Join Bridge Winners
All comments by Ross Amann
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Why are we assuming 4SX goes -2? Beginners will often break hearts and lose the fifth defensive trick. Or if the defnse plays off theee rounds of diamonds, Declarer could force them to break hearts.
July 6
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Assuming as Kit does, that West’s explanation is correct and North, learning this somehow, passes, that East, still thinking “values” passes too…then -2800 or so makes sense. But how does North learn this without East’s rembering it? Are we assuming that North and South are entitled to West’s explanation but not East. Perhaps so. Indeed this would occur naturally on OKBRIDGE where your self-alerts go to your opponents and not to your partner.

ASIDE: why not try that sometime? Each player bids and explains on his own ipad. No need for bidding trays.

However, on the dark side, what if “values” is the correct meaning. Suppose West played the take-charge concention only with others, perhaps even with East’s twin brother, forgot East disliked it , and that this can be established. Then North’s 3C bid stands and though South has been given misinformation here it is hard to judge he was harmed in any way.
June 15
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Kit, several of the recent appeals have concerned hesitations after COMPLETELY unexpected bids. E.g., partner showing 0/3 key cards after bidding strongly previously (he had two).
June 14
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What percent of auctions go beyond 4S?

Those that do usually take their time anyway. Someone should experiment with it. I will get some statistics later this month.

Obviously, this convention would only be allowed in knock-outs or other high-level events.
June 14
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It is worse than you think. Let us assume you have the exact sequence written down in your system notes with the 5H bid described as invitational. Now they go and poll experts who do not have your system notes and ask them what they would bid…without showing them your notes and explaining them to the pollees. So they get to vote…when you can explain your bid 100% without the UI.

This has actually happened to me. I gave the Director a copy of my notes with the actual sequence highlighted. Luckily the pollees voted for my bid, but the ones I spoke to had not been shown my system notes.
June 11
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Like it or not, we are where we are. East’s slow 5H bid tosses West’s bidding box onto the floor. He is only allowed to Pass…or cause the Director’s some nuisance by trying to bid and getting rolled back to 5H. At this point, At least in North America, we should all realize this.

East’s only real bid, after 4S, is 5D; this allows partner to show more than he has previously. Maybe we should even define some such 5-level bids here as Last Train Plus.

Once East has thought for 15 seconds or more, 5H is just an awful bid.
June 11
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Amidst all this affirmation of the value of videos, I wonder to what extent their existence is encouraging appeals to Directors and committees. Within the last two or three years, it seems that every NBA player has learned the hand signal that asks officials to review a play from the videotape. And don’t get me started about the NFL.
June 4
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Looking at any hand, other than the one you are about to play, is a NO-NO. Yet excellent players, with oddles of master pooints, do it frequently. 99% of the time it is their last hand. or one of the opponents’ hands on a board just played, but, unless they have asked their opponents’ permission, someone should slap their hands as they reach for the tray.
June 4
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Ok. Declarer could have played the JC faster. But, may I ask, who complained about this? And what have we come to? Do we need a time limit, say 5 seconds, for following to suit with a singleton? Or should it be shorter, 3 seconds? Bridge is a timed event!!
June 4
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Please reread the account. South told East “majors.” Then, after the hand, he told the Director “maybe diamonds.” This fact alone should merit a penalty.
May 25
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Let’s take a close look at the Director‘S original decision, whcih, as the posted appeal notes, takes precedence. It claims three players were polled. But about what? One would assume about West’s decision to bid over 6S. Yet one recreates a West hand that makes West’s 6C bid ridiculous. What does this have to do with West’s later decision?

Reading between the lines, another of the three confessed general confusion. Did he realize West had misanswered RKB? Should he have been told?

And what was the original objection? Just that delays occurred and these MIGHT have transferred UI? So is any delay to be questioned after a correct decision? Apparently so.


And, on a less serious note, why poll experts on their bids subsequent to an erroneous RKB response? Do they have experience with these sequences? Would it be more approriate to ask players at a club game who have, perhaps, misanswered 4NT more frequently.
May 18
Ross Amann edited this comment May 18
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What does “guilt” have to do with it? The whole procedure avoids the concept of “guilt.”

The raw statement of “15 seconds” encourages opponents to claim UI on any 16+ second BIT. This encourages, what I call, “sharp practice”….or if you prefer, “unfriendly bridge”. I have seen this at the regional level. Who knows how this will grow.
May 17
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OK, I will amend my “enshrined in law” to “enshrined in practice”. And I repeat my warning: taking longer than 15 seconds grants Directors, opponents, and others the ability to change your partner's subsequent bid(s).
May 17
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One of my points is that now that 15 seconds is enshrined in law, longer delays are presumed to be UI, not just possible UI. Putting numbers in a law has effects. Directors can use video to count seconds…this allow them easy solutions.

If this is the law, players should adapt: commit to all bids in 14 seconds or adopt a 30-second per bid poilicy. IMHO, neither of these solutions is Bridge.
May 16
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This rule was quoted by Jan Martel in her analysis for the appeal and decision.
May 16
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Video records were used to estabish times spent by both players. And when one side is passing every time, the source of any delay is known….maybe I dont understand your point, sorry.
May 16
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I quote from the USBF general Conditions, which I assume apply to this event,:
“A bidding tray returned in 15 seconds or less normally creates the presumption of no Unauthorized Information (UI). A tray returned after 15 seconds may suggest UI if it is clear which side took their time for their bid.”

It is clear that the 15 second rule is here. Like it or not.

I can think of two methods to avoid such incidents:

A. A partnership agreeeing to take exactly 30 second for EVERY bid.

B. A partnership timing their bids to stay wthin 15 seconds on every bid.
May 16
Ross Amann edited this comment May 16
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At my regional, there were no clocks, but our opponents said my partner’s bid took 20 seconds and I claimed 10. Then, foolishly, not knowing the law, I agreed to 15. They were happy because they had won. 15 triggers the UI assumption. Today I would insist on 14.

I can hardly wait for this practice to descend to sectionals and club games.
May 16
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Some thoughts on how Billy Miller decided to take the heart finesse:

1. He needed hearts 3-2
2. Zia had a stiff spade and needed to have 2 or 3 hearts.
3. So he had a five-card minor and that was the safest lead…given that he didnt want to lead his singleton trump. So he could anticipate East’s ruffing the KC.

Did any of the other 4 Declarers think about this?
May 16
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Is this the first in a new type of bridge puzzle? Given a morass of chaotic details, try to figure out whether this hand was North, East, South, or West.
May 14
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