Page 0060

60 English Bridge June 2019 www.ebu.co.uk

FAILING A DRUGS TEST

I'm sure many readers will have

read that the great Geir Helgemo

recently failed a drugs test. You

might be wondering who else has

fallen foul of the new testing

laws. As far a I know, the first

offender was none other than my

own computer program, Blue

Chip Bridge, at the 2000 World

Computer Championships held

in Bermuda. At the start of the

event we were told that drug

testing was being used in the

human competitions and would

also be used in the computer

competition, although it was

unclear how a computer

program might manage to

consume some banned

substance.

In its match against the US

program, Meadowlark, Chip

(South) opened a psychic 1´ on

a pile of rubbish. To make

matters worse, Chip (North),

holding a decent 11-count

including four spades, fielded the

psyche and Passed, even though

Chip (N) had no way of knowing

that Chip (S) had psyched. When

asked to rebid and replay the

hand (this was the 'drug test'

applied to the programs, to check

their actions were reproducible)

Chip (S) did not repeat its

previous psychic opening bid

and was thus deemed to have

failed the drugs test.

The explanation was that in

rushing to set Chip up for the

match, we'd inadvertently left his

'random psyche' function

switched on. We'd also set the

scoring method as 'rubber

bridge'. Having made 2NT, for

seventy above the line, on the

previous board, Chip (N) saw no

reason to advance his partner's

1´ opening bid. Once we had

rectified these oversights, Chip's

bidding returned to normal. The

Director, Al Levy, was gracious

enough to accept our

explanation. The board was

replayed and no penalty was

forthcoming. Mike Whittaker

SUPPORTING SUPPORT DOUBLES

I think David Burn, that fine

bridge writer and commentator,

has turned his wrath in the

wrong direction. He may not like

support doubles (April issue

/p38) but this is not the hand to

illustrate/rationalise that dislike.

but no support double in sight.

I'm not advocating Garbage

Stayman - just saying . . . Any

wrath should surely be heaped

on the head of North for their

amazingly daft 1™. I know highlevel

tournament bridge is

different blah blah blah, but

really? Even 2t by North might

elicit a different auction . . . if

only they weren't playing

inverted minor raises, eh?

The problem is not the system,

but the lousy lie of the cards. As

an old bridge friend of mine was

fond of saying: -- happens.

Kit Jackson

DATING ERROR

I enjoyed your prank concerning

the introduction of an Undouble

bidding card, but I did think you

had anticipated April 1st in your

February edition - the cover says

February 2019 but all the inside

pages state February 2018!

Dennis Law

Hold onto it! It will be worth 'a

fortune' in years to come! Ed

OPENING LIGHT

What a useful card, the

Undouble (April 2019). Perfect

for those situations where your

partner has doubled under the

misapprehension that, because

you opened, you had a half

decent hand, little realising that

you had chosen that moment to

open ultra light and have no

defensive values whatsoever. This

can lead to somewhat tense

exchanges on the lines of 'Why

did you double on the strength

of my hand' - 'Why did you open

with 9 points ?' Undouble!

Jerry Emery

Send your letterslou@ebu.co.ukr, Lou Hobhouse

Raggett House, Bowdens, TA10 0DD, or e-mail lou@ebu.co.uk

The editor reserves the right to condense letters. Publication does not mean the

EBU agrees with the views expressed or that the comments are factually correct.

LETTERS TO THE

EDITOR

Yes, 2t doubled is a ghastly

contract. But a reasonable Acol

auction might end the same:

West North East South

1t

Pass 1™ 1´ Dble1

Rdble 2t Dble2 Pass

Pass3 Pass

1 Exactly three hearts, 2 Extra values,

3 Content, as they used to say

West North East South

1NT

Pass 2®1 Pass 2t

Pass Pass Dble

1 Garbage Stayman

N/S Game. Dealer South

´ Q 7 5 2

™ 9 7 5 3

t J 9 6 5

® 6

´ 10 6 ´ A K J 9 3

™ Q 10 4 2 ™ K 6

t A Q 10 8 t 7

® Q 10 2 ® A 9 8 7 3

´ 8 4

™ A J 8

t K 4 3 2

® K J 5 4

N

W E

S

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