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All comments by Art Korth
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Michael: I don't know who you were addressing by the first sentence of your post.

I do not play 1NT-4NT as Optional Blackwood. But if someone were to answer aces when otherwise accepting, it would not be the worst use of a bid that I have ever seen. At least it would avoid a slam off two aces.
Jan. 3
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Because no one cared?
Jan. 3
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Optional Blackwood? Pass is a decline of the invitation, but to accept you have to show aces.
Jan. 3
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Ed:

Unless I am mistaken, the court case you are referring to was for the plaintiffs representing women as a class to get into the Men's events, which resulted in the elimination of Men's events (replaced by Open events) but not the elimination of Women's events.
Jan. 3
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Look at tournament schedules at ACBL Sectionals and Regionals.

Open Pairs
Open Pairs
Open Pairs
Open Pairs
Swiss Teams.

Yawn.

As David said above, there used to be variety in the events at these tournaments.

Men's/Women's Pairs
Men's/Women's Teams
Mixed Pairs
Mixed Teams
Masters/Nonmasters Pairs
The occasional barometer pairs or event with other wrinkles.
(anyone remember the Triple Hex Pairs at the Lancaster Regional?)

At the District 4 Regionals, we even had an event where Strat A pairs would be matched with Strat D pairs (and Strat B Pairs with Strat C Pairs) in an event scored as pairs and teams simultaneously. You played in a pair movement and competed in a pair event in your Strat. In addition, you were paired with the pair in the corresponding Strat playing in the other direction and your scores were matched and scored at IMPs or Board-A-Match. It created a lot of interest, especially for the Strat D pairs (who were often novices) being paired with Strat A pairs (who were often top players).

There is very little imagination in the type of events at ACBL tournaments today. And when imagination is employed (Soloway-type Swiss to KO events) there is often resistance or other criticism.
Jan. 3
Art Korth edited this comment Jan. 3
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Maybe I am mistaken, but I thought that a holding of 4 aces was worth an extra high card point in the strict MW scheme of high card points. That stems from the fact that Aces are undervalued in the 4321 point count system.

So the hand given in the OP was worth 19 HCP (aside from the fact that AQTxx is worth an upgrade).
Jan. 2
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Psyching is permitted under the laws of bridge.

And players may decide to psych on particular types of hands. If those hands happen to come up within an unusually short timespan, it may appear that the player is psyching too frequently. But frequent psyching (or what appears to be frequent psyching) is not the same thing as frivolous psyching. Frivolous psyching would be psyching with no rhyme nor reason other than to randomize results or for the entertainment of the player making the psychs.

The sponsoring organization has the right to restrict frivolous psychs in order to preserve the decorum of the event.

By the way, if the partner of the psycher detects a pattern in the types of hands that are psyched, he must disclose his knowledge of his partner's psyches if and when it is appropriate to do so.
Jan. 2
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(MOVED FROM EDIT TO PREVIOUS COMMENT TO HERE, FOR CLARITY)

FOLLOW UP COMMENT: So, the distinction between playing behind screens and not playing behind screens should not be the point here. In non-screen play, you will hear partner's alert of your transfer advance and, if the opponents as for an explanation, you will hear that as well. As long as the alert and the explanation are consistent with your understanding of the partnership agreement, there is no UI - the alert and the explanation are required by the sponsoring organization. If the alert and the explanation are not consistent with your understanding of the partnership agreement (whether your understanding is accurate or not), there is UI.

I understand that your subsequent 3 call on this hand on the assumption that partner forgot your agreement can be influenced by his correct alert and correct explanation. But that is, for the lack of saying this any other way, a “you” problem. You are still allowed to conclude that partner forgot your agreement (I don't know why you would do so). But your ability to confirm that partner did not forget the partnership agreement is a consequence of the alert system promulgated by the sponsoring organization. If that serves to confirm that partner has not forgotten the partnership agreement, it is not your problem.
Jan. 2
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Richard is correct.

And I did not make this post to hold my partner to ridicule. He is a big boy, and he can take criticism. Quite frankly, I think that the most insulting thing that can be said about his actions on this hand is -1700.

I thought that this made a great story. And it has certainly provoked a lot of spirited discussion.
Jan. 2
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Philip, I respectfully disagree.

There is nothing in the laws of bridge or any regulations that require you to assume that your partner has forgotten your agreements just because he makes a bid that appears to be inconsistent with your agreements.

So your argument that, if you were playing behind screens, and you saw that your partner passed your transfer response of 2, you are now required to bid 3 because you have concluded that partner forgot your agreement just does not follow. You have bid your hand correctly to this point in accordance with your agreements. In the absence of UI, you are permitted to conclude that partner has forgotten your agreements. And, in the absence of UI, you are permitted to bid 3. But you are not required to bid 3. And the failure to bid 3 is not fielding a psych. You do not have to bid your cards twice.
Jan. 2
Art Korth edited this comment Jan. 2
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@John: There is a difference between “I have spades” and “I HAVE SPADES.”
Jan. 1
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And I take offense to the “honest trustworthy” characterization. I am a lawyer, after all.

:)
Jan. 1
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David:

Permit me to revise my statement.

The 2H call was alerted and, when the opponents asked, it was explained.
Jan. 1
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I had a friend named Al Terior. He was always looking for reasons people did things.
Dec. 31, 2019
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I had a rather peculiar situation against a good player who is also a good friend. About 5 tricks from the end of a hand that I was declaring I had all of the tricks but the outstanding high trump. Rather than claim, I just kept playing the hand, figuring that playing on would get us to the end about as quickly. My friend made a comment about my failure to claim, and now we had a discussion about my obligation to claim when there is no issue as to the number of tricks I will be taking. I just said that playing the hand out would get us there just as quickly. He did not agree.

So, the bottom line is you can't win.

Happy New Year!
Dec. 31, 2019
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Why did I bid 3? 2 seemed like what my hand was worth when I bid it. I don't need to bid my hand twice.

Why would I ever disturb 4?
Dec. 31, 2019
ATB
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South should lead the K at trick 3.

North can overtake if necessary. North knows that South doesn't have 5 spades from the bidding, so he can work out how to cash his side's tricks.

Maybe North could have won the J or Q at trick 3, but it is possible that South doesn't have the K. There is no need to give North that problem.
Dec. 31, 2019
Art Korth edited this comment Dec. 31, 2019
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Ian:

I usually look at this as I am not the one who created the problem. If the declarer made an improper claim and the TD rules down 1, so be it.

It is not a question of whether I want to win that way. It is declarer's responsibility to play the hand right or to claim properly.
Dec. 31, 2019
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Actually, no.

The crust of my article is that I was conveying a humerous story along the lines of no good deed goes unpunished.

But you choose to impute some alterior motive to my story. So be it.

I don't need BW to blame my partner. I already did that.

This occurred at the annual Dave Treadwell Sectional. Dave would have been amused even if you are not.

Happy New Year!
Dec. 31, 2019
Art Korth edited this comment Jan. 2
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@David Vaughn: The game was a Sectional Open Pairs. Both partner and opponents are in the “A” strat. I have been playing with this partner for several months on a fairly regular basis, and over that period of time he and I won our District NAOP and another Regional Open Pairs.

He has never seen me psych as a partner, and I do not recall that I have ever psyched against him.
Dec. 31, 2019
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