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All comments by Ethan Macaulay
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8-10 1st 2nd white, 8-14 3rd white, 14-16 1st 2nd red, 15-17 red third and all 4th. Not ACBL friendly but very annoying to play against.
Nov. 2, 2015
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Good stuff. I want to point out that one of the hand start times given was https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eda-EC0–OQ&t=59m10s and no hand starts at this time. This would explain the two x's and a ? given by the group rating this bid (#6 in group 4).
Nov. 2, 2015
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Last year I made a twitch.tv account where I streamed and commentated my BBO games a couple times. I'd do it more, but my hardware setup is bad and I wouldn't be able to guarantee one of my regular partners (with whom I play interesting bidding systems) or quality opponents. It was fun, though, and commentating out loud helped my game by forcing me to think through things.
Nov. 1, 2015
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I'm a bit disappointed that most of the discussion about whether to include trans women in women's events seems to have derailed into “gendered events are silly anyway, so let's include everyone by getting rid of them!” Whatever the merits of the existence of mixed and women's events, getting rid of them seemingly because of this issue sends an awful signal to trans people in my opinion. The idea that cis men will show up to play as women is not only ludicrously unlikely but also borderline offensive. I hope the ACBL does the right thing in Denver, with the possibility of reviewing gender category events later on (someone upthread made a good point about non-binary people, which I thought was insightful).
Nov. 1, 2015
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You are of course correct. I hate being wrong on the Internet.

F(p<1/3):
1/4 + p/2

F(p=1/3):
1/6 + 1/8 = 7/24

F(1/3<p<1)
1/4 - p/4

F(p=1)
0

I still get a strange discontinuous function where it seems that it's best to play the 9 slightly less than 1/3 the time. I might still be wrong, of course.
Oct. 31, 2015
Ethan Macaulay edited this comment Oct. 31, 2015
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Edit: This post has very wrong things in it but I'm leaving it up for honesty's sake.
I'm working on this problem from the defender's perspective. Never playing the nine wins 1/4 of the time. Always playing the nine wins never. If you play the nine half the time (p=1/2), you succeed (1/2)(1/4) + (1/2)(1/2)(3/4) = 5/16 times, confirming that a mixed strategy works, I chose p=1/2 as a test case because stiff nine is half as likely as J9xx, and if declarer knows you have a 50% chance of dropping the 9 from J9xx, declarer's guess in the suit is 50% as well. My probability function is very strange, and quite possibly wrong:
F(p=0)=1/4
F(0<p<1/2)=1/4+p/2
F(p=1/2)=5/16
F(1/2<p<1)=1/4-p/4
F(p=1)=0

It seems like you should drop the 9 just under half the time, approaching a 3/8 chance of winning a trick.
Oct. 31, 2015
Ethan Macaulay edited this comment Oct. 31, 2015
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Examining the suit in isolation, there are seven relevant holdings: Kx three times, Kxx three times, and KT. If you never covered with Kx, only ever covering with KT, declarer can place the T in partner's hand, the K in yours, and can see two spot cards. It's thus a coin flip for declarer to get Kx or Kxx right. Declarer would consequently always get KT right, declarer thus winning 4/7 relevant cases. If you always cover with Kx, only not covering with Kxx, you're three times as likely to have Kx as KT, so declarer will always hook back. Declarer will also get Kxx right, thus winning 6/7 relevant cases. So if you want to be consistent, never cover.

But does a mixed strategy work better? Say you covered holding Kx with probability p. If you cover, declarer will hook whenever p>1/3, take the drop whenever p<1/3, and flip a coin at p= 1/3. (To understand this, assume you cover whenever you hold K2 or KT if the missing spots are 2,3,4, so 1/3 of the time. Declarer's decision is a coin flip.) If you do not cover, whenever p>0, declarer will attempt to pin partner's T (p=0 was discussed in the previous paragraph, and you're less likely to hold Kx now than when the guess was even money).

So our probability of declarer success piecewise function is:
p=0:
4/7
0<p<1/3:
1(3/7) + 0(1-p)(3/7) + 0(p)(3/7) + 1(1/7) = 4/7
p=1/3:
1(3/7) + 0(1-1/3)(3/7) + (1/2)(1/3)(3/7) + (1/2)(1/7) = 4/7
1/3<p<1:
1(3/7) + 0(1-p)(3/7) + 1(p)(3/7) + 0(1/7) = 3/7 +3p/7 > 4/7
p=1:
6/7

So the moral of the story is, if you're going to cover, don't cover too often!
Oct. 31, 2015
Ethan Macaulay edited this comment Oct. 31, 2015
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The ACBL should allow all women to compete in women's events, no matter if they're cis or trans. They shouldn't need a doctor's note or to have undergone hormone replacement therapy or surgery, but simply express their gender identity. Bridge is a mind sport, and it's 2015.
Oct. 30, 2015
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I held the West cards at the other table in this match: xx J10x x AKQJxxx. I opened precision 2C, parter bid 2N invitational, and I accepted with my solid 7-carder to 3N (not the best of auctions, to be clear). Down 4 for -200. I didn't see the full line of play at Ben's table, but I can confirm declarer made the contract, pitching a diamond on the 13th heart.
Oct. 30, 2015
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I have several.

In a Canadian Juniors practice match on BBO, I held a 17-count with 6 diamonds to the AJ and a stiff low club. I opened a diamond. Things escalated quickly LHO bid 3D, and P bid 5C. I wasn't sure what 3D meant at the time (asking p to bid 3N with diamond stop) and my partner's 5C seemed ambiguous to me. Assuming it was to play, I passed, and LHO requested a redeal. Partner's bid was Exclusion Keycard, of course, and we ended up in a 1-0 fit cold for 7 diamonds!

In the World University Championships, partner opened a club, and I had a six-count with a bunch of spades to the QJ10 and a void, so I responded a spade. Partner bid 4S. Instead of passing, I did some thinking, and decided that if Partner had all the keycards, we would have a lot of tricks. I bid 4N keycard, partner bid 5C showing 0 or 3, and I thought “maybe the trump king is onside!” and bid 6S. Partner bumped it to 7, doubled of course. Turns out, partner had zero keycards and a void, so we bid an uncontested grand off all the keycards. I managed to only go down 3. We were by far the worst pair in that tournament.

In the World Junior Championships, I held 8 solid diamonds and out. Partner opened a strong club, RHO bid 1H, and I bid 2C (showing diamonds, game forcing). LHO raised to 2H, partner passed (relay), and I showed a hand with long diamonds. Partner blasts to 6C! With a lot of relays available to seek slam, he must have Kx of hearts, a solid club suit, and something in spades, and be happy to rightside the contract. Something possessed me, and I added 8 diamond tricks to partner's anticipated 7 in clubs, and bid 7N, all pass. On a heart lead, I would have been down 5 off the top on a won board, but I got a spade lead, and felt very guilty claiming when my partner's dummy included the spade ace. Six diamonds, wrongsided, was down at the other table.

I like to think that I've improved?
Oct. 23, 2015
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Richard,
I didn't watch any bridge on video before this scandal, so I assumed that what you said about hands on the table was the case. I've discovered that there are actually many high-level players who rest their hand on the table, usually after playing a card, sometimes while thinking, leaning in and resting their head on another hand. Players will fiddle with their tricks, too, and impatiently drum their fingers. None of this is to acquit BZ or condemn anyone else (their motions, as you say, go well beyond any bridge player I've ever seen), but it makes me think that a rule keeping players' hands off the table might be worthwhile.
Oct. 23, 2015
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Got 'em.
Oct. 16, 2015
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I noticed this too. I tthink it's worth mentioning though, that Z seemed upset when he saw the dummy on 18 and left the table after the hand to cool off (I'm not Polish, so I don't know what they were saying to each other). I don't think B has a bid on that hand, even if he knows partner has 20/21, but his partner's temper suggests to me that he thought B should have known to bid there.
Oct. 14, 2015
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Board 18: starts 47:05. Board 22: starts 1:26:17.
Oct. 13, 2015
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It's been a few days since I watched the video, but the first hand I remember was Z's perfect balanced 21-count, opposite which B held 3 high and 45 in the majors. Z was furious when B didn't take action after stayman (they missed game). The other was one where Z had a weakish takeout double, and when he competed later in the auction holding Jxxx in partner's suit, his bid actually covered up the double, such that when the tray got passed, the opponent had to fix the tray! I'm sure there were others, but those were the ones I can recall off the top of my head. I found them very much the equivalent of what Kit Woolsey called "jump up and run around his chair three times."
Oct. 13, 2015
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I watched this segment earlier, and there's two hands in it which absolutely convinced me about the bidding gap hypothesis.
Oct. 13, 2015
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If I could change one thing about IMP scoring, it would be to score slams of the same level equally, meaning that 6 would be worth as much as 6 or 6NT. This change doesn't serve a practical purpose like speeding up the game, but it rewards bidding to the correct contract, which I see as an aesthetic improvement to the game. According to Richard Pavlicek's site, because of the 2-imp difference between 1370 and 1440, a risky 6NT is often a higher EV IMP contract than a nearly cold 6 one, which troubles me.
Oct. 8, 2015
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There are a few variations depending on the lead, but the basic line is to ruff two spades in dummy, losing a heart, a club, and a diamond. You avoid getting tapped in diamonds by not trumping a diamond lead from south, and eventually you draw south's last trump. Interestingly, the hand can't be made if the 7 and 6 are swapped. North leads a diamond, and when west tries to trump a spade in dummy, south discards a club. Now south's trump holding is too strong for declarer to pull easily so declarer must use the club suit either for entries or in preparation for a crossruff, and south will be able to trump in.
Jan. 13, 2015
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1 (16+ or 15+ depending on partnership)
2 (4+,5+ with longer )
2N (relay)
3 (8-11 or 10-13 depending on partnership)
3 (relay)
3 (2245)
4 (relay)
4 (1 ace, with K, denying K)
4N (relay)
5 (showing K and denying K and Q OR showing K and Q and denying K)
6 (to play)
This auction would require opener to have the courage to keep relaying, which might be wrong, but it would work on the lie of the cards.
Oct. 20, 2014
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