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All comments by David Yates
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“Habitual psycher”, that would stir things up with the local authorities over here in no-fun-land.
Dec. 16
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In case you had not seen this before:

The European Commission has just announced an agreement whereby English will be the official language of the European Union rather than German, which was the other possibility.

As part of the negotiations, the British Government conceded that English spelling had some room for improvement and has accepted a 5-year phase-in plan that would become known as “Euro-English”.

In the first year, “s” will replace the soft “c”. Sertainly, this will make the sivil servants jump with joy. The hard “c” will be dropped in favour of “k”. This should klear up konfusion, and keyboards kan have one less letter. There will be growing publik enthusiasm in the sekond year when the troublesome “ph” will be replaced with “f”. This will make words like fotograf 20% shorter.

In the 3rd year, publik akseptanse of the new spelling kan be expekted to reach the stage where more komplikated changes are possible. Governments will enkourage the removal of double letters which have always ben a deterent to akurate speling. Also, al wil agre that the horibl mes of the silent “e” in the languag is disgrasful and it should go away.

By the 4th yer people wil be reseptiv to steps such as replasing “th” with “z” and “w” with “v”.

During ze fifz yer, ze unesesary “o” kan be dropd from vords kontaining “ou” and after ziz fifz yer, ve vil hav a reil sensibl riten styl. Zer vil be no mor trubl or difikultis and evrivun vil find it ezi tu understand ech oza. Ze drem of a united urop vil finali kum tru.

Und efter ze fifz yer, ve vil al be speking German like zey vunted in ze forst plas.

If zis mad you smil, pleas pas on to oza pepl
Dec. 15
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North's hand is too good for a 3 rebid. He should rebid 3NT, which BTW, is not a bid I would expect a 199er to know.

Now it gets a little complicated because you need an agreement of ace-asking since the 3NT rebid shows no interest in hearts but running clubs. (I play 4 ace asking for clubs and 4 is looking for cue bids). South will be able to place the contract in NT once he gets the ace count.

On the whole, North knows he should show extras (good). South was probably scared North might pass 3. So the most important thing for them to know is not just “new bids”, but get a better understanding of their old bids.

If responder bids after a jump, they need to know that sequence is always forcing. If they have discussed this, they can still bid around a bit and find a slam after 3.

So 1-1; 2-2 is really discouraging, but
1-1; 3-3 is actually forcing and the 4 bid is discouraging.

One of the biggest problems new bidders have is understanding forcing and non-forcing sequences - and they both need to be able to rely on knowing each other knows.
Dec. 14
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“On the actual auction, it seems to me perfectly normal for East to bid 3♠”

I hate sitting on ACs b/c this is the kind of self-serving nonsense that one hears from pairs who cannot remember their own agreements but are perfectly willing to criticize everyone else.

There are two problems with this SS nonsense. The first is that it is wrong. The second is that it is immaterial. On the later issue, had the 2 bid been explained as hearts and not spades, West has the obvious option of a 3 bid. Given the intervening call, W is not going to make a bid that implies: “don’t worry about the spade bid by S” when his suit cannot make that claim. If you bother to read the laws, L21B3 simply states: “When it is too late to change a call and the Director judges that the offending side gained an advantage from the irregularity, he awards an adjusted score.”

N/S gained an advantage because the MI affected West’s choice of bids. There is NO LEGAL REQUIREMENT that they subsequently need to figure it out once the MI dissuades West from the 3 call. If you run someone off the road, the accident is YOUR FAULT regardless of whether they might have subsequently succeeded in regaining control of their vehicle. “If he had not over-steered so badly on that embankment he would have avoided the tree”.

Attempting to argue that failure for E to bids 3 with his hand qualifies as “…an extremely serious error…” and they are not entitled to redress is not only laughable, but does not negate the N/S side of the ledger. The offending side's score is supposed to be adjusted regardless of whether the non-offending gets redress.

As far as your valuable bidding lesson goes, most normal people might expect a 3M bid to show a 5CM since E is doubling on 4513 as well as the actual 4315. More importantly, pass gets the minimum values across. Pass by E is, in fact, the only way to stop out in 3M after a PH cue if E had something routine like Kxx / K10xx / Axx / xx. Why E would ever bid 3 here with a bad suit and a minimum is beyond me. But then how one ascertains so quickly at the table the “heart shift is safe” is beyond me as well. So I am certainly not the great player you are, Mr. Zastera.

From the piled higher and deeper department: “It never occurred to me that partner might actually have forgotten that we had agreed transfer McCabe rather than ordinary McCabe.”

Wow, it would never occur to me either that a partner who screws up standard carding methods would screw up transfer McCabe.

Silly me might be thinking that if the 7 was a legit card, the only way to set the contract was a heart shift because that is what partner holds. Oh yeah, that doesn’t work to well in buffaloing the TD, does it? Because I have to know partner has hearts. Oh, and (surprise) anything but a heart lets 3NT through on the actual layout.

And stupid me, the heart shift is safe when W has 10xx / AQ9 / AJx /xxxx??? Because W was always taking the double hook and not trying to pin the 10x (since the hand will be a read out). According to your vaunted analysis, West is supposed to try to pin the T because the double hook risks going down two if the T is wrong. In fact, since 3NT might be a fairly normal overreach, a low spade to the South’s alleged jack might persuade W to cash out for -2 if he marks South with AKJx and the K in N. Since taking the heart finesse will be three off. But the heart shift just screws the pooch in this layout. Doesn't look that safe to me. (But then I pass the X with the E hand too.)

So the reason this is all impossible - outside knowing that was not the layout because South had hearts - is?

What I also think is ridiculous is bothering to discuss West’s play of the spade suit. Exactly how many MP was he getting for -2 instead of -3 when par was +450? At least in my layout, pin the ten or cash out makes sense. Playing to make 3NT if South had the card North's explanation said he had was wrong because…? Oh, right, it was wrong on the actual layout that had nothing in common with the explanation given declarer.

Also, you have some nerve accusing E/W of a “blatant attempt at “double dipping.”” If I were E/W your post would be sent to the local C&E committee. We already have enough blowhards who value top boards in club games so highly they will try to buffalo TDs to retain their ill-gotten gain. When MPs are valued more highly than fair play and self-respect, we really are done. This is the most routine TD call (though apparently not for this director). To accuse E/W of unethical behavior on the most obvious TD call in the world is ugly and totally uncalled for.

Facts: MI. South had regular McCabe on the CC. Black-letter law.
MI caused W to flex with 3 call instead of 3 which easily leads to a 4 contract.
Play Declarer's play irrelevant. But heart shift?? Either brilliant or . . .?
(Given the rest of the analysis, brilliant is looking dim)
No-brainer change to 4 +1
IMO, someone needs to CC a C&E committee on C.Z.’s play & post.
DIC needs to go back to director school.
Dec. 13
David Yates edited this comment Dec. 13
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Seeing all the hypotheticals, I don’t understand why opener cannot have KJ. Before you post back: “because he would have raised spades”, why does 3 show six spades? Everyone THINKS it does because they see the South hand. Everyone thinks it does because the plan was to show the spades over 2 or 2NT. But that was not the sequence, was it? What is South’s continuation over 3 holding AQ109x / xx / Kxx / A10x? Or: Axxxx / x / Kx / KQxxx. In fact, 3 might also be an advance cue bid with diamond support but lacking a heart control, n’est pas?

The only thing for certain is that opener must have two spades on this auction. Opener denied 4 on the first bid, 3 on the second bid. And if opener had a stiff spade, presumably 2 or 3 would have been the continuation. IMO, 3M bids in this sequence should be geared towards finding the proper strain or will later be revealed as advance cues because responder loves diamonds. A SI hand with six spades can obviously bid at the four-level over 3 because the target is at least 4. One advantage to this approach is opener actually knows what responder holds and is looking to do, as opposed to wandering around in the desert. This allows opener to value Kx, Jx and J10 spade holdings while stopping out with xx Q10x AQJxx QJx.

The partnership does need to discuss 5+/5M responding hands playing 2-W. If you insist on going through 2 rather than making direct M j-rebids forcing, you further gum up the works. Playing 2-way, I prefer NF jump rebids in a minor and GF jumps in a M. The distributional invites can easily go through …2->2D. The advantage of direct/delayed jumps is responder can convey his suit quality. Direct jumps (3/4m self-spl) should a semi-solid plus suit. Checkback is better suited for suits that need help

The are also better checkback schemes than 2-way. And if you think 3 shows six spades in the OP sequence, there are far better methods.
Dec. 12
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Poor methods. You need to make better use of pass & X or interference will continue to cause trouble.

E/W are in GF auction. X should be TO with two+ places to play (or 4OM), as here. Pass should suggest penalties, but pass & pull a reopening X is strong. A direct cue bid should be none of the above, a hand with no direction. For ex: AK / 10xx / KQxx / AJ9x. Pass & cue should be a stopper, want partner to play. For ex, Axx or Kxx. I know here partner is always playing NT, but auction could have started 1C-P-2D-2H) You can play stopper/no stop other way around, I suppose, but this is easier when partner reopens over forcing pass with a bid (I don’t want to play for penalties). The penalty hand bids NT, strong hands can bid new suit or raise partner’s.

Whatever tweaks you want to make is fine, but a partnership needs to first define pass, double and cues in these situations before defining bids. Most pairs do this backwards. Pass often becomes hands that cannot take other actions and now the partnership loses definition on the meaning of bids as now the bid can be basically anything - as here.

Double for TO is the most flexible bid. If you want to play this as a penalty double (a) it seldom comes up and (b) is not necessary to catch trespassers, since pass could assign the same meaning. If West X’s, E can now bid 2NT and then W can bid 3C. E/W gets the hand across a whole level lower and has also ruled out a spade fit in the process. This effectively lets both partners each take another call before even bidding 3.

The corollary is that a direct 3 call becomes a more limited sort of hand. Perhaps AKx / xx /Kx / AQJxxx.
Dec. 10
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Gaz is a significant contribution to standard bidding. However, my less than charitable view is that far too many partnerships do not need Gaz because they often handle auctions (whether they are aware of it or not) based on partner’s tempo.

After a 1NT response and a 4th seat pass, there should never be more than a millisecond to make opener’s rebid because real bridge players consider their rebid before opening the bidding. In practice, most players - who were never taught to think first -
will take varying time depending on their hand. When they start thinking now, we always know when opener’s hand is not in the obvious range since those hands take longer to process than their normal tempo. Fast J/S have ideal shape. Slow jumps are 5/4 or 6/4. Slowish minor bids are fewer than four cards or extra values. Responder flexes over a slow minor rebid unless passing is completely obvious. So partnerships tend to stay out of trouble.

If you do not believe this, it means you are not very observant. If I can pick off my ops tempo, their regular partner certainly can. Bidding over a F-NT response today is pretty much like all bidding back in the ‘70s before bidding boxes. The vast majority of players back then believed they did not need conventions and treatments and unfortunately, they were right.
Dec. 10
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Some people yearn to see their names in lights, bridge players want to see theirs in dot matrix print. It is even better when the names at the top are such a credit to the game.

Congratulations to G&G (in no particular order).
Dec. 1
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I am trying to figure out how the comments in the OP apply to the question.

“Partner is a sound player” so I guess he didn't make the double. I know I didn't double. . . Oh, that is why we are favorites. I get it now.
Nov. 8
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You mean there is a downside to overbidding? Say it ain't so!
Nov. 8
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Chip, do you recall if Bergen initially said anything when he faced his cards?
Nov. 8
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I think at the time Garozzo made the comment, a computer analysis of the results would have indicated that bidding was 60.000% of bridge.

Since that time, bidding has evolved and the play is excellent across the top level. Therefore today, bidding becomes more important than it was when he made the comment.

Moral: Garozzo is not wrong.
Nov. 8
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South could have opened. North should probably open 3 at MP. If partner opened 4 (my IMP choice) at MP it certainly wouldn't be the worst bid. South certainly owes N a bid when he does not reopen with a double.
Nov. 8
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Curious as to the N/S hands. I suspect -120 was a bottom not because E/W was bidding at other tables, but perhaps either the defense failed to hold to 7 tricks or A was in dummy and declarer opted to take a hook - a play not risked by others.

If N has a hand that would produce 8 tricks on a heart lead without a A, it would be something like:
xxx / H / Qxx / AQxxxx

I imagine that if E/W balanced to 2, N would bid 3 making on the heart lead. Yes, a MP triumph for 10 points, but that is not how the line scores work at most clubs.

If every E/W was bidding on these hands, there is serious UI going on. Short pregnant, suspicious pause from E as he wonders if N/S are stealing with diamonds, W now comes back in over 1NT.

Not saying some MP hero might not call with either hand (it might work), but doubtful everyone at the club bids.
Nov. 8
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I agree that this was the wrong asymmetric listing.

If the title of the post could be: ATB Missed Slam, then “neither” really should not be an option when we are talking about missing a game. (Yes, I know it is a “bad” slam, but not nearly as bad as a slam that cannot make.)
Nov. 7
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An advantage to go is that the computer is one player.

I wrote programs for two computers to learn how to play bridge, but all they did was argue with each other. . .
Nov. 6
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Choices are pass or 6 since if you are filling in you have no methods and 5 is silly at MP (maybe IMPs too with this hand). Pass has a lot of merit if you think S has been influenced by what our ACBL thinks a 2 opening looks like these days.
Nov. 4
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Why no vote for both?

North has nothing but working cards. The only way I bid 4 with the South hand is if it's NLM. 4 is a great way to miss 3NT or 4.
Nov. 4
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WNT does matter. If my K/S memory serves me, playing WNT Kaplan always rebid 1NT with strong NT and 1 was always unbalanced.

Thought I'd abstain from voting and perhaps submit Edgar's proxy.

When I played WNT, I followed 1 is unbal. Playing SNT, I tend to rebid 1 except 4333.
Nov. 3
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My preference is similar. I would not describe 2M as “purely preemptive”, just less than a good constructive 3-card raise. 2NT is simply good constructive plus and declarer can inquiry if he wants. Played this for 20+ years. Have no idea what “mainstream” is these days. By expert partnerships, probably yes. But it is not really taught by “ACBL teachers”.
Nov. 3
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