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All comments by John Miller
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Why don't you just cancel the room?
Dec. 31, 2018
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Well, yes, but you are at least somewhat likely to go down anyway. They lead a diamond back on the heart lead, now you can ruff one and hope they are 7=2 with the spade Ace with the short diamonds. I guess 8=1 works as well as long as you ruff with the ten.
Dec. 26, 2018
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In addition to the ones for which I voted, I would certainly double 5) if NV, and would often double 8) if NV. In both cases frequency of doubling would be IMPs < Matchpoints < BAM.
Dec. 26, 2018
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Were the New York subways run by a private company, no doubt they would do something similar to maximize customer service efficiency. Given that they are run by a governmental agency, we are happy when the trains do not collide with one another.
Dec. 18, 2018
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I'm confident the ability to rip the cards in a symmetrical fashion is an ability no human has. OTOH, I get a quite delicious mental image from the idea of frightening the opponents by ripping the cards. For some reason Jack Nicholson seems to be part of that mirage.
Dec. 18, 2018
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“Better to double with exactly four spades and bid 2 with five.” I have partners who like this and man, do I hate it. The value of this distinction at this stage of the auction is minimal. I know the opening bid in this case was 1, but in auctions that start (1m) - X - (1) - ?, using double to show four+ spades allows 2 to become the cuebid and 2m to be natural. That comes up far more often than you might think.
Dec. 18, 2018
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I think N/S should get -450, and E/W -470. East's failure to double 1, even if he thought it natural, and the subsequent leave-in of a two-level takeout double overwhelm the failure to alert at the table.

I'm unsure if my judgment is consistent with the laws, however.
Dec. 17, 2018
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To the extent the regulations are written in English, it seems appropriate to use the proper words.
Dec. 17, 2018
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“By partnership agreement an opening bid at the one level shows either three cards or more, or two cards or less in a specified suit”

Until the rules of bridge allow ripping cards into pieces before playing them, the language should say “two cards or fewer.”
Dec. 17, 2018
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On the behavior (or, I suppose since it is in London, behaviour) of the buses … it is a well-known instability actually called the bus instability. Say you have two buses on the same route that are spaced fifteen minutes apart. At one stop there are a lot of people getting on or off, and the bus is slightly delayed. At the next stop, since the bus may be a minute late, there are more passengers to load or unload than otherwise, and it delays the bus further. Meanwhile, the next bus is catching fewer and fewer passengers as the interval between its arrival at the stop and the previous bus is decreasing. Eventually the second bus catches the first.

Knowing of this has proven useful to me in navigating New York subways. Occasionally a train is late and, when it arrives, is bulging out the door with passengers. I simply avoid getting on, and usually a minute or two later the same train arrives and I can sit down.
Dec. 17, 2018
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I would hope we are all anti-diluvian. On the other hand, you seem to be suggesting Kaplan lived so long ago that he was antediluvian. That's an interesting thought … I'll have to go back and read Genesis to get more early references to KS.
Dec. 14, 2018
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Ban him for life!
Dec. 14, 2018
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Then there is my all-time favorite camp movie, Escape from New York, where all of Manhattan has become a high-security prison. “Snake Pliskin, I thought you was dead.”
Dec. 14, 2018
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Some people are never satisfied!
Dec. 13, 2018
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We should adopt the British solution from the late Eighteenth Century and send all collusive cheaters to Australia!
Dec. 13, 2018
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The cheaters in this instance were those who picked up wires, those known to coffeehouse or take advantage of hesitations. Not that I'm condoning any of that, but under the circumstances a suitable tweak of the ear for their crimes.
Dec. 12, 2018
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I believe the song was by Ace, not 10CC
Dec. 12, 2018
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Trick one indicates partner has either the Ace or Ten. Unless his holding is precisely AT2, he is asking for a switch. With AT2, I have a hard time constructing a hand where declarer is not cold. Assuming it is IMPs, I will switch. The only switch that I see potentially mattering is a diamond through to partner's hypothetical KQx, so a diamond switch it is.

At matchpoints I would probably go passive to cater to partner holding AT2 and, say Q8x where a diamond switch could blow a trick. No appetite for shifting to a heart.
Dec. 11, 2018
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Just for some encouragement for players to play up …

My wife learned to play bridge after we got married eighteen years ago. She has floated around on the periphery of my bridge life, playing a lot online and playing with me occasionally. Over that time period she has accumulated about 180 masterpoints, a third of them this year.

She decided to join me in Hawaii when she was able to convince her regular club partner to come. I encouraged them to enter some of the limited national events. Their first try at the 0-10K IMP pairs was not a success. However, she had a blue ribbon Q from when I joined her team for a lower-level KO in the Sacramento regional, so they entered the 0-6000 Blues. First session under 50%. Second enough to get into 46th place and Q for day two. Good third session to move above the cut line. Averagish fourth session to be the last qualifier by a little over one matchpoint, although a higher pair dropped, so they qualified 27th. Decent showing in the final to climb to 21st. Thrills all around. They will be heroes when they return to the club.

The best part? She got 15 gold. She had 17, so she (grandfathered requirements) went over her gold requirement in the 0-6000 minis! Her first question was how she can get another blue qualification so she can play in San Francisco again next year. In the meantime, we'll have to get her remaining 90 masterpoints so she can play in the mini-LM's in Las Vegas.
Dec. 1, 2018
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Don't be so confident in your choice of pronoun.
Nov. 29, 2018
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