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All comments by Dean Strachan
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Incredible!
March 17, 2018
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What is the logic behind leading an ace?
July 24, 2016
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You should try friendliness Gregory, I haven't played much bridge in years & was curious (my partner is a smart noob and wanted to know) if the lead directing/5-3 fit finding merits of 1s outweighed the 4-4 fit finding merits of double.

It (coincidentally) transpired that the opponents landed in 5d and my heart lead was the only one that let it make … I wanted to know if I got unlucky or missed something in the auction so I posted that too. That's all.
July 24, 2016
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The actual winning lead (Q) was *really* hard to find.
Nov. 6, 2015
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Men are excluded from Women's events.
Nov. 3, 2015
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John, firstly you're assuming that every PBU member has equal influence on the actions of the PBU. That's clearly false. Secondly how is your argument different from someone who justifies some sort of anti-Americanism based on them electing, say, George Bush or Obama or whoever? Russia with Putin etc.

Your argument is ‘if 51% of group x do something I find disagreeable I will hate all of group x’ which is pretty obnoxious.
Nov. 2, 2015
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Disqualifying the guy who bid 4d is a better ruling than letting 6s stand.
Nov. 1, 2015
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You're basically saying you want to write Jack.
Oct. 31, 2015
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I'm going to post this in the ‘modest proposal’ thread but I envisage something a la coverage of big chess tournaments where there's a host, studio analysts and the coverage pops from table to table depending on what's interesting.

Bridge won't get the coverage of poker, or even close, but I think this could be successful and watchable in a niche way. The betting aspect won't bring in many viewers. As you say, it's impossible for a random to understand whereas I could explain hold'em to a girl I'm watching with in a few minutes.
Oct. 30, 2015
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If the organisers decided France and China they wouldn't need to play off. I'm just throwing out an example. I didn't think I implied there's a difference between the Bermuda Bowl winner and runner up. Again, I'm just throwing out examples. As for the Canada v. South America playoff you could just have that at the Bermuda Bowl or the Olympiad. There are ways to work round these things.

Oct. 30, 2015
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Fred/Brad - I have a lot of thoughts on how you could make this appeal to as many people as possible but for now I want to touch on one point.

There's nothing wrong with an invitational tournament but there is something wrong with a calling a (purely) invitational tournament ‘the world championship’.

The compromise I'd suggest is the format of the FIDE candidates tournament (to decide who challenges Carlsen for the world crown).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Chess_Championship_2014#Candidates_Tournament

It's an 8 played tournament where 7 qualify via strict criteria and the organisers choose an 8th wildcard (conditional on him or her meeting a certain rating).

If 8 teams qualified via ‘merit’ and two via ‘organisers’ choice' you'd end up with a super strong field and few objections.

I also think it's important to give every country a *chance* to qualify and for this you can take FIFA's example (not something you should do often) and offer inter-continental playoffs for a couple of places.

For example:

- Max one team per country

- 1 * Bermuda Bowl Finalist
- 1 * Bermuda Bowl Runner Up
- 1 * US trials champion/best team in the past 6 NABCs.
- 1 * North America/Central&South America playoff winner.
- 3 * Top placed finishers in the European championship
- 1 * Highest placed team in World Olympad not included in ^^^
- 1 * 5th placed team in European Championship v. Asian champion
- 2 * Wildcards

Thus you'd end up with something like

- Poland
- Sweden
- USA/Nickell
- Canada/Brazil winner
- Disqualified * 2 so England/Bulgaria/Denmark
- Ireland
- France/China winner
- Norway with Helgemo/Helness & France/China loser

This is 11 teams but maybe you'd nix Poland.

This is surely close to the top 10 teams in the world, mostly meritorious, gives all countries a chance to qualify (conditional on working Africa in) and allows the organisers to do stuff like make sure Helgemo/Helness play. I think it's eminently more sensible than choosing all teams via invitation.
Oct. 30, 2015
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It's a theoretical question. My hand is irrelevant.
Oct. 30, 2015
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Not my story but think some of you will appreciate it.

English friend of mine is playing bridge in Europe. Some sort of warm up event the day before a prestigious tournament.

Table change is called and my friend's new screenmate is Massimo Lanzarotti, who bids 3N. His young partner tables dummy after a 3 lead.

Lanzarotti proceeds to grill my friend on his partnership's carding agreement. My friend remains silent. The questions continue.

'Sorry, I prefer not to talk to cheats, please just play'

This continues for a while before Lanzarotti says

'Eh? Excuse me. No speaka Inglese very well. No understanda you. Eesa fourtha best ya?'

To which my friend replies

'Senti coglione, non parlo di trucchi. Penso che tu sia disgustoso e non capisco perché si è permesso di giocare in questo torneo. Ora per favore, ‘zitto e giocare a bridge.’

Except my friend, unless google translate, is fluent in Italian.

The blood drained from Lanzarotti's face the moment he realised he was talking with a fluent Italian speaker and his no speaka Inglese bollocks wouldn't wash.

BTW my friend ended up refusing to play and got an average -. All worth it for the look on Lanzarotti's face, I'm sure.

Oct. 22, 2015
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Academically I'd like to get Jack or Wbridge to run a bunch of hands and see how much of an edge these various schemes earn.
Oct. 17, 2015
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Oh and how the **** is that four finger flash a fluke? Very very non natural movement.
Oct. 16, 2015
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May I have the link?
Oct. 16, 2015
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If Poland were allowed to play, they should have played with BZ.

- If BZ are guilty it doesn't matter what the WBF do, since Poland end up getting disqualified.

- If BZ are banned and later cleared, Poland will have a legitimate gripe the 85% of the time they don't win. I am not a lawyer but maybe even a legal case. Certainly I think we'd all be pissed in their shoes.

- If BZ are banned and later cleared, the 15% of the time Poland will the Bermuda Bowl the rest of the contenders will be pissed. ‘This worked in Poland’s favour, they could sub in a better pair!'.

i.e, 100% of the time the time BZ are innocent, the WBF's policy will guarantee someone ends up pissed!

The WBF should have let Poland play, held a hearing as a matter of absolute importance in the first few days of the bowl, and depending on the evidence disqualified Poland or give them a clean bill of health. It sounds like the evidence against BZ is pretty strong and if the WBF had their ass in gear we would have seen Poland kicked out after a couple of days of the round robin with the only downside that the teams that had already played Poland would get a little less rest. Much better than the current scenario. And MUCH better in the ‘BZ are innocent’ scenario, which the WBF must have thought was at least possible, right? Or did they think BZ are 100% guilty and STILL allow Poland to play? Surely not?

Oct. 16, 2015
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I wonder if someone better at bridge than me would see if Zmud is requesting count ‘when it makes sense to’. For example, the first hand listed where Zmud didn't request count is board 31 here: http://www.bridgebase.com/tools/handviewer.html?bbo=y&linurl=http://www.bridgebase.com/tools/vugraph_linfetch.php?id=34174

Seems like he's about to get count from his partner so no need for a finger signal.

I'm not sure who to credit but this is amazing work. If you deserve credit, chapeau.
Oct. 16, 2015
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This appears to be checkmate.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BBzUNnzfU0M&t=101m48s

Little joke by Zmudzinski after putting in the request. Balicki joins in the banter. Waits a few seconds then flashes the signal. Amazing.
Oct. 16, 2015
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'Kit. Say statistics show that Fisher & Schwartz hit their partner with an honour 86 times out of a 100 leads, while the same hit ratio for Helgemo-Helness, Meckstroth-Rodwell and Levin-Weinstein was 52, 53 and 54. Would you (or a jury) really need to know how they did it?'

I'd James Randi them and issue a challenge for them to find an honour 70 times out of 100 under controlled conditions (F/S in different rooms). If they're really 86/100 they'll find the honour 70 or more times 99.9989655868668% of the time, so no doubt they'd be willing to bet lots of money on it.
Oct. 14, 2015
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