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All comments by Nick Krnjevic
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David - the corollary to your 4th/5th paragraphs is that if North was South's regular partner (i.e. peer as opposed to mentor)3C is automatic and pass is not a logical alternative.
Jan. 18, 2014
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Playing the last board of a Swiss match against the late-great Mark (Moon) Molson and Boris (Bo) Baran, pard put me in a shaky slam in a belated attempt to offset some earlier indiscretions (mostly mine).

Moon led the unbid suit, of which dummy had Qxx. Bo won the Ace and returned the suit.

When I won the K, Bo glowered (if you know Bo you'll understand the full import of the word “glower”)and, in his inimitable manner, proceeded to give my pard the height of s..t for having made a “(insert basic Anglo-Saxon verb, colloquially used to describe the act of copulation) moronic bid” (this was *long* before ZT).

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I had a two-way guess for the trump Queen. While the percentage play was to hook Bo (the position was the equivalent of A543 in dummy opposite KJT2), even a tone-deaf greenhorn like me could figure out that the table action (pyrotechnics?) had to be taken into account.

I shot a glance at Moon, who was doing his best inscrutable Buddhist monk imitation.

I looked back at Bo who had changed gear and was turning an impressive shade of purple while describing my partner's bidding in unusually vivid (and anatomically impossible) terms.

I eventually decided that the chance of Bo throwing a Force 10 tantrum while holding the Q of trumps was pretty remote.

So I went against the odds and successfully hooked Moon, who promptly had a meltdown that rivaled Three Mile Island, and screamed at Bo for having given the show away.

Bo doesn't respond well to angry rants, and you could have sold tickets to the oral version of a Pier 6 brawl that then erupted between the opps.

We lost this match by 2, and finished just out of the money.

Moon and Bo, who would have won had the slam gone down, came 3rd.

It was - by a country mile - the most satisfying loss I have ever had.

Jan. 7, 2014
Nick Krnjevic edited this comment Jan. 7, 2014
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Normand - Félicitations!

Je te souhaite une vie pleine d'amour et de bonheur, et bien sûr une lune de miel merveilleuse en Afrique.
Jan. 6, 2014
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Kit - do you play 10-12 at matchpoints as well as imps?

I asked Meckstroth about this a number of years ago - he thought the benefits of a 10-12 NT were more than offset by the bad scores he was getting when a 4-4 major suit fit was missed.

Dec. 25, 2013
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John - think Rueful Rabbit as conceived by BJ Becker.
Dec. 11, 2013
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Bill - can you give us a clue re the identity of the initiator of that exchange? I still can't believe her opening salvo……
Dec. 11, 2013
Nick Krnjevic edited this comment Dec. 11, 2013
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wrong verb :-)
Dec. 9, 2013
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'Current data' - really?

Paul - half a century ago BAT, Philip Morris, and the rest of that fine upstanding group that is generically known as “Big Tobacco”, were busy generating studies (usually via their pet research tank, the Tobacco Institute Research Committee)saying precisely the same thing.

Want examples?

How about Liggett & Myers widely publicizing the results of tests run by Arthur D. Little, Inc. showing that “smoking Chesterfields would have no adverse effects on the throat, sinuses or affected organs.”

Or American Tobacco Co., R.J. Reynolds, Philip Morris, U.S. Tobacco Co., Lorillard, and Brown & Williamson's 1954 response (via the Tobacco Institute Research Committee), published in over 400 newspapers to Dr. Wynder's mice study:

“A FRANK STATEMENT TO CIGARETTE SMOKERS:

RECENT REPORTS on experiments with mice have given wide publicity to a theory that cigarette smoking is in some way linked with lung cancer in human beings.

Although conducted by doctors of professional standing, these experiments are not regarded as conclusive in the field of cancer research. However, we do not believe results are inconclusive, should be disregarded or lightly dismissed. At the same time, we feel it is in the public interest to call attention to the fact that eminent doctors and research scientists have publicly questioned the claimed significance of these experiments.

Distinguished authorities point out:

That medical research of recent years indicates many possible causes of lung cancer.

That there is no agreement among the authorities regarding what the cause is.

That there is no proof that cigarette smoking is one of the causes.

That statistics purporting to link cigarette smoking with the disease could apply with equal force to any one of many other aspects of modern life. Indeed the validity of the statistics themselves is questioned by numerous scientists.

We accept an interest in people's health as a basic responsibility, paramount to every other consideration in our business

We believe the products we make are not injurious to health.”



Dec. 9, 2013
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Congratulations!

And a great picture - as well as an interesting role reversal for Steve to be the one putting the paternal arm around the shoulder of his partner.
Dec. 6, 2013
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Beautifully played hand.

Am curious as to whether declarer would have got spades right if your pard had found a counterintuitive duck of the QS.
Nov. 25, 2013
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I remember kibitzing Paul Soloway in harness with Eddie Wold in a regional Swiss 20+ years ago.

Wold was declaring and had a KJ guess in the end game. The distribution strongly favored playing to the J, but Wold's RHO flickered imperceptibly when discarding at trick 10.

Wold promptly led towards dummy at trick 11 and called for the K, to which Soloway groaned “Noooooo…” which changed to “oooOOOOOOOHHHH….” when RHO's Q appeared.

Soloway cocked an eyebrow at Wold, who said “I know, I know, but this was a certainty given that twitch”.

I now knew what a butcher felt like when watching a surgeon.
Nov. 19, 2013
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John - your line works well on the actual layout, but it seems to assume that RHO has 3 trumps.

If RHO ruffed from two small trumps, and LHO does not play the Q on the trump return, the suggested line will be down one.
Oct. 16, 2013
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Lynn - I have no opinion as to whether the author has his facts straight as regards Madala. But if the author is correct, and Madala thought there was something to apologize for, then you may wish to reconsider your perspective.
Sept. 30, 2013
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Paul - as to your first point, my understanding is that Madala apologized to H/H after the fact, so it seems likely he would have advised the committee Bocchi hesitated.

Your second point is well-taken: while the hitch seems to have been particularly ill-timed, it's hard to see that it suggested which minor to lead.
Sept. 30, 2013
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Debbie - congratulations on a terrific initiative!
Sept. 30, 2013
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Paul - per the Norwegian website, the appeal committee seems to have dismissed Monaco's appeal of the 7H hand on the ground that it was not filed in timely manner.
Sept. 30, 2013
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Lynn - the author was using the “c” word in reference to Bocchi's ‘Lightner Pass’, not Madala's club lead.

And while the author was certainly tactless, it's worth noting that Madala (per the author) subsequently apologized to H/H/ for Bocchi's ill-timed hitch.
Sept. 30, 2013
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Thanks Ciaran.

For those of you (us?)who are twiddling their thumbs waiting for the semis to start, here is a trivia question that arises from the Butler data:

Who were the oddest pairs in the BB round-robin?

Sept. 25, 2013
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Terrific articles Sartaj.

And your point about virtue sometimes being its own reward is well taken.

Many moons ago I was having coffee with the late great Peter Nagy and Eric Kokish. For reasons I can't recall, Peter was playing on Eric's team but in partnership with George Mittelman instead of Eric.

Eric asked how Peter had found the session with George and Peter replied “good news-bad news”.

The good news was that George had played brilliantly: he had found both a number of superior lines of declarer play, and some well-thought out defensive gambits, the great bulk of which had been missed by his counterpart.

The bad news was that the lie of the cards was such that none of George's efforts made any difference to the outcome of the contracts.

Peter was delighted, however, by George's unwavering commitment to superlative technique.
Sept. 22, 2013
Nick Krnjevic edited this comment Sept. 22, 2013
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And in the interim I suggest we extend a collective “thank you!” to Jan for the tremendous effort she has put into making the blog both interesting and informative.
Sept. 16, 2013
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