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All comments by John Larkin
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Is polling a law, a regulation, or an option?
Jan. 28, 2017
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I think NK is spot on. The reasonable scenario when they get to make 6S is when South does not overcall a five card suit at the two level with seven points and silent partner. The ratios….you just have to guess.
Jan. 27, 2017
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Quite interesting at various levels. You can see when John totally lost its popularity….

….rats….found one.
Jan. 25, 2017
John Larkin edited this comment Jan. 25, 2017
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I think I have a 1985 leoville barton…………
Jan. 25, 2017
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JP I am not sure we can assume that only one person on the thread is coming from a scientific background. Nor can we assume that a scientific background per se will obliterate any bias towards a particular viewpoint. “God preserve us from enthusiasts” as a senior colleague used to shout at meetings.
One problem we have here is that any suggestions of “differences” between the sexes can be seen as suggesting “one is better than the other”. So people come to defend their position more…. pointedly than normal.
The science thrown up on both sides is probably perfectly good, but doesn't come to a firm conclusion. Science doesn't always do so. Maybe eventually. In the meantime we should not disparage the holder of the opposite view from our own, whether they are a scientist, or we are.

Good luck with the statins.
Jan. 24, 2017
John Larkin edited this comment Jan. 24, 2017
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It is interesting just how polarised this discussion has become. Surely each side must admit that it is a) possible there is a difference in brain function between the sexes, and also possible that b) there isn't. But each side snatches at any paper that agrees with them, and denies as “pseudoscience” any that doesn't. As an example the difference- denyers (?) early in this thread admitted that there were structural differences, but not functional - despite the quoted papers being from functional brain scans.
Now we have a paper ENTIRELY about size, and they assume it proves their point. This despite an almost-significant finding that the right amygdala (or was it the left) is larger in the male - even allowing for the overall bigger male brain. I would never assume tha an almost-significant finding will become significant one day, but any statistician would not claim to “prove there is no difference” because a p value came back at p=o.o9. Failing to prove something is there is not the same as proving that it isn't (There is no note of power of the metaanalysis…. probably incalculable….partic as we don't know whar would be a significant difference).
Meanwhile another poster is happy to assume that the bigger (gross 10%, not net) amygdala “likely makes some difference” when there is no real reason to assume that.
It might be competetiveness, ability to focus on one non-important thing rather than the real world, aggression, physical intimidation, cussedness (men not resigning against women when they otherwise should will bring extra points in the long run), These might all be endocrine (though why assume?) but some may come down to how the brain may is “wired”. It is, after all, where this sort of stuff goes on.
Personally, I think it is…..
…..but it might not be.
Jan. 23, 2017
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Do 1c, 1d, 2c, 2d, 3c, 3d, 4c, 4d all making 10 tricks (by N or South…. does that differ?) when any intervening bid can be overcalled, and 8 tricks not available in NT, all count?
Jan. 22, 2017
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Finally, a couple of questions I can get right…..
Jan. 22, 2017
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Is it possible that you should say that 2NT asks for a feature? It is, after all, correct - and it is up to partner not to make use Of the UAI.
Jan. 21, 2017
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I am sure what patrick meant was that the main aim is to win, rather than to show that you have the best ethics. That would just be another form of showboating. Doesn't mean he's not ethical. That's what you meant, isn't it Patrick? Don't say it ain't so, Joe…..
Jan. 21, 2017
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JA. All other things being equal, isn't the worst of the top twenty-five better than the best of the next twenty-five? I.e. Is there any reason to assume that 26th is better than 25th?
Jan. 20, 2017
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MS. For some reason, my reading of this thread doesn't seem to base it on a post of y
Jan. 18, 2017
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Just a brief question. Is it written down that Benjy (i) 2clubs is “strong”? Since the 2diamonds is “stronger”? Can you just write on your card “Benjaminised Acol. 2C can be distributional”
Jan. 14, 2017
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The pause for thought is AFTER he has realised that he put down the wrong card. The plan is to distinguish between picking a card out of the box that you did not intend to pick out vs. Changing your mind (including suddenly thinking straight).
The way this problem was presented, the opener thought he had put down two diamonds until he looked again - even if this is many seconds later, as long as he immediately wants to correct it as a genuine mechanical error, he can….. as long as partner etc.
Interestingly, I wonder about the ethical position of opps, realising what has happened, very quckly pass-and-lead-and- noquestions?-and facing card…..then breathing sigh of relief.
Jan. 12, 2017
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If I understand your question correctly, then the opener believed he had put down the 2d. So, if, as soon as he realises he put down pass by mistake, he wants to change it to 2d, he can.
This is as long as his partner hasn't bid. Since here, it is passed out, that is replaced by the end of the auction period (facing the lead).
So, before lead was faced, if he said oops and immed called director, he could change it.
I feel I may be misunderstanding things, as this seems straight, but am practising interpreting under observation so am posting despite having NO qualifications to do so.
I assume question relates to before he realises good score, as otherwise makes no sense. Cf above.
Jan. 12, 2017
John Larkin edited this comment Jan. 12, 2017
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Not sure this is analogous.
Not sure the person who led the spade was given the option of leading a heart instead, knowing that it would improve his score…. For a start.
Jan. 9, 2017
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Is the idea to take 2 finesses against the same hand if both finesses are in the same suit, but two finesses against different hands more likely to be successful if two suits involved?
Jan. 9, 2017
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To be fair to Stephanie Rohan, I think her comment was in reply to the implication that it was quite easy to get elected as “there wasn't exactly a queue” so she was just pointing out it wasn't that easy.
Jan. 7, 2017
John Larkin edited this comment Jan. 7, 2017
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DG. The cricket analogy may not be perfect, though interesting. The Indian team did play by the rules - since the rules state that a batsman can only be given out if an appeal is made. So by not appealing, they allowed the umpires not to give the batsman out…. And restored “equity”. A striker at football who did not slot the ball home when the goalkeeper fell and broke his ankle would still be playing by the rules - though not taking advantage of them.
Which brings me to a question. Is it a regulation that the director should be called when any irregularity occurs? (“Should be summoned at once”) If so, then the well-meaning top players are arguably doing the game a disservice by not doing so when inferior opponents stumble. Even if it is a legal option not to, it might still interfere with the education of the inexperienced player. They may feel that the “penalties” are optional, so anyone who calls the director in the future is a bad person.
Similarly re UAI, the expert isn't officially in a position to “teach” the rules at the table, and so again the inexperienced does not pick up what they are doing wrong.
It might be best to call the director, have things explained…..then, isn't there some law whereby gains can be “waived” (81C5) ? So everyone can be happy and the 60yo tyros have learned something.
Jan. 6, 2017
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My reading is: The three scenarios are “either or (or)”. It does not have to have eight tricks if it fulfills the 25 rule or has (I think) 16HCP.
Re comparison with strong twos above: It's the artificial nature that prompts the rules. Anyone who bids a strong Acol two does not need to fulfil any of the criteria.
Jan. 5, 2017
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