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All comments by Max Schireson
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@peter good suggestion; it caused me to go back and realize my estimate for what portion of the deals have to be thrown out is far too low; each new card can collide with any of the others not just the first so about 80% done my way will need to be tossed. Still works fine but yours is better.

@david I did not have any *arrays* starting with 1, but I do think it’s more natural for the ids for the *cards* to start with 1; otherwise code mapping from ids to suits and ranks will looks silly :)
March 12
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Ken I wasn’t suggesting that the red on the card is foolproof; I was merely pointing out how I had come to believe that double was penalty. I agree it wasn’t the best process, even if others have said I was correct. Sorry if my comment appeared to imply otherwise, tone is hard online.

Anyway I agree with your larger point that experienced players with some knowledge might get it wrong, as this back and forth has clearly shown. If we are not both certain and in agreement on such a simple auction, how can a beginner possibly be expected to get it right?
March 11
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my assumption if I have 13 clubs is that the deck isn’t shuffled and my partner has 13 hearts (etc). this is many orders of magnitude more likely than actually being dealt 13 clubs in a random shuffle.

here it seems that my only hope is that opps inexplicably fail to play in 7S, which feels unlikely.

it seems that my best (slim) hope is to open 6S and hope they have an accident?

since Debbie commented on our topic drift, she will now see this and if she ever picks up all 13 hearts and sees me open 6S, she probably has to alert it (and if asked explain that it shows spades or all 13 clubs, which is legal on all charts) which certainly won’t help our cause.
March 11
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Fwiw for this purpose I think it is totally unnecessary to be very precise about the likelihood of any given shape. You can round the probabilities and remove the least likely distributions. Since Jim is far more likely to be struck by lightning in the parking lot than pick up a 13-0-0-0, he probably doesn’t need to practice that one and whether there are 21% or 22% 4432 in the sample really doesn’t matter.
March 11
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Doug,

I agree with your reading, but I don’t think it matters.

Unlike for example California laws, which apply to my actions in California whether I want them to or not, I think that the Laws of Duplicate Bridge apply only to the games where the organizer decides the will be played under the Laws.

If the ACBL (or any other organization) decided that it would promote, for example, “Casual Bridge” which would be played under different laws that “Duplicate Bridge”, what the Laws of Duplicate Bridge say would have no bearing on Casual Bridge.
March 11
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My general rule is that conventions are on if they double and off if they bid, but we have a lot of specific rules.

One example of a specific rule: I play that our NMF system (similar to XYZ) is on if they double below 1NT and off if they double 1NT, so it would be on in your case A and off in your case B.
March 11
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Silly me, thinking if it was red on the convention card it was alertable!
March 11
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The unnecessary effort is quite low: about 22% will be duplicates / on average you have to generate about the fourth root of e boards to get one keeper.

I guess we all have our own forms of laziness; mine is creating and populating lookup tables for relatively small improvements :)
March 11
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Doug I agree 100%.

Case in point: what is a logical alternative for a beginner? Nearly anything.

It’s impossible to apply the same constructs in a 0-20 masterpoint beginner game as the Reisinger.

I suspect we actually need *3* sets of rules:
- true beginners
- typical club players
- serious competition

As far as the laws commission goes, if they aren’t interested in devising laws for beginners someone else should. If that means it’s not official duplicate bridge according to the same laws as world championships, fine.
March 11
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Barry,

I do think that experienced vs inexperienced depends on context and subjective judgement.

Apart from your issue, the issue of player experience and skill is relevant to adjudication of logical alternatives and claims, whether a player needed to protect themselves when an alert was not given, and whether they could have known that their BIT would harm opponents.

Some of these rulings will be wrong.

I hope and believe that not too many experienced players will give up bridge as a result. I worry much more that the inexperienced players will give up because they feel picked on by the experienced players - in retrospect I realize that when I was new it was the B players that were the worst.
March 11
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I think that when random newbies are playing with highly experienced players, situations like this are bound to be not fun for one or both sides.

I think that practically speaking it is impossible for new players to comply with the alert procedure. A few examples:
Beginners don’t have any clarity about what bids are forcing. How can they be expected to alert that their partners new suit response to their weak 2 is non forcing when they haven’t discussed what bids are forcing or not? When their partner opens 1D and you overcall 1S and their partner doubles with AQ98xx of spades and they go through their “is it penalty” moment of terror and see a spade void in their hand and decide it is, is there any chance they will know to alert the double as penalty, as is required?

This leaves us with options that look something like:
- penalize them on a bunch of boards every session
- don’t allow them to play unless there is a separate beginner game
- let the experienced players get fixed once in a while

I think the third choice is the least bad.
March 11
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Jim,

That is not a fair proxy.

I think the easiest way to generate bridge shapes with correct probability:

1. Pick 13 numbers between 1 and 52 (you can use randbetween!)
2. Sort the list of 13 and if it has a duplicate throw it out (this won’t happen often enough to be a big concern overall, but it’s important to avoid having the freak distributions over represented)
3. Count how many are 1-13, 14-26, 27-39, and 40-52. That’s your shape.
March 11
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Well explained Eric.


Greg,

To your conclusion in this subthread:

1. Yes, sometimes E will only pitch 5 hearts, which reduces the probability he was dealt all 7 hearts and hence “must” have the HK.
2. It does not follow from elimination of those hands that the probability of E having the HK is reduced. In fact, quite often when he pitches only 5 hearts it is because he is forced to do so; he has 6 hearts to the K. So in the cases where he *can’t* pitch 6 hearts, he also must have the HK. This has some effect of increasing the odds that he has the HK when he pitches only 5 hearts, which offsets the effect you described. It turns out that if he pitches at random when he does not have the HK, he will pitch 5 hearts from 6 small hearts exactly one thirteenth as often as when he pitches 5 hearts from 6 to the K, so among the cases where he pitches only 5 hearts it is neither more nor less likely that he started with the K than it was when you started.

I think Eric’s explanation is a clearer way to think about it, but I wanted to also explain what offsets the effect you suggested.
March 11
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What you say is correct; that said there is not necessarily an implication from the 7 minor suit cards because they might be voluntary (even though most of the time they are forced).

As long as E reveals his shape to you with the right frequency when he has 6 small hearts (6 times in 13) that will balance out the cases where he is forced to pitch 7 minor suit cards (K-6th) and no information about the HK location is revealed.
March 8
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Finally I should point out that what all the math adds up to is:
- if E has the HK he should keep it
- if E has 13 cards without the HK (0=6 small=4=3) he should keep one with equal probability of any.That way it will come down to the HK and one other random card with equal odds among all the other cards not known at trick one, which will reveal nothing.
March 8
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My oversight can be repaired.

In the case where E has K-6th, he is forced to discard 0=5=4=3.

If he only does so with K-6th, that would reveal information about the location of the HK (it would be guaranteed to be with E). If he always pitched the same way with 6 small, he would reveal that there was only a 6 in 7 chance that he held the HK, by revealing the spade to be 0=6=4=3.

If instead when he has that shape he pitches all 6 hearts exactly 6 times out of 13, he reveals nothing about the HK location when he pitches 0=5=4=3.

As shown above he reveals nothing about the location of the HK when he pitches 6 hearts as long as he is careful to pitch a diamond four times out of 7 when he has a choice.

Thus again he reveals nothing about the location of the HK in any set of pitches, though you do learn something about whether he is likely to have started with 6 hearts or 7.
March 7
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Wait this is wrong E can start with K-6th! Doh!
March 7
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Can east pitch to reveal no information? Yes, here is how.

East’s first 11 pitches reveal nothing, since he can always pitch 6 hearts 3 diamonds and 2 clubs regardless of the starting shape.

On his 12th pitch, if he has a heart he will have a forced pitch of a club or diamond. If he doesn’t have the HK he will have a choice of club or a diamond for his 12th pitch. (I will refer to the 12th pitch, but really order doesn’t matter; E can plan his pitches up front and pitch them in whatever order he likes.)

On four of of the 7 deals where W started with no hearts E will be forced to pitch a diamond for his 12th pitch. On three of the 7 deals where W started with no hearts, E will be forced to pitch a club for his 12th pitch. Thus when E started with all 7 hearts, you will see four diamonds pitched a little over 57% of the time by necessity.

When W starts with a heart, E will have a free choice on what to pitch on the 12th pitch. He must pitch a diamond 4 sevenths of the time to avoid revealing information.

If E pitches 4 diamonds more or less frequently when he started with 7 hearts vs 6, counting his pitches would reveal information about whether he started with 7 hearts, and therefore definitely the K, or with 6 hearts and therefore is only 6/7 to have the K. But as long as he pitches a diamond vs club with the same probabilities when he has a free choice as when he is forced, the forced pitch reveals no information as to his starting distribution, since you will see the4th diamond 57% and the 3rd club 42% for all starting shapes.

Thus against an E that pitches to hide information the probability is unchanged after 12 pitches.
March 7
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Good luck with the wresting, my guess is that the WBF will give up running the Bermuda Bowl about as easily as the NFL would give up running the super bowl.

I think the question is whether they run it badly enough that NBOs and players would get behind another event.

If you have a credible plan for how “we” would wrest it away, I am all ears.
March 4
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Yes, this could be the practical solution.

If a few hundred thousand dollars a year matters enough to many of these NBOs that it’s important to keep the WBF and it’s Olympic dreams around, but they are going to readmit a bunch of cheaters and ban Helgemo and make us all pee in cups, we should just organize a tournament.

Invitational with no convicted cheaters, and long matches.

It could be a cross between the Rosenblum and Bermuda Bowl.

Transnational teams should in principle allow for the strongest teams, but the Rosenblum matches are way too short.

Half day matches in a 7 day long Swiss to come down to 16 teams, then 2 day KO matches until the semifinal and final then 3 days for the semifinal and final.
March 4
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