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All comments by Konrad Ciborowski
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Roald, it is the other way round. The exchange was between North and East suggesting (but not guaranteeing) the K in West.
Oct. 7
Konrad Ciborowski edited this comment Oct. 7
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What 6? Was the bidding different than shown in the diagram? Or did he ask if 6 would have been a slam try if South had actually bid it?
Oct. 7
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Without the double the CC says “GF 1 = may have longer suit”, presumably North-South play the same methods when 1 is doubled.
Oct. 7
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Roald, now I see I misunderstood the sentence about the diamond queen appearing on the left.

As for the meaning of the double I'm puzzled. If East-West were indeed Buras - Narkiewicz then their CC (http://www.ecatsbridgenews.com/WBFsystems/Bermuda-Bowl-2019Wuhan/Poland/CC%20Buras-Narkiewicz.pdf) says “Vs. 1 (STRONG) : DBL - SUPORTS IN MAJORS,” but then the East-West bidding doesn't make any sense so the actual agreement must have been different.
Oct. 7
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I'm not sure why we're talking about the trumps in isolation. If the double of 1 was lead-directing then the opening lead of Q really starts to look like a singleton. Even if it is not a singleton then West is marked with some diamond length from the opening lead, some club length from the double and all that really changes the odds.
Oct. 7
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What did 1 mean?
Oct. 7
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I must say I have never witnessed the Idiot Coup actually work though once it was so close…

It was an individual tournament. My partner was in 3NT, I was dummy and put down AK10xxx in diamonds. The declarer played low from hand and his LHO (which I knew well as a good player) played the jack taken with the ace in dummy. Now my partner used some side entry to return to hand and played another diamond.
The tournament was played with screens and declarer's LHO was my screenmate. As soon as hw produced a small diamond I knew exactly what he was up to (he was far too good to make this play from QJx) but I expected declarer to work it out quickly. Be after a while I realised it was taking him far too long and I began to worry. Very long time passed with my screenmate grinning in my direction and his smile becoming wider with every passing minute.
Finally after a few agonizing minutes declarer called for the king and I could breathe a sigh of relief. I commented “He worked it out!” and when the queen fell declarer who was visibly proud of himself answered:
“You see, if an honor falls from this guy”, he pointed to his RHO, “on the first round you need to finesse, but if it falls from the other one you gotta play for the drop, the odds are bigger by 2%”.

That's how I learned how close I was to becoming a victim of the Idiot Coup - 2%. I never asked how on earth he came up with that number but obviously he must have worked very hard calculating stuff so no wonder it took him a few minutes to do so!
Sept. 11
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I'm not sure what you mean but for me it is cheating to deliberately write !NT 9-17 in your CC simply “to cover all the hands we might ever want to open 1NT”.

I know that some people do things like that to protect themselves from some stupid TDs who might want to penalize them for opening 11-15 1 on Axxxxxxxx Axx x — but in my view the actions of TDs should be just the opposite: I want to see them penalize people who write 1 = 8-16 when in the course of hundreds of hands there has been no 1 opening outside the 11-15 range.

What I want to know as your opponent is what your real range is ie. what you open with typical hands. So when I see“11-15 5+” to me it goes without saying that some very nice 10s can be upgraded and ugly 16s downgraded and then with some wild, pathological hands all bets are off, But it means to me then with all normal hands you open 1 with all 11-15 with 5+ and don't open with normal hands with 5+ that fall outside this range.

So when I see “1NT 9-17” I take it to mean that with all normal balanced hands you open !NT whenever you have a hand in that range. I would feel cheated if I learned afterwards that “well, we actually play 15-17 BAL but I put in 9-17 because I once opened 1NT on a 9 count and 0=5=6=2 when down 70 IMPs with 12 boards to play” or something like that.
Sept. 1
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My kids play bridge but they also play some chess. In chess the teachers will tell you to play “all 64” (ie. to see the entire chessboard, not focus on one element) but the problem is that bridge and chess are so complex that it is literally impossible to do it if you are a beginner, you cannot learn the game at all that way. You have to break it down into manageable parts and learn one thing at a time - in card play as well as in the bidding.

And card play might be fun but as one experienced Polish bridge teacher told me: “with small kids you have to introduce the bidding at the third lesson at the latest or else they will get bored and won't come back”. I found it to be true in my (limited) experience of teaching bridge.

Getting back to teaching card play: if you must start by teaching single motives how to you prevent students from getting into situations where they can't see the forest for the tress (too focused on a single motive and not seeing the hand as a unit)? One o the best approaches to the problem I found in this book (on chess!):

https://www.newinchess.com/media/wysiwyg/product_pdf/7888.pdf

(go to the next immediately below the The Learning Spiral header)

The author recognises the problem that if you teach your students a motive and then present them with a set of problems to practice it they will obviously look for this motive in every problem given and they invariably find it. His method is thus to teach not one but two ideas at a time and then give students problems to solve without telling them which one to apply.

“In this book, each chapter about tactics will have at least two ideas and some problems where the idea doesn’t work. That’s how chess works in the real world.”

I think this a great method that also can be applied to teach card play in bridge.
Aug. 30
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I think that East defended against this hand:AQJxx Q982 x KQx - after partner discarded the A you need to keep 3 clubs to prevent declarer from scoring 3 club tricks.
I know that if this is indeed North's hand then it means that both declarer and partner have gone mad but so far this has been the weakest spot in the algorithms used in card play: the bots are unable to draw any conclusions from their opponents' and partner's play. The bots assume that If a player plays a card then that this is because he selected this card at random.

The problem of drawing inferences from opponents' and partner's plays is pretty hard to solve because the current computational power is insufficient to attack it by brute force (that would require many recursive computations as the game tree explodes). As far as I know (which isn't far) Bridge Baron has some heuristics built-in to draw some rudimentary conclusions from the opening lead but it is very hard to construct such heuristics for plays made in the middle of the hand.
Aug. 30
Konrad Ciborowski edited this comment Aug. 30
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He didn't advise the although things happened rather fast. He was explaining about the unestablished revoke and I have no clue how much of it the kids got. Then he said “you must correct it” and out came a club king.
Aug. 24
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North knows that East has 4 hearts (no 1 overcall) so East is known to be 3=4=5=1. If he has the A then going up with the king will be a disaster. It isn't very likely that the singleton club is the ace for various reasons but it is at least possible. When East produces the J North is now 100% sure that the singleton club is not the ace. The problem is that information from withdrawn calls and cards is UI to the offending side.
So North does have UI which makes the winning defense more attractive. Whether East - West should get 100% of 2 +2 is a different story,
Aug. 23
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In some way East did benefit from the infraction. Having gone up with the K North can limit declarer to 8 tricks by playing J. But in this case he had to play the 2 and when my son inserted the 6 South was endplayed.

I also firmly believe that it was absolutely beyond NS skills to go up with the K (under normal circumstances) or to duck the J (by South). What South would do when in with the A is another matter, he may well have been able to find the heart exit although rather by accident, I'd say it was a toss-up which suit he would play.
Aug. 23
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I have no idea. Probably some sort of weighted adjusted score but your guess is as good as mine.
All this was fortunately inconsequential because the scores of matches in IMP-s were converted to VP-s and the change didn't affect the standings at all (North-South finished second with no shot at first at all, East-West were out of it regardless) so it was a moot point as far as the final standings are concerned. And it was just the first stage of the trials. But it interested me as a legal problem.
Jan. 1
Konrad Ciborowski edited this comment Jan. 1
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L73 in my post was a typo, I meant L72, sorry about that.
Jan. 1
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40B.2(v). only allows the Regulating Authority to “restrict the use of psychic artificial calls.” And the 7NT call cannot, by definition, be artificial. So even in the ACB- land we couldn't use this law to justify the score adjustment.
Jan. 1
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The main problem with L72 is that in order to use it as the basis of score adjustment we would have to claim that West somehow broke it and I would say that it is pretty tough to break a law that begins with words “The chief object is…” (its actual first sentence is totally redundant so I'm skipping it). Who writes this stuff?

And if West didn't break any law then… nullum crimen sine lege. I would hate the result to stand but L72 is so poorly worded that it is unusable for this purpose, I'm afraid.
Jan. 1
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A small correction: North - South are current U13 European champions, not U16. They are 11 and 12 years old, respectively, There is no large age gap between the players at the table if that matters.
Jan. 1
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At at least one table South tried 4NT and discovered one key card missing, but could be the ♦K, so made one more try for 7. North thinking all the key cards where there bid 7 based in the source of tricks from the spade suit."

The Polish pair Gawrys - Lasocki during the European Championship in Killarney in 1991 against Switzerland started 1 - 2 - 4 which systemically promised a five-card fit. Lasocki thus knew they had 12 cards in diamonds. He bid 4NT and found out that one key-card was missing. Was it the ace or the king? Lasocki opted for the optimistic version and Poland lost 17 IMPs.

Marcin Lesniewski later analyzed the hand and pointed out that at this point the correct decision was to bid 6 as underbidding would cost 13 IMP-s while overbidding would mean -17 IMP-s instead.
June 1, 2018
Konrad Ciborowski edited this comment June 2, 2018
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“There is a Polish movie. About a card sharp. At one moment he's saying:
- I've cheated, you've cheated, the better has won.”


You ruined the quote by omitting the best part. It went:

“The game was fair. You cheated, I cheated, the better won”.
May 10, 2018
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