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All comments by Dave Synnott
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Having played junior bridge (albeit not at ACBL events) for 11 years I can definitely say the junior/student discount (which is 50% in Ireland, or at least was as of a year ago) did make a large difference to me entering events when I wasn't working full time.

It's hard for me to compare though as Ireland is a bit cheaper than ACBL. Up until last September (national events have gone up this year and not sure on junior pricing) entry was €10/session (up to €15 this year) and students paid €5/session.

From a general stand point I'm all for whatever gets people into the game and getting younger people playing is preferable for obvious reasons.
April 27
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I think what your asking is a large reason why transfer responses to 1 aren't more common (I think ACBL disallows it at some levels, so this may play a part). Or in other words the “standard” part ends at deciding if 1 - 1/1 - 1/1 shows 3 card support or a weak NT (or other?). There's a lot of variance between partnerships as to how to play a lot of things, responders 1+ over 1 and continuations, all of openers rebids after a 1 minor opening and continuations

A few more non-obvious examples:
- If 1 - 1/ - 1NT shows 18-19 bal, what is 2NT?
- Do you play transfer rebids by opener after 1 opening? If not what is 1 - 1M - 1NT?(assuming 1 doesn't have balanced options)
- Do you always show a 4 card major over 1, even if 6+ minor /4/5 major? If so you free up a whole load of bids for your non 1 - 1/.
- If you play a canapé (with longer ), your 1 opening rarely if ever has 4, what is 1 - 1/ - 2?
- What auctions (if any) allow you to show a 5 card minor with a NT style opening?

I'm not suggesting these don't have answers, just that if you ask 5 people who play transfers over a balanced , you'll get different answers. You could just go with ignoring these problems and playing things “mostly natural” after the first 2-3 bids but you do lose a lot of (what I see as) the advantages.

The change in what hands fit into which minor opening and what hands fit into which 1 response creates a large variance to standard. This basically ends up meaning you can't rely upon some expert standard in a lot of situations and you have to work a lot of things from scratch since what specific distributions are available for any given bidding situation are generally going to be mostly unique to your brand.
Aug. 7, 2018
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Everyone cashed A and LHO has QTxx? If that is what you mean, you can take all tricks if RHO as QTxx or LHO has singleton T and you decide to finesse, so in match points that looks right to me if you think all or almost all of the field will find slam.
June 9, 2016
Dave Synnott edited this comment June 9, 2016
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I would have a philosophical view that you shouldn't need training materials for software. At the very worst there should be documentation that is needed something in the order of once a month.
April 15, 2016
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In reality the issue is the software. Compare ACBLscore, Scorebridge or Jeff Smith (EBUscore?) to modern software. They are all entirely out of date from a usability point of view (among other issues). This is not to denigrate that software, just that it is entirely out of date.

There is a huge hole in the market for a usable, working scoring program…

In answer to your question, the best solution is probably to ask your expert, nicely, to run a (series of) tutorials AND to write some step by step guides for using the software. You should invite any computer literate club members to these tutorials.

At a district level, you could simply do the same for any regular district directors.
April 14, 2016
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Generally I count 4333 on the table or in my hands.
I sort the two longest suits to the outside with the honours towards the middle of my hand. Order doesn't matter.
As the play goes on suits become jumbled with honour cards gravitating towards the centre of my hand.
Feb. 23, 2016
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This may be somewhat skewed as I play Gazillli as including a 16-17NT. I've played both long major and the M/ variants. The basic theme is if responder bids over 2M then they are setting the strain(s).

1. 2NT - 55 Minors, 3/ to play (this is rarer since most hands would bid 2). Opener is expected to bid longer minor/pass. This obviously implies 0/1 .

2. I play exactly the same here (although 2NT could be 54 with 13(54)). This is where including the 16-17NT makes a bit of a difference.

3. I've kept it to five, and if the variant is long then opener removes to 2 with a singleton. If it could be 4 card it would make bidding with 53(xy) 17-18 counts a bit difficult. Although the obvious upside would be 54(xy) who knows.
Dec. 8, 2015
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I just play
3 - support
3 - support
3NT - No support
4 - I love

You could probably agree 4-4 as some sort of picture bid, perhaps showing support for both…

I can bid 3 so I'm setting the right suit if partner is looking for slam. If partner is only looking for game then they can sign off in 3NT over which I can bid 4. If partner pulls out a 5 bid it's quite possibly the right place to be anyway.

That was all in an IMP context, at MP you'd have a much tougher choice to make (3 vs. 3).
Sept. 17, 2015
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You have just accused quite a lot of a generation or 2 of juniors from a not very well anonymised country of cheating or being complicit with cheating, might as well throw in the coaches and NPCs also.

While you have remarked upon a fairly interesting statical anomaly you haven't even gotten close to proving a correlation (let alone causality). Why do you only go as far back as 2002? From what I can see the pattern does not fit before that. Obviously this could be the starting point of what you never mentioned. Also this year when the u21 started the same time as the u26 the countries results were probably poorer than you have expected. I'm just making the point you have been quite selective in choosing these events.

I understand that these things take time but if you are going to accuse that many people of cheating, invalidating 10 years worth of junior achievement of a nation, I think you need to be more thorough.

To prove even a correlation you need to provide an average for each country played before and after the arrival of the U21s (not including the result of the match in question) vs. the match result and do something with those differences (my statistics knowledge is relatively basic) . You would probably then need about 30-40 (random number) more championships to even have a correlation.

To prove causality you would actually need to prove that they were cheating. There is so many reasons why this could be the case e.g. a poor start, poor u26 npc/coaches, they always arrive just before the event and aren't ready, I could use my personal experience with the 09/11/13 teams (and from other events) to name a few more but don't feel like it would be right.

This is the kind of thing that should be looked into in private not in public, given how many people it effects.
Sept. 17, 2015
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You (declarer) have to decide who is declarer if you accept the lead, dummy cannot intervene. You could also allow West to lead anything they want and 4 becomes a major penalty card (exposed card).
March 10, 2015
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I'm pretty sure after the fact standard revoke rules do not apply, it is up to the director to restore equity. Given the line so far it looks like equity is down 1, S is almost certainly running into a trump promotion (along with 2s, A and a natural trump trick). A weighted score is also an option if you have enough people of a similar level to give their opinion (for both defence and declarer).
Jan. 26, 2015
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At the moment I'm playing transfer rebids although I'm coming around to the fact a gazilli approach might be better.
1-1M-1NT=5(4)+/4+ minors either way (we open all unbalanced any strength minor hands 1, 4441 is optional between 1/1)
1-1-2=6+ 11-13 or 17+
1-1-2=Same but can contain 5+/4 17+
1-1-2=14+ 4+
1-1-2=11-16 5+/4+ NF
1-1M-2M=11-13 3/4 card support
1-1M-2NT=GF 7+
1-1M-3=5+/5+ minors
1-1M-3=6+ 14-16

I think 1-1M-2NT could definitely be used better as 14-16 6+ 3M. 5/4 17+ was just a problem hand after 1-1.
Nov. 20, 2014
Dave Synnott edited this comment Nov. 20, 2014
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I'm from Ireland where I think HUMs are banned at all but the open trials. I've never come across anyone even discussing playing a HUM. I can't remember even playing against a brown sticker convention but I'm sure I have at some point probably at a junior Europeans or something.

I've played in Sweden (Chairman's cup) and their system is quite interesting. You get ‘dots’ for non-standard methods. So for instance when me and my partner played we had about 7-8 dots. We were playing a 2+ (2 dots), multi (2 dots), non-promissory stayman (1 dot) and a few other things. You were allowed different amounts of dots at different levels of play. This was a week long congress where the main event was a large teams competition. It was a swiss of 120+ teams followed by the top 64 going into a KO. In the swiss you were allowed 10 dots and the knockouts upped it to 12. The side pairs events I believe were 8 dots. But for instance you could play a simple forcing pass system for 10 dots (which one team did, I didn't play against them though). So rather than individual things being allowed/disallowed, the total complexity of your system was the determining factor.
Aug. 16, 2013
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If your comfortable that partner will take a 4NT over 4 as minors (with longer than ) then I'll double. Otherwise I'll discontentedly pass.
Jan. 6, 2013
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It'd be interesting if it wasn't :). That's Howth Harbour, Dublin in the background.
July 5, 2012
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It wouldn't be particular standard given the prevalence of systems, hence there's no reverse auctions. And I mean a “standard” system of playing lebensohl over a reverse beyond the basics.

Also given the topic of “captaincy” in this hand. It would be my opinion that either player can assume captaincy given both hands are unlimited (unless you have well defined lebensohl sequences) and to be honest I would not have a problem with West taking captaincy as he knows more about East's hand that East knows of his.
June 23, 2012
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I would agree as I said in my comment, but I just think it is an interesting situation without a “standard” since at an international level a natural system is not played extensively.
June 23, 2012
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Half the problem seems to be the unclear definition of the splinter. Could it be done on an 8 count? To be honest though I wouldn't be stopping short of 5 (after RKC finding 3KCs total) with West's hand after a reverse. You're the only one who knows of the double fit. Some agreement probably needed about what 4 actually is and the other possibilities after lebensohl *puts this on the list of things to talk to my own partner about*.
June 23, 2012
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4 for me, at MPs I might throw in a double, but at teams I think slam is still a definite possibility and don't want to give up opportunity to show my shape. 4 and pass seem like a no-go to me.
June 22, 2012
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Good try, I think declarer can still make though. Win lead in dummy, A ruff a , to the A and ruff a low. If North overruffs he can't do anything as even a back you can win in hand draw trumps and have a entry for the winning . You just have to make sure you use your trump entry first time around so North can't force you back to dummy when he gets his ruff. Oh and if North declines to overruff you can just play trump, trump, trump and North only has minors left to play back to you.
June 21, 2012
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