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All comments by Phil Clayton
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Larry, I'm a big fan of simplicity (and your articles), and “The Uncluttered Mind” was a watershed moment in my development. Frankly it might be my favorite Bridge World article.

That being said, ‘simplicity’ to me also means 1) not having redundant or duplicate agreements (that are subject to misinterpretation), and 2) defining a 4th bid (like 1N - 2 - 2 - 4) even in a short pre-game discussion. I suppose if I'm playing with a new partner in an important event five minutes before game time and he rolls out the LC Standard card, we can get by for a few rounds, but at some point during the day or the break, we will get around to discussing common sequences and bidding philosophy

Complicated agreements are stressful, and lead to the breakdowns you cite. However, its also stressful to cope with a common, but undiscussed sequence. To simply say, “don't make the bid” will work some of the time, but there are times where you really need to figure out whats going on, and there are many other times where the bad guys are creating problems, and a prior understanding is very beneficial.
May 16, 2012
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What is a malicious appeal? Would this mean that I'm appealing a ruling when we played Player X who once turned me down to play and who ended up winning the event?

The point of penalizing frivolous appeals is to discourage players that make (sometimes numerous) baseless appeals to director's rulings. Simply losing the appeal isn't enough of a disincentive to them, and apparently forfeiture of the deposit isn't either.

Ergo the thread.
May 14, 2012
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5-4? There have been times where I have needed to make a jump shift on three cards or even a doubleton. This is a necessary evil playing 2/1 without the benefit of some gadget.

On the actual hand, I agree with opening 1 and jumping to 2. Maybe partner is accommodating and bids 2N and lets me pattern out with 3.
May 14, 2012
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This weekend we had our GNT-A final. A tired teammate opened 1 on a three card suit (instead of 1N) - and didn't notice until her after her partner bid, and later “falsecarded” the Q holding Q98x in hand opposite Kx.

In the last segment my opponent “underuffed” in dummy holding KQ2 and I unexpectedly ruffed with the 3 in front of him. The director correctly ruled the 2 was a played card, I led a 2nd trump and a vul game went down the tubes.

Arguably you could say that my teammates errors were ‘mechanical’ - she pulled the wrong card from her bidding box and played the wrong card from her hand. My opponent's error was clearly mental; he got ahead of himself, and didn't notice the the higher trump on his left. Stamina, poise and concentration are very important and are part of the game.

After re-reading many comments in this thread, I can't help but think that many would want to take back many of the errors committed by both tables - all in the name of restoring their personal idea of ‘equity’.



May 14, 2012
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$50 is nothing. Frankly given the importance of our NABC's, $500 is nothing too :)

But penalizing a team with IMPs or MPs seems contrary to the spirit of the game.

Some sort of escalating ban on appeals should get the job done.
May 11, 2012
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+1! Once a player evolves and realizes that bridge is not a game of individuals, there is nothing more significant to the ‘team’ than a hand that requires talent from both sides of the table. This includes bidding, but great defense is the heart of partnership bridge.
May 11, 2012
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Famous chess games have been lost simply because a player touched a piece. I would posit that bridge adopt this same approach. A card that ends up on the table during the “play period” is a played card.

I don't even know what constitutes a ‘mechanical’ error in the first place. If I grab the wrong card and place it on the table, how can that be mechanical and not mental? Michael Rosenberg says: “A card that is ACCIDENTALLY exposed due to a PHYSICAL error is in no way a played card”. I’ve read this several times and I still don’t know what it means. Cards do not have a mind of their own.

Grabbing two cards at once is a mechanical error, since sometimes cards get wet and they stick, but there is a remedy in the laws for this.

If a person ‘accidentally’ didn't cash the setting trick because they were careless, distracted, asleep, or just plain negligent, and made a MECHANICAL error as a result that's their problem. The defender in question could have also claimed “-1” which is allowed. Is playing the ‘wrong card’ really so different than miscounting the hand?

I would make an overriding exception for someone with a physical ailment (i.e., Parkinson's), just as society makes accommodations for people that are handicapped.

I know this viewpoint is extreme to some, but it avoids the dilemma of trying to figure out what is a mental error and what is a mechanical error.

In bridge, mental and physical misplays are part of the game. Embrace it!
May 10, 2012
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I suppose if you were motivated in the auction 1N - 2 - 2 you could switch 3 and 3 so that 3 is now the unbalanced raise and 3 shows four spades and longer diamonds. The response structure would parallel Zoran's so that 3 asks and 3 shows the void and 3N and 4m show singletons.
May 9, 2012
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I know Danny - I have played multi in several partnerships, and I am aware of the potential benefits of right-siding. I'm also not opposed to multi users playing it on the basis of creating problems for their opponents - this is part of bridge. My preferred defense to a strong club uses multi bids at 2 and higher and I like the problems it creates.

I was really focusing on the OP's ‘dilemma’ about 2 - pass - ? On forums.bridgebase.com, I think there was a discussion from some of the English players that said that passing 2 without diamonds is a brown-sticker psyche (no flames please for wrong terminology!).

(EDIT - this only applies to multi with a strong option).
May 9, 2012
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Your RHO's confusion is based on either: a) not being familiar with how to defend a multi, or b) knowing how to defend, but after careful thought, deciding that the delayed Leaping Michaels call is a better description. For an A/X player it may be a combination of the two.

Either way, UI has been transmitted from RHO to LHO, since with no problem, RHO simply passes.

We can smile and be content with the fact that 2 - p - p - ? is very difficult to defend against (LOL about defending it as a diamond preempt!). We further gain because LHO is partially handcuffed because of the UI, and cannot take an action suggested by the tank.

When I play Multi, I get all of this free stuff in the form of RHO's tells which are AI to me and I get to use my world-class ‘table feel’. This is a vig over the mayhem that results in many ‘normal’ multi auctions.

Is this really the reason people play Multi?
May 9, 2012
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4N = Queens up the line.

I would feel fortunate you found your fit so quickly.
May 8, 2012
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3rd from even, low from odd (NOT 5th).

Last summer I played a few sessions with a new partner and he liked Rusinow, but A from an even number and King from an odd number. Partner's count card indicated if we can take an odd or even number of tricks in the suit.
May 7, 2012
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Yes. Falls under the rule of: “When a passed hand raises a preempt”.
May 4, 2012
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Over the past few years, youth and stamina have had an edge over experience; especially in these bridge marathons. Both semifinals are impossible to call.

I also have a soft spot for Lee; if only to make the USBC bulletin writer who makes those annoying predictions eat a little crow :P
May 3, 2012
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http://usbf.org/docs/vugraphs/USBC2012/RRsheet.php

Link to Round Robin results.
April 27, 2012
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If we are playing Smith, then yes, it applies, unless count is clear. Its a recipe for failure to switch back and forth between Smith and Suit Preference - either play one or the other, but not both.

Smith can be used to either clarify the opening lead or responder's signal. It can also be used to clarify something additional in responder's hand (like a higher honor, a lower non-touching honor, or length), or a negative smith can be used by the opening leader to indicate interest somewhere else.

If you play Smith, and I think you should, do us other Smithers a favor, and conduct all of your planning at Trick 1, so you don't have tempo problems at T2. Slow and fast Smith echos give treatments like Smith a bad name.
April 27, 2012
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Partner is very likely a heavy 4=3=3=3 or a ‘normal’ 4=(3-2)=4. Pass looks obvious.

I can't add much to Jason's comments
April 27, 2012
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Good article as usual Andrew. On the first hand, if opener has 0=4=5=4, rebidding 1N is not attractive and the same issues arise, although you at least get to play the 5-2. Perhaps the nightmare shape is 0=4=4=5, which is generally opened 1.

I will make a plug to use 1 - 2 as Reverse Flannery (wonderful ‘limit’ bid :)) which gets you to the heart contract quickly and painlessly. If you do play RF, then rebidding 2 on the minimum 1444 is more palatable, since you don't need to cater to a 4-4 heart fit.
April 25, 2012
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Andrew, I guess I wasn't clear. and on reflection the poll choices don't reflect my views. I would double on your example hands with 2-3 cards in their suit. I would also double on many types of strong, flexible hands with spade shortness where I plan on following up with another call (forcing in my methods, everything except a cuebid is NF for me in the passout seat).
April 20, 2012
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