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How about a Daylong Just Defend tournament

#1 User is offline   EarlPurple 

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Posted 2022-May-09, 07:48

You have daylong just declare tournaments (with Robots) but how about a Just Defend?
I quite enjoy defending.
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#2 User is offline   bd71 

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Posted 2022-May-09, 08:03

View PostEarlPurple, on 2022-May-09, 07:48, said:

You have daylong just declare tournaments (with Robots) but how about a Just Defend?
I quite enjoy defending.


I love this idea...I would play.
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#3 User is offline   croquetfan 

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Posted 2022-May-10, 01:39

count me in. I suggested this some time ago!
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#4 User is offline   thepossum 

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Posted 2022-May-10, 04:57

I think I made a similar suggestion a few years ago but I'm not sure GiB's defence is up to much
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#5 User is offline   helene_t 

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Posted 2022-May-10, 05:04

Why not, the daylong format allows decent field sizes even for events that are not very popular.

I don't think it will be very popular, though. Most people prefer declaring.
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#6 User is offline   rusty 

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Posted 2022-May-10, 08:56

defending with the robot as your partner???
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#7 User is offline   themarc 

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Posted 2022-May-10, 12:19

View Postrusty, on 2022-May-10, 08:56, said:

defending with the robot as your partner???

Only for masochists!!
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#8 User is offline   EarlPurple 

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Posted 2022-May-10, 17:59

View Postrusty, on 2022-May-10, 08:56, said:

defending with the robot as your partner???


You can't partner yourself or it would be double-dummy. So yes, it would have to be with a robot.
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#9 User is offline   EarlPurple 

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Posted 2022-May-10, 18:02

View Posthelene_t, on 2022-May-10, 05:04, said:

Why not, the daylong format allows decent field sizes even for events that are not very popular.

I don't think it will be very popular, though. Most people prefer declaring.


Probably players enjoy declaring, but that's when you think of defending as simply playing out cards following suit with declarer in control. Good defence is a skill, and as I guess the events would be match-points you wouldn't necessarily be trying to beat the contract. There may be some hands where you and partner have the balance of the cards and are defending something like 3 spades doubled. And I think everyone enjoys taking a contract 800 down, not that that would happen even hand, but it may on occasion.
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#10 User is offline   smerriman 

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Posted 2022-May-10, 18:15

You're right that good defense is a skill, and that it is enjoyable.

But it's a partnership skill, not an individual skill. You need a partner who can provide (and understand) interpretable leads and attitude/count/suit preference signals.

With GIB you don't get any of that, which is why not many enjoy defending with a robot partner.

Add to that the fact that discarding one irrelevant card will make the robots take a completely different line than discarding another irrelevant card, and the results will end up being almost entirely random, rather than skill based. (That's true for declarer play too, but not to as great an extent.)
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#11 User is offline   pilowsky 

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Posted 2022-May-10, 19:23

You can get this experience (for free) by going to the challenges section of the main menu and 'challenge a robot'.
Uncheck the challenge that says "just declare".
Choose matchpoints if you prefer.
Set the number of boards (up to 16).
As in the Zenith tournament, half the boards will be in defence (depending on how aggressive you are - which is also a valuable learning experience).

Working out what the robots discards are is part of the fun.
Signalling might work well for humans but working out (trying to anyway) where the cards are is also helpful.

If you want to save a hand you will need to export the link and store it offline because the history is (for some inexplicable reason) not provided in the BBO myhands collection.


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#12 User is offline   bd71 

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Posted 2022-May-11, 07:41

View Postsmerriman, on 2022-May-10, 18:15, said:

You're right that good defense is a skill, and that it is enjoyable.

But it's a partnership skill, not an individual skill. You need a partner who can provide (and understand) interpretable leads and attitude/count/suit preference signals.

With GIB you don't get any of that, which is why not many enjoy defending with a robot partner.

Add to that the fact that discarding one irrelevant card will make the robots take a completely different line than discarding another irrelevant card, and the results will end up being almost entirely random, rather than skill based. (That's true for declarer play too, but not to as great an extent.)


1. I agree that defense is LARGELY a partnership skill, but there are unique individual (i.e. just me, not partner) elements to defense in terms of different applications of counting, and different logical thinking approaches at IMPs.

2. I think you're a bit too harsh on GIB's partnership defense. My impression is that GIB does at least GIVE some signals adequately. I find GIB usually giving correct (standard) count signals. I see GIB often, but not always, give appropriate (standard) attitude signals on it's first discard. Not sure why (because to this non-programmer it seems like it might be easier to program) but GIB is poor on giving attitude signals to my opening lead. Beyond that (suit preference when giving a ruff, suit preference when signal couldn't logically be count or attitude), I agree GIB's not there. I doubt that GIB is any good at RECEIVING signals and making good use of them, but now that I'm writing this I realize I haven't taken the extra time to do that analysis to be sure.

(After writing #2 above, I looked up this... https://www.bridgeba...ystem_notes.php ...which has info about GIB's defense, and it's mainly consistent with my observations above.)
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#13 User is offline   dsLawsd 

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Posted 2022-May-11, 11:59

I love defense- it wins events, but here you are attempting to lead a less good player oftentimes.
With that in mind it would be fun to add a few defensive problems to the standard Just Declare exercises.
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#14 User is offline   smerriman 

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Posted 2022-May-11, 14:13

View Postbd71, on 2022-May-11, 07:41, said:


2. I think you're a bit too harsh on GIB's partnership defense. My impression is that GIB does at least GIVE some signals adequately. I find GIB usually giving correct (standard) count signals. I see GIB often, but not always, give appropriate (standard) attitude signals on it's first discard. Not sure why (because to this non-programmer it seems like it might be easier to program) but GIB is poor on giving attitude signals to my opening lead.

(After writing #2 above, I looked up this... https://www.bridgeba...ystem_notes.php ...which has info about GIB's defense, and it's mainly consistent with my observations above.)

I've run several large-scale tests in the past, and what is written in GIB's system notes about signalling is provably wrong.

Here is one example about the opening lead signals.

I can't find my post where I tested count, but I dealt it the most basic situation when teaching beginners about count (dummy has a long suit missing the ace and no entry, and the defender with the ace needs to know how many times to hold up). GIB as the other defender consistently failed to give count, playing the same card regardless of whether it had an even or odd number, making the hold up a coin flip rather than a certainty.

GIB is not programmed to signal attitude at all on its first discard, so I suspect what you are seeing there is just coincidence / confirmation bias (ie, when its card matches a signal, you notice it more than when it doesn't).

Edit - found the example disproving count signals.
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#15 User is offline   Huibertus 

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Posted 2022-May-11, 14:14

Assuming the contracts to defend make more sense then the daylong just declare contract than I'm all for it. If they are just as ridiculous count me out.
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