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All comments by David Yates
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Or there could be a problem inherent with counting losers instead of winners.
Jan. 30
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The priori odds might be understated in the CG write-up. It is given as 5.6%, I have it almost 8.5%.

The odds of QJxx are much greater at the table after E follows low once and W plays low twice. There are 3 possible layouts. (Original 39%)

QJxx / x – 8.5 cases
xx / QJx – 10.1 cases
Hxx / Hx – 20.4 cases

If we make endplay at 100% and club finesse return at 50%, then:

Plan A (Play ace)
0% of 8.5
half of 10.1
all of 20.4 So 0 + 5.05 + 20.1 = 25.15

Plan B (Insert ten)
100% of 8.5
half of 10.1
half of 20.4 So 8.5 + 5.05 + 10.2 = 23.75

The odds are very close. If you believe East is < 100% to switch to a club, it looks like inserting ten could be better. Also, if you think you can read E, the odds might be better. Is East the sort who has the K so he leads the suit he has? Or does he lead the suit his does not have? Declarer has choice of black suit finesses.

I think it was Phil Martin who once wrote: “A good inference is worth a ton of probability tables”.

Plan C (K/A trumps try to ruff Q, fall back on club hook.)

0% of 8.5
68% of 30.5 = 20.75

(Figuring the odds of spade queen dropping about 36%)
Jan. 30
David Yates edited this comment Jan. 30
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And West tried to help out - twice.

Given “standard” methods (yech) 2 would be the “standard” contract. This game is close to 80% given you can pick up many of the 4-1 diamond breaks (stiff J or 10 and some idea who might have four diamonds by the time it is to play the suit. (I seem to recall just under 75% if the diamonds is a straight guess)

Once the ops try to help you out, either play could have done more. I rebid 2 with 64 min hands over SG NT, so I bid 4 over 2 since I can count (pretty much) to ten. Not bidding 4 over 3 is also bad. But this is not about who made the worse bid when both actions were timid.
Jan. 30
ATB
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I know there are all sorts of “rules” for passing the North hand. Given the actual success rate of passing and then adequately describing these hands later - (can't everyone show a 6-6 4-count scientifically and unimpeded?) - it is a wonder there are still so many true believers.

Notice that you never get to show your second suit in these auctions because at your second turn to call, the 4th suit is not natural. Diamonds will also be artificial over a 2NT rebid.

If you held a gun to my head and made me pass, I would have bid 2 on the second round, planning to follow with 4 over either 2N inquiry or 3NT.

North's actually choices were poor at every turn.
Jan. 30
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This is a good general rule: Don't let the opponents talk you out of your normal play.

If one normally does not acquire bridges as part of your investment portfolio, now is not a good time to start.
Jan. 29
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“Second hand low”, is this a problem? :)
Jan. 29
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We are living dangerously because we view complacency as a bad board. Fortunately, this is MP.

I slightly prefer 5 to double, esp @ MP if it is our game.
Jan. 29
David Yates edited this comment Jan. 29
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I agree. But if we belong in diamonds, why guarantee the A lead from the West?
Jan. 28
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I abstained because I have no idea what a random 2C-D-3C looks like this day either.
Jan. 28
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It really depends on whether you think you can describe this hand with a rev to 2 then 4. I hate the splinter and I hate 3 or 4.

And I hate old-fashioned standard. Especially good raises after 1m-1M. For me the auction starts 1 (2+) 1 (transfer); 2NT good spade raise.
Jan. 28
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And ironically maybe not strong enough for 3NT
Jan. 28
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A town in the Netherlands :)

This is a horrible start for our side. The last time it came up against me in a similar fashion was at the NABCs. We were talking about the hand later and one of my teammates said: “Oh! Here is — (WGM) lets ask him”. So I gave him the hand and problem. He gave it a perplexed mental wrestling. Then he asked about the vulnerability and I told him we were red and not them. It was IMPs. He just said “wonderful” and we never did get his call.

He did say: “That is why you need to play this stuff.”
Jan. 28
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When I saw Ian posted a bidding problem, my first thought was “for his system?”. So, if no forcing raise, I hope 2 is at least F1 in “grumpy”
Jan. 28
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“Bulls make money, bears make money, hogs get slaughtered.”

When I pass these MP auctions, it gets goofy with:
3-P-P-???

And I have no idea what to do. I am not very enamored with game prospects, but we have an 8+ spade fit and they have an 8+ club fit. So I am just going to communicate values & support to partner so someone knows what to do.

However, I do like pass better than 2.
Jan. 28
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Virtually all GT methods were developed prior to modern methods of raising the M. Therefore, I suggest you consider the rest of your system first.

What I tell my students is that, for the most part, games are about math, whereas slams are usually about science. What this means is that if your side has “stuff”, there will often be decent play for the game just based on the math, without regard for the fit. Slams often require the right stuff.

One is also more likely to bring home a bad game than a bad slam. A bad game might be difficult to defend. Often the declarer has something to work with in a bad game.

If your side has the values, you should just be in the game. I see people decline HSGT with maximum raises all the time because “I didn't have help”. And yes, they obviously need some.

Traditionally, an auction that starts 1M-2M was a very wide range. Something like 5-10 points, with 3 or 4-card support. Then along came the F-NT. So players started putting the really bad raises through 1NT. Then Bergen came along with 4-card raises. (I don't play Bergen, but I do have ways of showing 4-card support.) As of this year, for the first time we can play something like 2M minus 1 responses as a good raise. Or even Drury responses.

Keep in mind that the whole reason to a GT was to handle the wide range of the traditional 2M raise. Depending on how your modern response structure limits this, that will also limit the utility and the benefit of game tries.

Keep in mind that if the GT passes information to partner, it also aids the defenders. AFAI am concerned, the GT is the least important method on the CC. I could play with someone not knowing if partner made a short suit, long suit or help suit GT and it probably would not matter.

Creators of gadgets love to show two hand where you get to perfect skinny games. Yep, 9 trump a good fit, 19 combined HCP. Makes me wonder why the opponents forgot to bid. Oh yeah, this was just made up.
Jan. 28
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An interesting little side note to the “Bit is Not Demonstrative” crowd. (You might be able to read this if your head still is not in the sand).

My shorthand explanation is: “you may not be able to tell what my wife is thinking, but I can.” Every blue moon, I get it wrong - and it is very costly.

This is pretty much what happens with partnerships at the bridge table when one partner is obviously thinking and the other partner acts on the information - which, BTW is UI no matter what some lazy TD thinks.

Notice that opener chose the winning option with his 1 in 3 guess. Double, 5 and 5 are now collectively DEMONSTRABLY more likely to be a winning action than the obvious pass. In a vacuum, one can ignore this obvious fact and say: “well, it doesn't indicate which one is going to win.” Ignoring the fact that the UI changes the odds of PASS, and ignoring the fact that partner is not allowed to make a random bet, it is interesting to me how often partner “guesses correctly”.

John Adams notes earlier that sometimes these players do truly stupid things. They do, aome of the time. Like I do when I guess wrong what my wife was thinking. But it is interesting how often they get it right. (The guess over UI have edge, so they will always take that edge.) Here, the flex action, if one did not know what partner was thinking, is double. Partner passes with values, pulls to 5C with a 1174 hand or 5 with extra length.

But South knows his partner (customer, wife, whatever). This auction is not in a vacuum. They have history. The most likely hand for a BIT is with side club support. However, if one knows that this partner would have unilaterally bid 5, we can discount that. And if we know this partner bid 2 with good 8 or 9 counts, there is no defense.

From a practical matter, you might not know. But they do. And they are willing to guess wrong occasionally because they get it right so many times, they have big edge.

Where I would disagree with Jeff is blaming the TDs entirely. They have too much support from the “not demonstrable” crowd who support their blind eye reading of situations to shoulder all the blame.
Jan. 28
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As Craig notes above, 1M-1N(GF) was illegal. There was a separate prohibition against 1NT “guaranteeing GF values”. This language was included because it could be argued 1NT was not a meaningless bid if it promised certain values, and therefore did not meet the technical definition for a relay.
Jan. 28
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@Craig, actually when the opposing attorney is also the judge, they technically aren't better - just in a better position. They were also wrong, but I am sure it was not the first time for them.

@Bruce, the term “relay system” was defined elsewhere on the old charts. The item in parenthesizes was just a stupid notation. That was the definition that specified the timing.

Edit/Add: BTW, during this time our Regionals were actually GCC. (They probably still were until the end). The head TD at the time - and also for the Sectionals because he lived in Yonkers - was Sol Weinstein. This passed mustard with him, so I can beat your silly old TD/Attorney/Judge on appeals :)

Another Edit/Add: It was pointed out that I actually typed “mustard” when the word is “muster”. Get used to this. My fingers often type similar words because they like too and I am too awful a proofreader to catch this sort of mistake.

A lot of people don't know this, but I used to type questions for Emily Litella.
Jan. 28
David Yates edited this comment Jan. 28
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So they found a winning 3 call at the table that none of the 53 voters (so far) chose in the poll.

Amazing, as I am SURE the huddle was not demonstrative! (Right)
Jan. 27
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This is what happens with crappy laws. The stop card should be placed in front of the next bidder by the person jumping the bidding. They also remove it. (No counting necessary).

Any mannerisms are auto UI and all appeals are processed by Judge/Hangman Yates. His Honor may not be that honorable, but he is consistent.

This is how you clean up the town, boys.
Jan. 27
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