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All comments by Sergio Polini
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Dear Mr. Wilsmore,
I think that I have already answered your question in my previous post, and that further biting replies could be very easy (hint: HF)
But I don't care.
I was very saddened by Bobby Wolff's revelations.
I've always thought very highly of both Dorothy Hayden and B. Jay Becker. I've read Hayden's books. Several years ago, while a bridge teacher was explaining how to play a hand, I said loudly “Dorothy Hayden would not agree!” I well remember his surprise, but he changed his mind about that hand. A few years ago I was very impressed by Becker's winkle against Stayman & Mitchell (see Encyclopedia), a real gem.
Did they cheat? Maybe. An unnamed husband said that “cheaters abound.”
Bridge has changed a lot (see https://bridgewinners.com/article/view/gamesmanship-how-far-weve-come/) and is still changing. Let's hope it will improve.
Right now I cannot help but keep thinking very highly of both Dorothy Hayden and B. Jay Becker, of the legacy they left.
Jan. 6
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@Paul Friedman: “I'd like to see the first one: The Stern Austrian System since I've never been able”
https://www.amazon.co.uk/STERN-AUSTRIAN-SYSTEM-Margery-Belsey/dp/B0012RCXVO
Jan. 6
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Are you saying that B. Jay Becker and Dorothy Hayden were not cheered, honored and encouraged?
“Amnesty” is forgiving after a conviction. What about the quick forgetfulness of an “agreement without conviction” to not play together?
Sorry, but it looks like double standards.
Jan. 5
Sergio Polini edited this comment Jan. 5
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There is another article:
- June 1970, page 24, New-Suit Bids Over Takeout Doubles
Maybe…
Dec. 26, 2018
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“Or” is an ambiguous word. When we are speaking about logic, we should distinguish the “inclusive or”, OR, from the “exclusive or”, XOR. So:
“A 1♣ opening shows either three or more clubs, or it shows two clubs” = (3 OR 4 OR 5 OR … OR 13) XOR (2)
“Shows either three or more clubs, or it shows two or fewer clubs” = (3 OR 4 OR … OR 13) XOR (0 OR 1 OR 2)
When one says that the actual 1♣ opening used by many pairs “shows either three or more clubs, or it shows two clubs”, one means:
(3 OR 4 OR … OR 13) OR (2) = (2 OR 3 OR 4 OR … 13)
:-)
Dec. 16, 2018
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Ray Yuenger: You are assuming that E's comment was not simply an elaboration of the UI being made available to the rest of the table by the long hesitation.

I think that such an assumption is wrong. According to the writeup, North justified his diamond lead with:
(a) Not a long BIT (controversial)
(b) South didn’t double 4♣ (when he was supposed to be the opening leader?)
© East made a comment while they waited for the tray: “Maybe I should not have done that because partner might be void.”

East made a comment *while they waited for the tray*, i.e. the hesitation sent a message, East translated it.
If it was not UI, it was… “stepping stone UI.” It was not AI, as it would be if East made the comment immediately, just after his bid.
Dec. 5, 2018
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Restricted choice is just how Reese named Bayes' theorem in bridge. Borel & Cheron explain what Reese was to name “restricted choice” as Bayes' theorem, i.e. as probability of causes (they often use Laplace's wording in their book.)
I think that you can easily find several real life example of Bayes' theorem / probability of causes, even in a textbook.
Dec. 4, 2018
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I've read 4, 6, 7, 13, 15, 18, 20, 22, 31, 34, 35, 38, 40, 42, 44, 49, 53, 56, 58, 60, 61, 63, 72, 76, 78, 81, 83, 84, 85, 87, 100.
Which should my next book be?
June 3, 2018
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@Max Schireson: as to DD vs real play in partscores vs games vs slams, you could look at http://www.rpbridge.net/9x29.htm
June 3, 2018
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As to double stepping stone squeezes, you can look at Kelsey, Double Squeezes, pages 66-69. There are also double vice and double winkle in that book.
April 20, 2018
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I'd say that it is a surplus winner strip-squeeze, because West must give up his spade length to keep the clubs control and the hearts fragile stopper:
- one suit (diamonds) has the squeeze card
- in one suit (spades) LHO (or whoever the squeeze is against) has winners
- there is a suit which you can set up tricks by knocking out controls (clubs)
- there is a suit in which you have a threat and LHO has to guard the threat (hearts).
See http://bridgesqueezes.info/sqwinnersqueeze.htm
April 12, 2018
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I think that the real difference is between 1NT-then-Pass (points, heart stopper, eventual diamond length) and 2-then-Double (points but nothing about red colors).
Aug. 4, 2017
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Yes. In the actual hand, at least.
West: AJxx xx Kxxx Jxx
East: Qxx Jxx xx Axxxx
Aug. 2, 2017
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Thank you.
However, you can only win if you finesse the Q (or J). West's hand was: AJxx xx Kxxx Jxx.

Was it just a strange deal? Yes, the bidding looks strange, but what about the opening lead? Can the winning plan be inferred from the opening lead? This is my real question.

In retrospect, the correct reasoning is something like this: West should try to get tricks in the side suits before I can discard them on the diamonds. If he has two black aces he can fear to blow tricks by leading one. Is this a sufficient reason? Not at all. He could lead an ace to look at dummy and at his partner signal. Leading an ace is less dangerous than underleading a king. His trump lead makes sense only if he thinks that he can stop diamonds. So West holds the K, eventually four to the K.

Does this reasoning make sense in retrospect only?
July 29, 2017
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@Stefan: I don't know ;-)
I've found that hand in an italian bridge forum and the bidding was not explained. I can just guess that 3 was third suit forcing - and can't understand why South did not bid 3NT.
As to the diamonds, according to W.S.Root, after 1-2;2-3;4, West shoud lead the 2 from 73 A953 1098 K1062 to get tricks in the side suits before the declarer can discard them.
So, as David Wetzel said, the declarer can conclude “that West has two black aces and is well trained enough to not blow tricks by leading one”. I.e., if holding 73 A953 1098 A1062 a “well trained” West could lead a trump.
July 25, 2017
Sergio Polini edited this comment July 25, 2017
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This was my conclusion, but it was wrong…
If West has the K a trump lead is a suicide.
But if West has two black aces, can hardly have the K. From his point of view the K can be in dummy, and a passive trump lead looks very dangerous.
But what if West has four to the K?
West's hand: AJxx xx Kxxx Jxx.
July 25, 2017
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