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All comments by Kit Woolsey
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This deal brings up a point involving weighted scores which I don't understand. To illustrate my point, let's make a few assumptions:

1) We do not permit the 5 call. The contract is rolled back to 5.

2) We judge that 5 is 50% to make.

3) The results at the other 12 tables are:

8 times 4 undoubled down 1
4 times 4 making

Thus, the table result would have gotten E-W 8 matchpoints out of 12.

If we adjust the contract to 5, and use our estimate, then 1/2 the time E-W would get 12 match points and 1/2 the time E-W would get 0 matchpoints for a weighted average of 6 matchpoints – worse than the table result. That doesn't seem right.

So, what is the answer? Perhaps it is to give the NOS the greater of the matchpoint score for the table result vs. the weighted result.

The same sort of calculations could go into an IMP game.

Could somebody please clarify what should be done here?
12 hours ago
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This incident illustrates the importance of having cameras on every table in an important event. This allows the director to see what actually took place without having to be at the table or rely on testimony of the players and/or kibitzers (if any). Without this evidence, the director would have an impossible problem.
22 hours ago
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On your modified hand, the percentage play is to win the second round of spades in hand and lead a heart up. This succeeds any time West has the ace of hearts, since if he goes up you have 3 heart tricks.
June 23
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Ray,

Thanks for the clarification. That wording makes it clear in my mind that it is not “some would actually choose it” as a necessary condition for a bid to be a logical alternative.
June 23
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Maybe it is just semantics regarding the definition of a logical alternative. But maybe not. Let's look at an example:

Both vul, you hold: xx Axxx KJx KJxx.

Bidding goes: 2-P-P-? to you. Do you double or pass?

Personally I would double. But I believe it is a close decision.

Now, let's suppose you gave this problem to a panel of 10 experts, and they all came up with the same answer: They would all double, but they think it is a close decision.

According to your interpretation of the definition, it would appear that this poll would say that pass is not a logical alternative, since zero out of 10 experts chose the call.

I say that this is not the correct interpretation. The fact that experts considered it a close decision makes it a logical alternative, even though the experts decided that double is a slightly better percentage action.

Thus, if partner had huddled for a minute over the weak 2 (clearly suggesting double vs. pass), by your definition you would allow the double. I would not.
June 22
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Nigel,

While your methodology is correct, I strongly disagree with your last paragraph. In my mind, if some would consider pass (even if none would actually choose it) that makes it a logical alternative.
June 22
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With 18-19 you should make a game try – bid game and try to make it.
June 22
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No, I don't realize it. And I don't believe it. Whether a player might or might not find the 3 call one could debate. But if the bid is found, there is no logical interpretation other than that it is natural. If the players had never heard of Lebensohl, I am quite confident that this is how the bid would be interpreted by players of any level. It is the alert which wakes the player up to the fact that 3 means something else.
June 22
Kit Woolsey edited this comment June 22
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Having coached players of all levels, from beginners to world class players, I have found there is one common theme which is true for everybody. It is:

Your best teacher is yourself.

Everybody thinks about bridge hands differently. Find out which approaches are best for you, and work on improving these approaches.
June 22
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Assuming I played the 2NT call as natural, there would be no doubt in my mind that partner's 3 is an offer to play. It is not at all an impossible, or even close to impossible, call. There would be zero reason for me to think that partner had a different interpretation of my 2NT call.

The alert tells me otherwise. This is information I am not permitted to use. It is as simple as that.
June 22
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You are asking partner to make the last mistake, assuming you haven't already done so.
June 21
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If East has both black aces and 5 hearts, then if his ace of spades is singleton I think he will try to give his partner a heart ruff. Even if he lays down the ace of clubs and gets a discouraging signal, how will he know to play his partner for AQ of diamonds rather than a stiff heart and either the ace of diamonds or the king of clubs?

I believe the main loss for my play is when East has Ax of spades and the ace of clubs. Then he will know (or will he – he has seen my preempts) that there is no ruff coming.
June 21
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If East has one ace and it is a minor-suit ace, East would know that his partner would have to have the ace of spades for the defense to have a chance. West would need to know which minor to lead when he got in. Therefore, East would have given a clear suit-preference signal in hearts. Since East didn't do so, this isn't the case. Either East has no aces, both minor-suit aces, just the ace of trumps, or the ace of trumps and a minor-suit ace. The one thing East doesn't have is just a minor-suit ace.

In all variations, leading a trump at trick 2 is likely to work. When West has the ace of trumps I'll make, since East either has both minor-suit aces or none. When East has the ace of trumps and fewer than 6 hearts, he may try to give his partner a heart ruff or he may go wrong about which minor to play.

Cashing the hearts gains only when West has led from Qxx (which admittedly he might on this auction). It loses when West has a singleton queen.
June 21
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I still don't understand what you are saying. North is limited. South knows what North has. If South passes 3 he is doing so with his eyes open.

3 doesn't “promise” a rebid. South is captain here. South can do whatever he thinks will get to the right contract.
June 21
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It is not the job of a TD to be a mind-reader. A TD should deal with the facts, not beliefs about what a player does or does not think.
June 21
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I would rebid 3. If South doesn't have a club stopper he will bid a major, and then I can bid 3NT. Now South can do whatever he judges is best, as he will know my hand almost exactly.
June 21
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I don't understand your question. If South doesn't pass, what bid by South are you talking about where North has this rebid problem?
June 20
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1) Did RHO have UI? Definitely. He knows that his partner interpreted his 2NT differently from how it was intended.

2) Was RHO's 3NT call (as opposed to pass) suggested by the UI? Definitely. With partner mis-interpreting the 2NT call, it is obvious that bidding 3NT figures to work out better than passing.

3) Was passing the 3 call a LA? This depends on a couple of factors.

a) Does the 3 call (which is, of course, AI) definitely tell RHO that the wheels have come off? I don't see why it does. LHO could easily have a somewhat offbeat 1NT overcall with a 6-card club suit, and after hearing partner's invite judge that 3 is the right contract.

b) Is bidding 3NT clearly the correct call assuming partner has the offbeat 1NT overcall with the 6-card club suit? I would have to see RHO's exact hand to make that determination, but from what is described it seems unlikely that passing isn't a LA.

Therefore the ruling is wrong, and the contract should be rolled back to 3. The director doesn't know the rules, and he doesn't know much about bridge.
June 20
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There is something to this. The tradeoff is the cost of expanding the 1 range. If you are opening all 15-counts 1, now responder needs a stronger hand for a GF positive response. That widens the range of the already wide 1 response.

My philosophy on borderline hands is to look at rebid considerations. If I think the auction will be smoother if I open 1, I will do that. If I think the auction will be smoother if I open something else, I will take that route.
June 20
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Violating 5-card majors and opening 1 with a 4-card major is not a good idea in a limited system. Partner is captain, and he will not in any way play you to have done this. He may drive to a silly 4-3 spade game or do any other number of disastrous things based on the assumption that you have 5 spades.
June 20
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