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All comments by Wayne Burrows
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So why do you want to select someone who is good on the unimportant hands but might screw up more of the important ones?

Completely different skills are rewarded in each form of scoring. It is not even close on many hands. Bidding tight games, major v minor or no trumps at every level, doubling partscores, preempts, entering auctions competitively, active v passive leads, safety plays. The winning long run strategy in those and more aspects of the game is almost opposite for each form of scoring.
Nov. 9, 2018
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I have seen this with chrome.
Nov. 9, 2018
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King from king jack over the queen ten is very common.

When I tried it, declarer asked did you false card as he played the ten and I said yes as I won my jack.
Nov. 9, 2018
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The more I read this the more I cannot comprehend how using MPs to select the best IMP players has any basis whatsoever. It is like selecting tennis players based on their skill at table tennis. Completely different games.

A pair who wins two out of three boards with good sacrifices of -500 against 600 games is scoring 67% at MPs but losing six IMPs (2 IMPs a board) at IMPs. That is how different MPs is to IMPs. And there are many of these scenarios.
Nov. 8, 2018
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I don't have to ask here.
Nov. 7, 2018
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Good matchpoint bridge can be bad IMP bridge and vice versa. I think playing a matchpoint trial is a very bad idea.
Nov. 7, 2018
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I wonder under the same assumption what the probability of that team winning a double round robin of shorter matches is.
Nov. 6, 2018
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I think you need to describe this with more than just that partner is expected to pass. For example the choice of double may be influenced by other agreements or style. Perhaps that you do not bid 3nt without a stopper etc.

If double was penalties and the doubler turned up with two small trumps and that was with the normal expectation for this partnership i think it would be reasonable to feel muddled by an explanation that just said penalties.
Nov. 6, 2018
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I wouldn't worry about when the music stops if it is a round robin. The other problems with teams out of contention and who gets to play them in the last round(s) is a much bigger problem.
Nov. 6, 2018
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Fair enough. It just seems really odd to me that they had formats that were more reasonable and they changed in this case to a trial of half the length.

As I said knockout would be better. But 48 boards for one knockout is pretty cutthroat.
Nov. 5, 2018
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The event Stephen is referring to had made this announcement in advance of the applications for the trials:

“Should a trial take place then it would be over 2/3 days. Suggested formats are as follows with 16
board sets.
Two teams - 128 boards over 2 days
Three teams - 96 boards as a trifecta over 1½ days then a 96 board final over 1½ days with full
carryover.
Four teams - 96 boards over 1½ days double round robin, then 96 board final over 1½ days with full
carryover.”

With the proviso that the formats could alter. When the trials were announced there were two separate trials (for different teams.)

In one trial there were two teams and the format was reduced to 96 boards. In the other trial there were four teams and the format was reduced from an anticipated 192 boards including a final to 96 boards without a final. No justification was provided for the change.

One problem not mentioned is that the trials are to find teams of six but the trial teams were restricted and in some cases formed by the selectors as teams of four.

That obviously limits playing the same format as the event. For one thing there is a huge difference between playing 64 boards a day in a team of four and playing 32 or 48 boards as part of a team of six.

It seems clear to me that any sort of round robin is problematic as relatively early on it is very likely that there will be a team out of contention. There is no way to make those players play in the same way in the later rounds as if they were in contention. We have all been there, where we are out of contention and we slip into some sort of autopilot mode compared to when everything is on the line and we make every effort to try our very best.

The only way around this is to have a knockout format. So that a team out of contention in its match cannot affect the result of other contenders.

If there is a knockout then I would be opposed to a seeded draw unless there was a completely objective method to do the seeding - like for example playoff points as they have in Australia although I have no idea whether they are used for seeding. However even then like masterpoints, although objective they may not be good predictors of seeding. Without an objective measure then seeding is just trying to pick winners in my view. Basically the seeder is giving the team it thinks is best the advantage of playing against the team it thinks is worst. The trial should be designed to find out who is best not predetermine who has the easiest ride.

Especially with only four teams the best team needs to be able to beat any of the other teams. Provided the matches are long and the semi-final and finals are of the same length it will not matter whether the best two teams play in the first round or the final.
Nov. 5, 2018
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Why is both majors the most important hand type?

Against a weak nt or a strong nt that can be weak as is the modern style certainly a major game or nt game should be out primary focus. And even in partscores majors score better than minors.

However hands with a major fit are more likely to be a major minor two suiter than both majors. The frequency is not close.
Nov. 4, 2018
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I found that 2 hearts and another and 2 spades and another work well if you first show your shorter major. Actually, unless five-five we played these bids show four cards in the major and five or more of another.

Over 2 hearts and another:

2 = pass or correct for your second suit.
2 = four hearts or three hearts with a side singleton.

Over the 2 response the overcaller bids:

2 a five-five hand.
2 five or more spades.
3m five or more in the minor.

Over 2 spades and another the scheme is similar with 2 as pass or correct.
Nov. 4, 2018
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Not sure what X of 1 shows nor what other actions would have shown. Assuming there are no fancy agreements, I would prefer 2 to the double of 1. I would play the 2 bid as showing about 6-9 with five hearts. Five working points opposite a minimum takeout double and a couple of tens make this hand good enough for me.

Now doubler can see more potential than after the double by west which possibly could have been based on a four-card suit.
Nov. 1, 2018
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Finding a 5=3 fit is not the only problem on this auction.

If they raise spades further then partner is equipped with a takeout double:

1♣ 1♠ X 2♠
X 3 X

and opener can bid 3NT or show three hearts or take some other action.

Telling partner I have a good hand with no clear direction is useful information that partner can use when there is subsequent further competition.
Nov. 1, 2018
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It will normally be safe to bid another strain as with three hearts opener will normally bid 3 over 3m.
Nov. 1, 2018
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Very many good hands that do not have four hearts go through this double.

Here is what other bids mean for me:

1 1 X 2

2NT 18-19 balanced with a stopper
3 Most minimum hands with six clubs
3 A natural reverse very strong since the reverse is at the 3-level.
3 A minimum raise
3 A good heart raise, better than 4 often a spade splinter.*
3NT A good hand with long clubs that wants to offer 3NT.
4 Very good and distributional - some might play it shows some (four) hearts.
4 Splinter
4 Good raise without a splinter.

Therefore double is usually a good hand without a spade stopper.

- 18-19 balanced without a spade stopper.
- Six clubs and extra values and not willing to try 3NT
- A diamond reverse with heart fragment or even slightly less values than a reverse with five clubs and three hearts.
- Possibly some other hands e.g. 4=5 in minors without three hearts and not strong enough to force with 3.
Oct. 31, 2018
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With bad clubs and three spades and a singleton I would never seriously consider playing 2.
Oct. 31, 2018
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If north has three diamonds then the odds of having the three lowest diamonds are 1/84 without any other information. The information that both east and south have bid increases the chance of north's cards being small slightly.

In my simulation code, when north had precisely three diamonds it was almost exactly twice as common as the odds above to have three three smallest diamonds so about 1/42.

On a similar basis the odds of north have three of the bottom four outstanding diamonds would be about 1/10 - roughly four times more likely.

Of course the possibility of north having four diamonds makes the odds of these events less likely.
Oct. 25, 2018
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Yes I understand that but that is the price you pay for going after a forcing defence. Assuming partner has clubs then having an honour makes it less likely the suit is in fact frozen.

It just seems that a forcing defence is wrong, on balance, on this sort of hand.
Oct. 25, 2018
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