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All comments by Henry Bethe
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Do I believe that Lynn, Beth and Judi belong in the Bridge HOF? Yes, in the same sense that Martina, Chrissie, Steffie and others belong in the Tennis HOF. In Golf, there are two organizations, and two HOFs.

I do not understand why there are so few women in the very top echelon of bridge players. I never have. But it is a fact.
Feb. 28, 2015
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My father, in whom I have (or had) great faith claimed that he heard the story about Ramanujan when he was in Cambridge around 1930. Either his (or my) memory may be faulty.
Feb. 20, 2015
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The proof predates Asimov by quite a few years. It is attributed to an Indian mathematician from the early part of the 20th century. Unfortunately I have forgotten his name. As the story goes on, the person with him then asked “what is interesting about 1729?”
“Oh,” the great man replied, “that is a fascinating number because … ”
Feb. 20, 2015
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I believe it is generally correct to play second best when splitting. This makes it harder for declarer to falsecard. IMHO playing high is wrong because partner will have no idea whether the K is from K or KQ.
Feb. 17, 2015
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Indeed. But with the A, five spades to an honor, the stiff A seems a bit much for a passed hand, no?
Feb. 12, 2015
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Actually, many people use/used well constructed relay methods in non-competitive auctions: several Dutch pairs, some Norwegians (see “Viking Club”), some Poles, and many Aussie and Kiwi pairs either currently or in the past. Relay methods turn out to be peculiarly vulnerable to delayed interference. I don't know of any books on the underlying theory. You might write to Jeff Rubens (Jeff@Bridgeworld.com). He might know.

Relays fell out of use in NA because of an irrational prejudice on the part of the late Bobby Goldman, who got them banned from most events. Ultimate was on display for eleven straight months in “Challenge the Champs” in the Bridge World. Mike Becker and Ron Rubin played it in the 1983 Bermuda Bowl in Stockholm, I believe.
Feb. 12, 2015
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If you think someone has been squeezed you cash both red aces in the end position. If either opponent started with both kings, one of them must now be singleton. This play has a 48% chance of succeeding. The Kings will be split 52% of the time, together 48%. Cashing one ace and finessing in the other suit is better.
Feb. 12, 2015
Henry Bethe edited this comment Feb. 12, 2015
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Fibonacci series groupings have been known for relay bidding methods at least since the mid-seventies, and formed the basis both for “Ultimate Club” as devised by the late Dave Cliff and Matt Granovetter and Symmetric Relay which was born in New Zealand.
Feb. 12, 2015
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I have posted your problem as a bidding problem
Feb. 11, 2015
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Why do you want a “poll question”? People will answer with their preferred call. If you ask for follow-up actions, some will respond. In the context of this question, it would be useful to know your style on weak twos. Particularly, when would partner not open 2 but still bid 2 in response to 1.
Feb. 11, 2015
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Mr. Feagin: You have given us a fourteen card hand (6-3-5-0 shape) and no prior auction.

Creating a bidding problem is not particularly difficult:
“Create”
“Bidding Problem”
A prompt to create the hand and the prior auction (as well as the conditions, e.g. imps or matchpoints, vulnerability) will appear as well as space to make any comments about system or the meaning of further bids.
One advantage of using the bidding problem utility is that it won't let you make 14 card hands.
Feb. 11, 2015
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With hand one I would expect partner to open 2. With the third hand 2 is certainly possible, but I would avoid it because the hand is balanced and has pretty good spade support. I would respond 1NT. The second hand is certainly plausible.
Feb. 11, 2015
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B Jay was called that by almost everybody. This distinguished him from his brother Skip. As far as I know, he accepted being called B Jay by most people, even those he did not know at all. Mr. Becker was reserved for a few, and (AFAIK) Ben to even fewer.
Feb. 9, 2015
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Thanks. I am always pleased to get information humanizing players I did not know or did not know well.
Feb. 9, 2015
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I'd like to offer a correction to the list of accomplishments: Garey won his tenth NABC and fourth NABC Swiss in Providence, and he won four world Senior championships.
Feb. 9, 2015
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with respect to Gary's comment, someone once kibitzed BJ during a session. After the session the man said, “Mr. Becker, you played wonderfully.” As the story goes, BJ thought about that and replied, "Yes I think I did. I can only count fifteen mistakes . But,“ the story continues, ”you don't know me well enough to call me Mr. Becker!"
Feb. 7, 2015
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thanks guys. I wanted to put an exclamation point on the 3 bid because it is so strange by modern standards.
Feb. 7, 2015
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Perhaps the simplest blanket rule is that 5AXX+2 is never better than 7A but 5AXX+1 always better (even if marginally) than 6A no matter what the vulnerability.
Feb. 5, 2015
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I'd like to go a bit further. As I understand continuations after a strong JS, opener bids 2N unless he has a concentration which is defined as two of the top three in a suit, or can raise the JS suit directly or with a splinter. The basic idea is to let responder define his JS. Over 2N – again my understanding – opener can (1) rebid his suit, making it trump; (2) raise to 3N showing 18-19; or (3) do anything else to support opener's suit.

Having listened to Steve Robinson, I can believe that the Washington area definition of 1-2-3-4 would be KCB in hearts (although I don't believe that would be the default elsewhere). However, I do not buy the notion that 3 shows short spades and long hearts in the absence of the UI: I think it shows a heart concentration and could still be a five card suit. Thus I believe that any action other than 3 (setting spades) or 4N (which is clearly KCB with spades trump - remember you ALREADY KNOW ABOUT THE AK) would be improper.
Feb. 2, 2015
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Ethel Keohane?
Feb. 1, 2015
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