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All comments by Nicholas France
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Avon, to address your two issues.

1) I have no idea if they used illicit signals but don't think your book made the case that they did.

2) Little about the Burgay Tape makes any sense pro or con. All it confirms for me is I have little trust in the WBF or for any national organization to invistigate any of its top players.
Oct. 17
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Art, my point is one poster finds 2 examples of 4-2 fit in one final and a 3-3 fit. That is probably more than I would expect. My problem is I find it hard to accept that looking at other years won't find more of these “exceptions” in amounts that look normal to me.
Oct. 17
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So Hammond shows the 4-2 fit and Wilsmore calls them exception after stating where are the 4-2 fits. Isn't it to be expected that 4-2 fits would be rare with or without cheating.

This and other things bother me about the book. After finishing the book, I find it hard to accept it as objective.
Oct. 17
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My recollection is the answer to the 2353 hand depends on what you would rebid with a 3154 hand. If you would rebid 1NT with this hand then it is probably better to bid 2 here with the 2353. This is based on discussions and simulations from almost 20 years ago with a 12-14 minimum. I doubt much would change for a 11-13 min. Of course, the actual results of the simulations also depend on what type of hands responder will rebid 2 with holding 5 hearts and agree with Gordon that it is not an easy simulation.

As for the 1354 hand, I don't remember the simulations for this but my preference is to raise to 2 when my heart holding is Honor third.
Oct. 14
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It would seem you might have to make a minor change to your simulation. If responder has 4 hearts, he might have 4 spades. Not sure this would change your results much, but it might
Oct. 14
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I think with the two hands all you have shown is Avarelli grossly overbid his hand. I play regularly with a 90 year old National Champion who believes that the Blue Team cheated and that was the opinion of a majority of the experts at the time. That is part of the reason I am reading your book to look at hands. There are just too many hands in the book that need better documentation as they just don't seem all that unusual to me.

Let me give you an example (another example from the last part of the book I have read so far). On page 134 you give a hand (board 110 from the 1958 Bermuda Bowl). Forquet makes a takeout double of 1 and Siniscalco with 4 cards in each major bids 1. Now Forquet had 3 spades and 2 hearts and part of what you imply is Siniscalco guessed well. (and yes I see your comment about what the 4th player had). Now before I can even judge here, I need to know what they normally do when they have to equal 4 card major suits in response to a takeout double. I need to see several more examples to see if they always seem to find the right major when partner was off-shape. Without that, the example seems out of place if you are trying to show cheating.

I am not saying there aren't hands that bother me, what I am saying is you have included too many hands that seem to imply guilt by result even when there is a weak case for the hand given.
Oct. 12
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So Far I am up to page 140 of the book and find it too much of a case of “Throw everything against the wall and see what sticks”. Yes there are hands that seem unusual but a lot of hands in the book I would question why they are there.

As an example, I'll take a hand on pg 136 under the title of Range Signal. The author states “Here we see a possible range signal in action”. He then produces a 1962 Bermuda Bowl Final hand (board 51) where Belladonna and Avarelli bid to 6. They did this on just 26 HCP but to go further, the slam needs spades 3-3 and the Ace of hearts onside. That's about an 18% slam. It did come in but it is hardly a good slam or any indication that they hand the extras to bid the slam. Did Avarelli overbid, the answer is yes and he got lucky. If this is how they cheated, they weren't too good at it.

If you are trying to make the case that the Blue Team was cheating, it really seems silly to use a hand that made that was grossly against the odds.
Oct. 12
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I like it to show the Ace or King of clubs but not necessarily 3 or more clubs. Partner with AQ should not be afraid to lead low from the suit.
Oct. 12
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To me this shows 6 hearts and 16-18 evaluated. The heart suit was too weak to rebid 3 hearts
Oct. 8
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1 is alertable the way you have described it
Oct. 4
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Avon, you do mention a 4054 hand here in your comments on hand 1 which is a little misleading. Yes it was about a different hand but it confuses the issue here. The hand you used doubled 1 and you wanted to imply that he was very short in hearts (an unbid suit). On the actual hand we know the doubler is not short in spades.
Oct. 4
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If 2 is taken as not forcing then why would I ever want to bid 2NT. A simple raise right away to 3 was right.
Sept. 23
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I would have bid 2 (pass or correct to diamonds).
Sept. 23
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Because your hand is too good
Sept. 23
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glad to see everyone is doubling. 3 just seems to be less efficient in showing this hand.
Sept. 23
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The fact that I have only 5HCP isn't what is scaring me from balancing. Partner should have an opening hand. The fact that partner has 4 or 5 hearts and no certainty that he has 3 spades is.

As an example opener could be 4513 and responder is 3163. That makes partner 1543 and if I bid I am in trouble. This is an extreme case but there are many cases where partner has 2 or less spades and 4+ diamonds. Just to uncertain to come in.
Sept. 23
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I was once advised that the best time to psyche is when you are vul vs not. Wonder if North got the same advise.
Sept. 20
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I don't think 3 is an underbid. I would have liked to repeat my hearts but as you said, it is too good for 2 and the suit is awful for 3. 3 should show invitational or almost invitational values and that is what I have
Sept. 17
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The one thing I know I'm not doing is making a negative double with North's hand. South is just resulting.
Sept. 14
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An interesting hand with 3 poor choices, yet you do have to make a choice. Awfully strong for a pass, Terrible suit to bid on the 2 level, and a questional stopper for 1NT.

Looks like a goood problem.
Sept. 13
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