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All comments by Mike Bell
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Well, there aren't many good British players who play Acol by choice. There are regional tendencies to open the major or the minor on 4-4 shape (and those players may erroneously think it's “just bridge” to do it their way), and there are a minority who do something else (and would be unlikely to expect their partner to guess what that was).
June 20, 2018
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Richard, I believe that David Burn has previously pointed out on here that the Venice Trophy is a football tournament for schoolboys (the bridge event is called the Venice Cup).
June 18, 2018
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Adjusting for strength of opponents on a purely mathematical basis seems questionable to me. I remember in the Premier League a few years back that a pair who are now in Div 3 cross-IMPed a fair bit better than a pair who would have been on everyone's shortlist for best pair in the event, and I suspect that was still true on the adjusted X-IMP. While there was surely a form element to their comparative performances, my suspicion is that luck played a greater part, and it can't be right to reward a pair who played against a pair who were lucky in other matches - particularly if a pair chose to play against them in the last match knowing that this method would be used.
June 18, 2018
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Trials were held for the Bulgarian Bermuda Bowl team in 2017. Five teams entered, and the team that had played the Europeans didn't make the semi-finals…
June 18, 2018
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Fair enough, but you could at least have read Frances's name first!
June 2, 2018
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I have a standard response to any questions on Gazzilli.

Edit: For the avoidance of doubt, it's similar to the post below, only shorter.
May 29, 2018
Mike Bell edited this comment May 29, 2018
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And you did know *your* first round methods.
May 28, 2018
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Your partners aren't allowed to take actions that you consider to be mistakes?*
May 24, 2018
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That is not the case. As I have said elsewhere, partner had not forgotten; he chose to pass 2 with a 56 minimum.
May 24, 2018
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*Whether partner has alerted* is unauthorised infomation to you. Of course you start by assuming that partner hasn't forgotten the system; but when the authorised information, i.e. the auction, suggests that he has forgotten, you may be allowed/compelled to cater to this.

I think.
May 24, 2018
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I've edited the original post to include the following -

I realise I have confused two points here.

I would have been better off saying that we should assume that both pass and 3 are logical alternatives (which, based on the informal polling I've done, is true, based on the conditions above, plus that it was IMP scoring). My understanding of the laws is that, if partner alerted and explained your bid as diamonds, this is unauthorised infomation to you, therefore you have to choose from the logical alternatives the one that is not suggested by the UI. In this situation, the UI suggests partner is likely 5-6 with a minimum, so with 2-2 in hearts and clubs you are compelled to give preference back to hearts, playing partner to have forgotten the system.

This feels far too draconian. My proposal is that you should be entitled to assume partner has correctly understood your bid, unless actions that are based on this assumption are not logical alternatives. This would avoid making the game unplayable in many situations, but doesn't allow players to use unauthorised information to their advantage.
May 24, 2018
Mike Bell edited this comment May 24, 2018
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Disagree, Ian. If opener indeed knew that 2 showed diamonds then 5-6 shape is infinitely more likely than 6-5 shape.
May 24, 2018
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Because you have unauthorised information that partner hasn't forgotten the system, despite the authorised information that suggests that he has.
May 24, 2018
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Ok Kit. So if partner had alerted and explained your bid correctly, then bid this way, what would you do? Besides find a new partner after the event…
May 24, 2018
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Because I'm making a point. There are those who would say after a failure to alert, “It's obvious that partner has misunderstood, you're allowed to act on that information from the auction”. I agree with that in some situations, although perhaps not the one in the original post. However, this surely means that there are some situations where you have to bid as though partner has forgotten, even when you know from the UI that he has not done so - otherwise you are benefitting from receiving UI.
May 24, 2018
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Yes, I could have used a better example. I've got interesting responses when I've given this hand to people. The majority assume that partner hasn't alerted 2, but say that it is clear from the auction that partner has forgotten the meaning of the bid, and that passing isn't a logical alternative. A significant minority think that the most likely scenario is that partner has a 56 minimum (as was actually true at the table). Obviously this means that the majority are in the wrong.
May 24, 2018
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Ok, but it's easy to feel confident (or less so) when you've seen partner alert (or not). And stating as such to the TD is self-serving.

Edit: A better comparison would be - have you never been behind screens, and confident partner would understand the meaning of your bid, but found yourself less confident as the auction continues?

I'd have thought that partner's alert and explanation is always UI, and that part of the TD's job when polling is to give the pollees information about partner/the partnership to help with their choice of call. Is this wrong?
May 24, 2018
Mike Bell edited this comment May 24, 2018
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South didn't know at the table what 1 meant - I don't think we are meant to assume (s)he knows what it means when working out what would have happened without the MI.
May 20, 2018
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Hey Chip,

Playing weak NT, do you think

1 (1) 1N should be “to play opposite 15-16 balanced”, or stronger than that?

Thanks
April 5, 2018
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Half-way down the page: https://www.chrisryall.net/memories/john.manning.htm
April 4, 2018
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