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All comments by Max Schireson
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Peg,

Regarding this hand, if the 3C bidder felt that the hand was a 3C preempt then I don't think my 5 applies and I would roll it back. To me this hand is so much stronger than a 3C preempt that some sort of bidding mistake seemed more plausible than thinking it a 3C hand. I understand that (incredibly to me) isn't what happened here, but I think there may still be some disagreement about what ought to happen in my cases 4 and 5, regardless of which one this hand falls into.
July 9, 2016
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The poll would settle the question of what the slow 5C suggests; I presume from your post that you would if polled say that it suggests bidding on. While that may be obvious to you and others, various posters (including me) didn't see it that way.
July 9, 2016
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A perspective from a player much closer to C:

1. I agree that bidding on after what should be an auction-ending bid in the presence of UI should raise suspicion and often should be rolled back
2. In many cases the UI will inherently suggest a strong hand as no weaker action is available, such as the 2N-3C,3M-3N, 4N-6N case; here rolling back seems very clear
3. Unlike the above case it is not clear to me that the doubt expressed by a slow 5C here favors bidding; it seems to me this should be settled by a poll, which I think ought to be composed of peer players although I don't think the law is explicit about this
4. If after a normally auction ending call a player bids on in the presence of UI, I would usually agree with rolling back the result even when it is unclear what the UI indicates. Since UI may communicates more within a partnership than in a poll, this seems like a reasonable way to prevent partnerships from (potentially accidentally) taking advantage of UI. The principle would be that given an “impossible” action and UI of unclear direction I would presume the UI indicates the impossible action.
5. However when the bidder holds a hand that seems impossible for their previous calls, I would not longer consider the auction impossible and would then need to determine via a poll what the UI indicates.

I personally would put this hand into 5 above, but I am more interested in what stronger players think of this framework, in particular whether those arguing to let the bid stand think point 4 is supported in the current laws and if so where as well as whether they think it should be in the law. On the other side I would love to hear Michael's view of point 3 and 5 and of course any other criticism.

With that said, it seems like my point 5 may be a corner case of a corner case (although imo quite relevant to this post) and what may be more important is clarity on point 4, about which it is not clear to me that the various experienced contributors here are on the same page.
July 9, 2016
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My solution to find out about aces is 5D. While it is not clear that it should be exclusion when we have yet to bid I don't see any other logical meaning in this auctio so I would hope partner answers that way.

Of course I could be missing some other interpretation of this bid and enroute to a disaster.
July 8, 2016
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One thing I noticed on re-reading law 16: while the logical alternative is judged relative to the class of player and the methods being played, there is no such reference for the judgement of “could demonstrably have been suggested”.

Does this mean that the suggestive content of the UI is judged on an absolute basis? If so does that seem right? Rui suggested polling peers to see what the slow 5C suggests, is that supported by the law?

My comments on this thread have assumed the judgement is relative to the player, and of course my actions at the table are based only on the inferences I can make. I absolutely accept that I can't make a call suggested by UI when I have an alternative call, but should I be penalized under the law for not noticing inferences that are beyond my ability if I have truly attempted to avoid the action that was suggested to me?

It seems that this issue may be the basis for much of the disagreement here.
July 5, 2016
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Do we know if the 5C bid was 3rd seat or 4th? Sorry if it has been stated and I missed it.
July 4, 2016
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I don't think calling roughly have the community members of a “brainwashed amoral suicide cult” is relevant to sexism in bridge or productive. Nor do I think it is “rational”. I wasn't really sure if I should flag it for being off topic or offensive, but it seemed like both to me.
July 4, 2016
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Jonathan,

I don't think I am a member of a brainwashed amoral suicide cult and I think you've both ventured pretty far afield from the original question and stepped outside the boundaries of this community.

I understand you think you are blessed with superior reasoning and bravery to see and speak the truth. I don't agree and find your posts insulting and absurd.
July 4, 2016
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Peg, if the body language said I have a big hand then I would change my answer and roll it back. I still think a pause absent strong body language could have been “how do I invite” or “how high to preempt” but I believe body language can clarify.

Separate issue is how you can communicate what you saw that made you read it that way to the director and whether they should just take your word for it with no specifics but apart from how to establish that fact, taking it as fact I would rule in your favor.

I have strong options but I do change my conclusion based on new data.
July 4, 2016
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Let's say I pick up that hand and the KH is stuck behind the 3H and the QC is stuck behind the KC. Then my shapely 2207 looks worth a 3C bid. Seems the most plausible explanation I can come up with for the bid… While my partner is thinking I notice that maybe I am missing a card and find two extra kings and hear 5C from pard in 4th seat. I suppose passing is an LA but certainly 6C is too. I think both are normal bids. Also there is no such thing as captaincy in the thought process of the player who opens this hand 3C. This leaves the pure question of whether slow suggests 4.5 or 5.5 clubs, and in that pair I have no idea.

Now say they open 3C on AKJ9xxx and out. Now if they bid 6C over slow 5C roll it back every time and file a player memo. The action itself is so unusual that while I might not get anything from the hesitation I am willing to presume that the player in question did. They would get a long talking to and maybe a PP, bidding on with a normal maximum is not ok. While I don't use the c-word easily, I wouldn't argue if someone described that action as tantamount to cheating.

That said, it is hard to rule without all the data. What was the 5C bidders explanation for his action? If it was some flavor of “I realized my previous bid was a horrible mistake” I would let 6C stand. If it was “well I really had a maximum so I thought I'd take a shot” I might roll it back, presuming that given all the context of that partnership the hesitation encouraged an otherwise bizarre action even if it says nothing to me.
July 3, 2016
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Greg, do you take the view that “could” allows both passing and bidding on to be suggested by the UI? If not, what makes you feel that bidding is the suggested action?
July 3, 2016
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With much longer hearts I don't think they should have corrected to 4S. Having done that I don't think 5H shows longer hearts.
July 3, 2016
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Say the auction goes
1H (P) 1S (P)
2N (P) 3N (very slow pass)
A beginner who has never heard of a Lightner double can lead a doubleton spade honor if they want to. An expert can't. Not because the rules aren't the same, but what the BIT suggests is different. To the beginner, the hesitation just suggests that his partner forgot whose turn it was, or is trying to remember what a 2NT rebid means, or what he is having for dinner tonight; to the expert it suggests he was considering a double for a spade lead.

Same rules, different ruling.
July 3, 2016
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Read Rui's post above. Which part do you disagree with?

Do you think Rui is “someone competent”? I think he is experienced in this field and doesn't find it so clear cut.

As one of the few posters on this thread who could be considered for inclusion in the poll on what the UI suggested, I would say “nothing but confusion” and I am fairly confident that would be the majority answer.

Ethics are important to me and on many occasions with no director call I have made bids that I was pretty sure were losing because I thought I possessed UI that suggested another bid. Once I went to the director after the game to suggest rolling back a successful bid I had made when I realized while reviewing the board that I had UI that favored the action I took. I would completely comfortable making that bid if I wanted to. I would appeal if the director rolled it back. I understand than many more experienced players believe slow always shows extras, I just don't agree in this situation.
July 3, 2016
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While I believe the pair likely didn't get much inference from the huddle, I can easily imagine this going either way. What seems really awful is the failure to explain the ruling. A teaching moment was squandered and instead a pair felt really abused.

I don't think there is anything wrong with calling the director and appealing, even if I agree with the original ruling. I don't believe that newer players competing in serious events deserve any different treatment and absolutely need to be subject to the same rules. My reason for agreeing with the original ruling is solely that I don't think the UI suggested any specific action in that partnership (and absent knowing the tone/feel of the huddle).
July 2, 2016
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If the sigh has that flavor yes, but sometimes it's the “I wish I knew if 4C was an invite but I don't so I have to bid 5C” sigh. It is very hard without having been at the table, and as I said it is definitely possible to convey weakness or strength with mannerisms/tone during the pause; if that happened then I would roll it back. However many here seem to think any pause shows extras; I very much doubt it did for that pair, where it is hard to say what shows what at all.
July 2, 2016
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Being closer than most here to that level, I agree strongly.

The huddle could have been to consider:
- 3N vs 5C
- 3M vs 5C - will pard know it is forcing?
- 4C vs 5C - will pard take 4C as invitational?
- pass vs 5C - just one player left maybe pard has preempted high enough
- 4C vs 5C - how high to preempt
- 4C vs 5C - should I invite or just bid game

Many of those possibilities suggest passing.

I am still struggling to know when I can think without transmitting limiting UI and when I can't. To me this auction clearly indicates bidding confusion at a level where making inferences from a huddle (assuming the feel of it was neutral and it was only a delay) are impossible.

It is possible for players at this level to transmit UI by tone or other. For example I played with a flight C pickup partner at the club after a schedule mixup and had an auction that went:
1S by me
Long pause by partner, moving hand back and forth between pass and 2S, touching both, eventually bidding 2S while rolling eyes and mumbling “what have I done”

Absent tone, these players just can't make inferences from huddles like this, nor can they bid quickly in cases many readers here would consider clearcut.
July 2, 2016
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Peg,

I like your “my brain was getting rated” phrase. Do you feel that way at bridge? I do, but I wonder if over time that feeling fades, or if being far ahead of your competitors mitigates that feeling?

(Yesterday's last match I give my brain a D- at best!)
July 1, 2016
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I agree that men shouldn't be lumped together and blamed as a group.

I am Jewish and have never experienced anti semitism at bridge. If others think it's a problem we can discuss it. Same for Rusophobia.

Just because any slight could be perceived as group bias doesn't mean that some are not actually because of group bias. I believe sexism is a problem in bridge that we should discuss and address.
July 1, 2016
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Louis,

I don't know why; my point was just that given that observation I suspect that there will be less women hired absent women's events so for that practical reason I favor keeping the women's events.

I think this issue is complex and unclear.

Ed,

I do think there might be a small increase in women getting hired fot open events but not enough to offset the lack of women's events. Of course this is a guess.

Is it a good thing that one mostly needs to be hired to play at that level? I think if equal funding were available for teams determined by objective trials it would be better in many ways. But again practically speaking I think the opportunity for a lot of bridge players to play professionally is good and the current funding model provides that. I find “good” hard to judge in this case.
July 1, 2016
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