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All comments by Arend Bayer
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Winning a silver medal at the Bermuda Bowl is, of course, a fantastic achievement. But it also means that you lost in the final, and you won't be considered the best player in the world before you have won such a final.
Is there anything specific you took away from this loss? Where do you/your partnership/your team have to improve so that you have a better chance to win next time you are in the same position?
Jan. 15, 2015
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So, with the original QJ9 in dummy, and playing against Kit Woolsey, RHO might return the suit at trick 2 from KTx (declarer would guess right anyway if he gets his partner to continue) but switch from AKx?
Dec. 10, 2014
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I think partner should bid 2S not 2red with 2(43)4. You are more likely to have 6 spades than 4 of a specific red suit. And the 5-2 in spades will play better than a 4-3 in a red suit.
Oct. 15, 2014
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@John: the answer to your question is contained in Greg's reply upthread, but since he used jargon that may not be familiar to everyone let me expand:
- According to the BSP website, the ACBL would have “full rights to the source code, including rights to create derivative works with no royalty”.
- What you describe in the first part of your sentence (hiring another vendor to improve the code/update the code/add features) would be an example of creating derivative works, and thus allowed.
- Whether “Shift the code open source” would be allowed depends a little bit on what you mean by “open source”. Publishing it under an Open Source license would require ACBL to own the copyright, and would not be allowed. Making the code public and inviting ACBL members to sent their bugfixes would probably be allowed. (But doing so without an open source license might motivate fewer people to do so.)

In my opinion, there are just two possible reasons why the ACBL would want the copyright: either in order to resell the final product (seems unlikely, given how specific to ACBL procedures much of the program seems to be), or in order to make it a properly Open Source licensed program (which would be a reasonable thing to do - but seems unlikely as the motivation to renegotiate).
On the other hand, Hammond has a good reason to want own the copyright - if he later writes similar programs (say, for another bridge federation), he could freely reuse snippets or larger parts of the code he wrote for the ACBL.

Sept. 17, 2014
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I don't think you will get partner to bid 3 very often, and even if he does, he will take your 3NT bid to show just a single stopper. Or just half a stopper? How else to get to 3NT from my side with Qx in my hand opposite partner's Kxx…
Aug. 27, 2014
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This is very useful, thanks. I think the main gap in your simulation is that often partner will drive to a major suit game; in that case, I expect hand A to be significantly better than hand B (or, at the least, much better than in your simulations).
I am willing to be proven wrong: e.g. if you simulate playing 4 opposite a 5-card heart suit and 9 hcp, I would very much expect hand A to be the winner - and if it isn't, I will go sit in the corner for 5 minutes and be ashamed.
Aug. 17, 2014
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I think you are misreading the question - I know because I did the same for 5 minutes! (The poll asks which hands are worth opening 1NT, not which you would downgrade.)
Aug. 16, 2014
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How is pure penalty impossible here? Sometimes trumps break badly.
July 3, 2014
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Maybe part of it is my expectations for the 4 bid - I think it will often be based on 6=5 in the majors. Of course a double game swing is extremely unlikely, but down one in 5 against their 4 making (or pulling to 5 down one) is quite possible (partner has spade singleton, !AH K AQ).
June 11, 2014
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Well you can play whatever way you like. But I would never bid 3 with 2=3=3=5, and would also double often on 2=4=2=5. The odds that this is an 8-card fit are smaller than those for a double game swing.
June 11, 2014
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Wow, I think “F” is way too harsh. Are we really shocked if this is a double fit for both sides, they take the push and go down in 5?
June 10, 2014
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It sounds like we are discussing two different questions. The original post did not say anything about RHO being a bad player, so I assumed he wasn't. If RHO is decent, he will almost certainly start out with 6 club tricks. Would you agree that against such a player, 3 is unlikely to go down? He bid to 3 himself, and we have the additional good news for him that clubs are splitting (assuming his partner has one).
You seem to be discussing whether it's good to double against this particular RHO. I don't find this question interesting given how little I know about him.
June 3, 2014
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Why did Phil get fixed by the 3 bid? It looks like LHO had a normal 3 competitive raise if RHO had passed.

Doubling because 2 is likely to make seems a bad idea when I expect 3 to make, also! If RHO has a normal 3 bid, I would expect them to take 6 club tricks and 3 red suit tricks. (Or, if you prefer, I'd hope to take my two aces, K, plus another trick from partner.) You are only gaining from double when it allows partner to bid 3 on a hand he would have passed otherwise - that's a very narrow target.
June 2, 2014
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The more comments I read from Barry, the more likely I am to change my vote to “no”…
May 28, 2014
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I don't really want to apportion blame since the game is based on a a great fit, but…
It's a 6-4 with good suits and playing strength. How is this not a 3 opening first seat white vs red? Wouldn't you open 2 with KQxxxx xx xx xxx?
May 11, 2014
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To put this in context:
-if you were (prior to Kit's analysis) 99% convinced that this pair was not cheating on opening leads, then now you should be convinced with 99.5% probability that they were in fact cheating
- If you were 99.99% convinced that they are innocent (say you think one out of 10,000 pairs would cheat in this way, and there is no particular reason to suspect this chair), then after this analysis you should believe with 85% certainty that they are.

Again, all these numbers are ignoring Kit's comments completely.
April 29, 2014
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Kit wrote above: “My results do not say anything about the probability that they were cheating.” Actually they do, in the sense that they given an update on the probability that they are cheating, if we already had an a prior guess of the probability that they are innocent.
(This is “Bayesian statistics”.)

I did the following: take the suit the voters wanted to signal for. I estimated the likelihood of an innocent pair leading this suit based on the poll result, as the percentage of voters choosing that suit, slightly regressed towards the a priori likelihood of 25%. (This regression towards the mean is a standard method. Intuitively it accounts for the following: if noone would were to vote for a spade lead, the probably of a given player leading a spade small, but non-zero.)
The probability of an innocent pair of leading the ‘signal suit’ on precisely these 15 out of 28 deals is then easily computed: I got 1.05*10^-13, i.e. roughly one in 10000 billions.

(Of course this doesn't say anything - any specific sequence of leads is always unlikely.)

Then I tried to guess the probability of a guilty pair choosing the actual leads. First I estimated the probability of making a signal based on the poll result, again regressed towards a (somewhat randomly chose) mean of 0.4. Then I estimated the likelihood of a making the “signal suit” lead in the case a signal was given, and the overall likelihood of making a lead in the signal suit based on the weighted averages of the leads with and without signal.

Then again I computed the likelihood of a guilty pair of leading the “signal suit” in precisely these 15 out of 28 deals; the result of course depends a bit on the “regression towards the mean” parameters, but with any choice of parameters looking somewhat reasonable, I obtained a number between 5*10^-9 and 9*10^-9, roughly 5-10 times in one billion.

In other words, these sequence of leads is about 50,000 times more likely to come from a guilty pair than from an innocent pair.
April 29, 2014
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“You lost your objectivity by trying to analyse (and explain!) the results of the statistic, it would have been much more serious if you just presented the “naked” results and let the people discuss/analyse the results later via the comments.”

I think this criticism is completely unjustified. There is quantifiable objective data, and non-quantifiable and possibly subjective data. There is no reason to ignore the latter. If you have to bet on a basketball game, you have run all your quantitative forecasting systems, you go to the arena and see one team looking completely fatigued, you would certainly adjust your bets! The proper thing to do is to first get numbers from your quantitative methods, and them adjust them yourself according to the non-quantifiable data.

What you should do is separating the objective quantifiable data from the non-quantifiable data. This is exactly what Kit did: he gave us a list of relevant hand (according to a pre-determined objective criterion), gave us the poll results for these, the actual hands, and the actual hands.

But you also can't ignore the non-quantifiable data that Kit can analyze these hands better than the average poll participants - partly because he is a better analyst (that's no insult to the poll participants - which include myself - most of them would not be invited to write up team matches for The Bridge World), partly because he thought about them more carefully (just note the point about partner already knowing about our singleton, which seems to have been ignored by of the poll participants).

You are free to ignore the commentary (precisely because Kit did not mix it with the actual analysis), and you are free to do your own, better, commentary.
April 29, 2014
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I suggest you adopt the OT adjunct against that agreement. It doesn't always apply but it's very powerful when it does.
April 28, 2014
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Weak NT for beginners/intermediates. Playing strong NT, you can teach beginners pretty early on: “If you have opened 1x with a weak NT, and the auction gets competitive, no need to bid (unless to raise partner). But bid on if you have extra shape.” (Only exception being 18-19 balanced, which can often bid 2NT.)
But playing weak NT, you have to show extras, or you have to show extra shape, and it gets murky. (Playing at a club with many weak NTer's, I am no longer surprised if someone opens 1m, rebids 3m in competition on an unsupported 5-card suit with a strong NT hand.)
Other conventions listed above may hurt a little on the auctions where they come up. But I am convinced that weak NT hurts intermediates develop understanding of competitive auctions, much more damaging in the long run.
April 25, 2014
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