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All comments by Arend Bayer
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I tried to keep the footnotes brief but accurate, sorry if I failed in that. 1D is unbalanced, except that a 5332 hand with five diamonds may choose to open 1D. (More likely to open 1D with a good suit, and more likely with 3=3=5=2.) 1C contains all other balanced 11-13 hands without a 5-card major, and all 17-19 balanced hands.
Jan. 8, 2018
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So double still shows four hearts, and you give up on the natural 1NT bid?
Jan. 7, 2018
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“Do we play support double when opponents bid a natural 1N?” seems a good question to poll for the Bridgewinners system.
Jan. 3, 2018
Arend Bayer edited this comment Jan. 3, 2018
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I think it is logically consistent to award a PP without a score adjustment in this board. Say you judge that over 2H, only 3H and 4H are logical alternatives. Then 4H is clearly suggested by the UI, and it is reasonably to conclude that every experienced player should be aware of that. If you also deem South to have a clear 4H bid over a 3H raise, then there is no basis for a score adjustment, but there is a basis for a PP.

(I disagree with this judgement, since passing 2H seems clear to me, so it is at least a LA.)

Unfortunately, even fairly experienced players are often confused about their obligations after UI from a mistaken explanation or lack of alert. I think that's simultaneously an argument for a high bar (“They genuinely didn't know.”) or a low bar (“We need to educate players.”) for assessing PPs in such situations.
Dec. 18, 2017
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Sorry, go is far more complex to learn than the “language” of bidding. The reason that it is difficult for AI to learn bridge is that you have to interface with humans, and we humans have strange ideas about disclosure of partnership agreements.
If every BBO partnership had their agreements available in machine-readable form, then I am sure you AI could easily learn to play bridge much better than humans.
Dec. 7, 2017
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I think this is a great idea. However, with all respect to Carl, I don't think he quite thought this through to the proper conclusion.

I see many players making odd choices in their second bid (such as making a short suit game try after 1S P 2S in a suit where there aren't short, or not giving correct responses to stayman) that can be quite successful against robots, but where human players would quickly figure out what is going on. Clearly we should also let robots specify the second round bid. I've also seen players make cuebids in suits where they have no control, or bid blackwood despite having a void, just to stop their partner from bidding a grand - all tactics that would be silly against humans. My solution is to have robots controls the entire auction.

I have also seen players postpone obvious claims for all but one of the remaining tricks, only to see one of the robot defenders make an obviously wrong discard and letting the human declarer get away with all the remaining tricks. Clearly, the robots should take over play as soon as every reasonable line and defense would lead to the same number of tricks.

For now, that would let humans choose the opening leads, and likely play the first few tricks of the hands. Once the crazy actions in the auction and the late play have been eliminated from the game, we could have another look at actions in the beginning of the play. If they turn out to be a proper measurs of skill, fine, if not, we can always let the robots take over even more.
July 14, 2017
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Han, you only say so because you don't get invited to the HoF induction dinners!
April 10, 2017
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At the table I led a club. On reflection, that seems questionable against weak NT/4-card majors - dummy is likely to have 5 clubs.

Dummy had Axx x QJ98 KQTxx, declarer KQTxx KQxxx xx x, leaving partner with xxxxxx Kxx Axx. Double dummy, your lead doesn't matter. Single dummy, partner reasonably played me for a club singleton.
Jan. 28, 2017
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Isn't the main concealment advantage of Puppet after the opening lead (and hence invisible to your study)?

Consider the auction
1. 1N-3C-3D-3H-3N versus
2a. 1N-2C-2D-3N or
2b. 1N-2C-2H-3N.

*After* the opening lead, the defenders know dummy's shape (duh). They also know whether declarer has four hearts in the stayman auctions, but not in the Puppet auction.
Jan. 17, 2017
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Thanks, I had suspected this is the case, and now I have found the threads:
A post by Frances Hinden explaining her methods:

http://www.bridgebase.com/forums/topic/25446-hmmmm/page__view__findpost__p__281456

A thread where this issue is discussed again:
http://www.bridgebase.com/forums/topic/27265-pass-or-redouble/
Jan. 10, 2017
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@Andy: I can think of a few differences between enforcing revoke penalties and calling for a ruling on the hand in question.

1. When my opponent revokes, I am 100% certain that all of the authors of the relevant law fully intended the penalty to be applied in the specific situation that happened at my table. I am somewhat doubtful everyone on the committee that agreed to this 8-trick rule really intended to make it illegal to open an Acol-Two or equivalent with the hand being discussed here.
2. When I revoke, unless I am playing against a beginner (new to duplicate bridge), I can be almost certain that they know they are entitled to some redress, and that all they need to do is to call the director and they shall receive it. Against most opponents in the EBU, I could get away with opening this hand with 2C.
3. While not everyone agrees with automatic penalties for revokes, most bridge players will at least find them acceptable. I think most would disagree with outlawing a Benji 2C opening on AKJ9xxxx - xx AJT.

(If I understand some of your other posts correctly, you are saying that 2. did not apply when this hand actually occurred. That certainly makes a difference in my view.)
Jan. 10, 2017
Arend Bayer edited this comment Jan. 10, 2017
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Gonzalo, for this to develop into an “unconscious agreement” there is one more thing that needs to happen: Kevin would have to remain unaware of the fact that Justin opens EVERY HAND IN 3RD SEAT NON-VULNERABLE. (Sorry for caps, just want to emphasise.) Likewise for Justin about Keven's 3rd seat opening. Don't you agree that this seems quite unlikely?
Sept. 23, 2016
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David Burn: “I imagine ‘could be illegal’ might be counter-productive, even if true.”

I doubt that would be accurate. The WBF definition makes it illegal to agree to open a balanced 7hcp hands (“King or more below average strength”, where “average strength” means 10 hcp with no “distributional values”). I would think that almost all hands opened by Jeff and Zia, or by Justin and Kevin, would qualify as better than that due to their distributional values.
Sept. 23, 2016
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Gonzalo, the idea that Justin and Kevin form an unconscious agreement to open all hands in 3rd seat non-vulnerable seems absurd to me, and I thought it would seem absurd to you as well. Wouldn't you think they know each others tendencies well?
I think this is just a convenient way for you to tell yourself that your team did not, in fact, accuse them of cheating, after your team did, in fact, accuse them of cheating.
Sept. 23, 2016
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Dear Ignacio Jiminez,

on Bridge Base Forums, your team mate Gonzalo posted: “The captain had warned us that maybe we would retire, and so after 2 bids on first board he told us to stand and leave.”
(See http://www.bridgebase.com/forums/topic/74926-world-championships-calendar/page__view__findpost__p__897511 )

Maybe you and Gonzalo could clarify this comment - it does make it sound as if the decision to walk out during the middle of the hand may have been planned ahead of time, at least as a possibility, and that it wasn't quite as spontaneous as your writeup here suggest. (If you were trying to force the TD to come to a decision, surely it would have been better not to interrupt play in the middle of a hand?)
Sept. 23, 2016
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I admit I find this question a little odd. From the intro: “He also enjoys goofing off with his sons (Jacob in high school, Elijah in middle school)”.
Sept. 23, 2016
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Richard, I think you are trying to put the wardrobe in order while an earthquake is bringing down the entire house. Before fixing its rules, the WBF needs to learn to enforce its rules. As long as the WBF thinks it is ok to change CoCs in the middle of a dispute, or to ignore CoCs when enforcing them would be politically awkward, I am not sure there is anything that can be improved.
Sept. 19, 2016
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Harald, I think your interpretation is extremely charitable to the Spanish team (or to the Spanish npc). The charge was an undisclosed partnership agreement to open EVERY hand in 3rd seat non-vulnerable. Justin and Kevin are way too thoughtful and attentive as bridge players and as a partnership for such an agreement to exist on a subconscious level only.

If you accuse them of opening every hand in 3rd seat non-vulnerable, and of not disclosing that fact, then you are accusing them of an intentionally undisclosed partnership agreement, i.e. of cheating. If you stop play in the middle of the hand in order to force the director to rule on your cheating allegation immediately, then you are accusing them of cheating and creating a big theatre out of it. The middle ground that Gonzalo tries to claim (“maybe they weren't aware of it”) does not exist.
Sept. 14, 2016
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Harald, the traveller also says the lead was H7. Is the lead entered by the players on bridgemate? It would be odd if both the vugraph operator and the player handling the bridgemate made the same mistake.
Sept. 14, 2016
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Sorry, I didn't intend to start a long discussion about Frances Hinden. What I wrote above was my guess based on her decisions and the impressions I got from various posts by her here and on Bridge Base Forums (BBF). (Others might get offended if they receive no recognition for being the best left-handed red-haired bridge players alive, and if I was aware of that and felt they deserved it I might congratulate them on being the best left-handed red-haired bridge player.)
Some who know her liked my comment, so maybe they agree with my guess. But it's not a big deal either way! (The bigger deal from my personal perspective is that she is one of two regular BBF posters still playing the Open event.) And it certainly didn't meant to prove anything!
Sept. 12, 2016
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