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All comments by John D'Errico
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What he fails to do is dispute the logic that IF their bid placement correlates with their hand strength, then is clearly signaling to partner, and doing so illegally.

This is all just blowing smoke, an attempt to obscure the issue.
Nov. 5, 2015
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Double elimination would also tend to add a day I think. I do agree that it would be a good idea. I also would like to see one of the Vanderbilt/Spingold be in a slightly different format from the other, so making one of them a double elimination makes perfect sense.
Oct. 30, 2015
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As Peg says. I was once playing with a regular partner of mine. We bid a couple of games, did some things right. After two hands, one of our opponents started yelling that we were cheaters. All we did was play good, sound, reasonably high level bridge.
Oct. 27, 2015
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Ray - It depends how consistently correct is that information.
Oct. 27, 2015
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It would definitely require good modeling software. The more external factors one can bring to the problem, the better your predictive ability.

For example, knowing ball spin can help to predict how the ball might bounce off the rim. Will it come down into the net, or bounce out? Knowing the air pressure in the ball will help too. I can just envision the deflate-gate scandals of tomorrow.
Oct. 27, 2015
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I was wondering about that. But the fact is, lets say that Roger Federer (or some champion with similar skills and reflexes) has an implant, that tells if the ball is going down the line or off to the side.

If you rely on sight, it turns out that your brain responds more slowly than if it is responding to some other senses. In fact, I recall reading this statement just recently, that the brain's response to a visual stimulus is slower then it is to some other stimuli, because there are more parts of the brain that need to process a visual stimulus.

So suppose you put an implant someplace where it will allow direct stimulation of some nerve, giving you an edge of perhaps 0.1 or 0.2 seconds? All it needs to tell you is left or right. But that is a massive advantage to the player who has that edge.

Similarly, there are many other sports where a fraction of a second would be crucial. Consider the football example I gave, perhaps for a wide receiver. A football play takes some seconds to develop, but much of the time, your back may be to the ball! That wide receiver is running downfield. His coverage is chasing him too, also with their back to the line of scrimmage. Knowing that the ball is coming your way, and exactly where it is going without turning your back would be an immense advantage.

I honestly don't think you can just discard this as of no value for the player.
Oct. 27, 2015
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These would be fun problems to work on. Predicting whether a ball will drop through the hoop might be difficult due to predicting exactly how it will bounce off the rim. On top of the basic trajectory information, you would also need to know about any ball spin. I'd even bet that knowing the exact pressure in the ball might be important in many games too. As I said, interesting problems in modeling will arise.

Information given to the specs is good, although it may take away some of the fun. The postgame discussions around the water cooler might be less interesting. Would they have caught the ball if not for that pass interference? Was the ball going into the goal, or did the goalie give up a deadly corner kick for no reason?

Information used by the judges, umpires, and referees is also good. They are necessary to make the game proceed smoothly, but a referee should not be an integral part of the game.

Information given to the players is always bad. That fundamentally changes the game in ways that make it no longer the same game. Give a wide receiver in football an implant that will tell them exactly when the ball is passed, and that it was passed to them, AND that they need to run just a bit to the left? Would you give a batter in baseball the information that the pitch will be a ball, and thus they should not swing at it? Why not also tell them the ball speed too, so they can better time their swing?

At some point down that path, you might as well just put robots on the field, let them contest the game. I suppose that has the virtue of no longer needing to worry about concussions for the players, but then all games will just devolve into battlebot wars.
Oct. 27, 2015
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Ha ha, but no need to alert, for those pairs who play that 3♣ would just be a correction to opener's first bid “suit”, so natural.
Oct. 27, 2015
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We always called this reverse Fishbein.
Oct. 27, 2015
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I've been known to lapse into a vegetative state, a couch potato. So now I have the perfect excuse! NOT MY FAULT! it must be in my DNA!
Oct. 22, 2015
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Ed said…. “In some jurisdictions, it is illegal to “explain” a call by naming a convention. IMO, this is good practice. Please are entitled to know what a call means. Naming it is not good enough.”

Long ago when I was just starting out in bridge. I made a Michaels cue bid. When asked what it was by one of the LOLs at our table, I described it as a Michaels cue bid. I did not know better at the time. Nothing more got said. How could I know that the LOL asker interpreted that to mean that one of us was named Michael?
Oct. 22, 2015
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My partner the rabbit was thinking about what to lead against a 4S contract the other week. As she thinks, I'm not sure how, but a small heart falls from her hand, face up on the table. It was completely unintentional, but she had no choice about leading that card, away from her Axx suit.

Of course, dummy had QTx, declarer three small hearts, and I had the KJxx. We quickly scored up 3 heart tricks, and she has the trump Kx laying offsides, so we set the contract. Nobody else found the heart lead, so we had a cold top.

Good lead partner.
Oct. 21, 2015
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I'm sorry. But if you are bored with the lengthy spiel about something you already know, then don't listen. :) It really is not that long.

The fact is, normal behavior by many people would tend to be NOT to tell you everything you need to know. After all, if you know more about their bidding systems, then you can defend/declare better! If you understand all of the nuances of why they did or did not take a specific action (as does your partner) then you may get a better result against them. So yes, indeed, active ethics IS something we very much need to practice to overcome those basal urges.

I think it is indeed quite important to make your opponents know what you know. Those little secrets, like the fact that I use attitude leads against notrumps contracts, instead of the classically standard 4th best leads. If some declarer does not bother to learn that fact and they are left uninformed, and assumes that my deuce is from a 4 card suit, then they may be in trouble declaring 3NT if they play based on the assumption of a 4th best lead. This information, like that we play UDCA signals, are things that should be told to every player who arrives at your table. Yes, these are things they should ask! But not everyone thinks to ask every question.

In fact, I was once nastily castigated by a visiting expert player for asking a question about a bid they did not alert. I was told that if they did not alert something, then I should assume that no alert was needed. I did report this as a zero tolerance violation to the head director.

If you want secrets, then play poker. If you want a good game of bridge, where everyone is on an even footing, and the winner is determined by who handles the hand best, then play bridge, and play it ethically!
Oct. 21, 2015
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All they would need to do is watch my play and bidding! Yup. He qualifies.
Oct. 20, 2015
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Well said Gavin! A response that is too good for me to only “like” it.
Oct. 20, 2015
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Gary makes a superb point. Allow Dean to return, and you create an environment where Dean becomes the norm, and then you will have others even worse than him on the spectrum of nastiness. BW is a place for civilized discussion. I love dissenting views, but do it with civility.
Oct. 20, 2015
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The point for me is that Dean was not only blunt, but aggressively attacked those who disagreed with him. He was rude, abusive, essentially, a bully.

A bully is a problem on this site, because while some of us have a thick enough skin to tolerate his crap, some might not. Do we want to have many individuals never come near the site again to allow one bully to stay?

I have absolutely no problem with calling an action bad, poor, terrible, obscene. This is not something directed at an individual. To call an appeals committee ruling wrong headed, even insane is fine. Again, this is not targeted at an individual. But when you target a person, for me, this is a problem. In some cases, the person who was targeted was not even present to defend their actions.

Whether or not Dean may have had a valid point was too often overwhelmed by the way he made his points.
Oct. 20, 2015
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:) Great response.
Oct. 19, 2015
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YES, we should definitely use a different scheme for dealing the cards. With that we have no disagreement at all.

Personally, I love the idea of pre-dealt hands. They have advantages like…

- they give you hand records
- they reduce the potential for cheating by stacking the deck
- they balance the matches in swiss events
- they speed up the game

Disadvantages of pre-dealt hands:

- they cost more, especially for big swiss events

Personally, I'd pay a dollar more per event if there were pre-dealt hands in ACBL tourney events.

The alternative seems to be a shuffle and shift system. Thus, one table shuffles a set of boards, but those teams do not play the hands they shuffled. Those hands are passed onto the next table. So you never play the hands you dealt.

This scheme will take a few seconds longer, since it requires a shift after those boards are shuffled. It does reduces the potential for cheating, making it a bit harder to slip in a stacked deck, or even to deal one particular card as you show.

Note that our unit tried pre-dealt hands for one sectional swiss event, but chose not to continue doing so for now. I think that decision was based mainly on the cost. If pre-dealt hands were not an option, I'd at least prefer to see some other scheme as you propose, but my guess is that most people think that cheating at lower levels is not a significant factor, so unit and regional management and the directors in charge of those events would rather not bother.

Of course, with any system, it is always possible to find a way around it. I'm sure that someone with good card handling “skills” could get around any system. Cheaters will always be on the lookout for ways to game the system, but making it harder is a good thing.
Oct. 19, 2015
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He knows the truth. Sounds like bridge has its own x-files.
Oct. 19, 2015
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