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All comments by Max Schireson
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Yes, I think the need to always ask would only arise if your bids depending on their agreement.

Edit: I should have said *this* need to always as only arises when the conventional agreement of your bids depend on their agreement. However I think often the content of your call might depend on the meaning of the 2 bid, so if you ever need to know overcaller's hand to make a call, sometimes asking and sometimes not conveys that the call you made was or was not clear without even knowing what your opponent bid. If you can make all your calls without knowing what 2C means and you truly never ask then there is no UI, but always bidding without knowing seems to be suboptimal.
Sept. 2, 2016
Max Schireson edited this comment Sept. 2, 2016
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Is a new suit by advancer forcing? Does a heart cue bid by advancer always promise spade support, or can it be a forcing bid by a strong hand when a new suit is non-forcing constructive?
Sept. 2, 2016
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I like the view of this issue over in England, maybe I will have to start playing bridge over there (just a bit inconvenient travel-wise…)

I don't think you need to ask about every bid, I meant just about a 2C bid before making a 2D bid the meaning of which depends on the meaning of the 2C bid. Regardless of actual enforcement if you sometimes ask and sometimes don't it could give partner UI, and if you aren't careful you could wind up accidentally implementing the system I described. Perhaps I used the wrong words, but it seems that in this auction always asking could prevent ethical problems.
Sept. 2, 2016
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Thanks Jeroen. I can't quite understand what they mean by 16a1c, so it would be hard for me to argue against that creative reading, although certainly a question not asked seems much more akin to the type of information listed as unauthorized in 16b1a.
Sept. 2, 2016
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I should add that I would have been quite satisfied if the director would simply have explained to our opponents that their partner's failure to ask a question is not a permissible basis for interpreting their bid, even if they ruled that absent that UI not a LA for them to play pard for an undiscussed but potentially sensible natural 2D. The unfortunate result of the incident was that the directors reinforced our opponents view that such inferences are acceptable.
Sept. 2, 2016
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We discussed with two directors at the regional. The first director seemed to not understand the question. The second director clearly understood the question and very clearly did not agree with our position.

While there were few matchpoints involved (4S making was a very good board, though 5D would have been down a bunch and with AKXXX diamonds it seems that competing to 5D over 4S would be logical if pard has long diamonds), we spent some time seeking clarity from the director because we were so surprised by their opinion.
Sept. 2, 2016
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Gordon, I agree with your interpretation but two directors at a regional not only didn't agree but seemed to feel quite strongly that there was no UI here.
Sept. 2, 2016
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The client called the director after the pro explained her 2D bid as showing hearts. I believe I called the director back after the pro passed the 5C bid, but I don't remember the exact chronology of director calls. I believe that the director took the pro away from the table on the original director call, presumably to explain his obligations with the UI but at this point I am not 100% certain of that.
Aug. 25, 2016
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I can't argue against that. I should clarify that “more sympathy” was relative to a quite negative view of the pass prior to Josh's explanation.
Aug. 25, 2016
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If you are referring to my comment, I absolutely find 5C to be improper and I sometimes mix ethical and proper in my descriptions. But for Josh's response I would have described it as unethical in a strong sense, more akin to cheating than an accidental error. Having considered Josh's view, I no longer feel that way.
Aug. 25, 2016
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Roland,

Seeing Josh's logic I felt that not only could a pass be found but a player could be quite confident of its correctness and feel like any other call is crazy. While Josh understood that despite his confidence in his call being correct it would not be allowed, I have a some sympathy for a player who has the same feelings about his call and fails to see that despite his certainty of its correctness 5H is certainly a “logical alternative” under the laws. Certainly more sympathy for that than I did when I thought a pass could not be reached absent the UI, when “unsympathetic” would have been a very charitable word for my view of that action taken by a player who should have known better.

I don't think pro is that important on its own, except that it rules out confused beginner. Even that is not relevant to the whether the bid stands, but it affects my feeling about the player involved.
Aug. 25, 2016
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Adam,
I think you are very close, although I would in the parenthetical say “a strong hand” rather than a maximum, as I think in sequences such as 1N-2N it seems that many will accept with hands that are maybe above average but not quite what I would call maximum.
Aug. 24, 2016
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The transfer was the actual agreement (as far as I know, neither claimed the explanation was wrong and we did not dig in to that); I was W.

More context:

At the table N passed 5C, arguing similarly to Josh (though in a different situation with the UI). The director adjusted the result, N filed an appeal (which surprised me) but eventually the result was adjusted to -100 for NS - I think 5H-2 but don't remember the exact final ruling.

I had not been thinking about the incident until recently discovering that N was a pro, which made me somehow (perhaps unfairly) feel worse about his action. I think I had previously thought that perhaps he simply didn't understand his obligations with UI, so I had just viewed it as a mistake.

I created this poll to see if others might, absent the UI, find the pass; with Josh having found it I now have more sympathy for his actions, even if it the adjustment seems clear.
Aug. 24, 2016
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Josh,
You nailed the actual situation and win 10 points behind screens.
At the table S looked like she'd swallowed a squirrel when N explained her bid and called the director for a discussion away from the table. Now what do you do? Is it clear enough for you to bid 5C with the UI?
Aug. 24, 2016
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Directionally agree with Linda.

A potential refinement:
Rather than “a maximum” as stated by Steve, I think an invitational bid could be defined as asking partner to bid game or slam with “moderate extra values”. Moderate extra values means not more than one trick beyond the normal baseline for partners bid. Steve's examples are good and I have no problem with the discussion of hand evaluation methods, I just agree with Linda that an invite is more typically not looking for a “maximum” else 1S - 2S is “invitational”.

Btw I was careful to say “normal baseline” rather than minimum because I view Drury as “invitational” even though it asks you to bid game with quite a bit more than a minimum light 3rd seat opener, but only moderately more than a normal opening hand. Others may be able to improve the language.
Aug. 24, 2016
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As a math type I often use “or” when both are possible :)

Yes, we may be disappointed with both.
Aug. 19, 2016
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Have thought about it but not done it yet. Thanks for the suggestion.
Aug. 19, 2016
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That would have made sense. As I said I am a bit foggy on what happened after my misexplanation, sorry.
Aug. 19, 2016
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Law 14 actually looks to me to cover it very clearly:

Under 14 B 2, when a card is missing and discovered elsewhere, it is “deemed to have belonged continuously to the deficient hand”. Thus there may have been a revoke. Otherwise no penalties. Joe seems to have covered it above.
Aug. 19, 2016
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I think the situation is a bit like walking up to see someone in a grand with trumps of AK432 opposite T65 and needing a finesse in a side suit. They bang down AK and drop doubleton QJ and find the finesse on, making the contract. Well played. We may have something else to say when we look at the auction; on its face it looks like somebody bid too much but I don't know yet if declarer was to blame.

I once passed a 3N splinter by my partner over my 1S opening bid. Oops. She realized the field would be in 4S and would make 6 if a finesse in a side suit was on; she made the right matchpoint play to drop an honor in that suit, which gave her a chance to make 5N. Sure enough the hand developed in a way that she took 11 tricks in NT when most of the field took 11 tricks in spades. She had a great board and earned her top by playing well despite being in an atrocious contract.

We may be disappointed with Mark Lair when we learn his actual behavior in Denver, or we may be disappointed in the ACBL if we don't believe in the process. For now all I can say is that he did the right thing under the circumstances.
Aug. 19, 2016
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