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All comments by Nicolas Hammond
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Just some 7NT facts - nothing to do with OP.
There are ~3.7906E+45 (~3.8 x 10^45) ways of bidding to 7NT. It is unlikely anyone has system notes to cover all of those auctions.
The number of 7NT contracts that are easily found through public data is in the hundreds, not thousands, making this data set a little small for analysis. Following data is from high level team games, not pair games.
About 5% of the time when you are on opening lead against 7NT you will have an ace.
About 10% of the time when you are on lead against 7NT with an ace you will forget to double.
One example:
http://www.bridgebase.com/tools/handviewer.html?bbo=y&linurl=https://www.bridgebase.com/tools/vugraph_linfetch.php?id=52986 (board 14).
About 5% of BBO files have errors in them.
About 3% of the time against 7NT your partner has an ace.
About 40% of the time against 7NT when your partner has an ace, they forget to double.
If they don't double, you have approximately a 1 in 3 chance of leading their suit.
If they do double, you have approximately a 1 in 2 chance of leading their suit.
About 1 in 3 times against 7NT you will have a king. For those times:
If you have AK, you will lead A (or K).
If you have KQ you will lead K (or Q) (1 exception).
About 1 in 7 times you will lead away from your unsupported king.
Dec. 24, 2018
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“The sequence 1NT 3NT crops up all the time”. It doesn't. The data sets are too small for meaningful analysis.
Dec. 24, 2018
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Kit: I agree with your points 1-4. However, there is an additional point that must be taken into account. The problem in this case is there is AI after the UI. Does any of Law 16 A 1 a or 16 A 1 c override the Law 16 B? There is an awkward comma after the second “or” in 16 A 1 c.

5. Does the AI override the UI?

The ACBL rule book is here: http://web2.acbl.org/documentlibrary/play/Laws-of-Duplicate-Bridge.pdf

I'm not going to copy the entire Law 16.

This case is unusual because there is AI after the UI. The consensus seems to be that the UI came first, the AI is immaterial. I don't think that the Law draftees envisioned this.

What is needed is a Laws Supreme Court where decisions like this can be fully explained and articulated. Future rulings can be based on interpretation from this SC. I am not suggesting that the decision is overturned - what is needed is clarity in how to interpret the AI/UI. Also more clarity/explanation on words that quantify actions but the quantification is not precisely defined.
Dec. 21, 2018
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MR: “Who wouldn't lead from KQ versus 7N?”
A - Sartaj Hans.
http://www.bridgebase.com/tools/handviewer.html?bbo=y&linurl=https://www.bridgebase.com/tools/vugraph_linfetch.php?id=20857 Board 8.
(I fully admit that the BBO record could be incorrect).
Dec. 21, 2018
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MR: “Partner having ANY ace against 7N is really unusual.”
Care to define “really unusual”, i.e. 1 in X or some percentage? I have data from top level play so know what the X (or percentage) is. Curious, what semantically “really unusual” means to you (or others). See earlier comment on the vagaries of the Laws and the wording used.
We have lots of people commenting that if you have an Ace and partner is on lead that you should double. So… how often does that really happen in top level play. You have an Ace, partner is on lead, contract is 7NT. How often is a double made?
A corollary would be: how often does the opening leader actually lead partner's suit? The set of hands is 7NTX (X by the person not on lead). How often does the opening leader find the suit that you have the ace?
Dec. 21, 2018
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Ray: The 2009 ACBL Commission would have been based on the 2007 Laws. The Laws were re-written for 2017. There were some changes to the wording of 16 B. IANAL, but this would seem to imply that the 2009 minute(s) could not be properly applied to the 2017 Laws.

What is lacking is a description of the various words used in the Laws, “demonstrably suggested”, “significant proportion”, “seriously consider”, “might select” are all phrases that reasonable people could have different interpretations on.
Dec. 21, 2018
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There's more information available on Buratti/Lanzarotti in 2018 than there was in 2014. If I find the time, at some point I may publish it.
Dec. 19, 2018
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The Laws were re-written in 2017. The previous Laws were 2007. Duplicate Decisions is, per comments above, 2008. Law 16 B was re-written/re-worded in 2017. Therefore reference to 2008 documents to apply 2017 Laws is probably incorrect.
Dec. 18, 2018
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@Michael R: I only have data on WBF and European team games, ACBL does not track leads. 7NT is the fourth rarest contract (ignoring doubled/redoubled). Around 0.1% of hands. Or 1 in 1000. I don't know how many boards you play a year, so don't know how often you are expected to see 7NT each year.
I only have 2 boards with you on lead against 7NT. In one, you led your ace (you doubled before you led it), in the other you did not have a king to lead from.
In total, I could find 6 boards with 7NT that either you or Debbie were involved with, i.e. at the table. No-one led from their unsupported king… because there was no king in opening leader's hand.
I found some 7NT contracts with a lead of an unsupported king, but the defending side were bidding, making that lead more obvious.
The set of boards you are looking for is: 7NT, defending side did not bid, opening leader has an unsupported king, i.e. not KQ(xx). In total there were just over 50 I could find from high level competition (over 250K in my database). About 1 in 5,000 hands. In over 10% of these hands, a low card from the unsupported king was led. Approximately 1 in 50,000 hands.
In your 48 years of playing, I would suspect that someone may have led from an unsupported king against you. Memory is the second thing to go :-)

Therefore the appellants claim “A lead away from a king against a grand slam is high (sic) unlikely” I believe is self-serving and also incorrect. For me, > 10% is not “highly unlikely”.

Analyzing the bridge logic of the auction, the jump to 7 strongly implied no losers in diamonds OR a source of tricks (hearts/clubs) on which to throw dummy's losing diamonds so any losers could be ruffed. Therefore leading into a possible AQ of diamonds is unlikely to stop 7 making. By a similar logic the bid of 7NT implies extra tricks in dummy, i.e. longer spades than implied, so any of declarer's diamond losers would go away on those spades. This is all a moot point.

I think the directors made the correct rule based on Law 16. UI came first.

@Rena: I think the “ACBL” should edit the words in the appeal to remove poor grammar and to remove un-necessary incendiary comments.
Dec. 17, 2018
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I originally thought the comments, “A lead away from a king against a grand slam is high (sic)unlikely” and, “It was the unethical use of partner’s BIT that produced the diamond lead” were written by the directors on the appeal. However, I believe that the 5 bulleted points in “The Appeal” (see above) were written by the appealing side.

As such, these comments should be considered self-serving.

A blanket statement, “A lead away from a king against a grand slam is high (sic) unlikely” is not true. Well, it might be, but you have to define what “high (sic) unlikely” is. Looking at the data, it did not meet my reasonable criteria of what “highly unlikely” would be. And…. to be more specific, there are no lead records kept in ACBL pair events so it is unknown what is “highly unlikely” in ACBL pair events. I do know what the data is for worldwide team events at the high level.

Second point: I really think everyone should read the Laws before posting their opinion. I think the directors followed Law 16. Without cameras, we don't know if the AI occurred before the UI. Without video, we don't know if North selected their lead before the UI was established or not, but we assume that the lead was selected after the UI. As such, the Laws imply that the UI prohibits the diamond lead. The AI does not affect the initial UI.

I think the directors did a good job except they should have removed the word “unethical” in the write-up and they should have replaced the word “high” with “highly”. It appears that if ACBL copies your appeal text into the final wording then you could write anything in your appeal, “I think XXX is an *”, and ACBL would dutifully print it.
Dec. 17, 2018
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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russ_Ekeblad if anyone has any to add to his Wikipedia page.
Dec. 14, 2018
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I don't have info about T2. But I do have the final scores so can look at what happened by the end of the hand. Click on the link 4 comments above. When it brings up the BBO screen, click on the “GIB” button to see what to do double dummy.

If East leads a heart or club, North can make 3NT - double dummy. If East leads anything else then when West gets in with the A, she must return the Q to set the contract.

Single dummy I don't know what happened at the various tables.

I would expect the lead to be the fourth best heart at most tables. You can see that most people probably did this. Your score was 40%. For whatever reason, some people were able to set the contract and scored 90%. Why/how? - I don't know.
Dec. 9, 2018
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For this challenge I decided on the opponents based on final finish. All the hands were on VuGraph so I could look up the bidding for this particular opponent on this board. As I noted, neither West bid 4. It just so happens that 4 makes.
Dec. 9, 2018
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I am not estimating scores. I am going from the real matchpoint scores. This is what makes this different from nearly all other bidding competitions.
Dec. 7, 2018
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The list is public: http://web2.acbl.org/discipline/CurrentlyUnderDisciplineList.pdf
Presumably you are supposed to know someone recently added.
Dec. 4, 2018
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Happy to be corrected, but during my entire interaction, he appeared to be working for the ACBL management and represented himself as such. When there was a conflict, he did not recuse himself. The Copyright issue being the most egregious when Peter Rank negotiated the ACBLscore+ contract, and then refused the Board permission to view the contract and the discussions with ACBL's outside counsel on the Copyright issue. Peter Rank negotiated the contract as part of ACBL (management) and then also advised the board not to investigate the original contract. If even was supposed to represent the Board, then once he did work for management, and there is an issue with the work he did, it is incumbent on Peter Rank to recuse himself; or for the board to get outside counsel.
Dec. 4, 2018
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It doesn't. I suspect at the table I might wait one round and then bid 2.
Dec. 4, 2018
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Fixed. Thanks.
Dec. 4, 2018
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Peter Rank also worked for the ACBL and not the BOD.
Dec. 4, 2018
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