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All comments by Jeff Sapire
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Same here.
Oct. 21
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What is the obvious shift, Phil?
Oct. 21
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Agreed Gregory.
I'm not sure in which of his books it was, but I recall Terence Reese saying something about signalling; It's not what I want to tell partner, but what does partner want to know?

Of course there are necessary agreements in partnerships about these things, but as you say, they can change.

I think the hand I posted is complex. Firstly, I think that it is extremely likely that south has 4. Secondly, it is most unlikely that north bid 3 with only 4, in which case, as you say, count ‘may’ be out. (The worrying thing is that even using the word ‘may’ is a concern)

I think a middle heart should be neutral. But what is partner to do with Kxx? There's no problem here with J10xxx, but say south had J98x and declarer A10xx? Then a switch might give the contract.

The north hand was
92
Q9842
Q8
K985
requiring an immediate club shift to set the contract.

So what should north do?
Richard Pavlicek's comment seems right to me. ‘Odds surely favor the J shift, which is necessary in many layouts, losing only in the rare event declarer has A98 and not Q.’
Oct. 21
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Randy, in response to your post above - especially the last 2 paragraphs: ‘I just think if u cared about bridge and wanted to help the game there is a lot better things you could be doing. Sad really when all someone has is to find fault with others.’

In Avon's article The Talk That Never Was: The Blue Team Rule, someone posted something in a similar vein, ending with ‘what is the use of this crusade after 30-40 years?“

Here’s what I responded to him then, and which I now respond to you.

”Here in South Africa, we are still dealing with the aftermath of the days of Apartheid. Every so often, something emerges that shocks us, about what went on (and it's not as if many of us didn't know a lot about things in the first place).
It's about discovering the truth, Ronald - not about making America great again, or making anyone great again.
The Blue Team were my heroes - they were the ‘greatest’. But now we all need to know; did they win because they were the best, or were they cheats?"
Oct. 9
Jeff Sapire edited this comment Oct. 11
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Perfectly summed up, Thomas. My exact same thoughts. A pity - because a lot of time and effort must have been put into writing it.
Sept. 28
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It's a lovely song by Joni Mitchell, but I wonder what the writer knows about bridge to make such a statement about Avon Wilsmore.
Sept. 24
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Michael Beyrouti,

Personally, I am most appreciative of the effort and research that David Yates put in for his article (it has given me plenty to think about, but at the same time I confess I found it quite difficult to read, and with too many errors).

But do you really think this 17 page, hastily put together article, is a rebuttal of Avon Wilsmore's book? Hard to believe!
Sept. 23
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Chris, interestingly enough, I wrote this article in 2014.
https://bridgewinners.com/article/view/the-jimmy-saviles-of-bridge/
Sept. 21
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If I think back, the one thing that niggled (just a little, mind you), but which I never really gave serious thought to, was how they had this peculiar style of off-shape doubles which worked so well. Now, I understand it clearly.
Sept. 21
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Ronald, I'm not going to communicate with you by private mail. You ask ‘what is the use of this crusade after 30-40 years?’

Here in South Africa, we are still dealing with the aftermath of the days of Apartheid. Every so often, something emerges that shocks us, about what went on (and it's not as if many of us didn't know a lot about things in the first place).

It's about discovering the truth, Ronald - not about making America great again, or making anyone great again.

The Blue Team were my heroes - they were the ‘greatest’. But now we all need to know; did they win because they were the best, or were they cheats?
Sept. 21
Jeff Sapire edited this comment Sept. 22
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Hi David (Jackson).
Just a change need to the above ‘will offer is 20/1.’ Should be 20/1 ON, or 1/20.

If a bookmaker was actually quoting the Blue Team at 1/20, then it doesn't matter whether or not any bets were struck. The mere pricing up of any player (or team) in a ‘2 horse race’ at such short odds makes it clear the bookie wasn't keen to take any action. I don't think anyone in their right mind would take 1/20 in a bridge match between Italy and the USA, notwithstanding the previous successes of the former.

Shireen Mohandes (a few posts above) is quite right about there being no ‘balancing of the book.’ By rights, if the one side is1/20, as Rob Sheehan stated, the other side should be around 6/1 (or 7/1) to be betting to a reasonable % profit. But there is no mention anywhere of what price USA was.
Sept. 21
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My error, of course it was Betfair (a firm I used for many years). Apologies, and glad you pointed it out.
Sept. 20
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Shawn, your point about terminology in the USA is noted with thanks.
In South Africa, we were heavily influenced by British bookmaking odds, methods and terminology. Our ‘language’ is also in use in Australia and Hong Kong (I am not sure where else).
I agree about the annoying lack of standardised odds. If a particular proposition is on offer at two and a half to one it can be expressed in 3 ways: Fractional 5/2; Decimal 3.5; American +250.

If the Blue Team were indeed quoted at one to twenty (I very much doubt they would have been one to twenty one) it would be;
Fractional 1/20; Decimal .05; American -2000

But in non-American terminology, even if a punter backed a proposition at ‘odds on’, he would always be the ‘backer’, and the bookie would always be the ‘layer.’
Sept. 20
Jeff Sapire edited this comment Sept. 20
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How about this? You would have to have thought pretty quickly about your line as soon as dummy came down. Say you decide not to run clubs (I'm not saying it's right or wrong). If you can see quickly that playing a heart towards the jack is better than playing towards the 10; then win the spade in hand, and immediately shoot a heart towards dummy.
If west thinks a bit and plays low, and the jack loses to an honour, play to squeeze west.
If west thinks a bit and plays an honour, plays east for the other heart honour.
If west plays low smoothly, you have to pick the position. (And west will have to have nerves of steel to play low with Kx or Qx).
Sept. 20
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Robert Sheehan is quite correct when he differentiates between punters ‘betting, or making bets’ (or backing a player or horse etc) and bookmakers ‘laying’ bets.

I was in the betting business (bookmaking) for over 35 years, and, the 14th century notwithstanding, the parlance is clear.
If I fancy Federer to beat Nadal, I call my bookie and ‘back’ Federer to win (I am betting on Federer), and it doesn't matter whether his price is odds against or odds on. When I have struck the bet, the bookmaker has ‘layed’ me a bet. If the bookmaker feels the action is too heavy, and wants to reduce his liability, he can ‘lay off’ some of the action with another bookmaker.

The betting firm, Betfair, which is now based in Australia, changed the world of gambling completely, by introducing the concept whereby the man in the street (someone without a bookmaking licence) could either back any item or lay it.
Sept. 20
Jeff Sapire edited this comment Sept. 20
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Kerry, a jump to 5 would replace 5NT.
If spades were bid earlier; 1-1; 2NT-5 would be the replacement bid.

Using 5NT as a stronger 4NT bid is massive.
Partner opens 1NT-?
a) K73 AJ5 KQ32 KJ3 (17pts)
b) K7 A109 KQ1084 KJ8 (16pts)

b) rates to be about 1 to 2 tricks stronger than a).
Sept. 19
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In all 4 corners of the globe.
Sept. 19
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2-2; 3NT-5NT*; 6NT-P

3NT is 25-28

*5NT is a ‘better’ quantitative 4NT bid.
Sept. 19
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With game-going values (and the ability to reverse as responder), it's longer suit first; so 2 followed by 2 (or 3 over 2NT).
Sept. 11
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Thanks. I think the ‘sound/courtesy’ option is by far the best treatment.
Sept. 6
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