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All comments by Nick Warren
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Yeah, I agree that the other two hands will normally be fairly ‘evenly divided’. However, what do we actually know or can reasonably infer. Diamonds in the unknown hands are 2=0 (South/East). Spades are probably 5=3. For the heart to not work as an entry to your hand, you're allowing for hearts to be 1=5 and clubs 5=5 (quite likely). For the club to not work you're allowing for the for the clubs to be 0=10 and the hearts to be 5=1 (and the spades will then be 6=2). But partner didn't mention his 10 card club suit in the auction????

Now which do we think is the more likely lie of the cards…
Jan. 19, 2015
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OK. I'll bite. The BIT before the 2N call does *not* suggest a slam try and therefore bidding 6, therefore 6 is a legal call. Whether it is sensible is another matter.
Jan. 16, 2015
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IMO, if an interpretation of the law on BIT means that *any* action by partner could be considered wrong, then either the interpretation is wrong (or the law is badly worded maybe). It can't be right that partner has no legal options.
Jan. 16, 2015
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Yeah. I rate myself as a tad above intermediate, but not expert. It is sometimes difficult sometimes to know what to say for the best in a thread.

Similarly on system. Nearly everyone here is playing standard or, more likely 2/1. Now I've got a lot of experience of different opening systems (Acol, min length of suits shown are (normally) 4=4=4=4, 5 card spades (5=4=4=3 with hearts not being very disciplined), also 5=4=4=3 where hearts showed 5 or guaranteed 4=4 majors, 5=5=4=2 and 5=5=5=1. Plus Precision and Blue Club. All shades of 1NT opener from 12-14 to 16-18 but very little 15-17. All strengths of 2/1 from 9+, 10+ and 11+ but never gf. Then I'm confronted by a thread with 5=5=3=3 with 15-17 and 2/1 gf and I have to stop myself and ask just what the heck is going on in a given sequence! Usually I just give up and say ‘these guys know what is going on, I’ll keep my ideas to myself!'
Jan. 16, 2015
Nick Warren edited this comment Jan. 16, 2015
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I think partner will drive to slam anyway with a holding that good.
Jan. 16, 2015
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Given that there are some soft values in this hand and the agreement is that 3 shows a good working 15 count and given that the Q is potentially waste paper, we've got a 14 count with some good playing strength, there is a case we've shown pretty much all we've got anyway. In which case I don't think one can say that 4 is wrong, rather than worrying about the meaning of 4 and 4N.

I agree that 4 is better used to agree hearts and be a cue or whatever.
Jan. 16, 2015
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XX would be SOS the way most people are taught I think (though with only a 3 card suit, this is not far off being right). 2NT certainly is asking for trouble. And I wouldn't dream of bidding 1NT with a flat 15/16 personally as we'd be a long way from game (partner has passed originally) and could be in trouble there (I'd rather pass and hope to take them down). So I think 1NT is OK if you want to show your strength here.

Jan. 15, 2015
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Ah, just seen your edit. Now 2 is an over bid, 3 is more likely to be left in and the risk of the 4-3 fit a little more costly. Personally I'd go for 1NT now - though I am quite prepared to be shouted down.
Jan. 15, 2015
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Playing a style where opener's 1 shows 4, then 2 (or 3 if using inverted minor responses)

If your opening 1 could be 3 cards, then the choice is less comfortable. 2 would normally promise a little more in high cards. 1NT would be the choice of some, though an unbalanced hand that includes support is hardly ideal. Or, again, 2 and risk it being a 4-3 fit (opponents will think you're in an 8+ card fit and probably compete in spades anyway). Personally I've never played better minor opening style - but 2 would be my choice I think.
Jan. 15, 2015
Nick Warren edited this comment Jan. 15, 2015
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Absent discussion to the contrary, I would think X of the (presumably) artificial 2 bid shows the suit doubled.

Whether this is the most efficient use of the X is possibly open to question, but it is certainly less taxing on the memory that way
Jan. 13, 2015
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“Now can someone use “granular” in a way that doesn't apply to sugar?”

Strong club systems achieve greater granularity for opener's unbalanced hands.
Jan. 12, 2015
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I don't think I did misunderstand what you said.

I agree that conforming to what a majority of experts think is not proven to be best and, at least in some cases, could be surpassed.
Dec. 2, 2014
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I'm not sure that “programmers will have to use the specific non human computer capabilities” is the whole of the answer. Indeed, if I've understood how Gib was programmed correctly, that particular program already does that.

This is a reasonable solution if you're fairly confident that yours will be the final bid of the auction. Problem is that if you have, for example, double dummied many hands based on what has been shown by the auction to date and taken the mostly likely +ev action, your hand may not entirely conform to what partner (robot or human) might expect of it - and then take an erroneous further action as a result.

Teaching a computer to bid is IMO a lot like teaching one to talk (intelligently). So far, chat bots have fooled a bunch of not very critical humans into thinking that possibly they are talking to another human, but computers have not really surpassed the Turing test if the communication has a purpose (as opposed to human sounding, but otherwise random gobbledygook.)
Dec. 2, 2014
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While computer card play is (with exceptions) capable of matching expert standard, I am not sure that bidding judgement is even close to that. Therefore, one may assume, that nobody is an expert on how to program computers on how to bid.
Dec. 2, 2014
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Yes, I would agree 99% wholeheartedly. The “big, new” project has a habit of falling flat on its face, while the old, supposedly rubbish system that was due to be replaced, carries on doing what it did.

There is, however, a caveat to that. Sometimes, the old system is in pretty much a terminal state.

Politics and budgets and so on have a part to play. Sometimes reactionary elements make sure that the new project fails. Or sometimes, management are prepared to pay X to build phase 1, but balk at paying another X in roll out costs and another X for phase 2 etc. So the plug gets pulled on the newer system (because either the true cost was not estimated properly in the first place or, more likely, management's heart wasn't really in it to begin with).
Nov. 12, 2014
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When I've directed, I've done it in the context of usually 9x3 board rounds. I took a laptop and had a timer program on it that I downloaded from somewhere (forget where now). Anyway I allowed 20 minutes a round and 1 minute time to move. The timer also gave me a reminder when there was 3 minutes to go, so I could call out for no more new boards to be started.

Usually the slow tables ignored this call, but did make sure they played the last board quickly. Some didn't like the distraction of this extra call - but conceded that we finished much more promptly than before.

(This plan, of course, goes out the window if you're a playing directory and get a lengthy call during the round - you end up having to give your table avg+ for the last board or adding some time on. Nothing is perfect.)
Nov. 11, 2014
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Well, I'm not sure that all this talk of possible missed games pulls a great deal of weight as this is probably a part score board. And 5 cards in the opps suit is normally a good reason to pass, but nobody vul is the right colours to bid on part score boards…
Nov. 10, 2014
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3 any colours
Nov. 10, 2014
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1nt is the least worst option to me
Nov. 7, 2014
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IMO completing the transfer on 3 is more of a MP oriented use of the bid. It avoids playing 1NT with both hands weakish, opener balanced, responder has 5M and is not strong enough to take another bid over 1NT. Though this is an advantage at IMPs, it isn't a big deal. However, 2M making versus 1NT (down or making) is huge at MPs. (And, in weak NT land, most of the pairs will be opening 1NT and transferring to the major, so you're probably behind the field and need to catch up!)

Obviously completing the transfer on all the weak NT type hands and therefore freeing 1NT to show 18+ bal (and thereby freeing 2NT for whatever awkward hand type you like) is better for big hands - and therefore of more interest to IMP players.
Nov. 6, 2014
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