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All comments by Michael Bodell
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Right, bad bids or accidental system forgets that hurt the team that made them are the most common occurrence. Bad bids or accidental system forgets that help the team that made them are less common, but still occur. Out and out psychs are by far the least common.

At least in the environments I play.
14 hours ago
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Right NAP and GNT eligibility is different than the eligiblity for bracketed KO and 10K or Red Ribbon or similar events, due to the fact the grass roots events start much earlier than the nationals that the championships are played at.

I had a teammate years back for mini-Spingold II (which we were planning to play and win/be very competitive) who just barely went over in a way similar to Sabrina and caused us to play for mini-Spingold I (where we were still decently competitive into the screen rounds) back when those were 1.5K and 5K IIRC. Said teammate who is active in BW may remember the details better than I.
16 hours ago
ATB
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I agree with South's third round pass. The other actions by N/S are at best borderline and at worse a lot worse than that.
July 18
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Imagine how much easier this will be (would be) when (if) there are accurate electronic records of all bids and plays?
July 17
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Rather than being contentious about what is common or not, how about adopting some best practices that I remember as standard in the old OKBridge games:

At the start of the round opponents should introduce themselves and their partners, announce briefly basic system and carding/signalling (which is clearly the most important information based on likelihood to come up), and exchange convention cards at this point pre-alerting anything that truly needs pre-alerting beyond the basic intro.

If that were standard practice it wouldn't matter if magic diamond, polish club, EEHA, precision, 2/1, acol, standard american or whatever is common. Just like all 1NT balanced opening ranges are announceable, so are all basic systems announced.
July 17
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I have to admit I thought the concept that was going to be described as reflected ui was the idea that if you've made UI available (say you tanked before your action) and that your partner is ethical and takes some action now that likely was also suggested by the UI, you “know” that this action is likely clear cut since the partner selected it, and in theory this could change how you would act as compared to if you didn't “know” the action was clear cut, but could be marginal or clear cut. Not sure if that previous sentence makes sense to anyone but me, but basically that your partners actions in reaction to your UI also communicate some information to you because of the UI.

In the actual OP I think the issue is more there is nothing legally wrong with the action, but it looks bad to opponents because it is difficult to tell the difference between legal and ethical opponents who do something weird like this and it works and unethical cheaters who do something weird like this + unethical behavior and it works.
July 16
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Ray, what would you say for near us (D21)? My guess is 10-15% but not sure.
July 16
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This like a lot of poker discussion of do you play gto versus exploitative. Game theory optimal will protect you from unknown skilled opponents or opponents who know your tendencies better than you know theirs, but exploitative play might work even better against most unknown (and likely less than world class, sometimes much less) players.
July 14
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With your reverses can you tell the difference from 3451 and 2461 and 3460 bids?

I personally like the idea that 1X-1Y-1Z (Z not NT) means opener has shortness is good, and hence I like always bidding or rebidding NT, but I don't generally have direct system to take advantage of that, and might be tempted to occasionally bid a suitish hand with a weak unbid doubleton in the same shortness way. This would be another sort of judgement issue versus rigid definition for if this is permissible.

For instance if you are 2=2=4=5 and partner bid 1 to your 1 and your spades are xx do you really want to show 2NT and relay out if you had a 2 reverse available? Maybe, but maybe not.
July 13
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Right, and even more about upgrading into a mini-NT (I.e., one that includes 10 counts). If your 1NT agreement is 15-17 then the very occasional 9 count as a psyche is fine. If your 1NT agreement is 10-12 then ever opening a 9 count even once is a problem (so don't miscount your hand!).
July 13
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A frequent example of a common tactical bid that at least some of the time wouldn't be a pyche is opening your weaker minor when you have a balanced 1.5 NT hand. Like opening 1 with 4 good clubs and 3 bad diamonds on the way to a 2NT rebid hoping to influence the lead/defense, especially opposite a passed hand (so less worry about bad slam).
July 13
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Ogust is not alertable (in ACBL), and 2NT as an asking bid not showing strength is not alertable. Obviously if asked about it, you should explain properly. Responses to 2NT asking bids may be alertable (and in Ogust the responses are typically alertable).

Quoting from the ACBL alert procedures:
2♦,♥,♠-P-2NT:
Not Alertable if it asks for further clarification of a natural weak or intermediate two-bid or if it’s a negative or waiting response to a natural, strong two bid. Natural, non-forcing 2NT responses to opening two-bids must be Alerted.

Note the text isn't “Not alertable if it promises values and …”.

This is exactly similar to stayman over 1NT. That is another asking bid that doesn't have to be telling anything with respect to strength. Frequently you have game invitational or better values, except when you don't. Same thing with 2NT asking over a natural weak 2 bid, frequently you have game invitational or better values, except when you don't.
July 13
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The problem is not that systems are too well defined IMO. The problem that can happen is if the definition isn't useful.

As an extreme example consider a step response to a strong artificial 2 opener where each bid shows the number of hcp the responder has. So 2 is 0 hcp, 2 is 1 hcp, 2 is 2 hcp, etc. And then over these bids, opener can relay with the cheapest response and responder now shows their longest / strongest suit in step responses (first step means clubs is best, next step diamonds, and so on). This system is terrible and takes way too much room to communicate the information. But it is well defined (and you could add more definition to extend the sequences).

The problem is what is the definition of things, not that there is a definition of things. And it doesn't matter if some bids are “naturalish” or “artificial/scientific”, what matters are if the different definitions are useful to the sorts of things you tend to have and the sorts of problems you want/need to solve.

For a less extreme example where this can come up is with relay systems (especially if you don't have relay breaks defined). You may have a system that is often good and also well defined. But occasionally you may have a bad hand for it and you get stuck. Or your very specific hand isn't expressed very well in your relay system (maybe you only get asked about shape and A/K controls and you have a lot of Q/J/T/9 in the hand).

In a different “natural” definition you may be more easily able to use judgement to change/lie/deflect the nature of your hand (I.e., this shapely 7 count is a “limit raise”; this good 13 count with a running 6 card minor is a 15-17 balanced hand; this flat quackish 15 count with no spots and QJ-tight isn't worth a 1NT 15-17 opening).

These sort of upgrade/downgrades are easier in a system with flexibility in the definition of bids and how they are applied. It is difficult to show flexibility if you are describing the exact shape of your hand, your exact number of A and K, and where the A and K are as lieing/adjusting/etc. will throw off partner much more (it would be like adding or removing a key card response because you are weaker or stronger than partner would expect for your earlier auction).

But again I'd argue it isn't an issue of too well defined or too much agreement as much as what the definition and agreement is.

(which isn't to say that memory isn't an issue to consider also, but that is completely separate. Also, it isn't always the case that a “no convention” meaning is easier to remember if there isn't a clear natural meaning at times. And frequently the memory issue, at least for someone who plays with many different partners, is about what you play with this particular partner. Not about the inherent difficulty of remembering how a particular agreement - natural or artificial - works).
July 13
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The tournament is this one: http://webutil.bridgebase.com/v2/daylong_hands.php?tourney=ARDARD%3Af6e9f46d.84c7.11e8.ab4e.0cc47a39aeb4-1531285501-&username=sliynk2 which shows 3nt-2 for -5.73 IMPs on board 4 with legal but different play. The video talks about the movie being different too.
July 13
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There are lots of different parts that can be fun (not in any order):

Solving interesting puzzles.
Achieving mastery of something skillful( I.e. bringing in a slam on a squeeze).
Developing a partnership and being on the same page.
Developing a bidding system and getting to use it well.
A falsecard or psych/tactical bid that works well.
Seeing an interesting hand or position that you haven't seen before (I.e. I held a hand where my lowest card was an 8 last month!).
Enjoying time with your partner/teammate/opponents.

People like other activities like chess, poker, crosswords, puzzle hunts, video games, trivia, etc. that have a potentially similar mixture of fun and skillful activity.
July 9
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And Kit's recommended switch of direct bid as quantitative, 4 as starting the keycard sequence is good in case there is a forget or disagreement on if it applied and you get dropped in game roughly half the time that will come out correct if the direct game bid is quantitative.
July 9
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Even if 4 were natural (and I don't think it is), I think the N hand opposite a strong club that has relayed and maybe shown something in hearts or tried for 3nt before settling in spades likely is strong enough that slam is relatively likely and 5 level is very often safe (as long as you end up in the right strain). I mean 12 hcp, two decent 5 card suits and a void!

If there was any doubt in mind, I might try to figure out if the natural and keycard bids could be the same. If there was no doubt I'd be trying to figure out the right way to invite/inquire on.
July 8
Michael Bodell edited this comment July 9
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I think the king lead in Matchpoints is pretty crazy when east passes throughout. I'd probably lead a club, but I'd lead trump or diamonds over spade on this auction.
July 6
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An example of the “always play the 9, except when you normally would” rule of thumb for false carding.
July 6
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West needs a 13 card too.
July 6
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