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All comments by Brian Callaghan
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Agree about disclosure, and about ‘hearts or spades’ being short enough. What I'm really trying to get at is how one might describe a bid in an article (say). So ‘major half-suiter’ would be identical with (and no shorter than) ‘hearts or spades’. But half-suiter on its own is a more general idea.
May 16, 2017
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I play system on, but redouble as a ‘transfer’ to 2. (When playing Stayman, it is the say of signing off at the two‑level in a minor, plus whatever else reasonable that can be added. I'm not convinced of the utility of redouble as business.)
May 15, 2017
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Actually, Oliver peered at me a trifle uncertainly before asking, “Are you Brian Callaghan?” He was too polite to mention any deterioration there might have been from the way I looked in my prime.
April 27, 2017
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Andrew Robson was not the sole author of “Partnership Bidding at Bridge”—the book was co‑authored by Oliver Segal. Oliver has recently reappeared on the London duplicate bridge scene.
(Oliver even recognized me after a gap of some decades.)
April 27, 2017
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*I think what Andy proposes is a pass/correct double, in which case the opponents don't have to worry about a well‑prepared opening side.
April 27, 2017
Brian Callaghan edited this comment April 27, 2017
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Meanwhile, at the other table our teammates avoided the pitfall of responding 1, and tried 2 without any of the digression that occurred at our table. West doubled and East bid a mere 3. When South went on to 3, East let that play. That looks like a very pessimistic action to me, but perhaps that's just hindsight. That was a nonvulnerable game swing to us.
April 22, 2017
Brian Callaghan edited this comment April 22, 2017
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The play -

North won the opening spade lead with a rather revealing queen (the ace would have left me in more doubt about the location of the rounded suit honours). North led back a straightforward singleton heart and South did not cover my 9. I now had the entries to ruff two spades and not have to worry about the club position, although the clubs were OK for me on any sensible line. Contract made.

If North had started by winning the spade ace and returned a double-dummy trump, I might have gone down.
April 22, 2017
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In the event, my partner did double 2, North passed, and I had to choose my action on the East holding.

I think the discussion on the difference between an agreement and bridge logic was interesting. As far as I knew, we had no agreement. This is how I reasoned -

South action hadn't looked, at the time, as if 1 were unintentional—there wasn't any mechanical problem with the way he put his bid on the table. (Seeing South's hand afterwards, it's obvious South intended to support spades, but it seems to me that he lost concentration and did so with a 1 bid instead of a 2 bid.) So I thought that partner would have had the option to double 1 had she wished. If partner had a relatively poor double and our side was in trouble (imagine I had the dreaded 4=3=3=3 shape and North redoubled), then we would potentially be playing a doubled contract a level lower. So I thought partner would have a full value double (even if in retrospect some of this information might have been unauthorized) and had no hesitation in cueing 3. We wound our way to a precarious 5.

At the break, I rather unkindly suggested that partner had forgotten to double 1. She wasn't amused, and didn't share my opinion that doubling 1 was the obvious action with her holding.
April 22, 2017
Brian Callaghan edited this comment April 22, 2017
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If my partner had been up to speed on law 9, she might have refused to take any action over 1-corrected-to-2, telling North, “The tournament director should be called.”

North might then reply, “Why don't you call him then?”

To which she could say, “Your side caused the problem. Why don't you call him?”

I appreciate that it would have been a really good idea to call a director, but this was not a regular duplicate evening, and the club manager, who would normally have given a ruling, was not expected in the club until later in the evening. We were somewhat in the position of what the EBU (we were playing in England) calls a match played privately. We could have telephoned someone for a ruling, or asked someone competent playing in another match for a ruling. Unfortunately the only people I would have regarded as really competent were our teammates. Or we could have left the board until the club manager arrived later, hopefully before we changed opponents at half time.
April 22, 2017
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Thanks, everyone, for your illuminating comments. This was the complete deal

……….. (North) AKQ82 2 J76 J984

(West) 7 AJT4 KT43 QT63 … (East) T54 K96 AQ85 A75

……….. (South) J963 Q8753 92 K2

I was East. My partner was West
April 22, 2017
Brian Callaghan edited this comment April 22, 2017
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Ah, yes - Law 9. Hadn't thought of that. It says the director should be summoned, but not by whom (so still no obligation on our side in particular to call the director). And it says that, after attention is drawn to an irregularity, no player shall take any action until the director has explained the players' rights. Looks like our side was in breach of this (as well as the other side).
April 21, 2017
Brian Callaghan edited this comment April 21, 2017
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My phrase starting “on the assumption” in the article was shorthand for “if we had called the director, I did not think he would have ruled that South's 1 was unintended”. The bid was placed on the table with (a kind of comic) solemnity. We, East and West, did not in fact call the director. (I don't think we were obliged to.) My idea of what constitutes an unintended call is something like South plucking a bunch of bids from the box and 1 fluttering onto the table while he still has a grasp on other bids.
April 21, 2017
Brian Callaghan edited this comment April 21, 2017
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Well, I only know what I would do. The poll is an effort to find out what others would. To me the 1 response looked as if it were intended. (The current laws allow a change if the call was unintended and “without pause for thought”. I don't see that wording in the 2017 laws.) In any case, a double of 1 is authorized information for our side even if South is allowed to change his call to 2, so there is no particular need to double 2 as well.
April 21, 2017
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Yes. The “sorry” from South does suggest that his 1 was not intended as an opening bid.
April 21, 2017
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That's a possible director ruling. Maybe you should assume, for the purposes of answering, that South intended to bid 2, but that you were quick enough to get your call onto the table before any attempt at correction.
April 21, 2017
Brian Callaghan edited this comment April 21, 2017
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So much for booking a hotel near the (original) venue. The best laid plans…
April 13, 2017
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Agree with Julian. There is a link to a flyer on the EBL website — http://www.eurobridge.org/Data/Sites/1/media/documents/Montecatini%20Ad%20Open2017.pdf — which mentions the Congress Centre but not the Palavinci.

I've booked myself into the Hotel San Marco in Viale Rosselli, which looks as if it is close to the Congress Centre.
April 4, 2017
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The seventh edition says:

BREAK. The distribution of outstanding cards in a suit in a manner favorable to declarer. This may imply that a suit was divided evenly or nearly so, or that an adversely held honor was positioned so that it did not develop into a winning trick. The term “break” is also used to indicate the actual distribution of cards outstanding in the suit; or with the adjective “bad” to indicate unfavorable distribution from the declarer’s standpoint. In most contexts, “split” may be used as a synonym for “break,” both as a noun and a verb: “The suit split (or broke) badly (or well).” “There was a bad split (or break) in spades.”
Jan. 5, 2017
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And there I was waiting for the headline, “Race to the SWIFT on this occasion”. It doesn't really make sense with MOSSO substituted. I look forward to the hands.
Oct. 19, 2016
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No doubt the bidding space is equally valuable whatever the bid means. What I was getting at is that transfers and forcing Stayman are diametrically opposed approaches. One upside to forcing Stayman, as far as I can see, is that it permits a forcing pass when the opponents come in. On the other hand it means the opponents know they are trying to pre-empt and might come in on hands they otherwise would not. I'm still in the shapist camp as opposed to the strengthist (Note to non-anglophones: I don't think these are real English words.)
Oct. 17, 2016
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