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All comments by Michael Clark
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I'm amazed you think that, David. Of course the Grand Slam review is covered by copyright. It might be a fact that the film was made in 1931 and stars Paul Lukas, but the way in which the reviewer expressed those facts required creativity and effort.

Virtually everything that you create is covered by copyright, whether it's a great work of art or a comment on Bridge Winners.
July 26
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I'm going to try and avoid discussing the rights and wrongs of what Horton has done in the comments. I've said my piece, and encourage everyone to make up their own minds. But I do want to address the part about my having a vendetta against him, since a couple of people have insinuated it, both here and in private. The answer is simply no. I've never met the guy, and have no personal history with him at all. Believe me, I have better things to do than to go to all this trouble purely out of spite.
July 24
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A positive person would have added that England finished fourth in 2015…
June 22
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MR: Show me a simulation that you think has value, that is truly edifying, and MAYBE I'll look at it and either pick it apart or agree with it. No promises.

This is not that simulation, but hopefully will be interesting anyway. I find it useful to think about probabilities, rather than hard conclusions, so here's a very simple one I did years ago. You hold:

K2 J2 AKJT65432

You're in first seat (NV vs V) and you're wondering whether you should open 5, likely giving up on slam, or open 1, making it easier for the opponents to bid their best contract (or sacrifice) but helping you find 3NT or 6 when it's right.

There are too many variables for a simulation to tell you what the definitive correct answer is, but wouldn't it be useful to know things like:

1. How likely is 5 to make opposite a random hand?
2. 6?
3. 7?
4. How often will 3NT make while 5 will fail?
5. How likely are the opposition to make 5?
6. If 5 makes, how likely are the opposition to have a profitable sacrifice somewhere?

Let's keep it simple and leave things there. If you can get decent answers to these questions, you're not going to get a blueprint to exactly how to bid the hand, but you can't deny that it's not helpful.

Do you want to have a go at assigning some probabilities to those questions before I tell you the simulation's answers?
June 5
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If I restrict the data to just people who have played in EBU events in the last few years, then the correlation actually gets stronger. Master points are an even better indicator of skill for that population.

But I never said that you should use them to bracket players - the NGS or something similar will be better. I was just trying to put into some perspective this notion that master points are totally worthless.
May 31
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The graph doesn't include players who made either their masterpoints or their NGS private, but I can tell you it wouldn't have made any noticeable difference. The two populations seem to be pretty similar.
May 30
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Master points aren't a great indicator, but to say they bear no relation to ability is going a bit far. There's actually a reasonable correlation between lifetime total and NGS grade. I even made a graph of it:

https://twitter.com/mzxclark/status/964653783560212481
May 30
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Random.org has a feature where you can generate a random number and have that number recorded against your account so that other people can verify it. Assuming they trust random.org, which seems reasonable, players would know that the organiser hasn't generated multiple random numbers until they got one they wanted.

Saves waiting a week for the Dow Jones, anyway.

https://www.random.org/premium
April 4
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Venue (noun) the place where something happens, especially an organised event such as a concert, conference, or sports competition.

Happy to help.
March 30
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A simple thing which might be useful is to be able to subscribe to, or selectively mute, individual comment threads. Sometimes you're only really interested in one side discussion and don't want to get notified for every single comment.
Feb. 25
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I was wondering about correlation between master points and ability too, and then I realised I could actually answer that question by looking at EBU NGS data.

You can see the graph here:

https://twitter.com/mzxclark/status/964653783560212481

The correlation coefficient is 0.51, which is not super-strong but it's definitely there. I'm not sure how useful this is, but it makes a pretty picture.
Feb. 16
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Yes.
Jan. 17
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This isn't too surprising, but might be of interest: this event was the strongest one that the EBU has held since the introduction of the NGS. The average grade of 67.14 beat the previous highest, which was 66.83 in the 2016 Premier League.
Jan. 17
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I think you're jumping the gun a little. Having a good system for sending results back to HQ is definitely required for a grading scheme, but there's a lot more to it than that. It took the EBU two years to get the NGS up and running after Universal Membership came in.
Jan. 5
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It seems to make very little difference. This is from a simulation, but it'll be accurate. With the precise hand above:

If you have no information, you have a 55% chance of a spade fit (the theoretically exact 2.67 spades opposite).

If you know RHO has an opening hand with hearts then the chance of a spade fit goes up to 63% (2.93 spades).

However, if you were instead 5=2=4=2 and knew RHO had hearts, the chance is still 62% (2.90 spades).

And, similarly, if you were 5=2=2=4 the chance is 62% (2.89 spades).


So the key bit of information is that RHO has opened showing length in a suit other than spades. Your length/shortness in that suit doesn't matter very much at all.
Dec. 6, 2017
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I'm not a Laws expert, so would be curious to know where I'm wrong, but the revoke Laws don't say that the penalty is applied only when someone notices, or if the director is called. The revoke happens and the Law says that a trick should be transferred. If the players don't spot the revoke they will of course agree a different score, but that's the wrong score. If one player spots the revoke and doesn't tell anyone, they are agreeing a score that they know to be wrong.
Nov. 24, 2017
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You could argue that they did win an undeserved trick. A revoke is still a revoke, even if nobody draws attention to it.
Nov. 24, 2017
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I've seen you quote that figure a number of times. Do you have a source for it?
Nov. 21, 2017
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Don't forget that a lot of the grands will be sacrifices, never intended to make.
Nov. 13, 2017
Go
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“…it will not be able to reprogram itself at the table to adjust to how aggressively or conservatively the opponents are bidding.”

I claim it doesn't have to and it would still be playing optimally.
Oct. 23, 2017
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