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All comments by John Brady
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Good point Gary. In some ways, a chess game at one table presents fewer problems to broadcast than a bridge game at one table.

On the other hand, they're tracking 624 chess games simultaneously in the Olympiad with real time reporting of the moves … without transmission problems. They're doing something right.

In the recent World Rapid Chess Championship, the technology kept up with all the moves at a much faster pace than classical chess - about 25 minutes a side for the whole game.

In the recent World Blitz Chess Championship, the games had a time limit of 5 minutes for each player. The technology for reporting the moves kept up pretty well. Amazingly, so did the expert commentary.

The pace of card play in a big knockout final isn't as fast as blitz chess, and often slower than rapid chess.
Aug. 4, 2014
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That has been done with many Chess Tournaments. There usually is one official broadcast partner reporting the games in real time move by move with live commentary and live video. For World Championship events, there are different commentators doing commentary in multiple languages. However, other internet sites also report the games simultaneously, have multiple computer programs analyzing the game, and for important tournaments often have different experts doing their own commentary.

This month the Chess Olympiad is going on. There are 154 teams from all over the world. That's 624 games going on simultaneously. There is live video of some of the games on one site, but you can follow all 624 games move by move for free in real time on several sites.

http://new.livestream.com/chess24/olympiad
https://chess24.com/en/olympiad2014/live
http://www.chessdom.com/tromso-chess-olympiad-men-live/
http://www.chessdom.com/tromso-chess-olympiad-women-live/
http://www.chess.com/tv

Aug. 4, 2014
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If you just bid 2S, you show a fit with 2S, but you don't commit the partnership to Spades as a strain.

If you have the hand that wants to commit to Spades as the strain, you jump to 3S or 4S depending on whether you have a control in the other suits. Now bids at the 4-level are unambiguously slam tries.

Using 2S with both types of hands is what I think of as the Useless Space Principle. You save space but because 2S is ambiguous, it's not useful. Neither partner knows whether partner's bids on the next round will be inteneded to show shape, concentration of values in the bid suit, no values in the bid suit and a probe for NT, secondary fit in one of the partnership's suits, stoppers, extra strength, cue bidding for slam, or search for the best strain.

As David Yates says: The real problem isn't artificiality. "he real problem is that people cannot agree on natural meanings."

In this thread, and the grand slam hand from the last round of the Spingold, we see disagreement over whether 2S on the second round (1) promises 3 trumps or can be made on Hx (or HH), (2) shows 3 trumps, sets Spades, and the next bid is shape showing, (3) show 3 trumps, sets trumps and allows cue bidding to start early, (4) shows 3 trumps, and the next bid is a concentration of values, (5) shows either 3 trumps or Hx, but does not set Spades as the strain, and (6) if you can't bid 2S with Hx in partner's Major, whether you have to rebid 3m on 5332 or must bid something else.

The worst 2\1 auctions I see, with experts as much as anyone else, are when Responder supports Opener's suit on the second round with 2M, but the partnership hasn't agreed on any of these issues.
July 29, 2014
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Agree with Yuan on the first three hands.

3D on the fourth hand might be awkward if partner has no Heart card. So I'll also go with 2NT. However, if 3NT shows 15-17 in the partnership's methods, that's an alternative.

I don't know that I'm comfortable with 1S-2D; 2NT-3D; 4D and putting the Kx down in dummy. Perhaps 1S-2D; 2NT- and then 4NT over 3D or 3NT would be a better alternative.
July 29, 2014
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Georgiana's story reminds me of “R*A*T*S*” - Betty Kaplan's article in the April 74 BW about how to survive playing bridge with your husband. Edgar was only allowed to use four code words criticizing her bids or play. Reasonable-a misdemeanor. Attractive-a felony. Thoughtful-a heinous crime. Scintillating-a mistake so traumatic he was allowed a word he could hiss at her.

Four defensive hands follow showing how the code worked. On the first three, she made an escalating series of errors: “A REASONABLE return.” “A very ATTRACTIVE switch, dear.” “A THOUGHTFUL Jack of Hearts, my sweet.” On the fourth, Edgar led the Queen of Hearts against 3NT. She won the Ace. There was a 6 card running suit in dummy, an outside Ace, and the 10x of Spades. She shifted to the 9 of Spades from A93 to unblock. Edgar won the Jack from KJ84, and … shifted back to a Heart. The declarer made 10 tricks.

“There was electricity in the air; the storm was about to burst. ‘The 9 of spades,’ Edgar began. ‘You had to lead …’ And then he stopped short, for he realized that indeed I had to lead it - it was the only card in my hand that could defeat the contract. Into the sudden silence, I dropped the last word -

SSSSCINTILLATING.”
July 29, 2014
John Brady edited this comment July 29, 2014
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I agree with Michael and Lynn. If we only have an 8-card fit, it's more important to reserve 3NT for an offer to play, and treat bids below 3NT as looking for the best strain, including 3NT.
July 29, 2014
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I don't understand why 2S should commit the partnership to Spades. Sometimes it's right to play NT even if there is an 8-card Major suit fit. One of the advantages of 2\1 GF is that, having established a low-level game force, the partnership can explore strain.

If Responder wants to commit the partnership to Spades, bid 3S on the second round! Send an unambiguous message to partner. What more do you want?

July 29, 2014
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My first impression was that the old website was better. It looked great on a computer screen and, in my opinion, was easier and quicker to use than the new page. So why did the ACBL bother?

Then someone suggested looking at it on a cell phone. Wow! Huge difference. The old website was tough to use on a cell phone screen. The new website is a big improvement.
July 29, 2014
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I agree with Aviv that if the GCC allows a convention it will become familiar. It doesn't take long for people to get used to things they're exposed to.

Once upon a time, negative doubles were called “sputnik doubles.” Many, if not most, of the members didn't play them. Today we play, and enjoy, methods like that that were so strange then. We wouldn't play any of them today if the GCC had banned them as unfamiliar.

People tend to pick up methods of the stronger players in their area. That would happen with the Kaplan Inversion, transfer responses to 1C, Woolsey, and even Multi but only if people get a chance to play against them.

The GCC's “Protect the members from the unfamiliar” reasoning is circular, a self-fulfilling prophecy: Don't let people play certain conventions because they're unfamiliar, but those conventions are only unfamiliar because we don't let people play them … except at rare restricted events.
July 28, 2014
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I don't think Ron's argument about experience in other countries is a strawman. I think it proves the GCC is needlessly overprotective.

Conventions like Kaplan Inversion, transfer responses to 1C, Woolsey and Multi are common in other countries. Some are so common that they're part of the national bidding system. If senior citizens throughout the world can handle them, why not us?
July 28, 2014
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If it were up to a vote of the membership at my club, I'm not sure we would be allowed to play weak notrumps. I don't think a vote of the membership on conventions is a sensible way to go.
July 28, 2014
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John Portwood said: “A Multi cannot be used on its own without consideration of what to do with 2? and 2? openings - and it is inevitable that those who see merit in the Multi will almost certainly change these to 2-suited pre-emptive hands (and if not allowed by ACBL at the moment then they will start campaigning to be allowed to do so).”

That brings up another illogical thing about the GCC. The GCC allows an opening 2H or 2S bid to show a weak 2 bid in the suit with a 4-card minor, but not an opening 2H or 2S bid to show a weak 2-bid with a 5-card minor. What kind of sense does that make?
July 28, 2014
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Absolutely Aviv.

And I can't see how it makes any sense for the GCC to allow transfer responses to a strong club, but prohibit them to a non-forcing club? And why, in response to a non-forcing club, does the GCC allow a 1D artificial response showing nothing, or a 1D response denying a five-card Major, but the GCC doesn't allow a 1D response showing Hearts and a 1H response showing Spades? How does that make any sense at all?
July 28, 2014
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The lack of logic in the GCC and Mid-Chart is appalling: In defending 1NT, using double or 2C to show an undisclosed suit is OK, but using 2D is such a problem it has to be banned? Transfer responses to a strong Club are OK, but transfer responses to a short but not forcing Club aren't? Bidding over a forcing NT is OK, but bidding over a Kaplan Inversion too difficult?
July 28, 2014
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I'm in awe of the job that the commentators and the Vugraph Operators do to put matches online, and I'm grateful to Jan, BBO and the ACBL for putting it all together and for putting up with all the complaints you're getting. Your work is appreciated. Many thanks.
July 28, 2014
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Things always seem easy to people who've never tried to do it themselves.

July 28, 2014
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The auction was easy enough to handle in a 2C system.

Perhaps it was the end of a lot of sessions of bridge.
April 9, 2014
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I don't see any problem with the 2C opening or with Kokish.

After the 2C opening, Opener described a hand with at least 9 or 10 tricks when playing a suit. After Kokish, Opener still got both suits in below the level of 3H. What's the problem?

The problem is that Opener went on bidding the same values that he'd opened 2C with in the first place. Why?

With a minimum 2C opening, isn't this just an automatic sign-off in game? Why do anything else? If Responder is looking at 2 tricks, he just counts: 9+2=11 and 10+2=12. With two potential tricks, the partnership is on the verge of slam, so Responder bids past game. Looking at 3 potential tricks, Responder knows that, barring complete duplication of values, the partnership has at least 12 tricks. He'll investigate a grand.

Certainly if Responder had an Ace, he'd cue bid it above game. Whatever Responder intended by 5H, Opener didn't have anything left to bid on.
April 9, 2014
John Brady edited this comment April 9, 2014
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I'm with David. The hand has a lot of offensive potential because of the void and support for play in 3 suits. But all of the HCP are outside the Heart suit, the only suit a Michaels bidder is certain to hold. Also, with no known fit, there's no guarantee of safety at the 3-level. Furthermore, if you bid Michaels this hand and partner winds up on lead, the last lead I want to encourage is a Heart lead, which is the lead you're most likely to get if you make a Michaels bid. So I'd treat those Hearts as a four-card suit and make a takeout double. If partner can't get the Heart suit into the bidding, I don't think I want to play Hearts. Reverse the Heart and Club suits, and I'd bid Michaels.

Second choice is to overcall 2C. It's my best suit and where 2\3 of my HCP are. Disadvantage is that it doesn't get either Hearts or Diamonds into the picture.

I don't like passing with so much shape, but I'd prefer that to Michaels.
April 8, 2014
John Brady edited this comment April 8, 2014
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To me K 2 AJ10xxxx Jxxx looks like a vulnerable weak jump shift in competition. That King of Spades isn't worth much on offense. This is a long broken suit in a weak hand, so 3D.

If the D suit was stronger so the hand was x 2 AKJ10xxx Jxxx, Responder has more reason to bid the hand constructively. Then I'd bid 2D planning on following up with 3D.
April 8, 2014
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