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All comments by Chris Gibson
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If you used stayman, getting a 2S call, what would 3H be by a passed hand? Surely not whatever slam try you play - maybe it should be this type of hand, invitational, both majors, longer hearts.

It wouldn't be able to be reversed so that it applies to spades, also, but I tend to be more willing to open 2S with 4 hearts than 2H with 4 spades - the more economical rebid thing helps.
Aug. 27, 2012
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or its a hand with inappropriately placed values, too weak of a suit etc. 4 spades is not the only reason not to open a weak 2 if you have some constructive element to the bid.
Aug. 26, 2012
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Bob - I'm wondering if you would still be ruled against if your notes had said “will always continue to game” instead of “may continue on to game”. In the first case, you don't have a decision to make, it is systemic that you raise to game, in the 2nd you do have some wiggle room, which gives opponents a right to cry foul, since you had the systemic option of passing or bidding on.
Aug. 25, 2012
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David - one of the ways we try to avoid it (it being a committee when we make what seem to be inconsistent bids) is by writing in our notes what hands will make an ostensibly invitational bid and then force to game even over a sign off. For example, we played that one of the possible hand types in our bergen raises was 4 or 5 control hands with a stiff, 9-11 HCP (other hands being in the range of 9-11 HCP, 2-5 controls, and either exactly 2 controls & a stiff or 4-5 controls & a stiff, with subsequent asking bids to clarify).

We wrote in the notes that hand was expected to continue to game regardless of opener's attempt to sign off, and then e-mailed the notes to get a time stamp on it. That was the only one where we said we'd force to game, but we also explained in other areas what our expectations for action were, and then acted in a manner consistent with our noted agreements.
Aug. 24, 2012
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this hand has so much playing strength that I cannot stand just bidding 1. I am going to double and correct all heart contracts to spades; at least then I feel I've come close to describing the playing potential here.
Aug. 24, 2012
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I find this topic fascinating. Just recently I was at a sectional where I had an inkling of how easy it was to fail to live up to your ethical obligations.

White vs red, playing against a strong club, they opened 1 2nd seat. I had x xx xxxx AJTxxx, and preempted 3. Partner, with whom I was playing for the first time, alerted it as a transfer to diamonds - he had transfers marked on the card I copied, but I missed it in the discussion in the half-hour before the tournament. The auction continued (P)-3-(x) to me.

Without thinking about my ethical obligations at the time, I passed. The auction continued (4)-P-(4), and after I had time to think about it, I continued 5, mostly out of shame for my earlier lapse. Partner wound up sacrificing in 6 for 1700 away against a 5 contract in a 4-4 diamond fit.

In general, I think of myself as a player who understands the ethical implications, and tries to not take advantage of UI, but I think I did react poorly in this case - if there had been no alert, I'm sure I would have raised diamonds immediately over X to at least the 4 level, and maybe higher depending on how the implications from partner being a passed hand ultimately played in.

The next day, playing in the swiss with a different partner at favorable vulnerability, we had the auction (playing weak NT) 1N - (P) - P - (x), P - (2) - P - (2) all pass. After the 2 call, the doubler had announced his partner's bid of 2 as a transfer, though it was not clear they had that agreement. In fact, his partner came down with Kxx T9xx KQx xxx.

On this occasion, I called the director as soon as dummy came down, and explained that I thought that passing 2 was suggested by his partner's explanation, and that without the explanation his hand was clearly worth a raise to 3 or 4. We (the weak NTers) were ultimately ruled against. I don't think that the opponents were knowingly unethical - just the opposite, I think that they thought they were doing the right thing by not correcting to NT or hearts again, to send the message that there was UI. That being said, I don't think that particular ruling was correct; these were relatively weak players for the field, as you may have guessed from the removal of a penalty double with a 4333 8 count, and my feeling is that this director felt his mission was to protect the weaker players from the stronger ones in general.

Anyway, I thought it was interesting that these two similar situations came up back to back, in one where I failed in my own ethical obligation, and then the other where my opponents found themselves in a similar situation.

Aug. 23, 2012
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Which is the final contract, 7 or 7?
Aug. 21, 2012
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A good argument for leading the Q from QJ87 - I think a double dummy analysis would indicate that is a percentage lead from those spots, rather than the 7.
Aug. 21, 2012
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If the colors were reversed, maybe I'd bid. But I don't want the bid vul opposite a passed partner, really, and I also don't want to alert the ops to any bad splits, so I'm keeping quiet.
Aug. 21, 2012
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Did you consider a forcing NT? From your comment, it appears that you did not, but I don't want to presume.
Aug. 19, 2012
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My own preference is to use the 2N-3 route to show invitational with exactly 4 spades, and 3 directly to show invitational with 5+ spades.
Aug. 18, 2012
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close, Henry, partner had AKQxx xx – AKTxxx
Aug. 18, 2012
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I'm a fan of the heavy 2S call. If it comes around to me in hearts, I'll X.
Aug. 17, 2012
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I like partner's marked shortage in spades, I'm bidding on with a few ways to win.
Aug. 17, 2012
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The initial pass violates one of my principle tenants for bidding - don't take unilateral actions unless your hand demands it. Going for blood with a 4 card stack at the 1 level is gambling on too much - with this weak of a suit, opps will often have 6+ spades AND compensating values outside. And all of a sudden, I'm handing one of the weaker pairs in the room a top when my expected outcome from playing a normal contract was a near top anyway when they butchered the defense.

SJ Simon talked about how random psyching against palookas was an ineffective strategy for experts to take for many reasons, the most applicable to this situation being that you are throwing out your natural advantage in skill when you randomize the result. While this isn't a psych, I think that playing for a penalty pass is certainly randomizing the result in a situation where you already expect a better than normal equity.

I abstained (7N) from the poll because I could never imagine taking that initial pass, so I would not be in this entirely predictable situation - I would have bid 1N, and now I'd compete to 3D over 2H. Partner can make an intelligent decision from there.
Aug. 15, 2012
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partner is supposed to guess you have 5 spades and 6 clubs on the auction? You can't be 4-2-2-5 or something on the bidding? What is partner supposed to do with a 3-3-5-2 hand that has game forcing values? I do not believe this to be a forcing pass auction, you have to do something with extra values and no clear direction.
Aug. 13, 2012
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I would consider it standard in my area of the country (Portland, OR).
Aug. 13, 2012
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I'd make a 3H bid, which, consistent with my prior interpretation of this sequence, is a nebulous game force without the ability to bid NT, since I didn't bid 2H earlier or 3N, which can be converted into an advance cue-bid (we do not stop in 4m in my town).

As to your first comment, Yuan, why should we tell partner we have an invitation without telling him what kind of invitation we have? As the world's greatest bidder said earlier, it will help parter in his decision to know where our values are. I don't consider this torturing partner, I consider it helping him - is there any more useless sequence in the world than the 3d reinvite with no further information?
Aug. 12, 2012
Chris Gibson edited this comment Aug. 12, 2012
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Over 5H, partner continues 6D. Are you done?
Aug. 11, 2012
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We play walsh, and respond in majors with any non-game forcing hand. We do, however, have a way of signing off in diamonds to accommodate weak hands with 4 card majors & 6 card minors.

In our system, 1 diamond would create a bidding problem on a ton of hands, 1 spade does not, so 1 spade is clear. What that says about our system is up for grabs, of course.
Aug. 11, 2012
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