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All comments by David Burn
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I don't think I've ever seen anyone lead the ten from a suit headed by the ace and king. First time for everything, I guess.
7 hours ago
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Suppose you and your partner bid 1-1-1NT-3NT. Suppose you are asked by the opening leader “can you have four spades?” (yes, I know this is not a legal procedure, but bear with me). Suppose that you have not actually discussed the matter (your partnership was thrown together at the last minute due to some emergency).

What is your proper course of action? Does it vary with your spade holding?
22 hours ago
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At least your A turns up in dummy. Mine would turn up with LHO, accompanied by the king, ten and nine.
22 hours ago
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Indeed they are. In England, not to alert a bid of 3 carries the unambiguous message “that bid is natural, showing three or more spades, and in terms of being forcing is what you would expect.”

If you do not know this to be the case, you must not send that message. The only way not to send that message is to alert the bid. To do otherwise is illegal, and to do otherwise deliberately is worthy of a pretty serious penalty.
June 24
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Best is to play double as “penalty or takeout”, but if you don't do that penalty is better than takeout. It's not as if 2 is natural.
June 24
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“what would you call this rather rare and beautiful play?”

I'd call it “taking your only chance not to go down in a cold game”.
June 24
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Begin with a count of 37. Consider the suits in the order spades, hearts, diamonds, clubs or any other sequence you find easier to recall. For each suit in turn:

If you do not have the jack, subtract one from your count.
If you do not have the queen, subtract two from your count.
If you do not have the king, subtract three from your count.
If you do not have the ace, subtract four from your count.

When you have completed this process, your count will be the number of points you have.

This method is infallible, since it will never lead to your counting an honor twice and it is not possible to count a non-honor even once.

With only a little practice you will find that you are not slowing the game by nearly as much as (a) bum claimers and (b) people who don't disclose their methods.
June 23
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About what should he ask questions? He knows what the auction means - you both have clubs, opener has a balanced hand, responder has three spades and a reason to bid the suit. That is what you have explicitly told him by conducting this auction and not alerting 3. If the auction did not, or even might not, mean that then you were bound (by regulation if not by Law) to tell him so.

Do you really not want your opponents to know as much as you know about your side's auctions? Why not?
June 23
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Set fire to his jumper.
June 23
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If you don't play Raptor but do play equal-level conversion, the sequence pass-pass-1-double-1-2-pass-2 is consistent with a minimum with five diamonds, and is not forcing.

If you do play Raptor or don't play equal-level conversion, the sequence usually shows a hand too strong for a simple 2 overcall and creates a force. Whether you believe it creates a one-round force or a game force is up to you; myself I would play that advancer's immediate 3m is not forcing but any other call creates a game force.
June 23
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I think that the words of the Laws I have cited (20F1 and 40B2 in particular) are clear instructions to disclose the absence of understandings. You do not. There isn't much I can do about that.

Let me ask this. Suppose you are the opening bidder in the sequence under discussion. You know that 2 denies a 4+-card major. Otherwise you know that you have no agreement about 3.

You also know that East-West believe in the letter of EBU regulations. Hence, if you do not alert 3 you know that they will place your partner with three spades, and may surmise that they will place him with the concentrated values you alluded to elsewhere in this thread.

You also know from inspection of your hand that 3NT will play better without a spade lead than with one.

You do not alert. Nobody asks any questions (they know what an unalerted 3 means in England). West does not lead a spade (he would have led one with an alert and a “no agreement” explanation). Your partner has a singleton spade (he is a modern intellectual) and you get a rather better result than you would have got otherwise.

How well do you sleep after the session?
June 22
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Well, I have given more than one reason why I believe the contrary. You simply make statements without reasons, nor do you rebut any of mine. I am not really prepared to continue to argue with a brick wall - suffice to say that my views appear to have at least some support (as do yours). We must agree to differ, though in acknowledgement of our respective positions I am quite happy to announce this agreement and equally happy that you do not.
June 22
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Of course there is. You must disclose that it is not part of the method, not give the impression (a) that it is part of the method and (b) that it is a natural part of the method.
June 22
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“So you accept that ”non-natural“ is not synonymous with ”alertable“. Progress is being made.”

Sorry to disappoint you, but I really thought you would know what the word “synonym” meant. The OED says that it means:

Strictly, a word having the same sense as another (in the same language); but more usually, either or any of two or more words (in the same language) having the same general sense, but possessing each of them meanings which are not shared by the other or others, or having different shades of meaning or implications appropriate to different contexts.

That is: if x and y are synonymous adjectives, they are not identical in meaning but they convey “the same general sense” in a given context (though there may be exceptions that are x but not y and vice versa). This case is that case, and “non-alertable” and “non-natural” in the context of EBU bridge regulations are synonymous (but not identical) in meaning. Whether this constitutes progress I cannot say, but I do not accept what you say I accept for one moment, because it is not true.

“(though you have publicly derided them on many occasions)”

I only deride disclosure regulations that stop me from telling the opponents things they should know. Sure, some of the Laws are pretty bad, but they are quite sound in this area.

Law 40B2a(iii)

The Regulating Authority…

may prescribe alerting procedures and/or other methods of disclosure of a partnership’s methods.

In England, the Regulating Authority provides (Blue Book 4A5) that if a player does not know the meaning of a call but believes that it may fall into an alertable category, he must alert. Thus, if I suspect (as I would, perhaps wrongly) that you might have AK for 3 in this sequence I must alert, because 3 on such a holding is not defined as natural and there are no other regulations that would make it not alertable. If I suspect that David Carlisle might have anywhere from 0 to 4 spades for the call, I must likewise alert.

You may say that if the partnership has never discussed the sequence 1-2-2NT-3, the sequence does not form part of the partnership's methods and is therefore not covered by Law 40 above. Indeed, you have said the equivalent of this many times. But disclosure of a method requires not only disclosure of the meanings of sequences that are part of the method, but also whether any specific sequence is part of the method or not. This is completely obvious.

“Finally I fully agree with the last sentence of one of your posts above ”Far more important to follow the regulations than to tell the opponents what you play.“ ”

Yes, I know you do. You should try bridge sometime. It's quite a good game.
June 22
David Burn edited this comment June 22
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Indeed, and non-natural calls above a certain level after a certain point in the auction are also not alertable. Substitute “almost every” for “any” if that helps.

David, if you would tell the opponents you have no agreement when they ask you, why not also tell them when they don’t ask you? So much easier and fairer all round, wouldn’t you say?
June 22
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“If this was a requirement, it would be explicitly stated not something required to be inferred.”

If the opponents asked you what 3 meant, would you really reply “There is no regulation that requires me to tell you”? And even if you did, what would be the point? Since the only way that could be true is if you had no agreement, why not just say so?
June 22
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“How can I alert when I have no idea what a bid means? It Might show between zero and 4 spades”

If you know that, why should your opponents not know it also?
June 22
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“That said, we do need to avoid giving partner UI by over alerting.”

We also, with higher priority, need to avoid giving the opponents MI by under-alerting. Still, your general approach seems to me to be the correct one.
June 22
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“That is, the opponents can assume that the call is neither alertable nor announceable (not the same thing as being ”natural“ although you again regard the terms as synonymous)”

Blue Book 2017:

4 B 1 Passes and bids

Unless it is announceable (see 4D, 4E, 4F and 4G), a pass or bid must be alerted if it:

(a) is not natural; or

(b) is natural but has a potentially unexpected meaning


That is, if a call is not natural it must be alerted (or announced). The terms “non-natural” and “alertable” are not isomorphic, but they are synonymous in that any call that is the former is also the latter.

“,,,THROUGH EITHER EXPLICIT OR IMPLICIT”UNDERSTANDING. If there is no partnership understanding, there is nothing to alert/announce“

What there is to announce is that a call may not be natural (since all non-natural calls must be alerted). The opponents are entitled to know this and you are required to tell them.

Put it this way: if I were playing with RJF and he bid 3 I would not expect him to be short in the suit. But since I don't know whether he'd bid it on, say AK Qx xxx AQxxxx I would alert anyway. If I were playing with some modern intellectual scientist who likely has some principle that once a minor is agreed new suits at the three level show shortage, I would also alert. In each case, if asked, I would explain my expectations as well as I could, thus handing UI to my partner (a fate he richly deserves for making undiscussed bids). But if the choice is between handing UI to partner and MI to the opponents, you must do the former.

”I do not believe there is a moral or legal reason to do this.“

Richard Dawkins has coined the phrase ”Argument from Personal Incredulity“. It is not a valid argument. If you make a call that you hope your partner will understand then (unless you are a lunatic) you have some reason for that hope. That reason is in part based on your understandings (of one another and of the method). Your opponents are entitled to that information.

”Don't you want your opponents to know whether you have an agreement?"

No, no. Far more important to follow the regulations than to tell the opponents what you play.
June 22
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“The Laws require you to disclose agreements, not non-agreements.”

So you keep saying, but that does not make it true.

The Laws require you to disclose partnership understandings (40A1a).

At any time, an opponent may ask you about those understandings as they relate to a particular call (20F1).

If you do not understand the call, you must say so (not specifically stated in the Laws but completely obvious unless you wish to argue that if you do not understand the call you must make something up, or remain silent).

Hence, the Laws actually do require you to disclose non-agreements, your view of the matter notwithstanding.

In England we take the view that if a call is not alerted an opponent may assume that it is natural (a non-alert conveys this information, just as an alert conveys the information that a call is not natural). If a player does not know what a call means, by not alerting and thus in effect declaring the call to be natural he has given misinformation.

Sections 2D2, 4A5 and 4A6 read in conjunction with 4C1 of the Blue Book state the above as clearly as it is possible to state it. They are consistent with each other and with the Laws. What they are not consistent with is your position that the Laws do not require you to disclose non-agreements, but as I have shown above that position is wholly false.
June 21
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