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All comments by David Levin
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Bud, when you explained how deals were generated, I took your explanation to mean that each deal was generated independently of every other deal, so that for example, the program will create the layout for Board 2 without any knowledge of the HCP balance that it had created in the layout for Board 1. If this is accurate, then I don't understand others' argument about bias in a Howell. I could understand the argument if the generator compensated in later deals for having given N/S or E/W an excessive share of HCPs on earlier deals, but I gather this isn't the situation. In any case, I'd appreciate your clarifying this.
June 30, 2015
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This is like shooting fish in a frozen foods aisle.
June 30, 2015
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“Hello, Lieutenant. What can I do for you?”
“There's something about this expenditure that bothers me.”
June 30, 2015
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“I just object to the idea that they've somehow done something wrong by not knowing to answer to the exact level the OP wanted.”

I agree. Sometimes a pair simply agrees to play Convention X, without first discussing what it is, what it's for, when it applies, subsequent calls, etc. One or both partners might have misconceptions about one or more of these areas. How can I be sure this occurs? Because I've been a perpetrator; it was decades ago, but still…

So, I accept it as part of how people learn. I'm not saying to suspend the Laws of Duplicate, but let's try to foster a supportive environment.
June 29, 2015
David Levin edited this comment June 29, 2015
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Being in an intemperate state can certainly render a person incapable of clearly expressing his/her view. But after reading the material in Kevin Lane's first two citations of Mr. Monzingo's writings, I'm inclined to agree with the last paragraph of the original post: Mr. Monzingo's latest article comes across not as about “cheating” but as merely employing this topic as a fulcrum in his campaign against funding international play.
June 29, 2015
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It became clear from reading these comments, that some of my operating assumptions about attitude leads were faulty. This prompted me to find and read the following Bridge Winners threads on the subject.

http://bridgewinners.com/article/view/attitude-leads/

http://bridgewinners.com/article/view/attitude-leads-against-nt-q872/
June 28, 2015
David Levin edited this comment June 28, 2015
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Jack, I understand your frustration. However, my observations of organizational behavior and the ACBL's official statements concerning marketing convince me that trying to influence that organization's stand is hopeless. I would suggest ignoring the ACBL and focusing on marketing initiatives that can work even without its involvement.

Here's an idea for a demonstration that might attract folks who might get hooked on bridge if they only knew how fascinating it can be. Have a table play a deal (perhaps at slower than normal tempo), and let the attendees view it by projector. Then go through the deal slowly, having each player explain what motivated his or her decisions. Encourage the attendees to ask questions.
June 28, 2015
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Did Declarer have more detailed information about the opponents' attitude leads? For example, would the 2 still have been the spot led if West had held AQJ? Knowing this might have enabled Declarer to rule out certain holdings for East that would have made a shift at Trick Five unlikely.
June 28, 2015
David Levin edited this comment June 28, 2015
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“If I'm a reasonably smart guy, I can exercise my brain by programming and get $100 per hour. Or I can do the same thing by playing a silly card game called bridge. Which would you choose if you were younger and needed the money?”

I sometimes was assigned systems engineering tasks that really stimulated my mind. But I didn't find these as satisfying as my gaining proficiency at an endeavor that I was under no obligation to pursue.
June 27, 2015
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David Yates (from elsewhere on this page): “Mostly because it is without doubt, the most ludicrous claim I have ever seen regarding our game. If anyone has a better candidate for the absurdity title, please post it.”

I nominate Gary's apparent belief that your remark about finding a table at a national bridge tournament was meant literally. Or, if he was kidding also or you were earnest, I nominate my belief that Gary thought you were being serious or my belief that you were kidding. Any way you slice it, I think we have a winner.
June 27, 2015
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I like “International Fund Fortnight” as a name if not a concept.
June 27, 2015
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For example, the major online bridge sites might be hacked so that every auction begins with a Double. (Potentially obscure reference to a discussion at “Have you discussed your methods?”)
June 27, 2015
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Perhaps the piece might have ended with fine print such as, “In actuality, the Laws of Duplicate do not allow a partnership to vary its agreement according to whether the auction has included an irregularity.”
June 27, 2015
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Perhaps the Laws should treat separately the “opening double.” Without the context of at least one preceding bid, this double is nonsensical, although it tends to suggest an above-average hand. How about this: there would be no penalty if the offender substituted any bid, but offender's partner would barred for the duration of the auction if the offender substituted pass (or, heaven forbid, redouble).

Would this be any less fair than not penalizing when an insufficient bid can be and is replaced by the next-higher bid in the same strain?
June 27, 2015
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Egad, I can't believe I didn't catch that. Thanks.
June 26, 2015
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Not knowing what's common after 1-(1)-X-(2)-?, my general inclination with minimal-ish hands would be to pass if balanced and to act if semi-balanced or unbalanced. Thus,

1. 3 with 2=2=5=4 (partner is “marked” with at most seven cards in the majors)
2. X with 3=1=5=4 (partner could be 4=4=2=3)
3. pass with 3=2=5=3 or 3=2=4=4, after which, assuming LHO passes, partner (strength and honor placement permitting) could choose among
3a. 3 with 4 s (suggesting 4=3=4=2)
3b. 2 (suggesting 4=3=3=3)
3c. X with 4 s (suggesting 4=3=2=4)
3d. 3 with 5 s (suggesting 4=3=1=5)

I wouldn't be surprised if this had a name, provided that it deserves one that's printable.

Edit: Augment #1 to include 3=1=5=4 and soften the parenthetical note, delete #2, and decrement the numbering of the rest.
June 26, 2015
David Levin edited this comment June 27, 2015
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Your comparison to a criss-cross squeeze was illuminating for me. By leading the J to the defenders' K, Declarer set up a double criss-cross, which provided one redundant step. The defenders' return could eliminate only one step, leaving Declarer with a just-sufficient criss-cross-criss.
June 26, 2015
David Levin edited this comment June 26, 2015
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The Ultimate Opening Lead Problem: The auction goes X-P-P-P, and you hold…
June 26, 2015
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Barry, I didn't mean to give the impression that I disagreed even mildly with anything in your post. I meant that if responder were to pass 2, opener could likely infer responder's approximate shape.
June 26, 2015
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Right, but it seems to me that much of that could also be conveyed by responder's passing 2.

Let's suppose that opener holds Axx Kxxxxx x KQx. That would give each side an eight-card fit. If s split 5-0, 2 might make an overtrick when 2 would have gone down one, but -50 or -100 in 2 would be better for the opening side than -110 would.

For defense, I think responder has too much in s and too little in s. Even if the defense pumped s, responder's s are much too weak to draw trumps, which makes it likely that intervenor could scramble at least 8 tricks.

This leads me to believe that passing 2 would be more accurate, leaving it to opener to double to imply several places to play. Your mileage may vary.
June 25, 2015
David Levin edited this comment June 25, 2015
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