Join Bridge Winners
All comments by Ian Wilson
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There may be quite a few minimally eligible players (i.e. anyone qualified to play in the D22 GNT finals).

Note also that this is one of the few events where the winners are paid prize money.

Taken together, these probably make the decision about whether to augment, and if so, who to add, a complicated one.
May 31
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Fixed, thanks RR.
May 18
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Morning, guvnor!
My original reason for publishing this problem was because At The Table, West's double was clearly PENALTY (at least, so it seemed to me). I wanted to establish what people would bid in the absence of UI to see what the most ethical bidding plan on my part would be.

However, since most responders clearly think that the auction is appalling (even for me), I haven't bothered posting the second part of the problem (basically: assuming you are prohibited from passing the X because of the UI, what do you do instead?).
May 18
Ian Wilson edited this comment May 18
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Note: dealer W, both vul, MP.
The bidding at our table was a little unusual:
1*(Precision)-1(lead direct??? :-))-X*(5-8 or any GF)-
1-p-p-2*(GF 5+)… final contract 4E.

The defence failed to remove dummy's entries so partner made 6 on straightforward play.
May 18
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A sequence such as 1-1N-2 in Blue Club requires an alert in ACBL territory. Doesn't this count as “conventional”?
May 16
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I have seen this use of an amorphous 2 response several times by strong players in this part of the world. Its use disturbs me because I don't think that this is an occasional usage. Of course, the method is perfectly legal. But it is also conventional - in the same way that any canape treatment is conventional - but suggesting that an alert would be appreciated (by 2 bidder's partner or before we get to make the opening lead) has been received with hostility in my personal experience.

East's behavior is not perfect but I have a lot of sympathy with it. South's behavior is described succinctly by PC #3 above.
May 16
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Good question. I couldn't remember whether Unusual vs Unusual was on this CC (if so, 3 would be GF in clubs and 3 would be weaker). So 3 was something of a punt.
May 14
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Michal's description applies to numerous pieces of live software; nothing seems particularly exceptional about BBO and the ‘bots.

I enjoy playing a robot individual now and then. It’s better value and is more like “bridge” than, say, joining a table for a few hands used to be on OKB when I needed a bridge fix at antisocial times of day.
May 2
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I used to belong to the school of “don't mention it unless you suspect a system problem and you think it needs to be fixed before the next hand”. Well, occasionally I would manage to keep my mouth shut.

Recently I discovered that how the “advice” is proffered can have a significant effect. At the ?end? of a “Spiral-like” auction where one partner was 100% captain and the other 100% confined to answering questions, responder corrected from 3NT to 4 of their major. I offered the opinion that since responder knew nothing of enquirer's hand, this was an illogical auction/action. This was not well-received.

So now I am trying to keep my lips closed about auctions where one partner broke system (for whatever reason) until I am invited to express an opinion.
April 24
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.. it was partner's 1NT bid!
March 20
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This was in ACBL-land. The 1NT opener was announced correctly.
March 20
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1. bidding boxes were in use
Yes, it was surreal. I don't remember encountering anything similar before.
March 20
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I was so gobsmacked by the proceedings that I had no idea what I should do. In the end I gave no indication that something bizarre was going on; and the opponents didn't mention it. So, I agree that this wasn't a super-clear situation.
March 19
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Good evening O Master.

The auction (if that word really applies here) was still in progress at the point when an opponent (with no apparent reason to ask) made some learned enquiry, which caused(?) my partner to explain it as if it were “2 - 2…” rather than the more prosaic “1NT-2-2”.

I don't know if this counts as a review of the auction (clearly, his review did not correspond with how the auction actually proceeded).
March 19
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The vulnerability might be relevant, since N might
perpetrate a weak 2. I was N and considered opening
but the vulnerability dissuaded me. The auction
went: p-(2N)-p-(3); X-(3)-p-(4); p-(5)-p-(6)-ap.

I don't know what was most appalling - the sight of
dummy or the discussion about how they should have
reached 7.

a) the 2N opener is not a typo
b) I think that this was punishment from the bridge gods for my spineless X
Feb. 27
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In my strong club partnerships, we alert 1M-4M and explain “not necessarily weak”. This sometimes avoids tedious discussions about what ‘preemptive’ means, etc.
Jan. 11
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MB: excellent point. Playing canape systems with their emphasis on distribution rather than HCP is very educational (and makes a pleasant change from 5M strong NT blah).
Dec. 19, 2018
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I have never been a big fan of Asking Bids in strong club systems, but I think that the approach used here has done a reasonable job without the memory strain of a better (relay) approach.

At least on this hand we know about partner's 6th trump and total number of controls below the level of game.
Nov. 28, 2018
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4 would be control-asking in diamonds. You know in advance that the answer would be 2nd round control (3 steps: 4NT).

4 would likewise be control asking in hearts.

It is not clear what 4N would be here.

Top honour = A, K or Q.
Nov. 27, 2018
Ian Wilson edited this comment Nov. 28, 2018
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This is somewhat painful since just before reading it, I played in my robot's Exclusion response (clicked on Pass instead of converting to 6 of our agreed trump suit).
Nov. 25, 2018
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