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All comments by Art Korth
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I agree with Christopher that, as far as the result on the board and the result of the match is concerned, one need not assess the intent of the offender. The mere fact that a board was fouled and that it affected the result of the board and the match is sufficient to (1) determine if an adjustment needs to be made to the result on the board: and (2) determine if a procedural penalty should be assessed.

However, as far as discipline is concerned, it is necessary to determine the intent of the offender. If the fouling of the board was intentional, it is a far more serious offense than if it were accidental. The actions of the offender after the event shed light on intent.

There may be shades of grey here. For instance, suppose the offender accidently knocked some cards out of the board or discovered that some cards were knocked out of the board and then tried to fix the board, with no intention of doing anything other than restoring the cards to their correct places, but as a result the board was fouled. That is an offense in that the offender was not following the correct procedure (notifying the opponents and the TD) and the result was a fouled board. But under these facts, there is no intent to gain by intentionally changing the lie of the cards.

If the offender just put the cards back into the board without taking any care to assure that they were put back correctly, that would be worse than the previous case. But it is not intentionally changing the lie of the cards to gain an advantage - it is being reckless in that the offender was not using sufficient care in restoring the cards to their proper location. It is a higher degree of carelessness than the previous case.

A third level of culpability would be if the offender found cards had fallen out of the board and then decided to replace them incorrectly intentionally to obtain gain. This is a very serious offense.

Still a higher level of culpability would be if the board was intact and the offender deliberately changed the hands to obtain a favorable result for his team.

There may not be any practical difference between these last two cases - both are very serious offenses. It seems to me that the last case - deliberately changing the location of cards in an intact board between the time that it was played at the offender's table and the time that it was played at the other table - is on a par with collaborative cheating. The prior case - finding cards out of their proper slots in the board and then deliberately restoring them to the board incorrectly to gain an advantage - is one step lower, but it is a small step.
May 9, 2016
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Did South volunteer that his 2 bid was weak? It is possible that he intended his bid as showing a better hand than a forced 1 response - something on the order of a hand with the playing strength of 8-10 HCP. If so, then he is under no obligation to accept a game try made opposite a “weak” 2 bid.

Personally, I do not know of anyone who plays this 2 bid as weak unless RHO redoubled. While the South hand is not a typical “free” 2 bid, I don't see any damage here.
May 9, 2016
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How about NS has already taken 8 tricks.
May 9, 2016
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I would hope that players could answer the poll by looking at the two hands and trying to figure out how good the proposed contracts are without knowing the result of the hand. My partner and I did not have the benefit of knowing that spades were 3-3 when we bid 3NT.
May 8, 2016
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What is the advantage of keeping the names of the members of the EOC confidential? Is it really true that the experts who serve on the EOC would not serve if their names were public? I thought that bridge players, and much more so “expert” bridge players, had thicker skin than that.
May 7, 2016
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Randy: I don't understand your first sentence. If you are getting to a thin game, then neither partner is using any serious or non-serious slam try. So the thin game situation has nothing to do with this thread.

It is not my experience that opener is driving to slam as often than responder, as 2 openings are excluded from the range of hands that opener can have when he opens one of a suit. Furthermore, on a probability basis, when the opening bid is one of a suit, opener's strength is likely to be in the lower end of his possible range. On the other hand, responder's range of hands is unrestricted.
May 7, 2016
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It is usually the responder who is driving towards slam. The most common situation is a suit agreement on the 3 level with responder's rebid, often after a 2/1 bid. Using 3NT non-serious by declarer (3 if hearts is trump) saves space and allows for responder to move towards slam. It also allows responder to abandon slam ambitions if opener does indicate a willingness to cooperate in a slam investigation, and responder will not reveal anything more about his hand to the opps. Of course, if opener makes a serious slam try by cue bidding at the 4 level, it is off to the races.

On the other hand, if responder is in a position to unilaterally move towards slam, bidding 3NT serious to elicit a cue bid from opener is quite useful and gives the opponents less information about responder's hand.
May 7, 2016
Art Korth edited this comment May 7, 2016
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No, Kevin, you are not missing something.

As often happens, the force of the auction can propel a partnership into a poor game contract. I agree with you that this one is borderline at best. Nonvul at IMP pairs, it is not at all clear whether one wants to be in game on these cards.

That is what I am looking for here. Do you want to be in game (and, if so, which game)? If you don't want to be in game, how do you avoid it?
May 6, 2016
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I assume you meant “2NT directly over 1NT…”

I am sure that my partner chose this sequence because it would allow him to bid 2 over 2 (had I bid 2) to show a heart suit with Hx support in spades and invitational values. My 2 bid foiled his plans. Then it becomes an issue as to his choice of calls over 2.
May 6, 2016
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There may not be a lot of support for the position that MP's actions are worse than FS, BZ, etc., but it is wrong to minimize the magnitude of the offense alleged against MP.

It is very wrong to trivialize the offended parties by referring to them as ma and pa hezzy hanging out in Bracket I in Paducah.
May 6, 2016
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There is a difference between partnership discipline and a psychic control.

Playing a weak/mini NT and a nonforcing 2M response, opener should not be able to bid again. The risks of being doubled are significant if responder is very weak. That risk exists opposite a strong NT, but given that the floor of the combined partnership assets is higher when the NT opening is strong, the risk is not as high. Furthermore, assuming that the weak/mini NT opening is only used when non-vul, the reward for bidding again and reaching a making game is smaller. All of this points to partnership discipline requiring a pass of the non-forcing 2M response.

As for opener being able to bid again after a non-forcing new suit response to a weak 2 bid, again, it is a matter of partnership discipline. The non-forcing new suit bid is a warning that it is wrong to play in opener's suit. So why would opener bid again? Further, responder had available to him various calls to invite or force to game both in opener's suit and in other suits but did not use them. Again, why would opener want to move towards game? The only case which makes sense would be if opener's suit were something like Axxxx(x) and he has a big fit for responder's suit. With that hand, opener should probably bid again. In fact, not bidding again would be an indication that responder's bid could be a psych.
May 6, 2016
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Absolutely. Moreover, such an agreement would be a psychic control, which is illegal in the ACBL.
May 5, 2016
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Gary could have (should have) omitted the bit about the exaggerated manner in which the bid was made.

Still, the point is that systems with limited opening bids do provide opportunities to make psychs which have little or no risk, which many believe is contrary to the spirit of the game. As long as psychs carry a risk to the bidder I have no problem with them.

I have a similar problem in the system that I play with my regular partner. We open light nonvul 1st & 2nd - all 10 counts and a 10-13 1NT. Our weak 2 bids are weaker still - 3-9 HCP, often on a 5 card suit. When we open a weak 2 bid, or in third seat after 2 passes, there are a lot of opportunities for a low-risk psych. It is sometimes difficult to resist the temptation to operate in those situations.
May 5, 2016
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There is something to what Mark says. But I don't believe that there is enough of an issue here for anyone (with the possible exception of Mark) to get too upset about.

If this were a larger and longer stand-alone event, like the USBF trials or a World Championship Event, I can see a one-time entry fee for the entire event, especially if there were secondary events provided (at no charge) for the defeated teams. But paying additional fees for each session in a two- or three-day KO event with additional entry fees for each additional match is not a major hardship for those who stay in the event.
May 5, 2016
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I agree - this is much more likely with plastic boards. If a metal board becomes so misshapen that a card may slip out of one of the pockets, the board is usually withdrawn from use. With plastic boards, I have seen them in use even when cards are constantly falling out of the pockets.
May 5, 2016
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That is even a bigger handicap. At my age, it is becoming more difficult every day to reach down to pick up a card on the floor.
May 5, 2016
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My partner and I have the agreement that once a major suit is agreed upon as trump unambiguously in an unlimited auction 3NT is not a possible contract. If 3NT is not a possible contract, it is non-serious if bid by the player who will be declarer and serious if bid by the other player. Conversely, 4-level cue bids by the player who will be declarer are serious and 4-level cue bids (when 3NT is available) by the other player are non-serious.
May 5, 2016
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It is quite a handicap when your hand runs out of cards before the other three hands.
May 5, 2016
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My partner and I had an auction last night on BBO:

1 - 2 - 3 - 3

I held:

Axxxx KJx x KJxx

I bid 3NT as non-serious. This led to an easy slam auction when partner had a BIG hand.
May 5, 2016
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I bid 1. If partner can't bid over 1, then we are probably high enough. Whether we are in the best strain is another matter.
May 5, 2016
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