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All comments by David Caprera
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3S splinter in support of diamonds.
12 hours ago
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The problem with this approach is that it assumes the target is known. In team game imp scoring it largely is, but at matchpoints or BAM, it is a real variable.

When teaching novices, the idea of a known target is important. But my question is how experts should approach solving for a target in a matchpoint event. Does declarer start with making his contract as the base, or does one build a “table” with different outcomes and associated matchpoint estimates weighted by a probability of success? That sounds structually correct to me but may not be possible in a time limited event.
June 15
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Making a bad bid and going for a number could be “man overboard.” A massive loss could be a “Titanic”. The pair sitting out could be on “shore leave.” Get caught cheating and you end up “in the brig.” Good defense “sinks the contract.”
June 15
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Open seas (uncontested auction)
Port (LHO bid)
Starboard (RHO bid)
Full steam ahead (both RHO and LHO bid)
All hands on deck (all four players bid)
June 15
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Ok, so you cannot deny someone an appeal to a second director but that doesn't mean there is an unlimited right to appeal to a committee.
June 14
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True story. I had played on a regional team with Bob where Bob played with the sponsor. I played with one of my regular partners. We did reasonably well. The Monday after the tournament, Bob sent me an email that read, “You boys played real good bridge. Bob.” I printed it out and taped it to my office door next to my tickets for the fifth game of the Rockies- Red Sox world series (Red Sox swept in four.) It was there for years. No one in my law firm had any clue what it was but, for me, without a doubt, it was a coveted trophy. Bob also endorsed has my book, “Sleeping on the Couch.” So, I was not unknown to Bob which made the problem more challenging.
June 13
David Caprera edited this comment June 13
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Avon, I don't believe we have ever met. To be honest, your witch hunt of the Italians of 50 years ago had worn thin on me. Yes, cheating is bad for the game but at some point I just want to let it go. However, tell me your last several months of postings were a setup for this posting and I will embrace you in open arms. Brilliant stuff. I love the way that it makes looking at bridge from the old days real, living and breathing.
June 13
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I know. I was responding to Ilya's post when you preempted me in the ordering.
June 13
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Isn't there a distinction between an appeal back to the director (please go poll some people and reconsider) and an appeals committee. I think our “cost” is with a committee. I see no problem with allowing a player to ask the director to reconsider a ruling.
June 13
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Kate, you said, “Make up your own rules.” This time I don't have to do so. Assuming she sorted her hand correctly, Annie will have 4+ hearts for her double of 1S exactly 100% of the time. There is no doubt we have an 8+ card heart fit.
June 13
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Kind of like the football coach having one “challenge flag” to throw. I like it. Maybe it doesn't even have to be a frivolous appeal. For any event, you get one flag. If your appeal is successful, they give you the flag back. If you lose, no more appeals.
June 13
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National pairs game. I had exactly that situation, a two way pick for a queen with the suit known to have been 3-3. My hand was known. RHO pitched one when he didn't have to. Your play. Oh by the way, my RHO was Bob Hamman.

Talk about screwing with my mind. I had a 50-50 guess before and I still did. After as much time as I could afford, I played Bob's partner for the Q. Nope.

After the session, I asked Bob, “Should I have gotten that right?” He just smiled. Color me blue-green, the same as a guppy.
June 13
David Caprera edited this comment June 13
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Robb, take it back to basics. 1S-(P)-2S-(3H)- DBL. Penalty or game try? Spades are a known 8+ fit, hearts have not been supported. IMO, game try is more important than penalty. Not everyone agrees. But I put this example and the auction posted above in the same class of auctions.
June 13
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2N-3D-3H-3S. 5-5 slam try. In the ACBL Bulletin Billy Miller called it “the buzzard.” I would be interested in learning the origin of the name.
June 13
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I trust you went out to the parking lot and flogged yourself to within an inch of your life for going down in 4H.

Honestly, I appreciate your fresh take on writing about your errors as well as your glories. Too often bridge writing is about “How I made this great play that won the match.” I am sure we learn more from mistakes than we do from getting things right.
June 13
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Game try in hearts. Could be balanced but does not have to be. We bid hearts, they bid one under (3D). Simple rule. No accidents. And the idea that I don't need an invitational bid just because the opponents have bid two suits does not strike me as compelling (or convincing.)
June 13
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Rubens book also contains the same information.
June 13
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Small? Interesting. I would expect about 8+ playing tricks for 3H. Same as (1D)-P-(P)-3H.
June 12
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I faced this situation in the trials. Our match was being recorded so the time taken by each side was known. Our opponents played very quickly. So I was able to take more time than I might otherwise have taken. In particular, I spent several minutes on an overtrick possibility. One of my opponents said, “You can't take that long for an overtrick”, to which I responded, “I can when you play that quickly.” My opponent was a friend but this was not well received. Having “time clocks” for both sides would alleviate this problem.
June 12
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I think the objective of identifying the standard to be applied to appeal penalties for frivolity is worthwhile. In the recent trials, one of my teammates wanted to appeal a ruling which would have been of little consequence but about which he had a strong personal opinion. We were finally able to persuade him not to go forward but it would have been easier if there were clear standards as to the potential downsides from appealing.

As for “unanimity” being a threshold, my reaction is that an appeals committee should be able to assess a penalty in circumstances where it was beyond a reasonable doubt that the appeal would fail. In the matter we faced, McKenzie had polled ten top players and not one of them agreed with my teammate. Faced with that poll, it was a certainty the appeal would not succeed.

Appeals take time and can be disruptive. They should not go forward when the outcome is known.
June 12
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