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All comments by Mike Ma
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The bye favors 1 and 2 seed to be in the SF vs. any other particular seed (e.g. the 8th seed), but not all the other seeds. Ignoring the stamina issue due to their opponents having played more rounds, the top 2 seeds beating their QF opponents more than 50% of the time does indicate some kind of real superiority.
May 15, 2014
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Doesn't restricted choice say that W is more likely to have the A than E?
May 15, 2014
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@Sathya. So what was arbitrary about the hand then? 6 by W is the best slam. Against slam by E, a lead, putting declarer to the test right away, was best. This leas was found at one table and not the other. Seems like this hand contains some good non-random features about bridge.
May 14, 2014
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I was not saying that 6N was the result of superior bidding (it might have been, but I have no knowledge one way or another), but that there is a real difference between the two contracts. Whether that difference is important or not one way or another of course is subject to chance, and that inherently involves randomness.
May 13, 2014
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I don't understand why you think it is “arbitrary”. One slam protected , the other did not.
May 13, 2014
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I don't understand the X at all. If W has as little as singleton (quite possible in this auction) and K, you are likely to make 5, while they may be making 4.
May 12, 2014
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5 is either super splinter (i.e. void) or if you agree you play it, exclusion BW.
May 7, 2014
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If you cannot X 2 for penalty, you are letting opponents jerk you around.
May 5, 2014
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What happened to the 2 out of 3 (used to be 3 out of 4?) rule? If 2/3 or more players of your peers would make a certain bid without UI, then you are allowed to make that bid in spite of the UI?
April 26, 2014
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I don't know what “our culture” is. What is cheating or not in this case is given by the rules of WBF. What I was saying is that there are some obvious preconceptions about chinese players by quite a few posters on this thread.
April 25, 2014
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I did not accuse anyone. I merely used your criteria that top experts (in this case on racism) should examine this thread and report publicly. I won't comment on the “my wife is black” part out of respect to your wife.

And I won't touch “guilty by association”.
April 23, 2014
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I agree with you that strange results are more likely at the end when people have given up or shooting, or at the beginning when people are cold than in the middle. My point was that two rounds in a row is a totally arbitrary category.
April 23, 2014
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What should happen is an examination of the racist attitudes shown on this thread by top experts and the report made public.
April 23, 2014
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I think the difference is whether you open/overcall 1NT with a singleton when it is the least imperfect of several imperfect actions (e.g. the hand shown for overcall) or you look for excuse to open/overcall 1NT with a singleton, e.g. with a 6 card minor.
April 23, 2014
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Is it more uncommon to get tops 4 boards in a row than on the first round and the last round? In a 13 round session, there are 12 chances to get 4 tops in a row, and only one chance for first and last round. Isolating 4 boards in a row is completely arbitrary. Isolating 4 boards against chinese pairs depends on viewing chinese bridge players as collective pieces rather than individuals.
April 23, 2014
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If an American pair got that kind of scores off two other American pairs, would anyone think something un-kosher went on? No, because

1) No American pairs would want to help other American pairs. In fact, there is much mutual dislikes between many pairs.

2) Americans don't cheat.

On the other hand, when it involves Chinese pairs, it must be un-kosher because

1) Chinese are prone to cheating.

2) Chinese players are not their own masters, but must obey what their Bridge federation tells them to do.

3) Chinese players are completely defined by their nationality.
April 23, 2014
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Thanks for pointing out the team aspect of cycling. I was not suggesting that US Postal team or any other team were cheating by doing what they did during the competition, just the nature/culture of the sport allows someone to help somebody else wins at his/her own expense. I think distance running is a better example.
April 23, 2014
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@Mike. AFAIK, cycling is an individual event, e.g. Lance Armstrong won, not the US Postal team (or whatever the team was).
April 22, 2014
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What is acceptable and what is not depends on the culture of the sports. Tanking is more or less universally condemned, but some forms of tanking are worse than others? In spectator sports, tanking should be discouraged because it is cheating the paying customer, but putting on a non-competitive team in the NBA (76'ers, Spurs etc) is accepted and sometimes even praised as good strategy. Ivan Lendl once tanked against Connors in the round robin so that he would play Gene Mayer rather than Borg in the SF. He was not disciplined or punished.

The Chinese badminton pair was tanking to avoid playing the other Chinese pair in the SF so that they could win both the gold and silver. Would it have been better if they tank to avoid a pair that simply dominates them from another country?

In distance running, someone usually forces the pace to help his countryman or friend, even though it hurts his own chance to doing better. Why is that OK? What about cycling, where someone rides in front to create the wind advantage for a teammate?
April 22, 2014
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I agree that this is a good Precision opening. The partner I was playing Precision with did not think so and he passed, saying that it did not satisfy e.g. the Rule of 20.

I posed this as a 2/1 problem because I thought most would open it even in 2/1. However, the result was in favor of opening but not overwhelmingly.
April 18, 2014
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