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All comments by Max Schireson
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Very similar to my thoughts. In a slightly more serious formulation, a code ought to be more compact than what it predicts. If you have 8 complex rules I think you would need to test it on many more than 10 boards, especially when there are so many potential signals to choose from.
Oct. 7, 2015
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When I played with my son (expected 99er canceled so it was an open game) I prealerted at each table that he knew no conventions, all bids were natural and that inferences from my son's bids were likely not reliable. Based on that pre-alert I did not alert any bids during the auction and everyone was gracious and my son had fun.
Oct. 2, 2015
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That's probably a good system, but in this specific case even knowing that partner suspects my bid may have been in error is UI and probably prevents me from pulling. If partner asked me to step away from the table for every explanation that would avoid any UI but isn't practical.
Sept. 28, 2015
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Say the auction goes 1S - Pass - 2S - 3D.

Assuming a double is penalty and 3S is competitive your only game try is 3H, so you would want to be able to do this on a short suit.

The alert chart says game tries which may by agreement have less than 3 cards are alertable. The alert pamphlet (12 pages with more details) says *suited* game tries with less than 3 are alertable. I don't know how this is defined but arguably the 3H try very naturally says noting about hearts and thus isn't really suited, it is simply the only bid available to use as a game try.

Seems safer just to alert it.

That said if I were making the rules (scary concept!) I would say that game tries on suits with less than 3 cards out of competition need to be alerted but in competition they do not, specifically because in competition you have fewer choices and opponents should understand that and not be surprised to see short hearts in the sequence above.
Sept. 28, 2015
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I am saying that since there is a logical scenario (eg, 4-7-1-1) in which the 3H bid could have been made consistent with my mistaken understanding of my own bid, I should look at logical alternatives as though I had not woken up. Of course without the explanation I expect I would have been surprised by the bid and likely realized my mistake, but it seems better not to give myself the benefit of that doubt.

If pards response was really impossible (not just surprising) given my erroneous understanding of my own bid then I would have AI about the misunderstanding as well and could make more of a case that I should wake up.
Sept. 27, 2015
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You mentioned that you thought this auction was similar to 1C - P - 2N. I assume you are suggesting that because your partner has shown a (roughly) similar level of strength? I wanted to explain why I think most experienced players wouldn't agree with that analogy.

When your partner opens 1C and you respond 2N, you are inviting a game in notrump, showing something like 11-12 points in a typical bidding system. A bid of 1NT shows 6-10.

This auction is very different. Your partner has shown 10+ and you have *already* shown an opening hand, call it 12+. This might be enough to make 2NT most of the time, but that doesn't mean you have to bid it. Say you bid 1NT. Partner will expect you to have ~12-14 HCP and will bid 3NT with some extras and a hand suitable for NT. Rebidding 1NT as opener shows a similar (although slightly stronger) hand to a jump to 2NT as responder over a 1C opener.

What about stronger hands? If you have a balanced ~15-17 in most systems you would have opened 1NT not 1C. So a jump to 2NT logically shows a balanced hand with ~18-19 (too strong to open 1NT but too weak to open 2NT). I think this is one big reason people consider this auction very different. Another reason it is very different is that you are in a redoubled contract with (presumably, assuming the 2NT rebid shows 18-19 per the above logic) the vast majority of the high cards. You are likely to either collect big bonuses for overtricks or big penalties for setting them. This makes a pass very appealing.

I believe that over a 2NT jump rebid it is not standard to play transfers, although some do. Definitely an area where you need to have an agreement with your partner if you want transfers to be on.
Sept. 24, 2015
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Perhaps a conspiracy by all the readers to mostly be interested in articles about cheating forced Kit to give those titles to trick us into reading about actual bridge.
Sept. 21, 2015
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If they dont ruff your club winner you dont need the squeeze so you are ok but my originally stated line if they don't go for a club ruff is wrong.

Second trick play a diamond. Make sure to clear the heart suit for ruffs immediately - if they don't take their heart before exiting a trump pitch it on on your good diamond. Ruff a heart low, club back to south and if they ruff it transposes. Ruff a second heart with the A, 6 of hearts through the J back to south, draw two rounds of trump and cash your last club for 10 tricks.
Sept. 20, 2015
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Ack, my solution isn't quite right, it is more complicated now that I look at it awake. If he ruffs the third round of clubs you don't have transportation so the club threat isn't working. Need to think more.
Sept. 20, 2015
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Well the cheating has definitely gotten most of the airtime lately but Kit is not the only world class player offering real bridge stuff here, Michael Rosenberg is pretty darned good at these and chimes in with suggestions and many other very strong players do too. I am about a thousand levels below those guys but every once in a while I figure one out…

It will be nice to move on from cheating being such a large portion of the discussion.
Sept. 20, 2015
Max Schireson edited this comment Sept. 20, 2015
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Yes I think you have to play the diamonds before the second round of trumps, otherwise W can pitch a diamond loser on one of the trumps and the squeeze won't work.

Sounds like you are having a fun evening, enjoy and take a look in the morning :)
Sept. 20, 2015
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It's a great program but he asked for the line :)

I think west is squeezed in hearts and clubs. If they go after the club ruff you ruff a heart low, finesse in trumps, ruff a heart high, and eventually they have to unguard clubs or hearts while you draw trump. The key is attacking the hearts as you are drawing trump so that you can get an immediate heart winner by the time trumps are drawn.

If they don't go after the club ruff, you can take 3 clubs (and if they ruff it transposes into the line above), a diamond, one round of trump, and crossruff with your last 6 trumps letting them overruff with the jack somewhere along the way.
Sept. 20, 2015
Max Schireson edited this comment Sept. 20, 2015
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Ritalin (methylphenidate) is a banned stimulant (WADA list) so banned from USBF/WBF events already along with all similar meds. Glad to hear of TUAs, now I just need to get good enough for those events!

Re some of the other threads “young” does not always equal “no legitimate need for meds”.
Aug. 26, 2015
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Do you know if a prescription from a reputable doctor routinely leads to a TUE? Given the shenanigans in sports (cycling, baseball etc) it seems to be pretty easy to find a doctor to prescribe whatever might enhance the performance of a world class competitor. Which creates a problem either for those with legitimate need or a cheating opportunity.
Aug. 26, 2015
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Most common ADD meds are on the WADA prohibited stimulant list. For many with ADD (including me) they are a godsend and restore a normal ability to concentrate (actually in my case still some issues even with meds but huge improvement). I have heard they also help with concentration for those with no disorder.

Practically speaking I don't know that it will be possible to distinguish legitimate medical need so it may wind up with a high incidence in competition if indeed they are helpful performance enhancers for those with no medical condition.

Is anyone aware of TUEs of this type either being granted or refused for USBF/WBF events? I have only been playing 9 months so WBF events are a distant fantasy for me but I am curious how they have handled this issue.

– Max
Aug. 26, 2015
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I do remember. Only a bit better than average. Between the two hands 2 10s, 3 9s, 2 8s. If my 7/1 clubs had been 5/3 (making my 5/1 majors 4/2 to compensate) the hand would have played as well - certainly not making 5 or 6 on a favorable lead.
July 14, 2015
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Yep - a couple of weeks ago I had a misfit, 12 HCP 1147 across from 12 HCP 5521. We stumbled our way to 3NT despite some bidding confusion and would up scoring about 30% on the board, other pairs declared it from the other side and got a more favorable lead, lots of 3NT making 5. A memorable hand.

Some of it may be defensive confusion, some of it may be the trick taking power of long suits even in a misfit.
July 14, 2015
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The bidding logic I took from “opener across from opener” is not a statement that game is always cold or even playable but that you may miss a game if you don't open a hand which across from a hand of similar strength can make game. Perhaps perversely I took it as an explanation of why the bidding system requires the hand to be opened, not what will happen on the deal - if the hands don't fit you might need to settle for part score.

I opened hand C - 7 losers - which can make game across from many openers including many with less than 12 HCP. Perfect fit would be opposite the same hand with the minors switched and the majors switched, makes 5S unless trumps split 4-0 on the wrong side or hearts split 5-0 or a minor splits 8-1. Certainly not an automatic game across from any opener but enough hands can fit that I don't want to pass it out. Other reasons to open too of course.

That said I passed hand D, which while 7 losers seemed too sketchy for me. Across from its mirror image you still have good play for game but that was a risk I was willing to take.
July 13, 2015
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Michael: your post has helped me to break the problem into two parts.
1. What does it mean under the law for the claiming declarer to “see” the trump played? In particular is he/she entitled to be “woken up” by the surprising play. I think my comment on a stronger player reflected a presumption that “seeing” means seeing and reacting, in effect waking up. You seem to be suggesting that if the declarer is clearly asleep, seeing does not include waking up. This seems like a reasonable view to me, especially in the context of benefit of the doubt to the non-claiming side, would love to see what others think on this point specifically.
2. Once awake, how big a mistake can be included in normal careless play. On this point I felt that many posters had lost touch with the types of mistakes beginners make. Thus I was able to vote “down 1” without really resolving for myself the answer to what “see” means.
July 11, 2015
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If the declarer is a weak player (as is suggested by his confusion over the trump suit and the heart suit as well as his unclear claim statement), the decision to overruff and lose the 13th trick instead of the 12th is not automatic. Many beginners would not do that. Yes, game theoretically it dominates the other choice, but not all players think this way. Certainly in a 99er game I think it could be nearly a toss up even among the times they noticed the trump.

If Kit or Michael or even a garden variety expert made that claim statement I would (after recovering from shock) probably rule that the contract made because I would expect them to overruff, but in the absence of explicit indication of the players level of skill I would assume a level of skill consistent with the statement made.

While I can't claim to have the bridge expertise of many here, I can claim (having started playing only 8 months ago) to have played in games where these types of mistakes are common more recently than many of you. There is definitely a class of player for whom allowing as automatic the logic of “overruff now and see what happens” is a material benefit relative to their play. There really are (lots of) bridge games and players for whom failing to overruff would be a “normal” (careless) play.
July 10, 2015
Max Schireson edited this comment July 10, 2015
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