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All comments by David Yates
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Mr Dopeyhead needed to go to the Emerald City to get a brain and instead of the wizard, he gets to meet Ed. Tough luck, I suppose.

The ACBL (meaning people in charge) should do a better job to educating players when to ask questions. Responses to ace asking bids above 3NT(ANY!) are delayed alerts and the players would be advised before the opening lead.
Jan. 24
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This is also BWS. 1NT is also natural, X is TO for unbid suits and 2NT is more shapely for the unbid suits.
Jan. 24
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This deal is yet another example of wrong with our MI laws.

Imaginary result at another table. North had looked at the ops CC/notes, saw they played this as forcing and passed, waiting to double later. East thinks it is NF GI and passes, so the auction ends. N/S beat it for +150 and are legally screwed.

Here, North asks, gets MI and the opportunity for a clear top. Defense muffs it. Also, there is some question as to whether North should believe 3 is GI. (Of course maybe this South overcalls on anything when he hears “ten”). Now North gets an adjusted score, crushing the MP result of the parallel universe pair who defended better.

Wonderful.

I am going to rule E/W -460. A likely result of a spade lead, no reason to think someone who cannot remember their agreements is going to cover the 9 with K or that West would return a stiff diamond. East gets squeezed in the minors. Anyway, it is making 3 OTs on a low diamond lead, so it isn't even the worst result possible.

I suppose I am going to give N/S +430. If you could not take all your tricks on defense, I am not giving them to you on offense. There is some chance that you would have bid 4. If W actually was a GI, both S & W have distributional hands and 4 will be a better contract than 3NT. Personally, I hate having to hear what players claim they would have done once they have seen all four hands. I never believe them, I just given them the benefit of the doubt.

This is just one of many theoretical, completely random rulings made possible by the same powers that be who prohibit conventions like multi because they believe “bridge now becomes random”.
Jan. 24
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-3 either way. It is much harder to beat this three tricks ducking, but it is there if the defense times it right. After W dumps the club, say he plays the K. S wins, plays a spade, covered and won. North has to lead a low club. Q holds. Now another spade, covered and low club. 10 and a heart through for -3.

Gregory's line, starting with winning A is easier at the table.
Jan. 24
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Well, it is clear that they had an agreement if something is written down. They just did not have a clue as to what they had agreed. If a bid is explained as having a particular meaning when no agreement exists and that explanation is at odds with the actual holding, that would be a textbook example of MI.
Jan. 24
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When this is played this as forcing, responder shows a GI+ hand. Therefore, the bid is forcing to 3m. The theory is that given a 6-card minor (rarely 5) 3m will play better than 2NT when game is not available. Therefore, attempting to “improve” the part score contract becomes a low probability action.

I believe Kokish was a proponent of the forcing GI and I prefer to play this way.

The continuations are fairly simple. 3m by opener is minimum for the 2m rebid. If responder bids again, it is forcing to game or 4m. (Presumably, responder has at least good tolerance (Hx) for the minor, Normally, this is a much better support sequence for the minor. 1m-1M; 2n-3m asks for a continuation by opener only if he was very good (15 or so).

Other continuation bids by opener are positive and show the upper range of the 2m rebid hands. Again, this is forcing to game or 4m. Please don't post silly things about “4m is a small landing spot”. The 2NT bid is effectively a minor raise, so 4m is easily NF and 4om is easily invitational RKC. A smart pilot doesn't decide to land his plane in the forest just because the field looks a little small.

If one wanted to construct some artificiality, I suppose some Ogust style sequence could work, but why bother? The main thing you will want to do is integrate the sequence with the rest of your methods. For example, if 1m-1M; 2m-3M is NF, then use 2NT as minor raise (GI+) or GF 6+M, so opener's positive continuations show support or not for the M.


If 4m is NF, and 4om rebids by responder are defined, then you have useful tools in finding the right game and/or level.
Jan. 24
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The law being discussed here makes perfect sense to me. That the club TD would not have the opportunity to rule would be because I told my opponent to put the card back in his hand.

I know that could be considered a violation of L-10A, but I swear that “I dint see nuttin.”
Jan. 23
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“Cold-decking” is rigging a deal. Sion was caught rigging hands in a team event.

As far as skill goes, L. Fisher and A. Smirnov's legit skill level was (IMO) at least as high-level as Sion's.

Bonds, McGuire, A-Rod (to name a few) were some of the most talented in baseball, even without the PEDs.

A friend who had been a professional cyclist told me in 1999 that Lance Armstrong took PEDs. I asked him how he knew, he replied: “Because he won. Everyone in cycling takes PEDs. Lance Armstrong is easily the best cyclist. If no one took drugs Lance would win. Everyone takes the drugs and the best guy still wins. The only scenario where Armstrong loses is if he is clean and other guys are not.”

My pal had a perverse view that cycling was the most fair sport because “everyone”(*) was cheating. Whereas in other sports like football, baseball and track some juiced and others were clean. “Cycling is a level playing field”.

I thought about this with P&S vs F&S back when the bridge cheats were getting rounded up. P&S (claimed anyway) cheated against pairs they thought cheated. F&S we know cheated against teams they thought they could lose to and were clean (or cheated less when sitting N/S) against teams they thought they could beat. I think that F&N probably cheated all the time because they needed to given their methods.

In any event, cheating has nothing to do with high or low skill level. It has to do with character. After Sion got the lifetime heave, someone remarked that there always seemed to be questionable “out” calls by Steve in their tennis matches.

(* It was an interesting conversation years before all the cycling brouhaha. My pal was given to making sweeping statements, rethinking and then backtrack back to reality. But I could never make him back off his claim of “everyone”. Just that the drug regimens went through on and off cycles. He talked about the subject at length for a few hours and was a walking pharmacology source. My friend said one of the reasons he got out was he was “tired of taking the drugs”. Interestingly, he did not have any qualms about the integrity of the sport and just looked at the drugs as another piece of equipment, like the helmet.)
Jan. 23
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Some high(?)lights for those who prefer the Cliffs Notes version:

Every provision with “increase” passed.

Some items, like what passages were being renumbered or how brackets would be paid were excruciatingly detailed. Then there were items like this:

“The 2019 operating budget and the 2018 capital budget are received. Carried unanimously”

Without detail, reference or attachment.

My personal favorite was Item 183-42 NABC Fees. Since this was an increase, that carried. It carried with the provision that “Management is authorized to use part of the increase to develop incentives to encourage players to stay in the host hotel.”

I always approve expenditures without first knowing what the plan is going to be. I love the specification of “part”. Is this 90% or 5%? Also, are extra funds going to be required to “implement” this incentive program? Management is tasked only with spending money to develop the program.

Sausage and legislation. Scary stuff to watch.
Jan. 21
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Only Rueful Rabbit, because he thinks he has the K.
Jan. 21
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If I lead from Axx, it will be x at a low level and Ace at a high level. At 5-level and higher, the ace looks for attitude the king, not the Q.
Jan. 21
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“Until they ban you for life.”

It must be great to still remain an optimist.
Jan. 21
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The shorthand explanation is that if this statement is intended to be true as per the law: “That is clearly not the intent of having a minor penalty card. The intent seems to me that the player CAN'T signal” then the lawmakers never had to write 50E3.

Because I know as partner of the offender that the spot card was forced and partner “CAN'T signal”.

For whatever reason, some think to think that the laws are too onerous and wish to impose their view of justice. But the view of the lawmakers is the correct one.

The minor penalty card is an accident. Partner is NOT ALLOWED to know that you played a card by accident, is he? (It really is that simple. Perhaps I should have led with that.)

Suppose partner wins the first trick with ace. Everyone closed that trick and as partner starts to play at trick two the 2 falls on the table and he says: “oops”. Is there anyone who does not believe this information is not authorized? He does not even have to say oops, because the manner of the play is ALWAYS UI to partner!!!

The lawmakers don't care about the TIMING of the mistaken play. They care only that the mistake is not AI to partner.
Jan. 20
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Your ops scored well, getting in and jamming the auction with 1HCP outside the spade suit. However, I think the table actions and decisions by your side helped with the decision to sac. And while they might have found 6 anyway, IMO there was good good chance of 7 now. So it would have saved just 2 IMPs.

The leap to 6 was brave (I suppose), but not expected on a hand with two quick spade losers. When East jumps to six and then West thinks about a grand, I would be thinking as N/S that we had at least 12(+) spades. Alternatively, as West I would be thinking partner held Ax(x) KQ(x) in spades and the hands might not fit for s grand.

Interestingly, if everyone passed 5, you would have scored better than 6-X.

It reminds me of a hand from a bidding quiz, were Jeff Meckstroth bid 5 only hearts with the top prize awarded to bidding slam. Jeff's accompanying comment was “yeah, I know we have a slam, but they have a really good sacrifice.”

For reasons unknown, Jeff was not awarded extra credit on the problem. Though I doubt he cared.
Jan. 20
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It is fun having David represent robots in a bridge PM. But what if he gets a law license and represents a robot like Skynet? I am pretty sure that everyone starting with the Conners would rather be set upon by a Terminator.

Singers tend to not stutter, either. Though eliminating accent and stutter would not improve communications if I were doing the singing.
Jan. 18
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In the first case, the powers that be believe your opponents are entitled only to your agreements. Not whether you forgot them. (I think - obviously irrationally, given the laws - that I am entitled to opponents who can remember WTF they play.) The issue here is that you have UI since partner's explanation woke you up. Yes, the unexpected 3 call in absence of the explanation might have had the same effect, but that is not a “gimme” to the offending side.

Supposedly, the right time to mention the irregularity (UI) is at the end of play since the ops got the right explanation. They will be totally confused defending, so unless they are as brain dead as some of our lawmakers, they will have figured it out sometime during the play.

The regulatory issue on this hand is whether your 3 call is allowed. I would be probably not allow the 3 bid, but I am sure if I want, that I can twist the regs and reality to support any ruling.

If you were right about the agreement and partner's explanation was wrong, your opponents are entitled to the correct explanation after the auction and before they make the opening lead when you are declarer. If you are defending, you cannot correct partner's incorrect explanation of agreements until after the play ends. (So as to not wake up a defender.)

On your second example, my advice is try not to to make your methods contingent on the opponents knowing what they are doing. Especially with something like X.

In general:

Always ask about alerts. Even if you have a bust and where never going to bid. This way you do not pass UI to partner by asking sometimes and not others.

However, avoid asking about bids that were not alerted unless you are planning to bid and need to know.
Jan. 18
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They certainly should not, which is the point. Larry Cohen wrote a great article titled: “Mr Mild, Mr Wild and Mr Medium” discussing various preemptive styles. The thrust of the article is that any preemptive style can be successful as long as it remains true to philosophy. What makes any style ineffective and random is including hand types inconsistent. If one is sound, then you cannot include aggressive hands and vice versa.

@J.A. Or just good enough for 2 for some :)
Jan. 18
2NT
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Yes. I thought this case was settled in Solodar v Edwards.
Jan. 18
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Other.

The old-school Precision 2 is a great bid for when it comes up. It has a low frequency occurrence but a high success rate when it arises.

I switched to 0+ opening in strong club 20+ years ago. 2 is 10-14/15 and 6(+) diamonds. Basically any hand that is a 2 rebid and not good enough to jump rebid 3. So the hand will not have four spades. Might have four hearts if min range.

The frequency is about twice as often as OSP 2. It reduces chances of getting pushed out of a diamond fit when ops bounce a major.

It also frees up 2 as a one-round force. In strong club, this is often a good 3-card M raise. Possibly a decent 4M raise depending on the 1NT range.

I like to play this in standard. It has much better preemptive effect than a regular weak 2; which can often be opened 3 anyway. It creates a “Gazzilli” rebid for the opener. Sequences depend on the ! opening definition.
Jan. 18
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I wonder if the large vote for “ridiculous” is because the hand is super-sound since it fits the now-defunct “five & five rule” - at least 5 HCP and at least 5-cards in the bid suit. Hey, the hand even has shape!

In the 70s & 80s it was quite common for many weak-two bids to be much worse. Al, Marty & Kate would have rated this a strong weak-two.

Regarding the “soundness” of the action, in bridge that is a function not of a particular result but the gain over time. I once asked Al Stauber (jokingly, I think) how many times his parents dropped him on his head as a child before he started to pre-empt the way he did.

Al said: “I do it only because it works. You just have to be willing to put the bid on the table.”

Well, that and play NF responses, etc The main thing is that if this is a 2 opening for you, then what makes the approach unsound is also opening 2 on xx / KQJ10xx /Q109x / x.
Jan. 17
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