last paragraph, “4clubs” -> “4 clubs”.
Jan. 11
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“The key defense will be for RHO to hop up with a spade honor and shift to hearts.”

If West has A-fourth and one spade honor, then it seems okay for East to let the first round of spades ride around to West, who can then lead a heart. (I'm not saying that this would necessarily invalidate some other aspect of your analysis.)
Jan. 9
David Levin edited this comment Jan. 9
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I see that it's been fixed.
Jan. 9
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I guess that explains why it wasn't mentioned. 8^)
Jan. 8
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