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All comments by Christopher Monsour
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A better solution would be more complete documentation of system, available to the opponents. This would greatly reduce the reliance on explanations. The temptation to treat forgetting one's own system as illegal stems from the fact that, under the current rules, it results in something illegal (misinformation) about 50% of the time (when someone forgets the meaning of partner's bid rather than of their own) when playing without screens and 100% of the time when playing with screens. (Also, when playing with screens, additional problems are created by the fact the the members of the opposing partnership have each been given *different* information.) At least in high-level competition, focusing on providing complete but convenient system disclosure to the opponents (presumably by means of technology) would be a cleaner process than the current reliance on Q&A for anything that doesn't fit on a tiny convention card.
April 27, 2016
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The most embarrassing situation (and there's nothing you can do about it because you wouldn't know it at the time) is when you and partner both make the same mistake about partner's bid and shortly thereafter you remember the correct agreement and correct your explanation.

A few years ago partner and I bid to a cold 7 on a relay auction and it was only after the event that we realized we had both made the same mistake about the meaning of one of the responses to the relays (on something like the 5th round of the auction).
April 27, 2016
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Really, Aviv, how far does one take this? If one player forgets he agreed to play four-card majors and puts his partner in a major-suit game in a 4-3 fit that just happens to be cold for a top, but that they would not otherwise have bid, do you advocate rolling back their result to Ave-? I can't find any meaningful difference between that situation and the one you describe.
April 27, 2016
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I had hoped you would eventually come to that conclusion. Enjoy the bridge!
April 24, 2016
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Corey, some systems use 4NT for that. I could see an argument for using 3NT or 4, but on frequency grounds 2 seems like a clear loser to other uses.
April 24, 2016
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OK, a diamond bid is a wild psych that is probably only worthwhile if you are far down in the match, but what do you think of the prospects for a 2 call on the given hand?
April 24, 2016
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Are you kidding? People also find ways to avoid sales tax and use tax and corporate income tax. The old Florida intangibles tax was another example. My guess is that personal income tax compliance (as a % of the total revenue the tax should generate) is one hell of a lot better than use tax compliance.
April 24, 2016
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@Ellis,
You are remarkably ill-informed. Perhaps you are thinking of states that levy no personal income tax? There are many other kinds of tax. You have only to google any of the states that you list along with the word “tax” to find out the various taxes that they do in fact collect.
April 24, 2016
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Rainer, either it's a deal where you need to lots of hundreds from a penalty double to score well, or it's a deal where Lightner makes sense. If the first slam double was Lightner, how can the second be anything else? It's still the same fl(*)(ing deal!
April 23, 2016
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I admit the temptation would be much stronger at matchpoints, where a 2 or 3 bid right now could be the difference between cashing out against 3NT or 5 or 6 vs seeing those contracts make overberries.
April 23, 2016
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I agree that if East is going to bid spades his bid should be 4. But what do you think of a two- or three- level call in one of the minors? They are both suits you want led.
April 23, 2016
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Ed, if you're an officer, how can you be OK with “taxation is theft”? You are aware of the basic mechanics of how you get paid, yes?
April 23, 2016
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Perhaps, but it would be really sad if we were more effective at punishing drunks than card cheats.
April 23, 2016
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There is also the “she was so skimpily dressed, she was asking for it” position, but, as far as I know, all civilized societies prohibit rape and collect taxes.
April 22, 2016
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To put it in more simple terms, it really is uncivilized to dodge paying your taxes, even if the exact tax rules do seem kind of arbitrary to you.
April 22, 2016
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Mike,

I respectfully disagree. A general disregard for society's laws can be very serious malum in se, even if the actual behavior would not have been malum in se absent the law. For example, driving on the incorrect side of the road, or bringing cocaine to a tournament in order to sell it to others, while malum prohibitum, are probably better grounds for excluding someone from international competition than, say, writing a bad check, which is malum in se.
April 22, 2016
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Richard, I believe the phrase you are looking for is “bottom up”. “Bottoms up” means the same thing in the US that it does in the UK.
April 22, 2016
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Different rant: If you are going to make this strictly a problem from trick four onward (as opposed to a plan-the-play problem), which is what your poll choices are set up for, you need to tell us what you pitched from dummy on tricks two and three. Or do you not remember that, either?
April 22, 2016
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If a strong club auction starts like that, it's already invitational to slam (assuming the second 1 was accepted). :)
April 22, 2016
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Isn't it Jeff you meant to ask that of?
April 20, 2016
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