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All comments by John D'Errico
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Nick -

So, lets see. LHO has just told his partner exactly how many hearts he has. He has given a significant amount of information to his partner, both abut his own suit, AND that he has no good choice of what suit to lead. He has given his partner a virtual blueprint of his hand. That he has also given this information to his opponents is not relevant.

I'm sorry, but it is sad that you seem to think that coffee-housing like this is fine behavior, and that you would like to have him as a partner. You should learn how to behave ethically at the bridge table. Obviously you think passing information like this not a bad thing. But then why is signaling partner by a timely cough any different, or the way you lay down your pencil on the table, or how you lead your card, or the way you place a board on the table?

As soon as you start passing information illegally, you are no longer playing bridge. I would strongly suggest poker as a better game for you.
Dec. 3, 2015
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Not every hand works out. You go with the odds, and good things will happen over the long term.
Dec. 3, 2015
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It would seem that the right-siding was mainly luck here, since East bid 4♣ to progress beyond 3NT.
Dec. 2, 2015
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The only realistic choices here are 1♢ and 1NT of course. Always have a plan for your next bid when you open the bidding.

If I open this hand with 1♢, then if partner bids any of 1♡, 1♠, NT, I will then want to rebid 2NT. The hand simply is not that good to do so. Nor is it a good enough diamond suit to jump rebid to 3♢. And if I only rebid 1NT over 1 of a major, then I am doing this hand a huge disservice.

How about starting with 1NT? The hand counts to 16 points, with the great diamond suit as a nice plus, but the doubleton AK in hearts a serious minus. Tight honors in short suits are a bad thing, as they leave you no flexibility in the play, and do not help to develop additional tricks. I'm willing to call this hand a 17 pointer, but it is simply not 18. 1NT is a perfectly good description of the hand.

Whenever you can open the bidding with 1NT, on a hand where that is a good description, DO SO! 1NT is a much better description of this hand than 1♢.
Dec. 2, 2015
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:)
Dec. 1, 2015
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Giovanni,

I've never watched a pay-per-view sporting event, nor do I intend to start doing so. Ok, I see little reason in watching most sporting events, so I feel little loss in this respect.

If you claim that because of advertising, even one where there is no explicit charge that there is still a payment of some kind, then fine. I need not read/watch the ad. Online, I use an ad blocker to eliminate most of the dreck anyway. Where ads become too intrusive, too long, cannot be blocked, then again I would see no loss in skipping the event completely.
Nov. 29, 2015
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I think multiple parallel commentators, with different target audiences is a nice idea.
Nov. 29, 2015
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2 - “Golf was the slowest game imaginable.”

Golf will be greatly improved when my new full contact version of golf is televised. Why shoot at a tiny little hole? Instead, in the new golf the competitors will be teeing off towards their opponents, trying to hit them, like dodgeball.

3 & 4 - Were they to start enforcing a pay-per-view for vugraf, that would be the last time I ever watch a vugraf online.
Nov. 29, 2015
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The problem is, a commentator needs to cater to a wide variety of viewers. Not all are at an expert level, not even a BBO expert level. The fact is, if the only comments were about a possibly impending criss-cross squeeze, you will lose out on the new players who MIGHT have watched the event and who MIGHT have learned something.

I'm sorry, but who do we really want to attract most? We need to go out of our way to help the newbie, the novice. They stand to learn as much as the expert does, in fact, probably far more than will the expert kibber. And it is those newbies who are the future of bridge.
Nov. 29, 2015
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Precision's main weakness? That is not relevant here. The question is about the use of Kokish (or what ever name he prefers) to improve information transfer in specific sequences. Throw a way a trick here, a trick there, and it all adds up.
Nov. 29, 2015
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No. I don't buy that in the least. Americans are not going downhill strictly because of antiquated methods. Top american pairs are certainly capable of defending against the multi (even using it), and the few other unusual conventions they might see. When I fielded a team in the Rosenblum, we spent some time learning the multi and how to compete against it, along with a few other things. Not a problem.

I would argue that there are MANY reasons why American teams have not been winning quite as many medals in the WC events over the last few years.

As for Mr. Vikor's services, somehow I doubt that a beginner's book or mini-bridge game (etc.) will suddenly catapult any pair into contention with Lauria-Versace. Transfer responses to 1♣? Been doing that myself for the last 20 years. Maybe that should qualify me to sit down against the Italian team.

Stingy? Maybe true. The last time I checked though, BridgeWinners is free, and a darn good site. The fact is, I don't see any purpose in going to a site popularized by someone who is as immodest as Mr. Vikor appears. An over-inflated ego may be correlated with an over-inflated bridge site. Hey, he may have great stuff there. But if I don't trust his claims because of the way he advertises, then how can I trust his web site? Sorry, but there is lots of overinflated spam out there.
Nov. 29, 2015
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As much as I would like to see this happen, it would take a huge amount of work on the part of the players to create and maintain. Even looking at the version of precision that I play with partner, we are frequently making tweaks to it. Typical system notes for a pair that play enough are often the size of a small book.
Nov. 28, 2015
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We use this in our variation of precision, and it has proven to be quite useful. Of course we use a variation over what others seem to use.

Much of the time when you open 1♣, and partner responds 1♢, you have a balanced hand, and intend to show (for us) one of the ranges 17-18 bal, or 19-20 bal, or 21-22 bal, or 23-24 bal. So, for us, the notrump ladder starts like this:

1♣ -1♢ - 1♡ - 1♠ - 1NT = 17-18, bal
1♣ -1♢ - 1NT = 19-20, bal
1♣ -1♢ - 1♡ - 1♠ - 2NT = 21 - 22, bal
1♣ -1♢ - 2NT = 23 - 24, bal

As you can see, the weaker hand always goes through the relay for us. This is because we use breakouts over the 1♡ relay. Thus, IF you have a weak hand with a long suit (6+ cards, no more than 4 HCP), you do not bid 1♠ there. Instead, you can transfer into your long suit. After the transfer, opener can ask for information about your hand with 2NT. A simple solution there is to use Ogust responses to 2NT.

So when will it be more valuable to use a breakout? A breakout is more valuable when partner has the weaker hand type. Thus you can better tolerate getting to 3♣ if partner is 19-20, then if he is 17-18. If partner is 17-18, and you are really weak, then you want to be able to stop in 2 of a minor.
Nov. 27, 2015
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Yes.
Nov. 22, 2015
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Oren and Charles have it right. While this is not a common event, there are lots of uncommon events that happen all the time. You will pick up a 7-6-0-0 hand with probability roughly 0.000056, or about once in 17600. But don't forget that there are 4 hands at every table. And if we are inspecting 36 board sets of hands as generated, then we should expect to see 7-6-0-0 hands nearly once every 100 sets of such boards.

Sorry, but this is NOT even close to a once in a lifetime event.

To make it worse, as has been pointed out, the human brain is a great thing at seeing patterns, even in randomness, where no true pattern exists. You saw a 7-6 hand, then you saw another, and another! Of course, had you seen a sequence of 8-5 hands, that would have been just as startling, and we would have seen a similar post by you on BW. There are lots of strange hands that arise every single day, once you start looking for them. And if you are simply looking for anything strange, then you will see SOMETHING.

So really, while this is a moderately rare event that happened a bit more frequently than one would normally expect, it was not that much more frequent. It is nothing terribly surprising, nor is it sufficient to make me doubt the randomness of the hand generator.
Nov. 22, 2015
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But most tournaments have no prize money. However, I suppose if you take away their Vanderbilt win, and give those who worked at catching them say a shared Vanderbilt win, I could see that.
Nov. 22, 2015
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Uber-rule?
Nov. 21, 2015
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Ron - The WBF (or ANY bridge organization) has no meaning without its membership. We need to guide these organizations to become what they should be, as without such guidance, they will do nothing. If we do not do so, then we are as much to blame. So, yes, the question is “Where do we go from here?”
Nov. 19, 2015
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Maybe yet another round of bidding, to fully bid out her shape? Just think about how nice this would be?

1♣ - pass - pass - pass
1S - etc

We will never need to worry about partner passing out those big hands of ours! Not only that, but takeout doubles would no longer be needed, since we can always show our suits, so all doubles could revert to penalty. Bidding could become far simpler.

Or how about this sequence?

1♣ - pass - pass - pass
pass - pass - 1H

We can show all sorts of hand types with this new class of delayed bids. My head simply spins with excitement.
Nov. 19, 2015
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Funny ending,
Nov. 17, 2015
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