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All comments by Barry Rogoff
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Yu - no one is saying that a serious felony is in any way equivalent to a violation of bridge laws. That's absurd, isn't it?

If you were going to play in a knockout final against unfamiliar opponents, wouldn't you like to know whether or not there are known cheaters on the other team? I suppose you can ask around but that's not something I'd be comfortable with. Some people may prefer not to know but those who do should have a way to find out privately.

As to the sex offender registry, my wife and I were very involved in Daisy Scouts and Girl Scouts for both of our girls. My wife was a troop leader and talked to many parents who were so uninformed or misinformed you wouldn't believe it, and those were ostensibly the good ones. So I think all parents have a duty to inform other parents about the registry no matter what the context.
Dec. 13
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It's a valid analogy. Many people are unaware that there is an online registry you can check, so consider it a public service. Too bad there's no online registry of bridge cheaters.
Dec. 13
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Having a child suddenly disappear is every parent's worst nightmare. My daughters are no longer children but I used to check the online sex offender registry periodically to see if one had moved nearby. Fortunately, it never happened because I don't think there's anything you can do about it other than to warn everyone in the neighborhood.
Dec. 13
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This has happened before. It would be very interesting to know how world-class players have handled it in the past and why. Ask the ones you know and report back.

There's cheating on all levels of the game. The highest levels get all the attention because there's so much more at stake. What do you do at a club game when the opponents are known to send and act on UI at every opportunity, and the director refuses to do anything about it?
Dec. 12
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So what source of information is the real deal on “Lawrence style?” Software? Whatever it is, if the methods are different from the book it should explain exactly what the differences are. (Keep in mind this is coming from someone who used to write software release notes.)
Dec. 12
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Lawrence style “out sequences” apply when opener makes a minimum rebid in his own suit or a lower-ranking suit and responder rebids his minor. This allows responder to make a two-over-one response with a long minor and something less than game forcing values. Thus, opener's 2NT rebid creates an absolute game force.

For example, 1-2-2-3 is not forcing but 1-2-2NT-3 is a slam try. In the latter case, responder would bid 3NT rather than 3 with an “out sequence” hand because there's an implicit fit shown by opener's 2NT rebid. This requires using a rebid of opener's major as a catch-all for hands not suitable for a 2NT rebid.

Everything is a tradeoff. I prefer Lawrence style not for the “out sequences” but because an auction like 1-2-2NT-3 allows you to reach some excellent slams that are difficult to bid using Hardy style methods. But I don't see how that can be compatible with 2M showing six.

I suggest then, that Bridge Winners Standard for 2/1 should not have a default. It should require a choice of Hardy style or Lawrence style. Simply ask “does 1-2-2 promise six?” Agreeing to play 2/1 and not agreeing on which style you're using is a huge risk in my opinion. If that requires having two different BW 2/1 convention cards, too bad.

For that matter, Bridge World Standard doesn't need to set one style as the default for the same reason.
Dec. 11
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Avon obviously isn't speaking and I'm not going to reveal anything about the project except to say that all these hypotheses and speculative discussion is pointless and misleading. It serves only to extend this comment thread beyond the point at which anyone will bother to read the whole thing.

That happens a lot in BW. Threads go on and on and on because everyone feels compelled to express their own opinion without having read everything that's already been said. Those who posted early in the thread are forced to stop listening or unfollow it.

There were no films or videotapes back when this all happened. The only hard evidence is the hands themselves and the recollections of those who were there, assuming that their analyses are completely objective.

It's also possible that whoever recorded the bidding and play made mistakes. It's not an easy job because you can't interrupt to ask questions when you're unsure of exactly what happened. (Trust me. I once had the distinction of being insulted by Oswald Jacoby because I couldn't keep up with up him while doing a realtime VuGraph presentation on an overhead projector.)

Why would Avon and those helping him expend the time and energy needed for this? It all happened a long time ago and it's very difficult to change history. I'm sure there are still schoolbooks saying that Christopher Columbus discovered the continent and the Caribbean islands.

Avon will speak to his own motives when the time comes to publish. I've already explained why I got involved in the project and that I wouldn't post the hands this way. There are more than enough hands and other evidence to prove the point and the published project won't need advertising.
Dec. 9
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The project has absolutely nothing to do with statistics. When it's published, you can take the number of examples of weird-looking actions, divide by the total number of hands played, and multiply by 100 but the significance of that percentage would be entirely subjective.
Dec. 4
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Ken, this is Avon gathering proof by allowing everyone in BW to participate no matter what their level of skill or how uninformed they may be about the historical context. That's why the hands he's presenting are ones that require little or no description of the methods. I ask everyone to put aside your initial negative reactions to the method of presentation and play along. The published result will be worth the wait.
Dec. 4
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I've read drafts of Avon's project and you're pretty much right as to what he's doing. Why is he doing it? It's all about knowing the truth and that's something far more important to some people than others. Knowing the truth can be very disillusioning and painful, as in my case. I got involved in the project because I believe that the truth, no matter what the cost, is of the greatest importance.

There's no character assassination other than your own conclusions based on the evidence and the project is much more than “cherry picking” a set of isolated incidents. You're jumping to conclusions that simply aren't true. If I saw that Avon's project was about attacking and discrediting the subject of the work and that he wasn't being completely objective, I wouldn't have gotten involved.

When there are too many oddball actions over too many years that always work and never get punished, you have to ask yourself whether or not the effort needed to document them is worth the resentment you're going to get from those who disagree with you or don't believe you. Avon is willing to make that effort and to accept that resentment.

Suppose it can be proved beyond a doubt that (fill in the name of a legendary player or team of any game or sport here) was cheating and/or using drugs. Would you prefer to know the truth? Or would you prefer to go on believing all the BS in all the history books?

As to how Avon is going about it:

“Go through the hands played by any good player, or partnership, especially decades ago… …and I expect it would be easy, tho time-consuming, to find hands wherein oddball actions appear to work.”

It's not as easy as you might think and the end result is not something any informed person would be willing to accept as a generality. It requires making a case that would stand up in court and that's a task that requires a heck of a lot of effort and personal sacrifice.

Going over all those hands and analyzing what the players who took the oddball actions (and those who didn't) could possibly have been thinking is quite time-consuming. It also requires a thorough understanding of the bidding and carding methods involved, a study that very few people have invested in since the 50s, 60s, and 70s.

So play along with Avon's protracted method of gathering proof. If I were the author, I would go about it differently, but I haven't invested nearly as much of my life as he has. The end result will be more than worth the patience required to those who value the truth.
Dec. 4
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Double showing a bad hand and pass showing values, the opposite of what most strong club players do, works well because it gives opener critically important information immediately. With game uncertain or unlikely opposite a bad hand, can leave the double in and get a better score than making a partial.

Ironically, the logic is the same as a 2 positive response to 2, i.e., giving opener critical information immediately is much more useful than making a noise that only denies certain hand types.
Nov. 28
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Agree. Remembering what you're playing is what matters. I hate that feeling of wanting to look at the back of the card.
Nov. 22
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Das Nasobēm, usually translated into English as The Nasobame, is a short nonsense poem by German writer Christian Morgenstern (1871–1914). It was written around 1895 and published in his book Galgenlieder (1905)

Striding on its noses
there comes the Nasobame,
with its young in tow.
It isn't yet in Brehm's
It isn't yet in Meyer's
And neither in Brockhaus'
It trotted out of my lyre
when it came first to light.
Striding on its noses
thereon (as I've said above),
with its young in tow,
there goes the nasobame.

I'm probably I'm going to be sorry I asked but please explain how it relates to this topic and/or what you're trying to say.
Nov. 17
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Where are web movements explained? Are they in the Groner book?
Nov. 16
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I like to play that those bids show a five-card or longer suit headed by the AKQ because opener can project the play.
Nov. 16
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It asks for an unusual shift so it depends on which shift you consider to be more unusual than the others. If I understand the methods correctly, the obvious shift suit would be spades, QJx being a weaker holding than QJ10x, and the 9 (discouraging) would suggest a spade shift.
Nov. 13
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If you're playing obvious shift you can play the J to ask for a diamond switch.
Nov. 13
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Thanks but I wouldn't make the call.
Nov. 13
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Misfit or not, it's a pre-balancing double. It means, “I couldn't open or act over 1 but I have some cards and we're not defending 2 undoubled. Do something intelligent.”
Nov. 12
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When pre- or post-acceptance reveals that there's a loser in responder's long minor, that's an important bit of information that other players in your direction don't have. Those people will be guessing at the right contract so take advantage of the information you have and don't blast a 3NT contract that may have no play.
Nov. 12
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