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All comments by David Yates
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Since I forgot to bid game, hopefully a bad layout will justify the timidity. A-A-hook in a good field, A-A-K in a weak field.

If you bid these games, the play is a bit easier with nothing to think about at trick one.
Feb. 25
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Crazy is making undiscussed jumps that could be artificial.

Crazy is passing a bid that could be artificial. I would rather be in a poor slam than a game in our 3-0 fit.

Mad is probably what your teammates will be when they see how you and partner butchered this hand.
Feb. 25
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Apparently, the ACBL Fragrance Policy was pretending for the last fifty years that everything smelled like roses.
Feb. 24
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“What people say they will do in a poll is often different to the action that they would take at the table.” -R.F.

Demonstrating that reality is not incorporated into our faith in TD polls.

BTW, Kieran, I have seen players with gobs of MP passing better hands. Once the bidding went all P on the first hand, dealer held: AKQJx / QJ10x / xx / xx. They decided they were going to get a good board because “everyone else would get too high”. It was still a zero for them at the end of the day.
Feb. 24
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I own the reverse record. Finished ahead of “thee” Eric Rodwell in the first session, second overall across the multiple sections in the section session and failed to Q for day 2.
Feb. 24
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My favorite is when they give you the hand and you then need to inquire what the 13th card might be.
Feb. 24
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Well, one passed hand. North discovered that he held an opening after he passed originally. I am not sure when we started passing hands that Goren would have opened. Don't misunderstand me, if N/S is even close to making 4 then someone really needs to learn how to bid.
Feb. 23
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No fault, esp at MP.

Unless I haven't had enough coffee, isn't this K onside plus breaks, even with the tens?

How are you making this if opener is: xx / Kxxx / AQxxx / Ax or various? The K is onside. Are you happy now?

The points are 2:1 N/S (or less). But you cannot handle some of the splits. This is probably about 50% which is MP breakeven. NV it is not horrible missing this one at IMPs.
Feb. 23
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L73D1 was never mentioned.

“It is desirable, though not always required, for players to maintain steady tempo and unvarying manner. However, players should be particularly careful when variations may work to the benefit of their side. Otherwise, unintentionally to vary the tempo or manner in which a call or play is made is not an infraction. Inferences from such variations are authorized only to the opponents, who may act upon the information at their own risk.”

P.S. I am still trying to find a copy of “The Ethical laws”. Perhaps Orthros ate my copy.
Feb. 21
David Yates edited this comment Feb. 21
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I dunno. Seems that I might need ten seconds to consider my play and avoid doing something completely hopeless like ducking my A on the second round.
Feb. 21
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If standardizing for beginners is the objective, teaching them 2/1 GF is a horrible idea anyway.

IMO, there are too many auction variations for a beginner to nuance. For example, 1m-1NT is NF, but 1M-1NT is forcing. 1-(P)-2 is GF, but 1-(1)-2 is now only F1. No beginner has the foundation to understand the differences. It just becomes memory load (BORING) and creates all sorts of sources of error without developing bidding judgment or foundation. All for a marginal increase in efficiency IF they carefully discussed situations they do not understand.
Feb. 21
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At teams I get to pick my mates. At IMP pairs I get the average of the field. While this is also true for MP pairs, each board in MP has the same value and there are all sorts of ways of winning a board at MP.

At IMP pairs, if you get to the “good table” and they bid the slam, you can go home now. At teams, you expect that result is a push. At MP pairs, they bid the slam and take the top, but I can cover that the next hand or round with an overtrick.

Another consideration is that MP is more suitable for whatever movement might be made by necessity at a club. For example, if there are 11 tables with 3-bds/rd, there will be 33 boards in play and you will be playing but 24. I am not much concerned about which subset at MP. At IMPs, it will very much matter.

The worst is a Howell IMP movement. I played that and managed only two game contracts in an evening.

When one loses at teams, it is usually because you have been out played. When one loses at IMP pairs, it is often that the event was never in your reach.

The same can happen at MP pairs. But it is much less frequent.
Feb. 21
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Lots of players wake up in the middle of the night dreaming about a hand rumbling around in the back of their mind. After several iterations, suddenly: “OMG! I should have just ducked in both hands!”

But since Michael would have found this play at the table, I bet this is a real book and not a dream.
Feb. 20
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I play 3 as “mostly forcing to game, but passable when partner made her typical double with a hand that should have passed.”

I don't understand the two example hands bidding anything other than 4.

This used to be played as “preemptive” by pretty much the same people who thought a 2 opening should be strong or 1NT openings needed “stoppers”.
Feb. 20
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I am not answering the poll because there isn't anything in it for me.

And I would consider becoming a club TD but right now starvation looks like an attractive alternative. Right now I run some supervised games and trying to keep the folks playing nice proves I must be insane. It is basically like dealing with 8th grade cafeteria nonsense with less resilient and understanding kiddies.
Feb. 20
David Yates edited this comment Feb. 20
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Amazing someone of Lauria's stature couldn't find second hand low :)
Feb. 19
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2 needs to be forcing for one round, otherwise someone will get an ulcer. (I forget, is Bromad for ulcers or does it cause them?)

I would not play 2 as forcing. It seems to me that since the sequence is 10+ points, this is an old-fashioned 1S-2H sequence and responder can pass 2.
Feb. 19
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“Takeout doubles are meant to be taken out.” - Edgar Kaplan
Feb. 19
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Passing on beer is never good. Lager is the only form of scoring that really matters.
Feb. 19
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So why do I want to spend my time in one of the world's great cities, staring at a screen for minutes on end waiting for an opponent to f-i-n-a-l-l-y produce a bid and when I object, I am told by everyone:

“No problem, it was completely obvious.”

How long does it take them to bid a grand that is not completely obvious?

I keep telling everyone that bridge is a sport. It has to be. This cannot be a game, because games are supposed to be fun.

The problem lies not with the players, but the dummkopfs who craft legislation and never let something like experience and evidence convince them that there are huge problems with their poorly conceived rules. Sorry for the perjorative, but I cannot call our legislators “birdbrains” because even a parakeet will eventually figure out the futility of flying into the window. Meanwhile, the supposedly “intelligent” animal has been producing random rulings based on horrible laws ever since the first hesitation Blackwood case of Little Old Man v. Little Old Lady, 1933.

Stop everything. Round up the pollees. Lets get a committee together because we have not wasted enough of everyone's time.

BTW, there is a simple, easy, effective solution: Slow sign-offs and penalty doubles end the auction, excepting a case where the “game try” was actually a slam try. Unduly slow forcing continuations are always UI and demonstrative.

Done.

And the best part is having a tablet that shows it was taking 2 minutes a bid, so I don't have to listen to: “I really did not take that long”. Oh yeah, coming up a century for this sport (though I doubt we make it, at least in this country) and we still have not figured out that you cannot think about something and keep time at the same time. Although, in fairness, when it takes an EXTRA two minutes to figure out what to do after you already tanked that long on the previous bid, I am sure it seems like an HOUR to the non-offenders. (Are we having fun yet?)

Now I know that firm regulations must be a HORRIBLE idea because bridge is a thinking game. I did not tell you that you cannot think. You can even drive everyone crazy and take two minutes BEFORE you launch your spiral scan. What you cannot do is TANK and tell partner: “my hand says you can still have a hand that will produce a grand without the K. Please get out of answer mode and think about this.”

Because that is what happens in a relay sequence. Someone becomes a parrot. As with this hand., when North never stopped to think and just answered the K denial. The question on this hand is not whether 3, 5, 7 or 17 polled experts WHEN TOLD TO THINK CAREFULLY can produce an “obvious” answer. The question is whether this one player might not have stopped to reconsider over a quick sign-off.

The answer is that we will never know. It is quite impossible to say. And the legal “solution” of judging how different players act under different conditions is ludicrous.

Here is a hand from last week in a fairly new partnership of just a few sessions. She opened 1. The auction proceeded to a RKC sequence: 1-1; 2-3; 3H-4NT; 5-5NT; 6.

Opener's hand was: x / Jxx / AKQxxx / Kxx.

Partner was in answer mode and just showed me the K.

I now bid a quick 6 and that ended the auction, because partner – with 7K MP – never stopped to think about her hand.

Now I am certain, that had I spent an insufferable amount of time staring at my hand before bidding 6 that I could have gotten my partner to switch modes and bid “the obvious” grand. But silly me, I actually thought about continuations BEFORE I bid 4NT. I know that is a rookie mistake, because experts get additional consideration to always find “the obvious” bid. But I did not think it was fair to my ops to hesitate my way to a grand, I had xx in diamonds and AKQxx. So a grand would be pushy opposite xxx/AKxxxx. I figured in advance that I would invite and if partner did not find a seven bid knowing that we had all the keys, 6 was quite enough.

Next time I shall give my partner more encouragement.

The bridge world is quite daffy. We spend an inexorable amount of time on this site complaining about a few bad apples not being sufficiently banished to Siberia. Meanwhile, for the 99.99% of the bridge players who never played more than a few boards against those schmucks (or even know who they are), our game is constantly under siege by the reality of unintended UI. It has been this way since I started playing nearly a half-century ago and the authorities have still have not straightened it out.

It makes no difference to me whether I am run over by a car driven by a homicidal maniac or some dumb teenager texting. The result is still the same.

And as long as we have these idiotic regulations we can continue to produce random committee rulings on any subject. In answer to Csaba's original question of “Why is it worth taking part in an appeal committee?”, it is so that no matter how one rules, a WC player like Kit Woolsey will tell you that you got it right, while another WC player like David Burn will tell you that you got it wrong. Or vice versa.

(BTW. Nice showing, Csaba. Tough field.)

Meanwhile, I am still trying to convince people that the Emperor isn't wearing any clothes. The Law really is an ass. And that isn't a belt buckle.
Feb. 19
David Yates edited this comment Feb. 19
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