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All comments by Leonard Helfgott
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And even if you played Puppet or Muppet or Moppet or Besse or one of the hundreds of variants to memorize, you’d still have this issue (weak 4441) to deal with. No one at my local club plays any of these.
an hour ago
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I haven’t looked up Fisher Cornish since a reinsurance gig in 1979. But if you look up a standard table of the 39 hand distributions. And their frequencies, you can calculate that anyone will be dealt about 22 four card suits in 24 deals. Can’t speak regarding correlations.
Jan. 19
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How about East bidding 3C instead of 3H? Even if with support doubles West has shown 4H, 3C can help West bid and defend much more effectively.
Jan. 15
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Bernard: I agree. Would you upgrade QTx AQ Axx KQT8x? ( 1 club less but 1 hcp more)
Jan. 15
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Even if I think an upgrade is worth 2hcp I am generally loth to do so. 1NT is such an effective bid that I try to make it in boundary conditions, although I do upgrade rich 17s regularly.
Jan. 15
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With 63% of hcp in doubletons I do not consider this too strong for a 15-17 NT, but if Zi did (it is close) I’d prefer the shape showing 2NT rebid then the suit showing 3C rebid.
Jan. 15
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I’m with you on the light reverse (including 2H weak) but most of my partners would be surprised and I think we are in a small minority. :) And who am I to argue with a recent Winner of Bridge Worlds Annual Master Solvers Quiz.
Jan. 15
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GHood point I overlooked 14 vs15. However I’m stil not convinced that the raise , underbid though it may be, is a greater evil than rebidding a good 5 card suit, or reversing, or going through a 4-5 distortion. Of all, the reverse appeals but most would be aghast at reverse this light.
Jan. 15
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For me there is a strong parallel between bridge and recreational math. That is, just as I recognize that I will never play at the highest level (like most of us) I can derive great enjoyment from the game and the continuous learning process. In Math I know that as an ex-engineer and retired actuary I am “good” , I will never be at the PhD level, or even close, but can derive joy and fascination by reading and learning a bit about topics like this that are “over my head”. For those who wish to see what is out there and likely “over their heads” check out books by Richard Guy (Number Theory)(now 100), Julian Havil (Gamma function, etal)and Derbyshire( Riemann Hypothesis) among others. And if you want to start a bit simpler, try my friend’s grandfather’s classic “Number, the language of science” (1937) by Tobias Dantzig—- published in about 100 languages.
Jan. 14
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In the old days the 1S rebid on 3card suit was most popular. In fact I posted a problem in Bridge World in 1978 where the winning rebid was 1S on AKx. When I posted the identical hand in Bridgewinners last year, 1S was barely on the radar. Check “How Times have Changed”.
Jan. 14
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While I don’t mind light reverses, is this hand really “too good” for a single raise? I assume you would offer a single raise with ATxx xx AJx KQxx (if you didn’t upgrade) and the fourth trump is probably worth more than the difference between stiff and doubleton. And if you play Spiral or Minmax locally, it is a 3D response to a 2NT ask.
Jan. 14
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I think David meant to refer to the “natural numbers”, that is, the positive integers, in which case his point is valid. Note that this is only a bit over a tenth of the number of miles to the nearest star(besides the Sun), a small fraction of the number of trees in the world, and an infinitesimal fraction of the number of chess positions.
Jan. 14
ATB
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Good point, just seemed to be an omitted option.
Jan. 13
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Yes David. One may be the most important number (followed by zero, pi, e and i in some order) but it is neither prime nor perfect.
Jan. 13
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CNt possibly be Poisson but might be similar to an asymmetrical Gaussian distribution which would be like an unbalanced binomial. Check on the Fisher-Cornish expansion for asymmetrical distributions.
Jan. 13
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Why 8-11 weak, why not 0-9 or somesuch. Most weak UNT I've seen NV can be truly worthless hands.
Jan. 13
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A few other unsolved problems for supercomputers:
1. Any new Fermat primes (form 2^2^N+1)-3,5,17,257,65537 so far
2. Any ODD perfect numbers
3. Is there a 9th primaary pseudoperfect number?(look it up).

Thanks fr the post and thanks to all those responding, love this stuff.
Jan. 13
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Well, as a BChE 1970 from C.C.N.Y., I would mention that my Computer Science Course in 1968 was the last course in the FORERUNNER to FORTRAN, a very similar language called MAD! (Michigan Algorithmic Decoder) punchcards of course. Could not handle precision beyond 14 decimals. (good enough for engineering but not for a math nerd). Does anyone remember MAD, and I don't mean the magazine?
Jan. 13
ATB
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How about west passing first then bidding 4NT?
Jan. 13
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Wouldn’t seem likely to play better oppos. 2=3, an 8 card fit generally predominates. And if 3-3 where are the heart losers going in a spade contract. I can see how using the stronger side suit to force out high trumps might be pointless at the 2 level. And I can certainly see playing in your best suit in a slam. The classic game situation is of course A8765 AKQJT x xx oppos. 432 432 5432 AK2 where 4S makes but 4H does not. I am not up to constructing hands at 2level or 6 level that confirm or refute the spade Advantage.
Jan. 7
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