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All comments by John D'Errico
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I get screwed up sometimes, and rotate them by -90 degrees instead. ;)
7 hours ago
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Beware slow play at one table. If you play slowly enough to catch up to the delay, then you get a peek at a board. Then boards need to be tossed for a table that is playing too slowly.
May 31
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I'd have wanted to go the HCH route, except that partner bid 1♠. That makes me like my hand less than I would otherwise. I'll take the low road with 1♡-1♠-2♡, unless partner wants to bid again. If I did rebid 2♣ despite my misgivings then I'll pass the 2♠ rebid, but I don't have two choices in this poll.
May 22
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But how do you accomplish this and still prevent those who want to do so, from learning the hands in advance? From sending information to others playing the known same hands?
May 9
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Well, it might for you. I was apparently using blurry vision, counting the diamond suit as 6 cards in length in dummy. :) :)
May 3
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Remember that at the end of the event, there are probably dozens of unfinished hands to resolve, and people wanting to know what their score is.

So someone is asked to look at the partially played hand, and must then predict the final result at your table. One thing they should have available to them is the double dummy analysis from GIB. It will tell them there are 12 tricks available to declarer, NOT 11 as you claim to be the double dummy result. They also should be able to see the results in so far for that board at other tables.

I see at least two lines that lead to 12 tricks.

1. Cash the ♢AKQ, then exit with a spade to the 10 when the king did not pop up from South. This gets lucky. 12 tricks, because you now have an entry to dummy.

2. Cash the ♢AKQ, then exit with the club 10. If North wins, he is endplayed in 3 suits. If North ducks the trick completely, then East cashes the top clubs, and exits with a 4th round of clubs to North, who is now endplayed in the majors. If North manages to find the play of unblocking his ♣QJ under your AK, and his 4th club is not a winner (we don't see the spots, so it is not possible to know if North can unblock at all) then declarer can see North's obvious reluctance to win the trick and play a low spade to the 10.

Yes, declarer could play some putzy line of cashing top clubs, then totally misguess the spades, while forgetting to unblock the diamonds. I could see some people on BBO finding a way to artfully go down on the hand.

But forced to prognosticate what would happen on the hand, and not even knowing who was at fault for the very late result, someone decided to assign declarer 11 tricks, NOT the maximum 12 possible. This may have been as close to an average result as they could assign.

11 tricks seems to be a reasonable assigned quasi-average result to me. Not the best possible, not the worst. Again, someone made that decision in about 7-10 seconds, and then had to go along to the next slow board to adjudicate.
May 2
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“I think it requires a lot of courage to try and do this. I wish all of them luck and an enjoyable event. ”

Yes. Good luck and good skill to all involved.

My commendations to the TBF for finding a way to move forward. (As well to all the other groups who are moving to an online presence for bridge competitions.)
April 7
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Max- this is not a question of finding humor. We all need humor these days, and I will be a person at a bridge table who laughs often, though sometimes too loudly (sorry about that.) But when you joke about this, you make it easier for others to joke about it too. Stevo is in a greater position of “power” on this site, but that also puts just a little more authority behind his words. So is it ok to joke about some things? What harm does a joke cause?

Indirectly, this kind of joke make it just a little easier for someone else to decide this whole particular thing is all indeed a joke. That there is no need to wash their hands before coming in contact with something I will be forced to touch, not knowing that in so doing, they may be indirectly causing the death of someone else. It might be someone they love. It might be someone I love. It will force me and many others to be MORE careful about what we do, when we are already doing as much as we can. But that won't be enough.

Essentially, your joke makes it just a little more possible for me to be put in the position of knowing that perhaps something I did was the cause of a loved one's death. That I was not careful enough. Make a mistake on something in a bridge hand, and my response is “Sorry partner. I'll do better next time.” In fact, I might even make a joke about it, perhaps a joking dig at myself like “Partner, next time you should try to have a better hand for my bidding.” Sally will then keep up with the joke, and even apologize, saying that she will try to have a better hand for the next time I become temporarily insane.

But if I cause the death of another, there is no next time for them.

I'm sorry, but this is just not a question of political correctness. This is a question of people who will die, friends and loved ones who will die for no good reason, except that someone else did not take what they did more seriously. The is why this joke crosses over the line.
April 2
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Sue - while you think there is no harm to joke about things like this, perhaps you need to remember that every time you joke about something deadly, it makes it a little easier for others to disregard the risks they take, perhaps with my life or the life of my loved ones or others. They may then decide hey, its all a joke, I can go to the store even though I'm carrying the virus and need to stay away from others.

Some of us rightly feel strongly offended by your attitude, but we do, and we have good reasons for doing so.
April 1
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Steve, while you and others MAY think it is funny to make light, perhaps you need to consider that for every joke you make, it convinces someone else to make light of it, to be incautious of what they do, to take risks that end up costing someone else their life, or the lives of loved ones. And the fact that you make those jokes means it is just that much more acceptable do the same.

Read my response upthread, explaining my situation. Feel free to tell me I should not be offended, but the fact is, you will be wrong. There are some things about which it simply is not acceptable to joke. This joke simply crosses the line.
April 1
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Mike - 100% agreed. Read my response up-thread. I can only hope that all of us, all of our loved ones stay safe.
April 1
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For Finn, Tracy, etc., those who think we all just need to be able to take a joke, perhaps you need to put yourself in someone else's shoes, for just a moment. Mine, for example.

My mother-in-law is now 93 1/2. She is shut in, living on her own, where she is quite happy, mentally able to live there. But for this to happen, my wife and I provide for all of her needs. We bring her food. We pay her bills. Take her to the multiple doctors she needs to visit when needed, clean and maintain her house. Everything. We check on her well being generally several times a day, via several indirect ways. And this has been the case for over 5 years now since we have had to do this service.

While you may not be willing to perform those services if YOU were put in this position, we are doing exactly that. She has not caught anything, not yet. Nor have we. She, as well as my wife and I, have gotten all the vaccinations necessary to protect her.

But the fact is, her lung capacity is pretty limited. Just walking from one room to another leaves her totally washed out. If she did catch this virus, it will very possibly kill her. But being completely homebound also means, IF she does catch it, then it can only be our fault that she did. It will be something we missed. A countertop we did not clean sufficiently well. A piece of fruit we buy in the store for her to eat. Perhaps one of us picks up the virus ourselves, but don't realize it yet.

All of this means that until a vaccine exists for this virus, until it goes away sufficiently, I can no longer play bridge face to face again (that is the bridge content in my response.) It means that if she passes away from this virus, someone we love dearly will have died because we made a mistake.

I'm sorry, but this virus is not a joke. It is not something to joke about. People die. Loved ones die. And those who do die will do so because someone else was incautious about their behavior. Joking about it merely convinces people to think the entire thing is joke.
April 1
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Mats - thank you for the great book.
March 30
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This is one of those hands where I bid 1♡, but I am fully prepared to take the blame if anything goes wrong.
March 24
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Where is Ed when we need him? Talk to R. Daneel Olivaw about that.
March 23
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I see a problem being that some people may actually learn bridge by playing these games, by seeing that people who do well use bot-psyches like that effectively. Then they play in a game with a human partner, and start doing things that are improper when done in the regular bridge world.
March 23
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North blames South for mistakenly responding 5♢. But North knows the bidding is off the rails there, since South cannot possibly have a 5♢ response IF 4♡ really was interpreted as any standard kind of kickback.

This means that North decided without prior discussion that 4♡ must be kickback. Then failed to think about the response and blasted to a no-play grand slam. North had fallen in love with his/her hand, and no bidding by partner was going to dissuade that opinion. Was the hand played on Valentines day?
March 22
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But could you ever be positive he was not ch%$ting? Yes, I imagine it must be against one of the commandments, so would arguably be a bad thing. At the same time, he had a direct line to the fellow who deals the cards. It would be so easy to fall from grace. ;-)
March 20
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While I agree that a positive step forward is a good step, remember that this can still get nixed. It requires a second reading with a 2/3 vote. It requires approval by the BoG. Far too easy for this all to just get BoGged down.

If either step fails, then rather than being a step forwards, it was just a tentative toe placed in cold water, then hastily withdrawn. So if some members decide this is all going just too fast for them and they don't want to lose those cushy perks, then nothing happens.

The funny thing is, this is alll moving what seems to be glacially slow, taking years to make any substantive changes, while the composition of the ACBL can potentially undergo massive changes far more rapidly. And in the end, the net result may conceivably be a null one, if the new board ends up making the same quality of decisions as the old one.

I am thus cautiously optimistic, while still expecting the worst based on past experience. So join me in a toast to the toe in the ice cold water!
March 20
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It is a fantasy, after all.

I would start with Chthonic. Then a brief excursion into Victor Mollo, inviting the Hog. And then how about the parrot? There should be a few fireworks at any table with those three around. As for a fourth, sorry. I'm just going to kib at that table, as I would clearly be the fish, so who else…

Ah yes - the Abbott. In his own mind, a clear equal to any of the others.
March 18
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