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All comments by Thomas L. Goodwin
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heitner and loewenthal are not available
Jan. 2
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The quotation from Animal House is from Oliver Twist, isn't it?
Nov. 24, 2018
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Barry Crane had no equals and few peers . . . .
Oct. 12, 2018
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Here's what I would like to see: a record over some significant period of time, perhaps a year, of your partnership's actual results on all the deals where your side opens a Trash Two, while the opponent in your Trash Two seat, given the opportunity to do the same, does something else. You would want to compare the result with your cumulative result on all deals, so you can tell whether or not the Trash Two is improving your scores.
Aug. 18, 2018
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(deleted)
Aug. 13, 2018
Thomas L. Goodwin edited this comment Aug. 13, 2018
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Look at J.-R. Vernes' Bridge Distributionnel (2000), describing a method in which one club shows exactly four spades, one heart shows at least four hearts and fewer than four spades, and one diamond shows no 4+-card major suit. BD was a simplification of an earlier Vernes system, La Majeure D'Abord (1973).
Aug. 10, 2018
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This comment is right on.
May 9, 2018
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In “Churchill Natural Bidding Style” (1979), “Church” relates a story from 1941. He held 109xx xx 7xxx 7xx and heard his partner, one Alvin Roth, open one heart. Church passed and that became the contract. Roth expressed great unhappiness about this, as he held void AKQJx AQ10 KQ109x and had agreed to play no forcing opening bid “out of deference” to Churchill. It turned out that a forcing defense held Roth to exactly seven tricks. According to Church, Roth didn't even say “thank you.”

Maybe that hand was the inspiration for “no forcing opening bid” in early Roth-Stone.
May 8, 2018
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“What the ACBL wants” is to compel players to utilize a specific artificial evaluation technique. I believe they would “just say so” if they were asked.
March 24, 2018
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You could have said the same thing 20 years ago - or 40 years ago, for that matter.
March 19, 2018
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Replying to Niels Foged: Several years ago Marty Bergen, playing with Louella Slaner, was involved in a complex choice of slams/grand slams auction. He was actually concerned about choice of strains for a grand slam, not whether he should actually bid seven. So at the critical point, where Mrs. Slaner was going to have to say something she thought would be definitive, and would certainly take a long time deciding what that “something” would be, Marty handed his RHO a huddle-anticipatory note that said, “I will be bidding a grand slam no matter what she does.” She duly (and eventually) “signed off” in six of something, which Marty (as advertised) raised to seven. Just made.

The officials later advised that the note would have no effect, and that if there were a problem with the bidding it would be resolved on the usual UI/LA principles, without reference to what the note said.
March 17, 2018
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Yes: Berg got an adjustment up (12 IMPs), or Lavazza got an adjustment down (12 IMPs), apparently from something that happened in the 3rd quarter of the match. The adjustment wasn't reported in the Daily Bulletin, and nobody has said anything about it here, so what happened hasn't been publicly disclosed.
March 17, 2018
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Some French bridge writers merit at least a mention. I am thinking LeDentu, Romanet, Jean-Rene Vernes, maybe Albarran. Among Americans, what ever happened to Culbertson and Morehead?
Feb. 23, 2018
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Haven't you heard, Tim? 4NT is always Blackwood.
Feb. 18, 2018
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I voted “other” just to add a historical note. In the early days of contract bridge (1930's on, or even late 1920's on), there was one school that thought a 1NT response should be “negative” and suit responses should be “constructive.” (S. Garton Churchill was probably the most prominent member of that school.) For those people, 1H-1NT; 2H-2S meant you had a string of spades, but were not strong enough to respond a constructive 1S (which was usually at least one-and-a-half QT).

It was actually a playable method. The negative (or “Utility”) 1NT response in particular worked pretty well, as long as opener knew he probably shouldn't pass it; it was a precursor to “1NT forcing” as later developed by Roth and others.
Feb. 18, 2018
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The Occam's-Razor explanation is that North is clueless (notwithstanding his/her “Flight A” status). I'm not quite sure HTBWW (“How To Bid When Wired”), but I'm guessing a wired North would just double and let partner bid the (presumably known) clubs.

Now please don't tell me that North was my wife . . . .
Feb. 11, 2018
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The 2018 Prize for Restating the Obvious is hereby awarded to: “It's more than time to reevaluate the effect of big bucks on our beloved game.” (Gary Hann, above.)

Only it is probably too late.
Jan. 14, 2018
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Have they been convicted for cheating in ACBL? If not, proceedings should be initiated now, and if this results in conviction ACBL discipline should be imposed (probably lifetime suspension), independently of anything the WBF or another NBO has done or will do. If that would put us at odds with WBF, so be it: it wouldn't trouble me at all if ACBL withdrew from WBF or if WBF kicked ACBL out.
Jan. 11, 2018
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Isn't the “real” Ghestem agreement that 3C means (a) 10% it is diamonds and spades or (b) 90% it is just clubs (meaning “I forgot (a)”)? Then the 3C bidder can look at his hand and realize he has forgotten (a) and bid (b): he doesn't need UI to tip him off.
Jan. 10, 2018
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And maybe that is the hand that should bid 4D over 4C.
Jan. 10, 2018
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