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All comments by Steve Willner
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Or perhaps shocked that the rules were so strange. Is it common in Germany to prohibit two-system methods? Is it common that pairs who don't qualify for the main final are nevertheless expected to continue in the event? Expectations are different in different jurisdictions, and I'm trying to gain some perspective about the situation in Germany.

(In case anyone cares, in the ACBL, two-system methods are fine given proper disclosure, and I've never heard of anyone being required to play after being relegated to a consolation event.)
Sept. 2
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The drug dextroamphetamine seems to be a short-acting stimulant. Drugs suggested to improve thinking are methylphenidate (Ritalin) and Adderall, a mix of different compounds, one of which is dextroamphetamine. The study might be relevant to the latter – is there an expert here? – but seems irrelevant to the former.
Aug. 29
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Trying to impose the same alert rules on all jurisdictions is unlikely to work. Bidding systems and their histories differ widely throughout the world.
Aug. 29
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The experiment of not announcing an opening 15-17 1NT bid was tried, and it was a disaster. The problem was that with no announcement, opponents didn't know whether none was required or the announcement was forgotten.

Clubs can, at least in the ACBL, make their own rules about alerts and announcements. If there's a club where everyone plays 15-17, there's no reason to have announcements at all as long as the players understand the rules will be different at tournaments.
Aug. 29
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Hard to be exact, but an approximation might be one of the three top honors in partner's m plus:
1. three aces, or
2. A in one suit, AK in another, and “something” in the remaining suit. Maybe make “something” any four cards or Qxx, though it's a tactical decision that depends on opponents, form of scoring, state of match, and probably other things, or
3. AKQ and “something” in remaining two suits.

There are also hands I'd accept without an honor in partner's suit. AQx AQx AJT xxxx is one example for clubs, but it wouldn't have to be that good. This type is probably too hard to specify, but simulating just 1+2+3 above will give a lower limit on acceptances.

I expect partner to invite with any 6c or 7c suit including two top honors. Partner won't have much outside but might have a stray Q or J, especially if the suit doesn't include the A or J. Given that, I'd expect to make game more than 70% of the times I accept. (That's all the 3-2 breaks plus some of the 4-1s and sometimes we have 9+ cards.) I'd expect to accept less than 1/3 of the time, though. It will be interesting to see what the simulation shows.

The whole hand type is rare, and if you want to ignore it in order to improve your handling of more common types, that seems reasonable to me. What doesn't seem reasonable is opener's accepting or not based on point count.
Aug. 29
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The part about “if the defenders choose differently” was added in 2008. Before then, it was a widely accepted principle (I think a WBFLC “minute”) but not written in the Laws. Duplicate Decisions may not have been updated to conform with the 2008 Laws, but it's good enough for practical rulings on this subject.
Aug. 29
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I'm surprised by some of the discussion and in particular the idea that the criterion for accepting a minor-suit invitation is HCP. For me, it's some help in the minor and fast tricks outside. An ideal hand is m-Kxxx and three aces outside, only a 15-count. In practice, I'd accept with m-Kx and the three aces and similarly with AK and an A outside and something helpful in the fourth suit. On the other hand, with m-Axx and three KQs, if somehow I'd opened 1NT with that 19-count, I wouldn't accept a minor suit invite unless it promised an outside card. (For me to invite, KQJxxx would be enough.)

I don't know how easy this will be to simulate, but I don't see that the work so far has been on point.

As others have written, even if you never invite with the minor-suit hand, you need some way to sign off in the minor. Most likely that will be at the three level, though 2 is possible in some methods.
Aug. 28
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Coming late to this, and the following may be too double-dummy or just wrong, but…

If East keeps both diamonds, when dummy exits J, West can win and lead Q – K, A. Then when East leads a diamond and West cashes out, the South hand is squeezed.
Aug. 28
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Don't Pavlicek's methods give _more_ sequences for GF hands: fourth suit plus all the jumps? I don't think fourth suit denies GF values. It only denies GF values with a strong preference about strain.

The downside of Pavlicek's method seems to be fewer GI sequences. In particular, a GI hand cannot show a strong preference about strain. Or do I have this wrong?
Aug. 22
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I thought one of the big advantages of pass-double inversion is that it doesn't matter so much whether you think pass is forcing or not. If you don't invert, there's a huge difference in the meaning of double. If pass was NF, double shows extra values and hints at willingness to bid on. If pass was F, double denies willingness to bid on. In the inversion case, double suggests some tolerance of bidding on – either extra values or extra offense – regardless of whether pass would be forcing or not.
Aug. 19
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What am I missing here? Opponents have agreed , but now they've bid at a high level. Are they likely to play in that suit? I'd use double of the 5 bid to help partner make a 5 or x decision over the expected 5 correction. In particular, absent some special agreement, I'd expect it to show values in .
Aug. 19
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I was only trying to suggest possible reasoning for the C&C committee. Acceptable agreements are not hard to find, but absent discussion, would you be confident you and partner have the same agreement in mind? Whether this should be a consideration at the Open Chart level is a different question, but it _might_ have been a reason for allowing nebulous bids but forbidding more specific ones.
Aug. 19
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I too used to play that sort of 1 bid. My partner and I checked several times when we first started playing it and were always told it was legal under the GCC. In practice, no opponent ever questioned it. However, as you can see, about half the voters think this bid is now illegal in pair games under the Open chart.

I think Tim's “subset rule” is reasonable, but it has never been part of the convention regulations. The reasoning _might_ be that over a nebulous bid, playing “everything natural” is fine, but over a transfer, one needs an agreement about bidding the suit shown. In the example, over Larry's and my 1, a 1 overcall shows , but what does it show if 1 promises specifically ? Does it make a difference whether 1 promises exactly four , four or more, or 5+? And are you sure you and your partner will agree?
Aug. 18
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I'd probably raise with that vul at IMPs but not otherwise. Partner should be playing me for about 7-8 points with some wasted in opponents' suit. This hand is worth about 7 but has nothing wasted, so it's barely better than a minimum. Overall, I don't think there's much in it either way.

Against that, I know Wayne is a better player than I am, so if he sees a problem here, there probably is one.
Aug. 18
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“If your opps are the only ones to bid slam then you are going to suffer.”

Which is inherent in all forms of duplicate bridge. It's balanced by your gains when opponents do something stupid. If you don't like this, par contests are the answer.

Let's put it this way: opponents bid a bad slam, but you mis-defend to let it make. Don't you think you should get a bad result? But how can the scoring system tell whether it was a bad slam you let make or a lucky one that was unbeatable?
Aug. 18
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Why are you using a datum instead of cross-IMPs? Exaggerated swings on bimodal boards is a well known flaw of Butler scoring. Or maybe not as well known as it should be, but it's obvious once you think about it.

In all duplicate games, if the opponents do something good, you will get a bad score that you can't help. Next board.
Aug. 17
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IMPs or matchpoints? I wouldn't discard all 2542s; some will overcall 2, some will double, and some will pass.
Aug. 17
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Is a 1 opening bid promising a 4-card major and at least Average Strength legal under this Chart? (No promise of length.)
Aug. 17
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I don't think Wayne and I disagree on anything important. Context matters.

I try to start with “Please explain” or “Please tell me about the auction,” but too often such questions produce little information. Starting that way at least has the advantage that I don't worry about the necessary followup questions.
Aug. 16
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Like Tim and Mike, I think “clubs with no extra values” is MI, and I'd expect an adjusted score if I played opener for a minimum opening but that failed because he in fact had extra values.

Of course asking about an individual bid is bad form and conveys UI. Much better if opponents ask about the whole auction, but few do that.
Aug. 16
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