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All comments by Steve Robinson
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Over 2NT that makes sense to play 4dia as a slam try and 3diam followed by 4hearts as a signoff. However over 1nt you need 4diamonds as a preempt. For instance, x/QJ10xxxxx,xx,xx. you want to bid 4diamonds not 2diamonds
Feb. 8, 2016
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1♣-1♥-3♦ Shows one of four hands. short diamonds or short spades 15-17 or short diamonds or short spades 18+
3spades asks which, then 3nt = short diamonds strong; 4clubs = short spades strong; 4diamonds = short diamonds 15-17 etc

This leaves 1club - 1heart- 3spades to show 2=4=2=5 GF;
4clubs to show 4=6 GF and 4diamonds to show 3=4=3=3 or 4-4-3-2 GF raises and 4hearts as a preemptive raise

It's important to show the difference between 2=4=2=5 and more balanced game forces

1♣-1♠-3♦ 18-19 balanced
1club - 1spade - 3spades shows 4=2=2=5 14 or count

1♣-1♠-3♥ shows one of four hands short hearts or short diamonds 15-17 or 18+ 3spades asks

1♦-1♠-3♥ shows one of four hands similar to 1club - 1spade -
3diamonds

1dia - 1heart - 3spades = short clubs or short spades or 2=4=5=2 GF
1dia - 1heart - 4clubs = balanced game force
1dia - 1heart - 4diamonds = 4-6
Feb. 5, 2016
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Of course Axxxx/Axxx/Axx/x is a much stronger hand then Axxxx/Axxx/xxx/A but you must show your singleton club
Jan. 20, 2016
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If I have a singleton or void I don't worry about what it is. Its very important to show shortness so partner with xxx in the suit does not have to worry about two losers
Jan. 20, 2016
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systems are based on distribution not high-cards. You open 1spade with Jxxxx/AKQx/Axx/x. If you don't respond 1heart with AKQx/xxxx/xxx/xx to 1diamond, You miss your 4-4 heart fit when opener has xx/AKQx/Kxxxx/xx. You respond 3diamonds to Jacoby 2nt holding AKxxx/xxx/A/Kxxx, so that when partner has Qxxxx/AK/xxxx/Ax, he'll bid 7spades when he find you with AAKK. You can never recover when you don't show your correct distribution.
Jan. 20, 2016
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Obviously double means something. If RHO wanted to know what the double meant, they would have asked. If they asked my partner what my double meant, and my partner was hesitant, I would send my partner away from the table and tell them what my double meant. When someone says they don't care what a bid means, that should be the end of the alerts for that bid.
Jan. 16, 2016
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Would you want to be in slam if dummy's spades were J432? Don't know of any system that says bid a cold slam with J1032 of spades and bid a 50% slam with J432 of spades
Jan. 16, 2016
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I was playing in a Knockout match. The other table was very slow and they took away a board. Since it wouldn't make a difference in the result my opponents and I decided to say that we both got +800 on that board and therefore their slow play took away our great result. My teammates didn't believe it but at the other table it was believed. The opponent who played at my table had fun rubbing it in.
Jan. 4, 2016
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The problem with doubling with support is that the auction doesn't always go the way you want it to.

1spade - 3hearts - double - pass
4diamonds - pass - 4spades (could be a 2-card preference)

1spade - 3hearts - double - 4hearts
5diamonds (now you're at the 5-level and haven't shown spade
support

or
1spade - 3hearts - double - pass
5diamonds - pass (same as above)

or
1spade - 3hearts - double - 5hearts
double (same as above)


If it went
1spade - 3hearts - 4hearts - 5hearts
double (you could pass the double since you've shown support)
Jan. 2, 2016
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I find the appeal without merit penalty as non-effective. If you are in second place, two matchpoints behind first or 2 Imps behind in a knockout match, it costs practically nothing to appeal something, especially if it's your first appeal, even if it has only a five percent chance to win. I've seen five percent chances win. A better penalty would be if four out of five or three out of three committee members agree that the appeal is without merit, the penalty would be a loss of a place. Instead of coming in second, you come in third. Instead of coming in tied for 3/4 in a knockout, you come in fifth. This would lower the number of appeals without merit.
Dec. 18, 2015
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If you're not trying your best on every hand, you're not a bridge player.
Dec. 15, 2015
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If your gift of not taking advantage of the revoke or penalty card has no effect on the field, you can do whatever you want. If you're in a knockout match, the only team you're hurting is your own. If you’re playing rubber bridge, you can do whatever you want. If they’re using Barometer scoring and you knew that your opponents are well below average, you can do whatever you want since the only effect would be to your score. The problem I have is. Suppose your opponents are in contention for an award. By not fulfilling your duty to get the best possible result against this pair, you're allowing them to end up higher in the overalls. You’re not protecting the field. They have not followed suit which is a gross error, and should be punished to the fullest intent of the Laws. I consider not punishing this gross error as highly unethical.
Dec. 15, 2015
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Chris. You'd take an extra trick if an opponent miscounted trumps but you won't take an extra trick if an opponent violates the most basic rule of bridge ( you must follow suit).
The problem is that you're affecting other pairs and giving your opponent something which they're not entitled to. When opponents make mistakes, there should be consequences. Failure to follow suit is a mistake and there should be consequences which is what the Law says.

Dec. 11, 2015
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If an opponent leads an ace and you have Kxx opposite Qxx and play the King and queen on the first trick that is dumping. If in a two-card ending you lead towards an AQ and the King comes up which you see. If you play the queen on purpose, that is dumping. If bid 7NT, redouble and try to take as few tricks as possible, that is dumping. If you fail to take all the tricks in my example, that is also dumping. The main object of bridge is to do your best within the Laws.
Dec. 11, 2015
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We are dealing the boards at the start of a game, and I am dealing board 1 and am last to finish. Rather than place the cards into the board, I directly give each player their hand, or have them choose from the hands I dealt that are in front of me on the table. This is a violation of law 6B that states after dealing “Each hand is then placed face down in one of the four pockets of the board.”

However, there is no penalty in the Law book for that violation.


- You open 4♠, the next two players place a pass card on the table, and the past player says “your lead partner”. Then your LHO makes an opening lead. According to law 22A1 the auction period had not ended since your RHO never actually passed.

There is no penalty in the Law book for for saying pass, tapping the table, saying it's your lead or just removing your bids indicating that the auction is over.


- Your opponent makes the opening lead face up. This violates law 44A. In fact I am willing to bet that I have done this against you and you have not called the director.

There is no penalty in the rule book for leading face up. The only penalty is if its an opening lead out of turn.

However, if you fail to follow suit, there is something in the Laws penalizing that infraction.

Law 10 C (choice after Irregularity

(3) When these Laws provide the innocent side with an option after an irregularity committed by an opponent, it is appropriate to select the most advantageous action.

In other words the Laws suggest that it is OK to go out of your way to make the opponents pay if they fail to follow suit.

My feeling is that if you don't do that you are punishing the other opponents.

Good sportsmanship is if you do something wrong, you go out of your way to follow the rules so that the innocent side is protected
Dec. 11, 2015
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I don't understand how sportsmanship is involved in this. Law 72 says you must follow the Laws. It doesn't say that you don't have to follow them on Friday. It doesn't say that the penalty-card rule is optional. I guess under your view of sportsmanship, if an opponent miscounts trump, you'll tell him to draw the last trump and you'll not take the extra trick. You won't do very well in bridge if you don't take advantage of the opponents mistakes. Laws in bridge are are meant to be followed.
Dec. 11, 2015
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I agree that at club games you can “bend the rules” and not enforce the penalty card rule, especially if the violators are beginners. However, if you're playing against a veteran bridge player, who wins often at the club, then you should enforce the rule. I meant my comments more towards Sectionals and higher.
Dec. 11, 2015
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81 C Director's Duties and Powers

(5) To waive rectification for cause, in his discretion,
upon the request of the non-offending side.

If you do something that causes your RHO to think that a spade was led, then there could be cause to nullify the penalty card. Just because you don't believe in penalty cards is not “Cause”


Dec. 11, 2015
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There are other Laws that are worse. You're on lead against 6NT with the AK of spades. You lead the King of spades and partner plays a club and then finds a spade. Declarer can demand a club lead. Law 50 should be changed so that Declarer could prohibit the lead of the club-penalty-card but not require a club lead
Nov. 22, 2015
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If the auction goes 1NT - pass - 3NT, against 16 robot pairs, you'll find many different opening leads. Some robots lead short suits and some lead long suits. I've seen robots not be able to cash KQ9xxx (on lead) with their partner holding A10x against a notrump contract. If it's the Robot's hand for a constructive auction, they often bid it differently.
Nov. 18, 2015
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