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All comments by Adam Meyerson
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I’ve been involved in several cases where people were threatened with sanctions by the league when trying to withdraw from events in this way. In one case this includes a four person team where one team member fell ill and was literally throwing up between sets. And this was in much less major events.

This sort of thing really feels wrong to me — it confers a big advantage on their opponents who are much better rested for the final while also somewhat fixing the opponents who lost last round to a team that never planned to continue. And of course it wastes the time of spectators, vugraph operators, directors etc.

Obviously if this is some sort of medical or family emergency that’s a different story but given the foreknowledge the day before and willingness to play a half match, it really sounds like some players entered an event with no plans to finish. I hope they’re not getting a pass on this just because their team includes some well known players.
June 7
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The document is quite clear that openers rebids are forcing but not so clear about how to bid various hand types. What we do (and what seems to be common among serious pairs playing something SAYC-like) is to use openers rebid of his major as a catch all. In this style, openers rebids above two of his major are game forcing (like 15+) and opener rebids his major on any minimum where no cheaper bid makes sense. Responder can then bid 2nt or 3m with an invite or anything else to force.
May 7
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In SAYC (Standard American Yellow Card) it is forcing, because the 2/1 bidder promises a rebid unless opener's second call is at the game level.

However, the vast majority of “Standard American” players do not know (or care) what's in SAYC. For them, this sequence is commonly played as non-forcing (as is 1M-2m-2NT). This does create serious problems in finding forcing rebids by opener!
May 7
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For me it shows a hand that will not make game opposite a passed hand unless there’s a fit for my long suit. This prevents partner from inviting on 10-11 with no fit (and encourages partner to invite with such hands if I open one and rebid two). Point range winds up something like 8-12; it’s a little better than a normal weak two but not much.

This approach avoids needing special agreements for continuations that never come up; basically partner will pass or make a fitting invite (or bid game with a big fit).
May 6
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For me this depends on how natural the minor suit opening is. If it’s 3+ I like double showing four spades and 1 showing five. Most hands without spades can raise openers minor.

If the minor opening is 2+ (including all balanced hands in some range) then I like double as 4-5 spades and 2 as six spades, with 1 as 4+ clubs and 2 as 5+ diamonds. This helps with a lot more problem hands because raising on four could be a 4-2 fit whereas 2 rates to be a good partial on five opposite any balanced hand. I use 2 here as a NF takeout with 3244 or 31(45) figuring opener will have either a 4m or 4 most of the time.
April 3
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It's not at all clear what the right thing to measure might be at MP – comparing just these two leads on double-dummy play isn't really the accurate thing to do. There could be pairs playing 3NT from the other side, or pairs playing a doubled partial our way, or declarers or defenses who drop a trick after the lead, etc. I'm not convinced that your comparison is the right approach (for example +50 when the other lead goes minus is likely a tie for top no matter what goes on at other tables, whereas -400 when the other lead is double-dummy -430 is unlikely to gain more than a few matchpoints given someone can be -400 after a misguess by declarer on the other lead or -300 in a doubled partial, etc).
April 2
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My estimates for Las Vegas looked like:

$1800 for hotel (ten nights)
$1200 for entries (I think they raised NABC to $30/session, two people for ten days)
$1000 for food
$2000 for flights (expensive to fly from Europe)

So entries were only about 20% but the total cost seemed pretty high just to play bridge (this is also not counting opportunity cost from not working, which is potentially quite expensive). We eventually decided it wasn't worth attending at this price.

Compared to the last Vegas nationals all these costs have gone up a lot (flights mostly because of where we're coming from, but hotel costs are up a lot in LV and NABC+ entry fees have almost doubled).
April 2
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You don’t need to beat the hand off the top. If partner has QJx or Qxx or Axx or maybe even Qx a heart lead will often work out. Even if opener can/will hold up in the suit, you will sometimes gain.
April 2
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I did eliminate responders five-four majors hands. With respect to 4M-6m hands I think most people stayman on those?

I don’t really know what the right assumptions are on shapely non slam hands. I tend to show my shape as much as methods allow (for me the given auction basically denies a singleton non-honor) but my impression is that most people do not bid the way I do here.
April 2
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I ran a slightly different simulation, allowing dummy to have any singleton and disallowing partner from holding a six-card spade suit (figuring he might've bid, especially given he's likely to have some values). My results:

5: Average tricks 2.91, 18.31% to set (3 is the same)
6: Average tricks 2.82, 11.40% to set

Over 10,000 hands, this is a fairly significant advantage to the heart lead. So my changes seem to have made significant difference here.
April 2
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We use:

2 = normal single raise (less than invitational, inverted minors OFF in competition)
3 = exactly invitational-to-game raise
2NT = either weak preemptive raise or a GF+ raise (forcing one round obviously)
jump-in-a-new-suit as fit-showing (suit bid plus diamonds)
XX = general values, four-card fit is possible (five-card fit not so much)
March 30
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These books are very controversial because they are based heavily on double-dummy simulation, and their evidence contradicts the conventional wisdom (in the USA at least) of making frequent “active” leads away from honors in many/most situations.

If one is willing to keep an open mind, I think the books are interesting. The authors do address weaknesses of double-dummy analysis and note that real players do seem to blow a lot of IMPs by making opening leads that they don't recommend. And there are some interesting rules to follow (particular auctions calling for major vs. minor suit leads, that it's usually better to lead an honor from two touching against notrump from holdings like KQ8x rather than low, that three-card holdings like HHx in unbid suits tend to be underrated leads at notrump and doubletons tend to be underrated leads at suits, etc).
March 28
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We play a different structure with somewhat similar effects. Our sequences after 1NT-2-2:

2 = 5+ exactly invite, NF, does not promise hearts
2NT = balanced invite
3 = GF relay looking for a minor-suit fit, normally balanced
3 = diamond shortness without a five-card major (i.e. 3415, 4315)
3M = smolen but always (54)22
3NT = to play

2 = puppet to 2 (opener bids 2 and then:)
… pass = 5-4 and weak
… 2NT = exactly invitational with 4-5
… 3m = shortness in the other minor with (54) in the majors
… 3 = 4-6 invitational

This lets us show shortness with both majors hands. Three-suiters short in suits other than diamonds start with 1NT-3 (short clubs) or 1NT-3M (short other major, four cards in bid major) or a minor suit transfer (3-1 in the majors, transfer to longer minor).

While I guess you could play “full transfers” rather than just the 2 puppet, we find that 2 invitational here is super-useful (lets you stop in 2 instead of 2NT/3 a lot, lets 1NT-2-2-2NT be forcing to describe hand types better, etc).
March 20
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Less than invitational, has a wide range that includes both “weak runout” and “somewhat constructive” (would start with a redouble to invite). Certainly not forcing.
March 19
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Qxx x Jxxx AQxxx
Kxx xxx AKQx Kxx

Would you rather play 3nt or 5? I think I’ll show the shortness.
March 15
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Suppose when this pair discussed their methods before the game, the pro explicitly said “if I ever bid 3NT, just pass no matter what you have” and client is following the instruction. Presumably you'd agree that such an agreement requires some disclosure!

Okay, let's assume they never had this discussion. But the pro seems sufficiently sure that partner will behave this way, for whatever reason, that he is making what seems like a very risky psych in this auction. Mightn't this rise to the level of an implicit agreement?

It's true that partner may be so oblivious at the table that he doesn't realize the pro is taking these kinds of liberties with impunity. But I don't think “I don't have to disclose my style/tendencies because even though we've played together a lot, partner is too weak a player to have picked up on anything” is a legitimate excuse for non-disclosure.
March 9
Adam Meyerson edited this comment March 9
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One big issue is investment in the future of the game. If bridge is to survive, we need to encourage/support bridge teachers and programs for players of all levels. If we had two organizations, it'd be easier for them to squabble over who pays for this effort, which would substantially reduce the chances of success. We should also do more to encourage top players to show up at clubs (good way to teach/promote the game) as well as “club players” to show up at tournaments, and the more the two organizations view each other as competition the less likely this will be to happen.
March 2
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I think it makes sense to play transfers here. For me this would be:

2 = diamonds
2 = hearts
2 = inv+ with clubs
2 = stopper ask
2NT = natural
3 = less than invite with clubs

Of course different schemes are possible, but assuming “short club” means all balanced hands out of NT range and not just 4432 exactly it's going to be balanced so often that we should probably tune our methods to that possibility.
Feb. 16
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I’ve had success playing double as takeout — it shows 0-2 in the opponents suit with usually three card support (occasionally honor doubleton) and 3-4 in the fourth suit. This helps a lot to find 4-4 fits in the fourth suit and also clarifies a lot of follow up auctions (respond to X like a takeout double and not like a raise) and avoids 2M when we are 3-3 or even 4-3 in the opponents suit. This also applies above 2M (but shows extras in that case).

Would prefer a straight support double to “penalty” or “cards” though.
Feb. 14
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