Join Bridge Winners
All comments by Mike Bell
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Three days before you*
July 28, 2017
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No, 26-31 are playing versus 76-81, the matches just don't fit on the page.
July 24, 2017
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NF is massively better after a one-level overcall, but merely superior after a two-level overcall.

I'm not convinced by transfers here, you need the space to sort out ranges after a good raise, making 2M-1 show the good raise is pretty poor. One partner goes the other way and plays that 2 is always the raise and the cuebid shows clubs.

Edit: Not to mention that you want to put opener on lead.
July 21, 2017
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The title implies you are South, the bidding panel implies you are East.
July 20, 2017
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You enter a BAM event. Both pairs have average cards, but they combine well and you have a lot of small wins and a few large losses. Was this skill or luck? This factor is relevant at IMPs too, but less so.

You enter a teams event. Your pair is average but your teammates have an excellent card. I would argue that there was more luck involved (for your pair) than for a pair that won an IMP pairs event. There appears to be less luck because there are twice as many data points (two per board), but half of them were unrelated to your efforts (in this event, at any rate).

You enter a multiple teams event. You win due to oppo having some expensive disasters. Like pairs events, not playing versus your direct opposition so much increases the appearance of luck compared with, say, knockout matches, where if oppo have expensive disasters you come away thinking, “well, they deserved to lose, which is equivalent to us deserving to win”.
July 6, 2017
Mike Bell edited this comment July 7, 2017
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If partner is a passed hand I am less tempted to double.
July 4, 2017
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This advice makes some sense in the ACBL, but not in most other jurisdictions.

I would like my oppo to wait ten seconds after I open a preempt, but don't wish to slow the game down by having them wait ten seconds after I raise partner's quantitative 4NT to 6NT. Accordingly, I use the stop card in the former situation but not the latter. In some ways I would prefer my NBO to remove the stop card from my box and place the responsibility on my LHO, but they don't.

No-one will draw the conclusion that I am communicating with my partner by whether I choose to use the stop card or not, which makes the idea that I should “pick one and stick to it” baseless.
July 4, 2017
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Thanks Andy, that's a much better way of phrasing it. You're accepting new entries into the event for the B semi-final, including from those who have been eliminated from the other events; they also happen to already have paid for their bridge for that day (and the two following).

I'd expect the drop-in pairs would be in favour of this, as opposed to a stand-alone consolation event; I am sure they'd prefer this to having no bridge on offer at all!
July 2, 2017
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“You're joking, of course. If they did well in the B semi, they would end up in the European Pairs final.”

Indeed they would. If the pair that came bottom of the open pairs qualifier still has a chance to make the open pairs final, why shouldn't those who failed to make it through in other events?
July 1, 2017
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Weird. Seems easy to me to let those out of the Seniors' and Women's pairs at that stage to drop into the B semi-final of the open pairs.
July 1, 2017
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In case it adds anything to this debate - in Tromso, those who qualified from the B semi averaged 49.15% (I think this is 49.65% if you ignore the carry-forward). Surprisingly high.

For comparison, I then looked at the performance of the bottom six qualifiers from the A semi. They averaged 49.8% (50.6% excluding carry-forward).

Maybe a larger sample-size is needed! Unfortunately(?) the B semi-final didn't exist before Tromso.
June 23, 2017
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If I had worked harder at university, and not become a bridge player, what would I do instead? Trading or computer programming, maybe. I doubt I would be changing the world, and I doubt I would enjoy either of those careers as much as I do bridge.
May 22, 2017
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Hmm. The laws could require you to volunteer that you revoked, but allow you to start the next board before doing so :-P
May 20, 2017
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Also, I think the laws should require you to confess to a revoke from which you gained an advantage. The argument that this is unenforceable is somewhat valid, but the same argument could be applied to the requirement to not revoke in the first place (see Paul Barden's example above).
May 20, 2017
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The revoke laws are draconian to discourage players from revoking deliberately and hoping to gain from it. I don't see why a player who made a genuine error, that he hasn't gained from, should volunteer for the same punishment.
May 20, 2017
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I wasn't actually sure how serious I was being! A TD at my club asked me to explain this law to him the other day, he didn't understand what 45C4a was saying at all. I wasn't familiar with the law, but my understanding of the it is that, if LHO had said “the two of spades”, then that card would be deemed to be played, and the rest of the ruling would be as stated (L62, correction of a revoke). I think that, for this purpose, “I ruff” must be treated as a designation of a card.
May 19, 2017
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What about Law 45C4?

“(a) A card must be played if a player names or otherwise designates it as the card he proposes to play.
(b) Until his partner has played a card a player may change an
unintended designation if he does so without pause for thought. If
an opponent has, in turn, played a card that was legal before the
change in designation, that opponent may withdraw the card so
played,return it to his hand, and substitute another (see Laws 47D
and 16D1).”

Think this would make LHO's trump (his lowest?) a penalty card.
May 19, 2017
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Yes, I was about to ask where you were before that…
May 16, 2017
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Talking of the youngest to win something…

In this event, like some other Swiss Teams events in the UK, the team that wins each round by the largest margin receives a bottle of wine each. In one round, the largest win was by a junior team - 36 IMPs to 1 in their seven-board match. The oldest is 15, the youngest is 12!
May 16, 2017
Mike Bell edited this comment May 16, 2017
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Definitely some younger teams have won it in the past. Forrester, Granville, Kirby, Armstong in 1978 for one.
May 16, 2017
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