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All comments by Barry Rogoff
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“Precision” is not synonymous with “strong club system.” One can say that any particular partnership's set of agreements in the context of a strong, artificial club is or isn't a variant of Precision. There's no “official” definition.
July 16
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Wouldn't that require a sophisticated detection device or a cavity search ;^?

https://www.bvsystems.com/what-locates-cell-phones-better-rf-or-ferromagnetic-detectors/
May 23
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This conversation got me thinking. Bluetooth-enabled hearing aids have been around for a very long time. The ones I've had require “streamers” or pendants one must wear around the neck. They look like MP3 players. I'd never dream of wearing one when playing bridge, of course.

The newest Bluetooth-enabled hearing aids don't require a pendant. They connect directly to a cell phone. But that's not a new idea by any means.

The idea of cheating by clandestine wireless communication has been around since Goldfinger. You don't need Bluetooth-enabled hearing aids. You can buy an “Invisible Secret Spy Nano Wireless Earphone Earpiece for Mobile Phone” on Amazon that looks to be about the same size as a hearing aid battery and is virtually invisible.

https://www.amazon.com/Invisible-Secret-Wireless-Earphone-Earpiece/dp/B00CT5SQJQ

Using hidden microphones, you could in theory have a connection between two players's cell phones open during an entire session. Each player would be able to hear every word spoken at the other table.

This idea never occurred to me before but it may have occurred to others a long time ago. A frightening thought! It would mean that the cheating methods discovered recently that have caused so much controversy are actually a joke to anyone using wireless methods. I sincerely hope someone pokes a hole in this theory.
May 23
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It was Boris Schapiro who refused to play LM in 1965. That caused a conflict between Reese and Ralph Swimer, the captian of the English team, because Reese wanted to play LM with Flint while Swimer insisted that he play with Schapiro.
April 26
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Hi Peter! I haven't played bridge in months, which is why I haven't seen you at the Bridge Spot.

There are a few examples of The Little Major in ACBL World Championship books. Reese and Shapiro played the system in the 1964 World Team Olympiad in New York. I have the book in PDF and can send it to you. Reese and Flint played it briefly in the 1965 Bermuda Bowl in Buenos Aires, which was the year of the infamous cheating scandal involving Reese and Schapiro. The examples aren't very illustrative but there's a full-page description of the system in that book. I'll scan my printed copy if you want it.
April 25
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Regardless of this person's posting history, doing personal computer technical support is similar to solving brainteasers in that you can never assume anything. Much of the time, they just changed something but they won't tell you what they did unless you drag it out of them.
Feb. 17
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If you say what kind of hardware and software you're using to read BW I might be able to suggest something more helpful than Ctrl+.
Feb. 17
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Having an agreement is more important than what the agreement is. Even practiced partnerships get it wrong having never discussed it. Once or twice I've asked the opponents whether or not they have an agreement but I think that's helped them more than it's helped me.
Feb. 16
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The Italian Blue Team Bridge Book by Garozzo and Forquet is affectionately known as “the Bible” and is required reading for anyone who plays Blue Team Club. The Garozzo-Yallouze book and Omar Sharif's book are watered-down in comparision. Simply Blue is a bad joke.

The ambiguity of 1-1NT-2 auctions is part of the price you pay for a system highly optimized for game and slam bidding at IMPs at the expense of partials. If you read the old World Championship books and match records you'll see that those auctions hardly mattered. When you play it at matchpoints, however, it's possible to get an anti-systemic set of boards but the fun value more than makes up for it.

When I played the system, we used a 2 opening as “reverse Flannery” showing 5-4 in the majors or 5-5 with better spades.
Feb. 6
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I agree completely. I have one partner who insists on count and has a couple of example hands that are very difficult to defend accurately without count, but I like Obvious Shift much better. Telling partner where your values are at trick one is critical on so many hands.
Jan. 30
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Avoid the Sominex Coup. I've stopped playing in club games where people intentionally take forever on hands that have no chance to make, hoping you'll forget what's been played.
Jan. 17
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Where are the web services documented?
Jan. 10
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Correction: the two Alans played the “Tech Model Railroad Club” where Tech referred to the Mass. Institute of Technology (MIT).
Jan. 6
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The Rt. 128 Industrial League was founded by Bart Bramley and Lou Reich when they worked for Digital Equipment Corp. (DEC) sometime in the ‘70s. The intent was to prepare for a company-based team event at a nationals. It was before I started at DEC so I don’t know who else was involved.

Most of the DEC participants were “lunchtime” bridge players. The computer industry was very different then. There was actually time to play bridge while having lunch. It was before sales people started taking orders for products that hadn't even been designed and for which the revenue couldn't be shown in quarterly reports until it shipped. Time-to-market demands became ridiculous and everyone knew that a Version 1.0 product was really just a beta test.

My DEC B team defeated DEC A to win the Industrial League two years in a row ('94 and ‘95 if I remember correctly) before everyone left what was clearly a failing company. The finals were played at ZKO (Spit Brook Road in Nashua, NH), which is now HP.

Craig Zastera was on the DEC B team one of those years. Other players were Karl Barth, Collis Jackson, and (I may be wrong about this) Bill Braucher and Jay Keenan. Apologies to whomever I’ve forgotten. Getting old sucks.

The players I remember being on the DEC A team were Alan Frantz (who I still see now and then), Alan Kotok, Seth Cohen, Steve Root, and Bob Cohen.

The late Alan Kotok was one of the legends of the computer industry and it was a privilege to know him. One of things he did at MIT was to control multiple fast-moving trains on an enormous model railroad using a computer. If I remember correctly, the two Alans had “DEC Model Railroad Club” (which was actually a form of Precision) written on their convention card.

The deals in those final matches were recorded and analyzed in a VAX NOTES conference that may still exist somewhere. VAX NOTES eventually became Lotus Notes and was the model for all the Internet and intranet forums that exist today, including this one.

I don't know how long the League lasted after DEC B dissolved.

Not having a director was problematic in one case because a particular team used the “weaker minor” style of K-S without informing anyone. I first became aware of it when declarer had 3-3-5-2 with a small doubleton club and opened 1 before showing a strong notrump. My partner led a diamond and needless to say, attacking that suit wasn't very successful. When I asked declarer whether or not his 1 opening was a lead-inhibiting psyche, his partner immediately got belligerent and said “he can bid whatever he wants.”

In spite of that, the 128 League was great fun.
Jan. 5
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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, 2017
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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, 2017
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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, 2017
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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, 2017
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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, 2017
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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, 2017
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