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All comments by Leonard Helfgott
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Here's a simple practical approach for the masses. For most probabilities between 30-70%, p*(1-p) is near 1/4 (here 22%) and square root is about 1/2 (here 47%).. Now simply divide by square root of sample size (sqrt(609)~25) and you've got about 2% (here 1.9%). I don't think one 1000 run producing one result right at the 5% significance level is that meaningful. A few more times or a much larger sample size, yes.
For the 4-1 splits with sample 322, sqrt(322)~18, so divide ~45% (that is, sqrt(0.28*0.72)) by 18 you get 2 1/2%. Results are not extreme.
There are enough “reasonably competent” math people on BW, who, like me, are nowhere near PhD level but can putter around with bridge math, that this should be understandable.
59 minutes ago
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Thanks Craig, I will give it a shot next time.
an hour ago
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Franco: Yes, I certainly think Not knocking out heart ace makes it easier. In fact, though I’m not sure, I think the timing requires ducking the heart opening lead. Tried a number of other options but all of them failed. I defer you for final analysis. Thanks.
17 hours ago
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Ian: If "tolerance' is defined as 3 card support you will find this a very limiting restriction, as 1/3 of 6322 hand have 3 other major and 2/3rds of 6331 hands. And if Hx is included for tolerance, you are probably near the 50% exclusion mark.
20 hours ago
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David: Got it. We are definitely on the same page.:)
May 31
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David: You are right that it is “worth” a Dbl. and it is also “worth” a 1S overcall, just as it is “worth” a double raise to 3H as above, based on playing strength, Slightly more than a 2H raise. I think one should decide before first bid whether S/he prefers to overcall and later bring hearts into the picture or face the problem of how to raise hearts. I am certainly not going to double and THEN bid 1S hiding the 4Th heart, and will introduce hearts later if I have to so prefer the simple overcall. Good problem!
May 30
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I wouldnt use Ogust (or Feature) to find out if partner had the perfect hand, say top 20th percentile, and riske being stranded at the 3 level opposite less, rather I’d ask hoping for the top 75Th percentile (3D, 3H, 3S) and only back off opposite the worst. In the case where I am slammish and will only sto at game opposite a negative response, the differentiation between 3D and 3H might mean something, but the 2NT “ask” is much more designed to stay out of game/slam (like Blackwood off two aces) than otherwise. IMO. With the above hand I’d expect 12 tricks on a lucky lead more often than only 9T.
May 29
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To All: The choice on this hand was largely irrelevant and It turned out to be a fun hand to play. My partner chose 2S and I bid a natural 3H with x QJT98 J87xx J10, so we were always getting to 4H.
After lead of low diamond (x-x-Q-A) and a trump shift, I arranged a dummy reversal, ruffing 2 spades and a club in hand for 11 tricks. Sure I could have pulled trumps and led past KTxx diamonds, Or just played for 3-2 (they weren’t) but dummy reversals, while not always “correct” are more fun! Had partner rebid 2NT I would of course transfer to hearts, rebid 3NT and partner would declare the 4H contract.
May 29
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I learned sude cards (A or K) instead of hcp for good hand, so in theory KQ5432 Xx Kx xxx Red vs. white would be a Good Hand, Good suit which I cant bring myself to do. If I am dealt this, I will lie in some way to avoid GHGS based on table feel, probably good hand bad suit. If white vs red I’ll go for the gold with A GHGS 3S bid, not proud of it!
May 28
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Likewise! 4 trumps, stiff, good values. What are you waiting for?
May 28
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I used to be in the 8-11 camp Vuln but have relaxed my standards. Would still refrain RED with AJxxxx, but if you don’t consider this a good suit by any standards or form of scoring, you should probably be playing strong 2-bids. Not a joke, the abuse of weak 2s indiscriminately makes it a 2-way tool, and I had a great deal of success with my novice wife in the 1970s. Much less room for mistakes and you can always open a light 1-bid or 3-bid or pass.
May 28
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Thanks Craig: For those of you who are Loser Count addicts or Modified Loser Count. What iis thh score here. To me it looks like a very good 4 1/2 loser hand, though I would expect opinions of <4, 4, and 5. My thought always was and is that a hand which opens 2C and bids a suit should not have more than 4 losers, so with NT shape or 2-suiters that don’t satisfy that, its NT (As here) or 1-bids, am I Wrong?
May 27
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Rich: First, thanks for the congrats. Second, I wasn't challenging your opinion on this close call, just your adamancy that 1H was an error. Regarding the pros, some play 19+ to 21, which negates the entire issue. For the others, a strong pro will often overbid slightly because: a) they play it so much better, b) prevents client from declaring, c) simplifies bidding, and because they do and can! Joe Grue himself told me he upgrades regularly but never downgrades. Regsrding K&R, a good tool, it does have imperfections for NT which you don't recognise. For example Kxxx is 3.20, while Qxxx is 1.55! Possibly valid in suit play, but a bit extreme for NT play, don't you think? The extra card it the suit is surely worth something, and reduces loser count, but K8xxx cannot be viewed with great confidence as a “source of tricks” unless supported. You should know that among almost all local players I look for excuses to upgrade more than most, unlike my friend Nick France, a solid player, who rarely upgrades or downgrades at all—I take this style into account when we play (tomorrow).
May 26
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Martin: I ‘m not sure I understand your question. Is one ever totally “satisfied” when they make a close decision with a very maximal hand or a very minimal hand. I don’t think you have much choice in the matter. Either you “upgrade” and open 2NT and live with the results good or bad, or you don’t upgrade, open 1H For the balanced range just below 2NT (~18-19). You can decide based on partnership style whether a balanced 19 Is enough to raise 1NT response to 3NT, or whether you will bid 2NT over a 1S response, (I completely reject 1H-1S-3NT) but you decide all this before you place your first bid on the table, and do so without undue procrastination. I am usually “satisfied” with my bidding choices—-not always of course, who is? Just usually.
May 25
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Another point that hasnt been mentioned. If opener was 1St or 2Nd chair and bid 4S we could expect a preempt almost all the time and an even echo would most likely be 4 not 2. Here, however, partner has passed and the 3Rd chair bidder might have a strong off shape hand, maybe 6-4, so an even count by partner Could more likely be a doubleton. A minor point to be sure, but not to be completely ignored.
May 25
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Doug: For 2NT does that include small singletons, or just some subset of A/K/Q?
May 25
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Never heard of this chess story. Is it available anywhere?
May 25
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That’s 19+ to 21. The 19s that should be upgraded playing 20-21 should be better than 19+, And partner should bid oposite a presumed 20, not 19+, as Nick France alluded to. The difference may not be much, but it likely indicates passing with most/all balanced 4s and the bad 5s. I never pass a 2NT opener with any 5 count.
May 25
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Rich: While K&R is a good tool and guideline for relative strengths, most of us realize that it is MUCH MORE suit oriented than NT oriented. The 8 controls here (~1.5 controls over average for a 19hcp hand) Will boost the K&R valuation well beyond a realistic NT valuation and the doubleton
Adds more for suit play. The terrible heart suit does not add much, I’m sure many of us would be much happier to upgrade with KT9xx ( probably a 3/4 hcp boost). Not to say that an upgrade here is “bad”, I might try it in the mood, but to claim that a hand which K&R rates as 19.70 is “clearly” a 2NT opener, when you do not know whether the hand will play in suit or NT, and is only 0.20 over the middle point seems like an “overbid” to me. Try modeling this hand, which you view as a clear 2NT, against a balanced “good” 4hcp hand or a balanced “bad” 5hcp hand, (hands that should raise 2NT to 3NT according Thomas Andrews Fantasia tables) and I think you will find that 2NT is an “aggressive” though reasonable action, rather than a clear action. BTW: My partner, with whom I luckily won the 0-10K 2-day Swiss teams with couple of years ago, ( with better teammates) is a bit of an overbidder (just a bit!:)) and chose just 1H here.
May 25
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Andy and Richard: Yes.
May 24
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