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Michael R:
Perhaps the term “nit picking” was wrong (I am not a native English speaker). I did however specify all by myself that this was, and I quote, “in my view”, therefore your emphasis on something which I have already said myself is, maybe not nit picking, but definitely annoying.

“This situation and discussion is basically all about what North said, and whether that constitutes, or should constitute, a claim”.

The last part is a flat-out false statement. The question was “how do you rule?”, it was not “do you think North's comment is a claim?”.

I find it mind boggling that you say I made a blanket statement when this statement was prefixed by a thorough explanation pertaining to the situation discussed.

I agree with you that “it doesn't make a difference” is an ambiguous statement, but I think my interpretation (“I have the K”) is better than your interpretation which is basically “We don't need to play anymore, the result of the board is X”, considering the fact that the statement was made at trick 6, on the 1st round of trumps, and when it was impossible or nearly impossible to have such vast knowledge about the whole deal.
This is also why I think this isn't a claim, as there cannot be a claim without somebody mentioning how many tricks each side will take.
However the fact that a statement is ambiguous doesn't mean we automatically rule in favor of the other side. The argument that declarer understood this to mean trumps are 2-2 is BS in my opinion (pardon my French).

As for my tea analogy:
The common thing between the two incidents (tea spilled and North not keeping his mouth shut) is that they are both unrelated to the final result. Yes, I insist they are unrelated, because the misplay happened later, not during the current trick. If anything, the comment helped declarer (as has been explained already - the defense could have forced down 3 if declarer had taken the finesse).

You want to punish the person who can't keep his mouth shut. I get that and I even support this sentiment.

The question is, what's wrong with a penalty? Why are you insisting that the table result should be changed?


Thomas Ahmann:
Law 23 applies anywhere and everywhere. It is not an auction-specific law. Law 73(F) is similar, though, and uses the same “could have known” phrasing.
Dec. 14, 2016
Dan Israeli edited this comment Dec. 14, 2016
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You have ignored most of what I wrote and instead chose to nitpick on what I prefixed as “my view”. So no, I am not conceding that my statement is false. It was not a statement of law, rather it was my opinion as to how the law should be understood and applied and what the comment translates into, in my mind.
This opinion, again in my view, is backed by the law - you have not said why this _should_ be a claim or why it qualifies as a claim, or what other reason you have to adjusting the score.

What if I spill my tea on declarer and he later misplays, does he get to say I did so intentionally to throw him off? Maybe I was impatient and was stirring it while he was declaring. One could argue I could have waited until the end of the board and stirred then. So does he get the score adjusted in his favor because this caused him to lose concentration?

Let me again emphasize, I'm all for punishing those who make inappropriate comments (a warning for a 1st time offender is also a form of punishment). I'm simply opposed to changing the table result.
Dec. 12, 2016
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I understood the question and I don't think it is a claim, rather it seems to me that you really want to punish the offender for his impatience. I agree the impatience is a bad thing and could be sanctioned, but not by treating it as a claim and thereby getting declarer off the hook.

I can elaborate:
In my view North was not suggesting to curtail the play, rather the current trick only. Law 68A also includes the parentheses, and I think he has demonstrably did not intend to claim - he has not shown his hand nor has he suggested how many tricks each side will take in the end. It seems declarer did not think so at the time either, or he would have called the TD in order to adjudicate the claim.
Declarer _still_ seems to not think it was a claim, rather he thinks he was misled by the comment. This would be a valid complaint under some circumstances, but I don't think this hand qualifies (a good example is when they are in a grand slam and you hold Qxx of trump and declarer takes ages. NOW you must keep your poker face).

You say North caused a problem and so West doesn't need to act perfectly. I don't think it was a problem, he just told declarer that he holds the trump K. Imperfect behavior, but not a problem (as far as the play of the hand is considered).
Dec. 11, 2016
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So I guess you've never played against simple Joe who thinks for ages whether he should finesse or not and when you produce the K, jokingly says “well why didn't you just tell me it was offside”. I'm not saying this behavior is desirable, I did warn/penalize North, I'm just saying there are plenty of distractions available and declarer shouldn't try to excuse his misplay with this non-claim comment.

Declarer could have stopped and asked if he was claiming or called the TD and reported the comment. Instead he kept on playing, made the correct play based on the volunteered information, and then misplayed later.

I don't feel this is a reward for North, rather just keeping the table score because declarer didn't shine and I see no reason to change it.
Dec. 11, 2016
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I do not think North's statement is a claim. In my view he was just telling declarer that he holds the king (in the hope that this will speed up the play).

If declarer is a high class player, he should know that North cannot possibly know for sure at trick 6 that the play to the current trick doesn't matter. He simply doesn't have enough information about the whole deal.

I would warn North not to make such comments, but I think declarer gets to keep his score. I do not think North's statement falls under Law 23 - certainly he just meant to help and did not think this could backfire (and I am not convinced that it backfired - seems to me declarer fell asleep and damaged himself. Yes, the comment might have been the equivalent of warm milk, but no more than that).
Dec. 11, 2016
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Thanks for answering - do you play XYZ normally, or do you make any modifications? (considering you have a cuebid available)
Nov. 2, 2016
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we play 1♠ denies a major after 1♥, X after 1♠ can be more than 4♥ if a weak hand.
Oct. 27, 2016
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Assuming 2♥ showed a fit (pass with xx), East can be reasonably certain West doesn't have 6 (otherwise likely West would have bid 3♥), so he can afford to cash a top ♥ as a lead director, although that seems to cost a trick and an extra 100 is nice. On the other hand, he doesn't know West can trump 3 times.
Also, returning the J seems better, the 4 is just not clear enough.
June 24, 2016
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I like your sequence and I would probably duplicate it, but as somebody else already commented, whether 4♥ is last train or just a cue makes a difference.

I am wondering, it seems this slam is only good due to presence of the ♦J? How do you assess the odds with Kxxx instead of KJxx in ♦? Need to guess ♥s in a favorable layout, or some squeeze? Maybe it's not so bad to miss at the table?
June 3, 2016
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Andy, the rulebook and the directors suggest just that (through the implicit understanding mechanism). In fact this whole thread suggests just that.

Kirean, as a very experienced player who has been around the block, surely has the implicit agreement that a 1NT overcall does not guarantee a stopper (as it surely has happened a number of times during his 25 year career, as he already told us). You are now telling him that he should alert his natural 1NT overcall every time he makes it, because an opponent might not be experienced enough to know that sometimes you have to improvise.

Calling this “teaching bridge” may sound unpleasant but that is exactly what it is - this is not an unfamiliar convention or treatment, it is experience which one player possesses and the other player does not posses.

The fact that some people teach that 1NT overcalls guarantee stoppers does not mean I should alert my natural bid nor does it make their flawed teachings any sort of standard to which I should compare myself (and alert if I differ).

Whether a bid is alertable or not does not depend on the opposition - it depends on the written rules. If the written rules aren't clear enough, they should be rewritten.
May 29, 2016
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one, two and two
April 12, 2016
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If X and then X is “pure penalty”, the given sequence should be explained as “penalty oriented but partner may pull” rather than just “penalty”. Which would get us to misinformation again :)
April 11, 2016
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A good player did this to me a few years ago and since then I am aware of this play. Luckily for me it only gained him an imp.
Feb. 11, 2016
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I am fine with both pass and 1D depending on style, probably lean towards passing myself.
Feb. 10, 2016
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Law 23 specifically allows the director a lot of judgment because of the way it is phrased. If in the director's opinion the offender could have been aware, then he may assign an adjusted score. You don't have to prove intent, just say there may have been intent. The underlying philosophy is that the offender should not profit from his infraction unless it was really rub of the green type. In my opinion this infraction is a very small premium to pay (only 1 card, maybe an x*) with great possible rewards. If the scene is right (with the conditions I've named earlier) and the director suspects, he can use his judgment. I'm not saying I would do this every time, just that if in my opinion a smart player might have tried a swindle against a poor opponent, I might not let him get away with it.

By the way, the laws give specific leeway to someone who has been misled by an opponent to think it it their turn. See law 47E1, if someone tells you it's your lead, then you aren't penalized for leading out of turn. This is far from a “failure to play bridge” kind of mistake, just a momentary lapse aided by a (possibly innocent) opponent. 13 penalty cards are obviously not the same case, but you could argue that the lead by dummy “mistakenly informed” the defender that they are to become dummy. This is of course a stretch, I'm only giving it as an example of the general philosophy - Law 23 is sufficient to make the adjustment.

* Let's say the auction goes 1S-p-2S-p-4S-end. Dummy holds KQx xx Kxxx xxxx and leads his low trump - and 13 penalty cards follow. How do you feel now?
Jan. 28, 2016
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If dummy is an unethical smart guy playing with a weak partner this could certainly be a way to exploit an opponent who is not paying attention in order to enforce an artificial average score instead of watching partner butcher the play. We don't have to accuse the player of anything, just to say that he could have known (law 23). I agree with split score ruling, this will become a loophole if you let them keep the score.
Jan. 26, 2016
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I agree 4NT should be just blackwood, can begin with 2NT if I want to force asking.
I prefer 2♥ though, and I strongly suspect I will not be hearing a NT bid (as this bid would promise a doubleton H), though I would not mind it.

David Burn, the answer to your 1st question (1♠-2♥-3NT-4NT) is that I don't know what is 4NT without knowing what is 3NT (which is a special bid as 2NT as 12-14/18-19 even though you don't like it :)) 3NT can be a 6 card H suit unsuited for bidding 3♠ or it can be 15-17 exactly if you play Gazzilli (I am sure others can think of other uses).

The answer to the 2nd question (1♠-2♥-2NT-3♥-3NT-4NT) is that 4NT is quantitative. Opener is showing a balanced 5233 12-14 with good minor suit values, otherwise he would raise to 4♥ or cue.

If I want to set ♥s after 3NT, I will bid 4♣ - that is a self cuebid for ♥s as I would have bid 3♣ after 2NT with a ♣ suit. This doesn't work when partner jumps to 3NT of course, but you would have solid agreements for the rebids after 3NT (and considering our extras, partner's 3NT probably means we will not be missing any aces).
Jan. 7, 2016
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I voted for the game but I'm not sure of the scoring method - duplicate usually means MPs, but the VP scale implies IMPs. I'd invite if playing MPs.
Jan. 4, 2016
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I was going to make this point too. With 3♠ and 4♥ the correct bid is (usually) 3♠ as we probably want to be in 4♥ facing a ♥ preempt. Agree trumps are likely 3-2 (however Qx onside or 3433 are also possible)
Nov. 22, 2015
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Ed,

You've quoted the ACBL regulations, with which I already told you that I am familiar. You haven't explained why you feel they require me to give a speech, _when the meaning of the bid is just the first line_. Emphasis added because this is the gist of the problem - you think the meaning of the bid includes the follow ups, but I don't, because the gadget can be used in many ways, not only in the common ways.
If they ask about follow ups and what possible hands, I happily oblige and elaborate as much as they want without any hesitation whatsoever. I do strongly believe in full disclosure. The question here is why do you require to give the speech every time, without being asked for it. Should I specify every time that he might be psyching?
I play junk Multi with one of my partners, and we prealert and emphasize that it can be really weak. One day I opened 2♦ with a junk weak two in ♠, LHO doubled and my partner bid 4♣. This is beyond 3NT so not alertable in our jurisdiction and after RHO passed, I bid 4♥. RHO now asked and I explained our agreement, which was “he is asking me to bid one below my suit”, now they asked “so 4♥ says he has ♠s?” and my partner said “yes”. They passed, and my partner passed! (it was passed out) So now LHO called TD saying they expected to have another chance to bid… But the TD of course said “play on” (and ui issues), dummy comes down with x AKQJTxx xx xxx or similar, so 4♥ was down 3 but they had a vulnerable 5 or 6m. Clever bid by my partner, have we done anything wrong? This has only happened once, but clearly I have a good memory of it. Should I inform the opponents about it every time we have this sequence?
Another partner passed my 2♦ with KQJT9xx of ♦, this is really common, should we alert the opponents that if they pass, they might not get a chance to bid again?

The fact that 2♠-p-4♠ is a 2 way bid does not stem from my agreements, it stems from the way Bridge is designed: the scoring method, the fact that duplicate Bridge is a zero sum game (my minus is your plus and vice versa), and the fact that no one can see my cards before I become dummy. This information is available for the opponents so they are expected to be aware of it, I think.

I feel the same applies to 2♠-p-2NT, but I guess the EBU has decided differently. According to the quote MSS brought, this approach is contrary to the law in EBU territory, but I don't think there's any such regulation in Israel (where I live) or in the ACBL. I wasn't aware of this EBU regulation and I will adjust my conduct when next I play there. By the way, as best my memory serves me, I've never “psyched” this way, probably not 2S-(X)-2N either. I prefer the old fashioned honest raise.
Nov. 16, 2015
Dan Israeli edited this comment Nov. 16, 2015
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