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All comments by Kit Woolsey
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There is an issue involved in this case which I consider very important, and which is not clear to me how the laws are to be interpreted.

Let us assume that Kevin was out of line with his tempo of play from his small doubleton, that he might have know the effect this could have, and that Zia might have done better had this not happened.

The relevant law is:

1. 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.


Under these assumptions, it is clear that Keven might be penalized in some manner. However, it is not clear to me that Zia should benefit. The law seems to say that the information from Kevin's tempo, manner, or whatever is authorized information to Zia (but not to Kevin's partner), and that Zia may act upon this information at his own risk. That is what Zia did, and it turned out that he chose the losing action.

Should Zia get any remedy? In a team game he would have to, since the results have to be zero sum. However, this is a pair game. It is quite legitimate to, say, assign -460 for Kevin and +430 for Zia.

By my reading of the law, it isn't clear to me that Zia is entitled to any redress, since his action based on the mannerism/tempo was at his own risk. However, the panel of directors apparently interpreted the law otherwise, since they did give Zia some redress.

So, what does the law really say about what Zia is entitled to in this situation?
March 26
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Of course third hand should always take some time at trick 1 – particularly if declarer (wrongly) makes an instant call of dummy' card. When I say “in tempo” for third hand's play, I mean taking the normal 10 or 15 seconds which is expected. Most trick 1 problems can be resolved in that time, and there is no information transmitted (other than that the defender didn't have a problem he wasn't able to resolve in those 10 or 15 seconds).
March 25
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Sarah,

It makes all the difference in the world. You should never say anything like: “I have no problem with this trick”. That can only be either giving declarer information or possibly misleading declarer, as well as giving your partner UI. You should always say nothing and simply play your card.

Of course if you do have a problem which you are unable to resolve in tempo, you have to take the time to resolve it. If this helps declarer, or if it gives UI to partner which makes a difference later in the hand, too bad. You should always take the time you need.

However, if you do not have a problem at trick 1, or if you do have a problem but are able to resolve the problem in tempo, make your in tempo play and then leave your card face up until you have taken whatever time you feel you need to plan the defense. This way neither declarer or partner gets any information.
March 25
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Jeff,

As long as I have not turned my card over, trick 1 is not complete. If declarer leads to trick 2, so what – you just tell him that your card from trick 1 is not turned over. You retain every right to see his trick 1 card as long as you haven't turned your card over. I don't see the problem, and in practice I find it works fine.

For the same reason, the opening leader should not turn his card over until he has taken the time he needs to plan the defense.
March 25
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Assuming declarer doesn't play instantly from dummy, I think third hand should try to play in tempo (and should definitely do so with no problem on that trick). If third hand wishes to take some time to think about the overall hand, all he has to do is leave his card face up after the trick is completed. This prevents declarer from rushing the play before third hand is ready. It doesn't give anybody any information other than that the defender is thinking about the hand and planning the defense.
March 25
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That's what we have videos for – to establish the facts. As we all know the memory of the players is often inaccurate, particularly since they have other things to think about.
March 25
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Of course it is natural.
March 24
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1NT rebid is limiting – describes strong NT.
March 22
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When the partner of a limited hand jumps to game (as opposed to making a lower forcing call), the auction is over. If North wanted to bring South into the loop for slam purposes he should bid 4, and now South will have no difficulty driving to slam.
March 21
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Unless you aren't using bidding boxes or somebody at the table has a visual problem, I don't see how anybody can be asking for a review of the bidding while the bidding is in progress. All they have to do is look.

Clearly you must say nothing, and bid as though you didn't hear your partner's comment. If this results in getting to some ridiculous contract, that's life.

Once the auction is over, assuming you are the declaring side it is your responsibility to correct your partner's mis-explanation before the opening lead is made.
March 20
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Natural, NF.
March 19
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I don't understand. This wasn't given as a UI problem, where the partner of the player who bid out of tempo made a marginal call. It was simply a question about what the slow 3 bid suggested about opener's hand.
March 19
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So what. After I take my aces and kings and my club ruffs in dummy and my 4 trumps in my hand, the defense is welcome to what is left over.

Getting tapped is painful only when you get run out of trumps while the opponents have some trumps left, so your late side tricks won't cash. On this hand with the aces and spaces in the side suits, you don't have late side tricks.

Also, suppose the opponents can tap you in hearts. That means they can run their hearts in notrump. At least your trump suit provides a stopper.
March 19
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If East happens to have found the spade shift from QJx, which isn't out of the question, then overtaking would leave something to be desired.

In real life, West will expect East to routinely continue spades.
March 19
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Not sure I understand your question. I play that a rebid of the major shows 6+, that 2NT ooks something like a 2NT call, and that 3-level bids don't necessarily show extra strength or distribution.

If I did choose to open 1 on this hand and got a 2 response, 3 looks pretty clear.
March 19
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Obviously the hand evaluates as too strong to open 1NT. Whether you should not open 1NT on a hand where you expect the field to be opening 1NT and there can't be that much equity difference between opening 1 and 1NT is a moot point.

Incidentally, I would be very tempted to open 1. This is the sort of hand which will play very well in a 4-3 spade fit, with the powerful trump suit and the late round club losers which can be ruffed in the short hand. If partner responds 1NT, a raise to 2NT does full justice to this hand. My guess is that opening 1 is the winning action on balance.
March 19
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I would pass. South has opened a strong NT, so it is unlikely that we have enough strength for game. I believe the chance that 3 is too high (or that if I invite East will accept and go down) far outweighs the chance that East will accept and make game.
March 19
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I don't think that is completely accurate. What it suggests isn't what North does have, but what North doesn't have. If North had something like: xx x KQxxx KQJxx, there would not have been a huddle before the 3 call, since 3 would be a trivial bid.
March 18
Kit Woolsey edited this comment March 19
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It suggests he doesn't think he has a clear-cut 3 call.
March 18
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Where do you get 11-3 odds against? If the only possible outcomes were making or down 1, that would be true. And of course one wouldn't double 2 if one thought the best the defense could do is down 1. But if down 2 or even down 3 is a real possibility, then the odds against doubling are far better than 11-3.
March 18
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