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All comments by Aviv Shahaf
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Josh - When the directors give you the hand (at least competent directors), they don't give you the auction to the point of the infraction.

They give you the hand and ask you what you do whenever its your turn to bid.
If you choose a different bid at an earlier turn they will inform you what bid was actually made by your hand (or try to get an alternative bid from you) and ask you to continue bidding with that “forced” bid.

This way it's not always obvious when and what infraction happened.

It also help you give a better answer because it forces you to think about the hand.
May 25, 2012
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there would only be “No Good Answer” when not playing negative doubles.
May 25, 2012
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I would have bid 3 (Non Invitational) spades earlier so would not have this problem now
May 24, 2012
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Great hand Joe - Keep them coming!

Do you know what 4 would be for Lauria-Versace?
And if not just Hearts why not switch it with 4?
May 24, 2012
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Yes - 2 is 100% game force (corrected)
May 23, 2012
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I really don't like the NT responses Scheme.
This is one of the areas IMHO where “modern” style is simply inferior.

Playing 2NT as 11-12 (usually bad 12 since most would upgrade a 12 count they would have opened) is putting too much pressure on opener to get it right and leads to many +150s/+180s in 2NT or -50/-100 in 3NT (or sometimes even in 2NT…)

Playing 3NT as 13-15 also gives opener problems when he has a singleton in a major (something like: x - AQxx - AJxx - QJTx)
if Responder has AQJ of Spades then 3NT is likely best but if he has Qxx we might be cold for 6m and going down in 3NT.

Much better is to play:
2NT = Balanced and Game Forcing with either good 12 to 14 or 18+
3NT = Balanced 15 to 17 (a hand that would have opened 1NT), The extra strength provides protection against the opponents running a major suit

Over 2NT Opener with a singleton or a low doubleton can show doubt about NT (best is to bid the suit below the suit you have doubt about which leaves room for Responder to make counter tries)

It's true that using this structure puts more hands into the 1NT response but it only loses when both opener and responder are balanced and max and 3NT actually makes.

Another option (My choice but might be a little more complex) is to play 1 - 1NT as 8 to bad 12 and use 1 with 6 to 7 hcp and 3-3-3-4 shape.

May 20, 2012
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Was it even confirmed that East intended 2 as a “Strong Jump Shift”?
What if he intended it as a “Fit Showing Jump Shift”?

@ Henry - I respect you a lot and usually agree with everything you post especially when it comes to laws and ethics, in this case however I just don't understand why you are going out of your way to justify East actions based on a single set of agreements that may or may not exist.

Clearly some other interpretations to West actions are possible and unless east can provide system notes that support his actions I'm not going to give him the benefit of the doubt and rule that Passing 5 is at the very least a logical alternative.
May 18, 2012
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Give me the 9 and I would open 2
May 18, 2012
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If the opponents cash 2 clubs then partner should not have accepted my game try…
May 18, 2012
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Do I allow my partner to pass as dealer with a singleton or void?
If the answer is yes - Do I force my partner to splinter in support when they have shortness?
If the answer is no then I make a game try…
May 18, 2012
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Doesn't anyone else here care if we are playing Teams or Pairs?
If West is an expert or a LOL or a collage student?
Is it the first board of the session or the last one? if last one - how well are we doing?
etc. etc…
May 18, 2012
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Why is everyone (except Paul) trying to protect the pair that can't even remember if they are playing Strong or Weak Jumps?

I can't claim I know how to bid after a strong jump because I never played them, but if I sat down with a new partner and we had very little time to fill out a card and one of the things he insisted on was “Strong Jump Shifts” without any time to discuss continuations then I would interpret the jump to 3NT (or a jump to game in partner's suit) as Paul did - Worst hand for slam possible.
Maybe Aceless 4-2-3-4 or 4-3-3-3 or 3-3-3-4 or even 4-1-4-4 (Players sometimes open this 1C with better diamonds to avoid the killing Club lead against a Spade or NT contract).

The facts Are:
- East clearly had UI
- Bidding more was clearly suggested
- Passing 5C (or even 3NT) IS a Logical alternative unless East can produce their own notes confirming that they play strong jumps AND that 3NT is showing extras after a strong jump.
- N/S were damaged since 6C was successful.
- N/S did not take any “Wild or Gambling” action to contribute to their bad result

I would roll it back to 5C since that's the worst possible result that was at all likely and/or probable without the infraction (or maybe the offenders should get 7C -1 following Henry's logic regarding the 5C bid)
May 18, 2012
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Another way of not making “such a bid” is after 1NT - 2, 2 to bid 4 with 4-6 and 4 with 6-4.
That way partner doesn't have to guess what 4 shows…
May 16, 2012
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Without 4 spades and a good stopper why not bid 3NT directly?
May 8, 2012
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Sorry Barry, I believe you and Jenni are wrong here and Andy got it right.
If the card indeed “fell” out of the player's hand as described then it is a “minor” penalty card (it has nothing to do with the other card he “intended” to play) and the only restriction is that he is not allowed to play a different spot card in the same suit of the exposed card.
He is allowed to play any card from a different suit or an honor card of the same suit.

This is not the case if the player pulled out the wrong card and exposed it to his partner (even if the partner did not see it) in which case it is a “Major” penalty card and the ruling at the table was correct.
May 7, 2012
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since anyone would bid 4 with KQJxx - KQJxx and out, it must be a close decision for Advancer between signing off in game or looking for Slam since the expected bad breaks could put a 5 level contract in jeopardy.

I agree with Andrew that the actions taken by the players in the match were probably influenced by the state of that match (although I think Lall was hoping to gain more than just 4 imps when right assuming the other table is in a small slam)

On a side note: I think 4NT should be natural and not a slam try on this auction.
May 4, 2012
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Great idea, especially for later rounds when all matches play the same hands
May 2, 2012
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Partner doesn't have a 5 card suit since he would have bid it at his second turn instead of doubling again.

He already knows I don't have a distributional hand since I didn't act over 2S and he wouldn't torture me with a second double if he knew where we belong.

In fact the only possible distribution I can assign partner is exactly 2-4-3-4.

With any other shape he should have bid something else either at his first or second turn.
April 20, 2012
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I'm sorry but I must be from a different planet.

Passing a 1 level takeout double (or “competitive” double) with a minimum opening bid and only 4 trumps just doesn't looks right to me even if partner “promises” 2-3.

for the pass to be right it's not enough that we set them but it also needs to be better than declaring.

When I have good spades we can probably make a NT contract so if we can only make 1NT then they are probably making 1S, if we can make 2NT then we are probably only setting them 1 and if we can set them 2 then we can probably make game.

only when we are non vul vs vul it might be right to pass and even then it is probably too dangerous since overcaller is more likely to have a better hand to enter a live auction and partner might have less for his balancing double and the deal might just belong to the opponents so bidding can get us a good score even if we go down undoubled.

in my example hand I have lots of extra defensive values with no fit and no stopper - perfect for gambling on defending 1SX (especially if i can get some ruffs)
April 19, 2012
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I define all such doubles as “Takeout” but I don't limit the number of spades held to “1 or 2” nor do I differentiate between “4 decent” to “exceptional” spades for partner to convert.
I expect partner to pull almost always but trust him to have a defensive oriented hand when he converts to penalty (xxxx - Ax - AQx - AKJx for example)
April 18, 2012
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