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All comments by Nick Krnjevic
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Dean - I'll address your comments in the order presented:

1) We agree: save for long KO matches, it is logistically impractical to provide the type of prior disclosure necessary to protect the opponents from unusual agreements.

2) It is up to the opponents to decide what methods, if any, they wish to adopt to cater to your unusual methods. I have some difficulty understanding how supporting prior disclosure (if logistically feasible) could be construed as an attempt to induce opponents to adopt inferior methods.

3) License to steal is a figure of speech.

4)You have me at a disadvantage - which part of my post is this intended to address?
Feb. 3, 2014
Nick Krnjevic edited this comment Feb. 3, 2014
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Dean, with respect, your vision of disclosure essentially gives you a low-frequency license to steal from unprotected opponents.

If the opponents were aware that your partnership history is such that 3H *might*, albeit very infrequently, be short, they could have decided *beforehand* to modify their competitive methods to cater to that possibility.

For example, while not optimal, they might have chosen to adopt a primitive solution such as Fishbein - i.e. double of the preempt is penalties, the cheapest bid is a takeout double, and other bids are natural.

More practically, they might have decided to a) play forcing pass in 4th seat, and b) adopt a Meckwellian inversion of the meaning of Pass and Double.

Admittedly, they might also decide that “short hearts” occurs with such a low frequency they will not change their current competitive methods.

But at least prior disclosure gives them the option. Without that option, you effectively prevent them from any realistic chance of having an *informed* auction when you do have short hearts, since they can't change methods in the midst of the auction.

Is prior disclosure of this type of treatment practical for events other than long team matches involving sophisticated players?

Of course not.

Pair games, Swiss events, and short KO events would drag on interminably if each a pair had to work out, on the spot, a reasonable defense to cater to this possibility.

Since the regulators can't protect the opponents, and since they quite reasonably see no reason why you should be able to essentially rob unprotected opponents blind some small percentage of the time, it is hardly surprising that many jurisdictions would ban this type of agreement.
Feb. 2, 2014
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+50 E/W :-)
Jan. 30, 2014
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Ed - there are *many* exceptions to the hearsay rule.

The ‘records of a regularly conducted activity’ is a long-established exception.

In one of its iterations it reads as follows:

“Records of a Regularly Conducted Activity. A record of an act, event, condition, opinion, or diagnosis if:

(A) the record was made at or near the time by — or from information transmitted by — someone with knowledge;

(B) the record was kept in the course of a regularly conducted activity of a business, organization, occupation, or calling, whether or not for profit;

(C) making the record was a regular practice of that activity;

(D) all these conditions are shown by the testimony of the custodian or another qualified witness, or by a certification that complies with a statute permitting certification; and

(E) neither the source of information nor the method or circumstances of preparation indicate a lack of trustworthiness.”
Jan. 30, 2014
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We may be at cross-purposes - the framework for analysis for UI is as follows:

1. Was there unauthorized information present? If yes, then,

2. Could a player have made a call that could have been demonstrably suggested by the unauthorized information? If yes, then

3. Was there a logical alternative call available that was less
suggested by the unauthorized information? A logical alternative
is one that would have been seriously considered by a substantial
number of equivalent players acting on all of the information that was legitimately available. If yes, then,

4. Were the opponents damaged through the use of unauthorized information?

My comments pertain to steps 2 and 3. These steps reflect an objective standard. Remarks made by the offender as to his particular idiosyncrasies are irrelevant.


I agree that self-serving statements are relevant in respect of step 1.

Jan. 30, 2014
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Ed - we may be discussing apples and oranges.

When the director is called in a hesitation sequence, he resolves the issue by comparing the offender's actions to a purely objective standard, namely the offender's peers. The offender can certainly argue that his action conformed to that standard.

But purely subjective statements seeking redress on the basis of unverifiable attributes that are peculiar to the offender (e.g. ‘Ask anybody - I never sell out at the 2 level, regardless of what I hold’) are inadmissible.
Jan. 29, 2014
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Ed - my sense is that both you and David are correct.

Hearsay evidence is generally inadmissible for the purpose of proving facts outside the personal knowledge of the witness because the accuracy of the evidence cannot be tested by cross-examination.

David's statement of the law is a bit off: he is mixing up oral evidence of a party's intentions with self-serving out-of-court statements (oral or written) made by a party who then seeks to introduce that statement into evidence to bolster his case.

By contrast, direct oral evidence presented by a party who is telling his side of the story is necessarily self-serving.

It's admissible - the constraint is what weight do you give to it (i.e. is it credible).

However, in a bridge context I think David is correct in equating oral self-serving evidence with hearsay because obvious logistical and social constraints preclude the director and/or committee from testing the accuracy of the self-serving statement.

For example, a player may well be telling the truth when he says ‘I always balance aggressively at mps even if unfavorable’.

But short of convening a hearing to hear evidence from his partners and opponents, there's no practical way of testing the accuracy of that assertion.

As regards the social constraint, imagine the fall-out if a director made rulings based on case-by-case assessments of credibility.

So in bridge the practical solution is to treat all such evidence as inadmissible regardless of whether it's being communicated by Galahad or Judas. Instead, the issue is resolved by reference to a purely objective standard, i.e. what action would have been taken by the proverbial group of peers.

Jan. 29, 2014
Nick Krnjevic edited this comment Jan. 29, 2014
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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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