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All comments by Max Schireson
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If this is a joke about wanting to watch a video of bridge players legs behinds and breasts I don't think it is funny.

If it is a serious request and you think you can't understand the issue without watching the video I think you can.

Zero tolerance may be uncomfortable but I think it will help.
June 25, 2016
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Having spent most of the last couple decades in the business world (which certainly has its share of sexism) and recently joining the bridge world, what strikes me is the lack of mechanism to counter / reduce sexism in bridge.

In business the threat of lawsuit can drive change. Yes, it can also create other issues and not all lawsuits are resolved “fairly” (with many believing they are biased in both directions), but the threat nonetheless can drive change.

While I believe a lawsuit created “open” events in the place of “mens” events, it doesn't seem practical that lawsuits or the threats thereof can do much to address the issues Ida raises. I wish I had a solution. In the absence of a solution I think it is incumbent on all of us to, borrowing a few phrases, have zero tolerance for sexism in bridge and be actively ethical in avoiding it.
June 25, 2016
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Yes. Even without seeing the squeeze it seems that risking the contract on 32 diamonds is a bad idea. 32 diamonds means 51 clubs if W has 10 major suit cards. On that auction I would be very surprised to see less than 55 given that W stepped into your live auction with few enough high cards for E to come up with a 3S bid; 5 good spades and 6 bad hearts seems like a good possibility too. With probably 2-3 minor suit cards in W it seems that the diamonds breaking 32 is well under 50% so even if the other line never makes 11 tricks it still seems right to insure against 41 diamonds.

Also others may have gotten different defense or landed in different contracts, I think 630 rates to score well so not worth risking a good or very good score for what rates to be a somewhat unlikely break.
June 25, 2016
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Actually I was confused; I now realize that since the J has no cost when declarer understands that you know they are equal, it makes sense to focus on the other case which is at least plausible in hopes that you can induce a finesse. Sorry for being a little slow.
June 16, 2016
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It strikes me as funny to be certain declarer wouldn't play to the Q and therefore to notice they are equal cards (not sure I would prior to reading this) but then to assume declarer who clearly knows they are equal would assign zero probability to defender noticing that while making complex calculations about the implications of my play.
June 16, 2016
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I think I have missed something here. If declarer knows that you know he holds AK, and he knows that you know he would not play to the Q holding the T, then declarer should expect you to see the J and other as equal cards and should expect to see the J half the time from J9?

What am I missing / why should declarer not expect to see J from J9 here? Is this not a case where everyone at the table knows that they are equal cards?
June 16, 2016
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So you are actually asking about:
1N 2H
2S 4C

Vs

1N 4H
4S 4N
I think…

and
1N 2H
2S 3C
Is a natural bid of a second suit? (I think standard is that this shows 4+ clubs not necessarily 5?)

Putting aside the desirability of bidding keycard when you are not comfortable at the 5 level, and putting aside the memory strain of keeping different sequences straight, and assuming you are interested in driving to slam before agreeing a strain… you could use 4C as a keycard ask with 5 cards in your major suit specifically, with opener to choose strain after you choose level. I am not suggesting this is optimal, just trying to help you achieve what it seems you want.

In addition to the issues other have raised wih this appoach, I wanted to point out that in this case (if I understand it correctly) you are giving up the standard usage of 4C to show club shortness.

While I am trying to help you with what you asked for I hope you will consider the opinion of some very very strong players who seem to think this might not be a very good idea.
June 15, 2016
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My understanding is that agreement to a claim can be withdrawn during the correction period (usually 30 minutes after posting of final scores). I am not sure if the equity restored by the director should include the one trick penalty for an established revoke, which generally would not apply after the hand is over. I am not a director but I think I would be inclined to say that equity is making 5 as declarer likely would likely have made if the hand was played out and the revoke discovered.
June 13, 2016
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I love it!

You would need to be thoughtful about how you handled events other than knockouts though - say you have a cut in the field in a pairs event, I assume no overall tops are paid in the loser bracket but overall bottoms are charged? Session awards plus and minus as normal in both brackets, but a field near the middle would usually do much better not not qual, finishing the first day with a small minus then get some section tops on day two, vs qual and earn a few masterpoints and give them back with interest being pummeled on day 2. Maybe day 2+ national loser bracket session tops should pay gold and day 2+ winner bracket session bottoms should charge gold, so if you win then lose you gain platinum and lose gold and vice versa?
June 7, 2016
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Perhaps they should try a 2 day stratiflighted event, A/X/Y and B/C/D. Make B/C/D 3000/1500/750. Giving some of the teams that are unlikely to contend another 2 day option would probably draw some of them away and further strengthen the field, but the higher payouts (2.75x) might attract more teams?? I imagine a lot of B teams would also enjoy a 2 day swiss that they feel like they have a chance to win.

Or maybe splitting it could be a disaster?
June 6, 2016
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Michael, here is what I suspect:

1. The 2 day event should have been 1.4x for 2 days, plus 10% more pairs, plus a stronger field, overall close to 2x.

2. Per the 2016 masterpoint book a regionally rated
stratiflighted Swiss upper event pays 2.25x when there is a lower concurrent bracketed Swiss. Perhas some other event on Sunday triggered that and brought the payouts up to the level of the 4 Sessions event? And the 4 session event perhaps didn't qualify for the same boost? The language is not 100% clear to me (page 20).

I suppose it's possible that the teams that advanced had less masterpoints than average? It would surprise if that was enough to make up for the length and attendance delta but it's possible.

Unless I am missing something it should be one of those two explanations.
June 6, 2016
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Michael, I was thinking about posting something about the payouts too, you beat me to the punch.

I found the payouts to make no sense. Friday we played in the bracket 1 compact knockout, lost the first 12 board match and won the second for 2.25 masterpoints. We then finished 5th in the one session Swiss for 2.76.

Sat/Sun we played in the 2 session Swiss. We won 4 matches the first day and qualified 10-12th. The second day we also won 4 matches, finishing 11th (which felt like a good result for the team we had). Total award for two days: 3.68 masterpoints.

I used understand that we just missed the overalls, but getting .42 for the first day match awards and .5 for the second day match awards seems inconsistent with 2.25 for the consolation match in the compact knockout. The Swiss matches were 8 boards vs 12 but the competition was much stronger, certainly it can't make sense that the match awards are about 20% of what they were in the compact knockout.

I generally don't care about masterpoints, except this year I noticed that I was close enough to the top of my mini-McKenney bracket (50-100) that I might have a chance to win nationally… still glad I entered what was overall a really good event but I did feel that 3.76 masterpoints felt wildly out of proportion to the difficulty. (What is even more inconsistent is 6 masterpoints for winning a one day NLM sectional Swiss; I would bet on the last place team in the cal cap Swiss to easily win the NLM event)

On page 20 of the masterpoint awards book it says that if there is a bracketed swiss below an open swiss the awards for the open Swiss are multiplied by 2.25 or 2.75 depending on whether the limit for the bracketed Swiss is under or over 2500. Thus it seems the awards would have been 2.75x had the concurrent event been a <2500 bracketed swiss rather than a <2000 compact knockout??? If this reading is correct perhaps the organizers will consider changing the concurrent event for next year. Presumably this is designed to replace the credit for tables in the lower event by recognizing that having lower events strengthens the field?

Anyway if I had placed higher I would get more masterpoints so I can't complain that much. I will keep trying to win the 50-100 Mini-McKenney playing in top bracket events.
June 6, 2016
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Ruth,

I wanted to make sure you got a clear explanation of one reason declarer might need this information on this specific layout. Disclaimer - I am far from an expert so declarer may have had more in mind, but this is how I would think about it:

Declarer is planning to finesse the heart. If you come back a diamond they avoid two spade losers.

If they win the T of diamonds given your actual agreement you would then know the 9 was top of nothing and the spade switch would be much more attractive. Thus they need to win the with a high honor. Winning the K would make a diamond continuation very attractive - if pard started with AT9xx and declarer has KQx you will set them with a diamond return.

However if the 9 already denies the T, then declarer can win cheaply with the T and not risk losing a diamond trick on a 41 break.

What diamond did declarer win with?

I hope you keep using this site, I have found it very helpful.
June 6, 2016
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@Peg,
My main goal is to be able to get through a round of bridge without making awful plays; that one is elusive as the more I learn the more of my own mistakes I see.
I would like to be able to count a hand without the mental energy required to do so being so great that it impacts my play.
While I mostly haven't cared about masterpoints I am close enough to the top of the mini-McKenney for 50-100 that I would love to win, but only if I can do so while playing in challenging events.
In 14 years when I am old enough I have fantasies of making a serious attempt at the senior trials. That one will keep me from getting complacent.
June 3, 2016
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I am working hard for my 50 platinum and will feel quite a sense if accomplishment when I get it.

Ok now I will rant for a minute.

I wish I would feel accomplishment earning life master but I won't. Win a 2 session NLM Sectional Swiss is 6 masterpoints and a 12 table low bracket compact knockout is 7 masterpoints; advance to day 2 of a national Swiss is 2.12 masterpoints. A 55% session in the Blue Ribbons is 1.33 masterpoints and a 56% session in a 299er (playing with my 10 year old daughter) is 1.03 masterpoints and a 57% club game is 1.4 masterpoints??? The awards bear very little relationship to the difficulty of the achievement. Oh, and you can earn life master without ever playing an event harder than a gold rush (which many of you have have never played but they are a significant step down from an open club game).
June 3, 2016
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Jeff, I think the difference between bridge and scrabble is that there is a discontinuity between your 10 minutes to learn bridge and being able to feel comfortable playing in any organized bridge club/tournament. Go to a newcomer game and just bid your suits? Let me make up a story:
First hand you have a balanced hand and open 1NT. Opponents complain about your partners failure to announce your range. Then partner has a bunch of clubs so bids 2C, all pass and the opponents call the director for your failure to alert the 2C bid as not being Staysomethig? The next hand you have a great hand with a bunch of spades so you bid 2S. Partner passes and the player in the pass out seat doubles, all pass. You make 2S doubled, only to have the director called because your partner failed to alert your 2S bid as strong and if they knew it was strong they would have correctly guessed you held the QH so your 2S doubled is ruled down 1.
Now you again pick up another hand with a lot of spades but this one is weak, and you have been told that's what you are supposed to have for 2S so you try 2S again, thinking you got it right this time. Partner bids 3D. You have 3 diamonds and a bad hand so you pass. Once more the director is at your table for your failure to alert. You have to alert when your partners bid is non-forcing? At this point you get up and go home and decide to stick to Scrabble.

I wish people could just play bridge in an organized enviroment without learning all of this, but I think that would take major changes.

I think “harder” for serious levels of any of Chess, Bridge, Go, Scrabble, Poker or Backgammon is irrelevant as all are too hard to play perfectly so really the challenge is playing better than your opponents and there are smart people who work hard at all of them. That said I think the initial learning curve to be able to play even very poorly in a tournament is orders of magnitude harder with bridge.
June 3, 2016
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No beer for a bad line! But I think through 51 break could barely happen, lefty 4171 and righty 7510. Very unlikely but I am giving up a great score just to protect the case where lefty bid 5D on a 4 card suit or righty bid 5S on a Q-high suit. Also very unlikely and risking the contract to pick up an overtrick in these cases seems wrong. Answer might be different in 7.
June 2, 2016
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Oh that's great - I must have looked at an old CoC! Will see if my partner can arrive a day earlier (was planning to do 10k).
June 2, 2016
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Believe it or not micro (<1500) is LM only!
June 2, 2016
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I do worry about being the random factor. That's a big part of why I didn't enter the Reisinger. That said, there are plenty of LMs worse than me. I would love to have some sort of alternate qualification which could be harder than LM but less time consuming - a few examples would be:
- making day 2 of a national event
- having earned say 50 gold in 2 years (easily on pace for LM)
- having earned some small amount of platinum (5 or 10 lifetime)
- having earned some number of BRQs
Any of these seem that they would protect field strength at least as well as LM.
Another idea would be a day zero play in for NLMs, with potentially a limited number of spots.
June 2, 2016
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