Join Bridge Winners
All comments by Benjamin Weiss
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When I was his age, my grandfather took me to play in the clubs with him (my grandfather was mostly a money player, but wisely never took me to those games). I strongly recommend just jumping in with 2 feet and having fun with that.
July 11
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Even corrupt and complicit governments have admitted wrongdoing for events 2 generations ago. It'd be a nice start if the WBF could meet those standards.
June 21
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Me too, sadly the wayback machine didn't grab it. Maybe Avon would share his article with you via the site messaging?
June 20
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Playing XYZ and reverse Flannery seems to overload your options. If you have 5 spades and 4 Hearts and a game force, then reverse Flannery is perfect for 1C-1S; 1N-2H. So why not just use that still, even with the XYZ option? I realize this is in some ways suboptimal since any game force should go through 2D, and so it seems wasteful to the system. But it saves me on the memory tax.
March 7
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If this was a marked change from one week to the next, you may want to alert Harry's caregivers that he needs to be evaluated for a TI (stroke) or other emergency cognitive issue.
Jan. 29
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I think a tank at trick 1 is hard to call a break in tempo.
Jan. 22
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I count AKQ of the other 3 suits as well.
Jan. 20
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With 10 top tricks, I win in hand and lead diamond to Q.

If it wins, cross back in heart and lead diamond J (making 12 tricks as long as K is onside, just give up a diamond to the T).

If diamond Q doesn't hold (or if East wins 2nd round diamond after holding up first round) then just play the spade/diamond squeeze. It comes home unless the SJ and DT are protected in different hands.
Jan. 20
Benjamin Weiss edited this comment Jan. 20
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Hi Peg, I agree it feels bad to have a disagreement like this–especially an acrimonious one. The one thing I do (when in a situation when I'd care) is discretely glance at my watch when I notice an opponent begin a hesitation. Then I can say a factual number to the director of “once I noticed them thinking, I was able to time an additional 15 seconds before they reached for the bidding box.” If nothing else, it makes me feel better since I'm not providing a “It felt long to me, even if it didn't to them” response.
Nov. 5, 2018
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Chris, you may vote my proxy if allowed.
July 22, 2018
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It was only discovered after the first trial. At the first trial (referenced in the quote above) they didn't have time to discover the mechanism, because his lawyer pushed for a speedy trial.
May 7, 2018
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I agree. I personally got started playing because my grandfather was a big money bridge player, and it was a way for us to spend time together. But I got hooked for the gambling, competitive, and social aspects (only later did I care about tournaments). Then in grad school I liked the other people who played.
May 7, 2018
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Page 7 play through has west playing the diamond 8 instead of diamond 9. Thanks for the great series.
March 3, 2018
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Maine being a unit makes some sense…there just aren't that many of us up here. No matter how you count.
Feb. 1, 2018
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Hi Greg,

Thank you for all your work, and in particular a great demonstration of how an academic con do outreach to the community both with your time, and your exposition.

I've been trying to compare your model to a Bayesian one, and was wondering if you could comment.

I recalled a riddle based on Newcomb's paradox. There will be two boxes (A and B) and you'll be allowed to take just box A or both boxes A and B. Suppose someone offers you that they'll always put $1000 in box A, and in box B they'll put $1million if they think you'll take just box A and put nothing in it if they think you'll take both. They claim to be able to anticipate your choice.

There is a Bayesian resolution to the paradox as they demonstrate time after time that they are outguessing you: they are cheating. You start with some near 100% certainty that they are being honest (like the q, it doesn't matter too much as long as it isn't exactly 100%), but after some number of times you guess wrong you eventually believe that they are cheating with some significant probability.

I'm doing some horrible exposition here of neither writing for a lay person, nor being completely detailed with my math, but I hope I've managed to not completely get the worst of both worlds.

To apply to our case, you start by believing that Fantoni and Nunes are almost certainly honest players. But as you notice time and again something shady conforming to a code, you update your priors. Is this similar to the binomial approach? Is it potentially easier to explain to a lay person? Is it just a horrible model in this situation for some reason?
Jan. 28, 2018
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I've tried about half a dozen times at two different schools (Bates college and UMaine). I've had some limited success getting students in the door, and learning the game, but none keeping them interested past the first couple meetings. At this point I've given up on college students. I think my next attempt will be younger students (elementary and middle school). .

Unless someone has specifics to address the various reasons I've failed to maintain interest, I don't think that external influences will convince college students to play: they already have enough other interests and hobbies by then.
Jan. 28, 2018
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I'd potentially be interested in playing duplicate boards with partscores. So N/S vulnerable with 60 on, and E/W NV with nothing. Would capture some extra aspects of rubber bridge that duplicate loses.
Jan. 26, 2018
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An excellent, and easy to implement algorithm for shuffling is found here. I regularly have students prove that it works (assuming you can actually generate log2(52!) bits of randomness) and program it.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fisher–Yates_shuffle
Jan. 22, 2018
Benjamin Weiss edited this comment Jan. 22, 2018
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Deleted.
Jan. 22, 2018
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In fact, in Winkler's result, he talked about a game that should be 50-50, but if the deck is only shuffled 7 times, it's 80-20 based on how the cards had been played.
Jan. 22, 2018
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