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All comments by Mark Feldman
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With only one team being selected, I would favor all of the KO matches to be 120 boards.
Oct. 16
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As has already been mentioned, the information visible from BBO may be unreliable as to assigning time consumed.
June 19
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The information of a 1-4-4-4 hand with an 8-count is insufficient. For most such hands, I wouldn't allow a bid. But if say with x-10xxx-Axxx-Axxx, I would allow 3S, which isn't a 100% guarantee of winding up in 3N.
March 19
Mark Feldman edited this comment March 19
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Lauria was the declarer.
Feb. 19
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I was on the committee. The break in tempo occurred when the defender didn't immediately realize that the low heart from dummy had been called. In fact, playing low from KQx was not only a rational play, but was necessary to defeat the contract by force. So the committee determination was that according to the law, there was not a basis for adjustment.
Feb. 19
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If Meckstroth had Qx of clubs at trick 12, then Rodwell would have been dealt either
752/AK1074/QJ97/7 or 752/AK1074/J1097/7, depending upon whether Meckstroth discarded the diamond 10 or Q, although I expect Meckstroth would have found the queen discard.

Even if Rodwell was looking for swings, I highly doubt he would Pass in first seat with 752/AK1074/QJ97/7 and Pass again over the 1 spade opening. Perhaps with 752/AK1074/J1097/7 he would pass rather than open 2H and not overcall 2H, but certainly questionable. Also, one would not normally switch to the diamond seven from J1097 unless very confident that you and partner know the distribution,
in particular that declarer isn't 7=1=2=3.

Pepsi is a great player, and in particular a great declarer, and having played 10 grueling days, but I think he should have gotten this right.
May 21, 2018
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Steve,
Thanks for your article.

And while as always your math is certainly correct, I disagree as to the implications. West neither opened or overcalled. So the relative likelihood of a 5=3=4=1 pattern vs 4=4=4=1 without the heart K is decreased by taking into account failure of West to open or overcall. For instance, West could not possibly have KQJxx/Kxx/Kxxx/J.

Also, even if the opening bid was 2N and so no opportunity for West to bid,
the calculations should take into account that after winning the second diamond,
West would shift to spades at trick 3 if holding KQJ(x)
Sept. 2, 2017
Mark Feldman edited this comment Sept. 3, 2017
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Josh, why would it be wrong to shift to a club from Qxx?
Would you be afraid that declarer had a stiff J with xxxxx in spades?
May 14, 2017
Mark Feldman edited this comment May 14, 2017
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Perhaps sufficiently remote to ignore, but I wondered what would be the procedures if say 2 players wanted to withdraw from a 5-person team or two pairs wanted to withdraw from a 6-person team.
Feb. 12, 2017
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I'm sorry that what I wrote wasn't sufficiently clear, but byes would not be directly affected. What I was proposing was that there by multiple RR's, including one R16 with 8 survivors (including those with R8 byes), followed by a R8 RR. Assuming no team has a semi-final bye, the 8 surviving teams would be in a RR with four survivors for the Semis.

KO's would start with Semis and the two losers would play off to determine which team plays the Finals loser for the second spot.

Having the four semifinalists determined by RR's is not ideal. But RR play is important in the Bermuda Bowl, the KO matches would be 120 boards each, and the length of the Trials would be twelve (and not fourteen) days.
Jan. 4, 2017
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Danny, can you clarify why that is so.
Jan. 3, 2017
Mark Feldman edited this comment Jan. 3, 2017
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You're right. One could avoid that problem if by some version or versions of Round-Robins the field was reduced to four teams
with KO's starting only with the Semis. Then the two semi-finalist losers play off simultaneously with the final. Then the winner
of the losers match plays the loser of the Finals for the second spot.

That would reduce the total length by 2 days, admittedly at some cost.
Jan. 3, 2017
Mark Feldman edited this comment Jan. 3, 2017
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Noting that: (i) round-robin skill is important in the Bermuda Bowl competition, and (ii) a KO format is not ideal for selecting the second-best team, I suggest replacing the current R16 format with a round-robin to qualify 8 teams for the R8 with those teams that fail to make it, have no second chance. Then a repecharge starts only after the R8 and only one match is required to determine USA2 after USA1 is determined. This would reduce the overall length by two days with very little (if any) reduction of the likely strength of USA2.

This method would mildly elevate the value of receiving a bye into the quarterfinals, so perhaps if adopted, in the future the requirements for earning a R8 bye would be somewhat strengthened.
Jan. 3, 2017
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I agree. Another instance would be for a partnership to require for certain awkward shapes such as 1-4-4-4 that the playing strength be stronger than other patterns such as Balanced or with a minor singleton or void.
Dec. 24, 2016
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In this sequence I would interpret five diamonds as first round controls in all suits other than diamonds, but weak diamonds. Given the prior bidding, it is useless to play 5D as good trump but otherwise lacking controls. Kantar once suggested that leaps in forcing auctions should be 2-way: showing either very good trump without other controls, or weak trump but otherwise controls in all suits other than trump.
Oct. 19, 2016
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Sabine,
Congratulations to you and Roy for your outstanding performance. The scoring error and failure to detect was not your fault. Whether you or Bach - Cornell would have won in the absence of the scoring error is unknowable. You and Roy might well have done better (or possibly worse) on the subsequent boards if a correct score had been reported. Hopefully the WBF will learn some lessons from this and in the future there will be a more effective method for automatically spotting gross scoring errors and making the reported scores and MP's readily available to all participants.
Sept. 24, 2016
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I may have somewhat overstated things. The Spaniards certainly had no genuine reason to be concerned regarding the likelihood of a 1D opening. There could be an issue as to psyching other bids. There are other pairs who put on their card that psychic/very light actions are not unusual in third seat NV. Perhaps Justin and Kevin should have had such on the card (say as Meckstroth - Rodwell do). But all that was needed was for the Spaniards to ask what their tendencies were, and honest answers would have been forthcoming.
Sept. 13, 2016
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As noted previously, the tournament rules included, “The psyching of conventional or artificial opening bids is prohibited in any Category 3 event. This provision over-rides the current systems policy”. So if aware of the rule, the Spanish team had no basis for being concerned. In fact if they thought there was a real chance of a psyche, they could have just pointed out the rules to Kevin and Justin. And if they wanted to look for an edge, they could hope that there was a psyche giving them a two-way shot. The psyche could be unsuccessful and they would immediately benefit, and if the psyche was successful, the result would be overturned. Part of the problem might have been that they (and possibly Kevin and Justin) weren't familiar with what rules were in force.
Sept. 13, 2016
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Thanks Yuan.
Sept. 7, 2016
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It isn't necessary to cash the club and discard the diamond. One can also play a spade (or cash the club and then a spade). Then win the diamond ace on the return, with the club queen now cashed if not already done so, and ruff a club. Then on the run of the trumps there is a double squeeze if the diamond king is onside. If the diamond king is offside, the play reduces to that in the suggested line. The two lines are equivalent.
Sept. 7, 2016
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