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All comments by John O'Connor
1 2 3
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Just last night, partner opened 5D and I held AQT6 AT72 KQT K2. RHO doubled and I bid 6D which was doubled on my left and I redoubled when it came back to me.
We thought that plus 1380 should have been a good result but team mates brought back -1700.
What did partner have for her 5D opening? I could describe her hand as 5 5 in the majors. But I should add that the fives were both singletons and she also had two small clubs to go with 9 diamonds to the AJ.
April 19
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Germany has a constitution and every person and organisation in the country is required to act in accordance with the constitution. The possibility of rehabilitation and redemption is established in the German constitution and the court seems to have found that the 10 year ban for two elderly men went beyond what the constitution would countenance.
Beyond that, European human rights law would also have a bearing on any long bans.
April 11
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Thanks Paul
72B3 comes into play here with a second revoke. Is there a penalty for that?
March 19
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John Portwood's description is not really correct. The removal of double jeopardy (through the 2003 criminal justice act) only applied to the most serious crimes and a second prosecution could only proceed if the public prosecutors could convince the court of appeal that they had substantive new evidence. That is a high barrier and double jeopardy prosecutions are a rare occurrence.
Even before the 2003 act, double jeopardy protection could be waived in certain circumstances.
Feb. 13
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I have now used this in three tournaments.
Seven sessions of pairs, almost two hundred deals and around seventy different opposing pairs.
I do my best to shield my scorecard while writing and it is always turned over when not being updated.
During play two people have asked what the code means.
If the ethics of your opponents are similar, at least 3% of pairs are trying to look at your personal scorecard.
I say at least because some others will probably have looked and kept quiet.
As for whether of not it is distracting for me to do this, I won two of those seven sessions and picked up a 2nd as well. One win was in a very strong field (including two current world champs) and I scored almost 68%. Perhaps I should conclude that this is worth a 15% boost to my score as opponents look at my scorecard and expend too much mental effort trying to decode my entries!
Jan. 8
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I write it as a 4 bit binary value. The seems to be enough as it will go up to +7 which cannot happen and -8 which should not happen.
Dec. 28, 2016
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The big difference is that bridge does not depend of tens of thousands of spectators buying tickets or tens of millions paying for TV coverage.

Non sporting results have damaged other competitions in the past by reducing subsequent tick sales or viewer numbers.

In France, the top football division (at least) attempts to avoid such issues with seeding such that, for example, the previous year's champions get to play against the weakest newly promoted team in the last day of the competition.
Dec. 27, 2016
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Last night, I played in the first session of the last duplicate tournament of the year down here in NZ.

Individual score-sheets were provided - they carried a message from the event sponsor on the reverse.

I was not aware of anyone leaving their sheet exposed though I was not actually paying attention to that. Nobody left so much as an empty coffee cup at the table either.

I kept my scores. I wrote the contract level in binary and I translated the suits (not NT) into French and then wrote down the first letter of the suit or NT transliterated into Cyrillic. Then I wrote the result, expressed as +1, -2 etc in two's complement binary. At the end of the session, I converted that into plain text scores for checking with my results.

It took no extra effort to write down like that and by the end I was thinking of the suits in French anyway.

Even with knowledge of my little code, I doubt that many players would be able to get much help from a glance at my sheet.

Silly I know, but why not and if an opp ever comments on the code, I will know that they are peeping.
Dec. 27, 2016
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Both of the clubs of which I am a member maintain lists of phone numbers and email addresses. One club publishes these in the yearbook. The other has a password protected list on the web.
Both work well with no abuses of which I am aware.
Dec. 25, 2016
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Echo from here too and I'll look forward to playing against you in the new year Alan. Will you be playing in any tournaments before the Auckland club restarts?
Dec. 25, 2016
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Respect Tony, respect. Well said.
Dec. 17, 2016
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One of the stand out posts on this whole subject. Well said.
Dec. 17, 2016
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Folks need to pay more attention to what Tom just said.
If you have cracked the hands then the amount of information that you must absorb to get a crushing advantage is tiny.
Dec. 8, 2016
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I had a look at the big deal design when this first came up. I have not examined the code for implementation weaknesses but the design is sound.
A computer system that could break the discredited acbl system in a minute would require a couple of million years to do the same to BigDeal.
That figure is not an arm waving approximation - rather it is a calculation based on the amount of information that you do not have when trying to crack big deal because of its design.
I do not claim to be a world class crypto expert but I do work in the general field for a living and have done so for many years.
Dec. 8, 2016
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Hooking something like this up with a wireless network could be done. There are businesses out there which do this all the time for trade shows, sports events, conferences etc. It is not cheap and if you cut corners you get burned but with the right suppliers it is routine.
You would not need such a setup for this system though. You could equip each tablet with a usb/ethernet adaptor and hook everything up with standard cabling. That would save a lot of money and reduce the skill level requiired of the people setting up the system in a new venue.
Dec. 8, 2016
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I indicated the table and the director mentioned the issue to the table and reminded them to be quiet.
Nov. 24, 2016
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<removed as I intended this to be a reply to an earlier comment but I got that bit wrong.>
Nov. 24, 2016
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Roger Waters' mother used to play bridge at the club in Cambridge.
Oct. 16, 2016
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Alan is right - and he beat me with his post. bigdeal throws away 64 bits out of every 160 that it generates from its RNG.
Aug. 17, 2016
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Summary: I had a quick look at the documentation for bigdeal and I do not believe that this attack is a problem for bridge.

TLDR:

I do not think that this is an issue. The bigdeal software uses the same RipeMD160 crypto/hash functions as does GnuPG so you might be worried but there is a key difference.

The bigdeal documentation says that you only need 96 bits to specify a bridge deal. Their random number generator produces 160 bits at a time and they discard 64 bits and use just 96 bits. Furthermore, not all of the possible 96 bit numbers are required and, when a number outside the required range is encountered, the program will discard that result and run the RNG again.

So, even though you could take a hand and work out the 96 bit number that was used to generate that hand, you would have no way at all to work out what the missing 64 bits were and no way to know if this 96 bit number was the direct follow on from the 96 bit number of the previous hand or if there had been one or more skipped cycles between the hands.

That makes it look secure at this stage but in any case, suppose that the vulnerability did apply to bigdeal and suppose that there was some way to sidestep the missing bits and that all that you needed was 4640 bits from somewhere in the RNG output (with the gaps that we see from the previous paragraph). You would need almost 50 boards to give you enough data to predict the 51st board. So long as bigdeal was restarted with a fresh random seed for every session, there would never be enough data to allow an attack.
Aug. 17, 2016
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