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Jim: I do not accept that this is the end of the case under the current rules. As I have said elsewhere in this thread proving a threshold of say 10% from a poll of fewer than 10 people is extremely problematic. A much larger sample would be needed to determine that more than 10% would choose an action with anything like certainty.

In this case we have additional problems that have manifest. For example, did the pollees consider the methods of the partnership?

Logical alternative was in the law before the definition which now is included in the law. I do not think the definition is close to optimal. In particular I have often thought about the situation with weaker players. For weak players in many situations almost anything is by definition a logical alternative because there are some other weak players out there that would consider it. This is still the case if the particular person would never take the action claimed to be logical alternative by this definition. The problem is also caused by their being no definition of “class of player”.

The problem here as I see it is an extension of that. Obviously these are not weak players and in particular Glubok whose lead is under scrutiny is a not a weak player. Nevertheless when the logical alternative is defined as what someone else might do and then that is determined by a proxy from a loosely defined poll are we really determining the logical alternatives for that player with any certainty.

There will always be questions about the poll when it is so unscientific.
Dec. 8, 2018
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Michael: Thanks for your numbers.

I am a bit surprised that you think that the A being held is so low at 30%. That means that 70% of the time Levin has the A and did not either redouble 4 to show it or bid 5NT to investigate a grand including the possibility of 7NT as Grue can easily have significant extra values over what was shown by 4.

I am not sure what hands you are imagining that Levin might have to bid this way with the A. The hand I suggested earlier based on the actual hand but changing the QJ for the A in high cards - Kxx KQJxx A Axxx - counts for 12 top tricks in no trumps opposite most bare minimum hands for Grue's bidding. The K, in a suit that has been cue-bid, could easily be the thirteenth as would a sixth spade.

Grue arguably made a poor bid with 7NT, although if Levin's bidding could hide the A then the gamble on the A could be the percentage action with extra tricks. However, to me it is almost incomprehensible that Levin would not investigate or at least allow the unlimited Grue to investigate. Therefore I am inclined to think from a class player like Levin that there is a much higher chance that he does not have the A and therefore a priori that partner does have that card.

“In general, I don't want to send the message that you can turn an ‘almost sure thing’ into a ‘lock’ via UI.”

I understand what you are saying but I am not convinced that this is what the laws say.

If I am defending 7NT and even with your numbers if there is a 30% chance that the opponents are off a specific ace and I know that their long suits are breaking well and will almost certainly produce 10 tricks and then counting two aces and the extras that Grue has announced with 7NT then I am not convinced that we should be forcing a person to give up the 30% chance of a set outright.

“Especially in a case such as this - where the ‘winning’ lead might not even occur to the player without ‘help’.”

The problem is that this is speculative. The law does not and cannot deal with what is in a player's head at the time he made a lead. The law has an objective test.

If the impropriety you suggest exists then it needs to be dealt with by other mechanisms and needs to be dealt with based on evidence of that specific impropriety and not by taking away a close to 100% action speculatively.

Based on your numbers, if a diamond lead is going to lead to a set at least 30% and another lead is going to lead to a set virtually 0% how can we really say that there is a logical alternative to a diamond.

The approach you are advocating is at least in this particular case “if it hesitates shoot it.” I do not believe that is what the law requires.

You seem to be arguing for that approach in what you describe as particularly tempo sensitive situations. You are entitled to that view but we cannot force that on a situation when it is plainly illogical to lead a non-diamond absent any UI.
Dec. 8, 2018
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Ray: Without the break in tempo the odds are already heavily stacked in favour of needing partner to have the A to beat this contract.
Dec. 8, 2018
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I think that is the most likely scenario but even before the poll it is unclear to me that the directors or panel determined what the NS methods or even lack of methods were.
Dec. 8, 2018
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First answer: it is not possible.

Second answer: you can do this if you make assumptions. The quality of the results will depend on your assumptions and those assumptions would be subject to subjective analysis.

Third answer: Yes I have done some simulation analysis on this problem. I used dealer and leadsolver. Lead solver is a double dummy analysis which is of limited use since play in the real world is not double dummy.

I am working from memory here because I am on a different machine than I did the simulations and I probably did not record every single run that I did.

Firstly, I had to decide what the auction meant. This is where assumptions come in.

1. Levin has an opening bid (1) and some extra values (3). These are relatively easy to constrain but not perfectly. What Levin jumps to 3 on might not be the same as what I jump to 3.

2. Grue has five spades assuming that is what 1 showed.

3. Grue has enough to make a slam try. I have no idea whether they play a serious/frivolous mechanism so do not know how serious the slam try is with 4 - his hand makes it look serious but we do not know how much ligher (or stronger) he would make the same bid.

4. After this we do not know what hands Levin would bid 4 as he did compared with some other action like 4NT or 5.

5. After 4 X came back to Levin we do not know what hands he would have taken some other action - XX to show his A etc.

6. After 5 we do not know when Levin would have continued with 5NT or some other bid.

Many of these things that we do not know there is no way of knowing for certain. Levin might not know precisely what hands he would bid one way or another until he holds the hands at the boundaries.

One inferential issues that I think is very relevant is Levin's heart holding to bid a grand given that Grue has not denied three hearts and has not shown any strength there other than possibly the ace in response to Blackwood - this is not the actual Grue hand but all hands consistent with the bidding. I doubt that Levin would gamble on the K but I do not know how much he would gamble on the Q - is AKJxx enough what about AKTxxx etc?

I started with some ballpark assumptions that coded the auction:

a/ Generic descriptions of Levin's 1H … 3S sequence and Grue's 1S response.

b/ Some extra values for Grue for 4C.

c/ A club cue for Grue - Ace, king, or shortage.

d/ No diamond ace for Grue.

e/ Either the diamond ace or void for Levin!!!

f/ Some conditions that meant that Levin had a source of tricks which was solidish hearts, or extra heart length with at least the king, or solid clubs on the side.

g/ I also gave north his actually hand obviously.

When I first ran these leadsolver told me the best double dummy lead was a diamond. Obviously catering to the diamond void. Interestingly it was not the diamond king which caters to the negative problem of stiff ace opposite Qx(+). A diamond lead was best by a big margin. Sorry I do not remember the numbers. I ran a sample of 10000 hands.

I then looked at how often Levin would have a void and I got numbers about 15% for this first iteration.

Subsequently, I have looked at scenarios where a diamond void is more likely. Others have pointed out reasons for this as Levin would want Grue to correct to 7NT with extra values at MPs if he held the A. However again it is impossible to know how often if ever Levin would bid the way he did with the A.

All I can conclude is that it is likely somewhere between 15% and 100% that Levin has a diamond void for this auction depending on inferences about his style (or possibly propensity to error in leaping to 7).

And it is very likely with no other information than the explicit information in the auction and no additional inferential information that a diamond lead is far and away the best double dummy.

Also I eyeballed smaller samples of hands consistent with my naive assumptions that allowed for diamond ace or void and about 2-3 in a hundred a diamond lead gave up the contract compared with 10-20 hands where a diamond lead beat 7NT.
Dec. 8, 2018
Wayne Burrows edited this comment Dec. 8, 2018
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Michael what are your probabilities without the hesitation (and with pass being consistent with the A being possibly held)?

Unless Levin has bid incredibly badly, I think that the probability of the A being missing is incredibly high - some say almost certain.
Dec. 8, 2018
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Another thought.

If we accept that a hesitation from south suggests the diamond ace then we have the implication.

Hesitation implies diamond ace.

This is logically equivalent to

Not the diamond ace implies no hesitation.

Now consider the case where the bidding has gone off the rails in some other way and south holds the A.

Unless we are convinced that if south had the A then he would have an auto double or auto pass then

club ace and not diamond ace would also be consistent with a hesitation.

And therefore

Hesitation implies (club ace or diamond ace) - and or possibly some other holdings.
Dec. 7, 2018
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Kit, if south was thinking and not distracted then your first assertion is true.

Your second assertion is not true as I see it. That might depend a little on what you mean by a bad split. But south could hold a solid holding in hearts so that he knows that suit won't run, say JT9x. Or better still and perhaps more needed for a contemplation of double, a holding in both hearts and clubs and knowing that partner has diamonds held he thinks there is unlikely to be a route to 13 tricks. Levin was expecting to be able set up hearts in 7 but Grue bid on just based on extra spade length which he translated into extra tricks.

Your third assertion is based on believing Levin's auction to 7. However if you believe that auction then you get into an immediate problem that not only has Levin not shown the A he has probably denied it. Is it really conceivable that a world class player with 16 hcp opposite an unlimited partner holding all of the key cards does not investigate a grand slam in no trumps. Take away the QJ and give Levin the A then he would have Kxx KQJxx A Axxx opposite a known AQxxx A and a club cue. That gives something close to a favourite for five spades, five hearts, a diamond and a club and there will be a thirteenth top trick if Grue has the K. Yes we have to deal with the spade break but we need that in 7 and the heart break but partner might have two or three hearts and that improves immediately. Grue also could easily have a sixth spade for a thirteenth top trick. This leads us to conclude that at MPs Levin would have done something different with the A.

What this means is that even if the UI suggested a diamond then the reasoning to demonstrate that suggestion requires that there is also AI that overwhelmingly suggests diamonds too.

Further I am unconvinced that the information in south's hesitation and what it suggests should be properly demonstrated by inference from the opponent's bidding. It is the opponent's bidding that suggests that if south has an ace it is most likely the A. South's hesitation does not in itself suggest one lead over another.

And finally, I think a poll is a very poor way to demonstrate something. Five opinions do not a demonstration make. To demonstrate is to clearly show with proof or evidence, not to ask some people what they think is suggested. Asking what someone thinks is suggested just introduces another layer of biases.
Dec. 7, 2018
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Ray, of course it is not inconceivable. He did have the A. I have no idea of what point you are trying to make.

Nothing he did announced the fact that he held the diamond ace.
Dec. 7, 2018
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“You continue to ignore my main point; the total change of mindset that is brought about by the BIT. All the highfalutin analysis and arguments for the ♦ lead are basically irrelevant. Partner should not make a BIT which basically announces ‘I have an ace’.”

Previously, you said “without UI (or ‘help’), the mindset of a player is totally different.”

I do not accept that the break in tempo announces (basically or otherwise) “I have an ace.” That is only one of many possible reasons for the break in tempo.

If a break in tempo is being used to announce that a player has the ace then that is a whole different matter than UI. It is illegal communication between partners.

The notion that the mindset is changed is speculative and not established.

Adjustments in UI situations are based on bids or plays that are “demonstrably suggested” and “logical alternatives.”

We cannot determine the mindset of a player. There is no way of knowing for certain whether Glubok had thought of the diamond lead before the hesitation or not. If not then there is no way of knowing whether he was triggered into his thinking by the hesitation.

Therefore we need an objective measure. And the objective measure is based on actions being “demonstrably suggested” and that there is at least one “logical alternative”.

My contention is that a slow pass does not demonstrably suggest a diamond. And further that a zero play should not be considered by anyone to be a logical alternative whatever the result of a poll.
Dec. 7, 2018
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'“ What is the hand you are hoping to defeat 7NT with a non-diamond lead that is consistent with this auction?” And similarly, elsethread Michael H:

That might SEEM like the logical question but, when it comes to UI, it is not the main question. It's barely even a relevant question.'

The law is defined in terms of logical alternatives which are defined in terms of one's peers, ‘class of player’, using the same methods. Unfortunately, ‘class of player’ is not defined.

I seriously doubt whether a player that makes a safe lead to allow the opponents to take their thirteen tricks is a peer or in the same class as a player who makes the best effort to defeat the contract when the opponents are in 7NT.

A safe lead when the opponents almost certainly have thirteen tricks is absurd when there is an appreciable chance the opponents have screwed up. And that information is available from their auction.

Even allowing for a poor bid by Levin, to not investigate 7NT opposite the unlimited Grue, a priori there is a significant chance that the A is not held and that makes other leads extremely poor on this auction - when a hand not in control corrects to 7NT not knowing that a particular ace is not held.
Dec. 7, 2018
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What would have happened if Antonsen had held the A or another ace or trick? After 7NT would he have doubled? Would he have paused and passed?

Of course we can never know. But if there is a reasonable possibility he would have paused then surely the diamond lead is not suggested over another by the pause.
Dec. 7, 2018
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Except we were hoping for a construction where there are 12 tricks on a spade or some other safe lead.
Dec. 7, 2018
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Martin Reid is a big boy.
Dec. 6, 2018
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Ray your suggestion is absurd. Of course no one wants an ace to be shown by a hesitation.
Dec. 6, 2018
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I think the problem is that something “stupid” should not be a logical alternative. The problem is with the name logical alternative or with its definition or with the judgement of people who think that the stupid is a logical alternative.

The problem with the “unethical” comment is that it is in the report without being discussed. The committee should have explicitly made a comment about it. Probably that comment should have repudiated the suggestion of anything unethical.

Silence by the committee was a poor decision.
Dec. 6, 2018
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Explanation of methods does not include lessons on how those methods maybe used.
Dec. 6, 2018
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Ed, Perhaps I should have said rectified but for completeness there are also times when it should be punished under L73C. Seldom if ever are there penalties issued under than law despite the fact that it is frequently broken.
Dec. 6, 2018
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“An appeal shall not be heard unless:
1. in a pairs event both members of the
partnership concur in making the appeal (but
in an individual contest an appellant does not
require his partner’s concurrence).” Law 92D1

Unless the appeal was irregular and unlawful in this respect then I think we can conclude that Joe Grue concurred with making the appeal.
Dec. 6, 2018
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Ron 16A covers what information a player may used. The similar term “from other sources” appears in the heading 16D but the laws tell us the headings do not form part of the laws. Perhaps it would be better if these terms were defined formally.
Dec. 6, 2018
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