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All comments by Henry Bethe
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I would respond playing imps red; I would pass playing match points or non-vul at imps.
May 10, 2011
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Owen.
One of the problems of any signaling method is that some holdings do not lend themselves to the methods chosen. The only one I know that covers all bases is the “Crawford” method. Which I do not suggest you adopt.

Johnny Crawford, so legend has it, was playing with a lady who payed religious attention to signals but brought little thought to her devotion. She led the K from suit in which Crawford held 1098 – and desperately needed a shift. Crawford's answer? He dropped his cards on the floor and as he bent down to pick them up he said, “Don't wait for me, I am playing a small one!”

May 9, 2011
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When you think of the scores in “real” terms, that is the difference you would have if you were playing a team match, divide the scores by 17. Thus 200 Cavendish imps are about 12 “real” imps.
May 7, 2011
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Paul, At the moment, no there are no non-follow-the-pair movements in use. Indeed, all movement development has been to allow simplicity in board and pair movement. None has been devoted to avoiding complications from Pair A following Pair B, or receiving boards from Pair B.
I am reminded of a story of my former wife, Kitty, who early in her career had the (well-earned) reputation of being slow and was playing with someone who was even slower. She put her partner in 6D and left to get coffee and other necessities. When she came back her partner was contemplating trick two and the pair at the next table was calling the director. “What seems to be the problem?” “We don't have our boards yet.” “There are still 14 minutes on the clock.” “But its the boards for the last round!”
May 6, 2011
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In analyzing the auction results in terms of ownership it is important to realize that almost every pair will be syndicated. First of all, each pair must buy at least 20% of themselves from the successful bidder, and may demand to buy as much as 50%. Second, typically large bidders will be fronts for a group – at least they were in previous years. Also, after the auction there is an active secondary market. Zimmerman's eventual investment is likely to be less than $100,000 and may well be as little as $50,000.

I believe that one of the reasons for declining entry is the high price of admission. When you enter the event not only do you have to pay the entry fee but you have to commit to buying yourself at the minimum bid if no one else bids for you. I think that there would be more entries and a more active auction if the pairs were required to bid say $5,000 for themselves if no one bid, and the minimum bid by someone else was $7500 or $10,000. I would suggest $7500, with a live auction if the silent bids reached $10,000.
May 6, 2011
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I will think about this some more, but I believe there are two separate issues. Simultaneous play of boards and live scoring.

It is perfectly possible with computer scoring to update multiple-entry events such as IMP pairs or match point pairs after each round, whether the pairs are playing the same boards or not. The first attempt at this (I believe) was at an LA nationals in maybe 1964 where Wide World of Sports attempted a telecast of the LM Pairs and wanted the information of who was doing well in order to select the pairs to televise. In those days it was incredibly expensive both in money and people to implement, so this was a one-time event.

In 1985, I think, Blue Ribbon standings were posted each round during the finals from round 3 (approximately) to round 10 or 11 (of 13). I do not remember whether pairs were playing the same boards at the same time. I think they were not, so each round meant one more comparison on the boards you had played before and comparisons on the boards you had just played. I think what was posted was your percentage for the current session, not your match points, and how you would do overall if you maintained that percentage for the rest of the session. It did add to spectator excitement. How it affected the players I do not know, since I did not qualify.

May 5, 2011
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I am sorry, Bob. I did not realize that this was only third seat openers. While the opening 2S in the auction given is third seat, nothing in your original post suggested that it was third seat openings you were discussing.
Yes I agree that people loosen their Weak 2 specifications in third seat, but I know of very few who would open, say, xx/109xxx/Jxxx/xx. Even white against red.
May 4, 2011
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Well, Bob, in a sense you are right. This came up for the first time about 40 years ago when a group of young upstate NY players started playing something they called “EHAA”, which stood for “Every Hand an Adventure”. The ACBL BOD wanted to bar it, but Edgar Kaplan, may he rest in peace, said it could not be barred because it was not a convention. What could be barred were conventional responses and rebids, since those are subject to regulation.
However, if you do choose to play it, it must not be done selectively. All hands that contain a 5+ card suit and less than opening values must be opened with a two-bid. Or you have to specify your criteria. Which cannot be “table feel.” You may not have secret agreements – that is clear from the Laws, not the regulations. So what is illegal about what you say above is your deceptive description.
As to this being standard expert practice, I do not believe this is so. Perhaps I am out of touch with the developments of the last four or five years, but from what I watch on BBO while the requirements have been relaxed there still are some.
BTW, if you really open 2H on xx/xxxx/xxxx/xxx your partner had better raise to 4H on something like Axx Qxxx Kx AQxx.
May 4, 2011
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This is one of those plentiful situations where double should show “cards” and not unilateral penalties. It says, in essence, 4S was not bid to make, it was bid (I think) as a sacrifice. Since partner might (and I think should) bid 3H on, say, /void, KJxxxx, AQxx, xxx/ it must be right to take the probable plus against 4S, but allow partner to bid again with a better offensive hand.
May 3, 2011
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Actually, the Open Team pairs trials were held to select International teams for 1961 through 1968 or 69.
Whether IMP pairs using cross-imps or matchpoint pairs is a better format is a very close question. This team will be playing a match point pairs event and a “matchpoint” e.g. board-a-match team event as well as an imp-scored Swiss team. Given that two-thirds of the events in which they will be playing are scored at match points, using a matchpoint-scored trials makes a lot of sense.
Beyond that, it is really unclear whether matchpoints, where each board has the same value, or imps, where four or five boards out of 24 contain 50% of the value of the session, is a better evaluator of relative skill.
By the way, in the 50's the team was generally chosen by a playoff between the Vanderbilt and Spingold winners, or in a couple of years the Spingold winner was designated as the team. In 1960 the US was allowed to send 4 teams, which were V1, V2, S1, and S2.
May 2, 2011
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Standard Passed hand responding structure to 1H or 1S including (Reverse) Drury:
After P-1M-
(1S = 4+ spades, fewer than 3 hearts), nf
1NT = 6-11, at most 2 cards in opened major
2C = most 9+ point hands with 3+ card support for the opened major
2D, (2H/1S) = natural, 10+ points, no support for major, non-forcing
2M = 5-8, 3 or 4 card support
2N = clubs, 10-12 points
Jump Shifts are fit showing with at least 4 card support and a hand worth an opening bid in support

After 1M-2C
2D shows at least interest in game opposite a limit raise
2M shows no interest in game
Specifically 1S-2C-2H shows a 5-4 hand without game interest

What changes with Yrurd?
1M-2C becomes 10+, clubs, no major suit support, nf
1M-2D = 9+, at least 3 card support for the major
1M-2N is freed up for whatever meaning you wish to assign
All other responses are unchanged
After 1S-2D
2H = game interest
2S = no game interest
Lost: 1S-2C-2H showing a weak 5-4 in the majors
After 1H-2D
2H = no game interest
2S = game interest
Lost: 1H-2C-2D-2H showing minimum Drury response

I do not know whether gaining 2C as a natural response is a large enough gain to offset the few losses. I do know that most opponents are more likely to have club suits that can double a 2C drury response for lead direction or to suggest competition than to have the equivalent diamonds because with diamonds they might have opened a weak 2D.
May 2, 2011
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Paul,
I guess I do not understand your point.

What difference does it make whether the 9-12 raise starts with 2C or 2D? Well, I suppose using 2C we can always have the auction
P-1M-2C-2D (I am interested opposite a limit raise) - 2M (I do not quite have a limit raise, only a good raise to 2M).
Using 2D as the constructive- to - limit raise this auction would go, say
P-1M-2D-2M2 (I am interested opposite a limit raise but not opposite a constructive single raise). Now if M is spades (P-1S-2D-2H-) we can still stop in 2S; if it is hearts (P-1H-2D-2S-) we will get to 3H.
We still can stop in 2M when opener is uninterested opposite either.

So I do not understand “this is feasible only with the space saving 2C Drury.”

What is really lost with Yrurd is P-1S-2C-2H showing a minimum 5-4 in the majors. I don't see other downsides.

What is gained is P-1M-2C natural, which should be much more common than P-1M-2D natural.

May 1, 2011
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As Richard says, if the defense starts three rounds of clubs declarer has a fairly straightforward criss-cross trump squeeze. He wins the return, draws trump (W pitches a ), and cashes the J. West must either come down to the singleton K or pitch a , and declarer responds accordingly.
So what about a trump lead? Declarer wins, leads a club to the Q and A, wins the second trump in dummy and leads the 8. If East wins and gives a ruff the hand transposes to the criss cross squeeze. If he ducks, also duck, draw trump and concede a club. No good.
So a heart lead. declarer wins and leads a club. East must win and lead the J, covered around and ruffed in dummy. on a second club, declarer plays the Q, West wins and
(a) if he taps dummy declarer can draw trump and take 5 trumps, a heart, three diamonds and a club,
(b) if he shifts to a trump declarer can win in dummy, cross to a , ruff another (clearing the A on one of those) and draw trump. Same ten tricks.
I think it is cold

April 30, 2011
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You are right about the holdings, although you do not mention what they lead from three small. But they are not equally likely. Of the relevant holdings, there are three each of Kx3 and K10x3, three Kxx3, three 10xx3, one 8653 and one 3. Each of the Kx3 holdings is slightly more likely than each of the 4-2 shapes, and significantly more likely than the singleton 3.
Running to the 9 wins against 6 holdings: K10x3 and 10xx3. It loses to 8: Kx3, Kxx3, 8653 and 3. If they would lead low from xx3, that is another three holdings where running to the 9 loses. But even without that, the J is a significantly better play.

this hand does raise an interesting issue: should N just raise to 4 or prepare for the defense against 4 by bidding along the way? After all, not all east's would reject the transfer!
April 28, 2011
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Seems to me, Peg, that you Minnesotans are afflicted by excessive optimism, probably brought on by the lack of sunlight in the winter and too much watering in the spring. Mind you, we upstate New Yorkers have the same problem.
You would think that on average one would be ahead on opponents' illegal bids over time – out of turn, insufficient and so on – but my experience is like yours here. Somehow, like a cat, they always land on their feet (and my partners never ever do).
By the way, I thought all 8-seeds got to see the hand records before the session. Isn't that one of the perks? (For the reference, see Machlin's memoir. In Women's Pair events, (this is the old days) Table 1 was for those who Jerry knew could play, Table 7 for those who thought they could play, and Table 8 – which was directly under the scoring table – for those Jerry hoped to play with after the event.) Surely Fred Friendly gave you an 8-seed from the very beginning! I do hope that Fred was still around when you started to play.
April 28, 2011
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This hand has the first component of a two level overcall: a decent six card suit. It has the second also: reasonable offensive prospects. At this point in the auction there is value to “getting in there” if only because it prevents some actions by LHO. And you know so little about the hand that taking solo fliers, which 3 would be, is not a good approach to partnership bridge.
April 26, 2011
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My point was rather that the auction 1-1M-2R-3C is more usefully played as a forcing club preference than as a weak get-out.
April 23, 2011
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