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All comments by John D'Errico
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And sadly, reading partner is far easier often than reading your opponents. You know a long time partner's mannerisms, the meaning of any hesitation. Yes, the best, most ethical bridge players will hopefully do their best to ignore any information so gained. But it can be dreadfully difficult to not let that information percolate in.

So +101 likes to Craig's comment from me.
Sept. 14
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David - The logic is simple, and there must be a Mollo character who would agree with me 110%.

I have only 12 high card points, so I cannot bid game. I have a short suit. Therefore I'll make a short suit game try.

In fact, North is to be commended for even making a game try at all with only a 12 count. ;-)
Aug. 25
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So anything less than a limit raise is a non-constructive direct raise? So an 8 point hand with 3 cards is what? What are the lower limits on a 3 card limit raise in your approach?
Aug. 23
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As soon as you specify anything about the south hand (that of the human player) you make it not truly bridge, though in any case something close. That is true about 13+, or even just a spare ace. Making it slightly closer by some measure? So what? Once you make it not bridge, it is still not bridge, still not the same thing. But, is it really not so?

The difference here is the deal, not that the rules of bridge were fundamentally changed. It is no different from playing a goulash deal. Still bridge, just the the deal algorithm has been modified.

There is still information available to the human player that a good bridge player can take advantage of, while the bots don't get that information. So I would argue that what needs to be changed here is the bots get that piece of information passed to them. At that point it returns to a game of complete information, and THAT is what makes it bridge.
Aug. 20
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If the KJ of spades are any value at all in 5♡, then they will take a trick on defense too. If they are not useful, then I have a balanced 8 count. A mantra that I learned some years ago is “Flat hands defend”.
Aug. 13
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I'm slightly confused.

Lets say you continue clubs, hoping for the ruff, not gained. Declarer gets to pitch 3 spades away then, but only 3 cards. He ruffs the spade 10 in hand, so you know not to bother saving any of those worthless AKQ of spades.

In fact, everybody at the table then knows the only suit that matters is diamonds. Will declarer find the double dummy play in diamonds to make 12 tricks? Probably not. Declarer will make 11 tricks.

But suppose you cash the spade, then continue with a spade, or a heart, or even a club? Declarer will make 11 tricks, because now he gets a diamond pitch on the clubs.

So unless declarer had great peripheral vision, he will make 11 tricks on any line of defense. In fact, I'd wonder if declarer was the one who had a wire if he found the double dummy play in diamonds.
Aug. 4
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As a morning contingent member, I do like my Bloody Mary in the am, sans alcohol, of course. I just call it tomato juice.
July 16
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I'd respectfully disagree (that there is something amiss.). There is no need for anything to be amiss. In fact, we should expect to see coincidences, at least occasionally. The human eye is very good at seeing patterns. Play enough bridge hands, and there will be pairs of hands that are indeed close. Think birthday paradox.

There are 52 choose 13 = 635013559600 = 6.3501e11 possible hands.

Pick one hand. How many hands are within 4 cards of that hand?

There are 13 cards in the chosen hand, I can choose any 4 of them. 13 choose 4 is 715. I can replace any of those 4 cards with any of the 39 remaining cards, so 82251*715 = 58809465 hands within 4 cards of the indicated hand. (Less, if you require the shape of the hand to stay identical.)

But how many pairs of hands are there? In a session of bridge (typically 27 boards in our games), there are 24*3 = 72 pairs of hands you would see within 4 boards. If you were willing to expand that to any pair of boards in the session, there are 351 such pairs of boards we might compare in a 27 board session.

635013559600/58809465/72 = 149.97

So I might expect to see a similar pair of hands that were within 4 cards of each other, in a set of 27 boards, that fall within any 4 board subsequence roughly once every 150 sessions of bridge.

There are a LOT of people out there, playing a LOT of sessions of bridge. This event is just not that amazing that you will see pairs of hands that are so similar.

It is not even a once in a lifetime event.
July 11
John D'Errico edited this comment July 11
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I don't think the event organizers can offer extra points to specific teams as an attractant.

However at least they might have offered free entries for any team that was willing to play up. The ACBL would probably have found a way to make that impossible too.

I was wondering why a handicapped KO was not an option, but it sounds like the rules also forbade that.
July 4
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Just a memory? 5-10 years from now, an increasing fraction of the league will be in memory care units. No memories will remain.
July 4
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When I wanted to teach my dog bridge, he tried to “ruff” everything. Worse, he kept getting into trouble, because there were just too many “paws”es. It was entirely too sad of a “tail” to tell.
July 3
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There is some logic to your comment, but I would rather get out low. Garbage Stayman has preemptive value of its own. So if we can get into 2 of a major, and they cannot find a way back into the bidding, then we win. If they do manage to balance into the auction with half the points in the deck to play at the 3 level, well, I will let them.

My goal in using garbage stayman there is to turn a possible down 2 or 3 in 1NT, into a 2 level contract that might actually make if we get lucky and find a fit. But if I need to risk putting us at the 3 level with roughly half the high card points, then I need to consider if I should better just pass 1NT.
June 27
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Seems clear to me. That is partner's fault, for not having the hand you needed for your bidding.
June 25
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It costs you too much.

- You lose incentive to use a garbage/creeping/crawling Stayman sequence, since opener might get you too high.

- It sometimes gives the defense a roadmap, by telling them too much about the shape of the usually hidden hand.
June 25
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Martin - It would seem that if you hold a 4334 shape, the proper call is not alert, but “Director!”
June 20
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John is a strange name at that. :)
June 6
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These are what I call the classic anxiety dreams. You know the one, where at the beginning of the dream, you are back in school on the first day of class, and the professor turns out to be a tough one. Then you jump to the end of the term, when you wake up, and suddenly realize that you never went to class, never did any homework, and the final exam just started and you don't even know where it is.

It turns out that many people have that dream in some form or another. I mentioned it to my 85 year old mother-in-law, and she said she had dreams like that too, but usually in a cooking context.

Yes, I've had them in various forms about bridge.
May 23
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Sorry, reading along, I see the comment, “A slightly slowish pass of 3♠”. Looking at the bidding, I see the bidding stop at 3♡. I see no 3♠ call in the bidding shown.

So, was the slowish pass actually over 2♠? Or was it a slowish pass over 3♡?

If you think the slowish pass was irrelevant to the play, then why mention it at all? But if it might be relevant, then we need to know when the slowish pass happened.
May 4
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It is legal to pass an unconditionally forcing bid.

If this is in the ACBL, you can file this with the recorder. If they are seen to be passing forcing bids, then action can be taken. But the only thing to do is to start a record.
May 3
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Would you convict someone who happened to be standing outside the bank too?

It makes sense that someone cannot benefit from those ill-gotten gains. But unless you can show that someone else who was NOT a member of that pair was complicit in the act, then they are just bystanders.

You cannot keep spreading out the blame for those who are cheating to the entire bridge community.

The fact is, NOT everyone in the world knew that a specific pair was cheating. But it seems that you want to assume that everyone did, and just ignored it. Perhaps there were some people who did know.

By your arguments, the others who SHOULD then be suspended was every top pro who apparently knew that pair X-Y were cheating, yet they did not report it. It would seem they are far more at fault for allowing the transgression to continue, than to suspend someone who just happens to be in the vicinity of the cheaters.
April 24
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