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All comments by David Caprera
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As I am reading the rule, an 11 point notrump is not a psyche but a 10 point notrump would be. So, the question becomes can you deviate from your agreements if it isn't a psyche? And what is it? And we are told it is “illegal” to open a 9 point notrump in any seat (rule 11.)

I think what is being lost is the difference between partnership agreements which are subject to limitations and psyches that are not agreements which are only limited by the rule that says you can't psyche an artificial bid. But that requires one to read rule 11 to say "it is illegal TO HAVE AN AGREEMENT to open a nine point notrump in third seat when playing a strong notrump.

All of this does not address the very difficult question of when an established partnership has an implicit agreement. The suggestion has been made that if you do it three times it becomes an agreement. I can buy that for an occasional partnership but if you psyche 1NT four times in 40 years of a lifetime partnership, that doesn't feel like as much of an agreement as psyching it twice in ten sessions. The 40 year partner has no real expectation of a psyche which I believe to be the correct question to be asked. And the prohibition on psychic controls goes toward that end.

For the very little it is worth, I think if you want to ban psyching in the novice game (I would disagree with the decision), I understand. But at the higher level, limiting psyches of artificial openings and prohibiting psychic controls is as far as the rules should go.
March 22, 2018
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But rule 11 says that it is illegal to open a nine point notrump in any seat.
March 22, 2018
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But I have to believe that Eric Rodwell and Jeff Meckstroth each got 100% for the ACBL hall of fame.
March 20, 2018
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I expect the 2NT bidder to be leading his fourth best SJ.
March 20, 2018
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Michael, you are suggesting an idea with which I am not familiar. Let's assume we ascribe a probability that east holds the HK at .95. (I am making up a number). That should change the likelihood that spades are 3-2. But the traditional method of computation using open spaces is now not expressed in terms of integers. I assume what one would do is compute the likelihood of spades 3-2 with east holding the HK times .95 plus the likelihood of spades 3-2 with the HK unknown times .05.

There are many situations where based on the bidding or card play the declarer can conclude "I think one opponent has ‘X’ (whatever X might be) with a probability of ‘Y’. But I have never seen a bridge solution that computes a line of play based on such assumptions. Admittedly, it isn't something I think I could calculate at the table, but it could be done at the post-session bar if you ordered up enough beer.
March 19, 2018
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We play it as a spade slam try with a D control, and 5S as slam try without. 4N would be kcb. 5C is natural (doubled looking for 3N.)

I thought this was pretty standard but what do I know.
March 19, 2018
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I am with Ben. Game tries go through 2N.
March 18, 2018
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CK count. Want to know if a second club is cashing and to discover why I should have led something else.
March 18, 2018
David Caprera edited this comment March 19, 2018
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That East pitched a diamond is a defense worthy of “defensive play of the year.”

For the record, this time East was Txxx, KJT7, Q8x, Qx.
March 18, 2018
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Thank you Kit. I confess the HJ would not have occurred to me. In fact, I wondered what the deal had to do with surround plays. (But double by opener seems auto.)
March 18, 2018
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I believe the worst bid is 3D. South should rebid 3S. I agree that North should have bid 2C (assuming reasonably sound openers, I can live with a 1N response given the trump we open), but that, in no way, justifies South's bid of 3D and Pass of 3N.

Note, playing Bosco (see Bridge World about a year ago), the auction would start
1H-2C-3N (0544)
followed by Mulberry bush, ending in 5m. Admittedly 4H may be a better matchpoint spot (not clear), but I don't end up in a stupid contract.
March 18, 2018
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This has to be close to “DNE”. We have worked hard on our 2N bids in comp. By our rules, 2N would be natural. But I can't imagine the hand that would bid it. (My best guess is a spade stop and a heart honor.)
March 14, 2018
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I would take the highest seeded teams that advanced. Everyone loves the underdog.
March 14, 2018
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Take the cash.
March 12, 2018
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If I said that, Eugene would be on my begins with “a”.
March 12, 2018
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If the judgment to be made is objective, “I hit the ball out of bounds”, “I hit it twice”, “I signed the wrong score card”, etc., I agree with you. I am not saying you should pull your partner's slow penalty doubles. But it is often difficult to be objective in a limited amount of time (bridge is a timed event), and you may not know what other similarly situated players would do, and in those circumstances I believe you should do what you think is best and let others adjudicate it.
March 7, 2018
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Let me try a different context. It is in no way improper to push a basketball player about to shoot a layup. If the referee determines the push was a foul, the opponent gets two free throws.

If you have ever played pick up basketball where the players call fouls themselves, you know that there are invariably more disputes and disagreements.

To make the player in possession of UI “call the foul” is like pick up basketball. Implicit in this is that the referee is competent. If you think the referee can't make the right call, you will probably side with Steve and Brad.
March 7, 2018
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Ok, I got it and it was obvious. Your partner is a robot! You hesitate and the robot makes a call suggested by the hesitation when there is a logical alternative that other (comparably skilled but differently programmed) robots would choose. Assume robots are not programmed to recognize hesitations. Must the robot select the alternative call?

And before you start saying, “That Caprera is a moron” or “First, let's kill all the lawyers”, please appreciate that my complaint is with the wording of the law which requires a determination to be made by the party with the UI.

This is a very difficult problem. A player at the table in possession of UI may not have the time or ability to objectively determine whether there are logical alternatives not suggested by the UI. We all think in terms of “hesitation blackwood” and pulling slow doubles, but the universe is larger than that. I am not bothered by a player who makes the bid he believes is correct in the absence of UI and leave to subsequent review by others whether the bid was improper.
March 7, 2018
David Caprera edited this comment March 7, 2018
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Steve, you aren't playing lawyer enough. I believe you are paraphrasing the law to your advantage. The laws say “you cannot choose” and “you cannot take advantage of”. These are active verbs. Both assume you make your decision after you are in possession of the UI. If it can be demonstrated (yes, that is the rub. It may not be possible in normal circumstances, and no, I don't think a player is bound by what he writes down prior to bidding) that the decision was made before the UI, a literal reading of the laws would permit the bid.

The only example I could come up with is the bid out of turn scenario but you make a fair argument that a first chair bid and a fourth chair bid are not the same.

So, in 100 years, when cards have been forgotten and we are tired of playing on IPads, the four people left playing bridge will attach electrodes to their brain and play telepathically. Your thoughts go into a computer that can detect the decision you made and when you made it. Then, and only then, will the laws be clear.
March 7, 2018
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If I made the decision before the UI occurred (we have to accept that as fact), then we are not taking advantage of the UI nor are we choosing an action based on the UI. Admittedly, proving that may be difficult, but it is a literal reading of the rule.

For example, in fourth chair you bid out of turn by making an opening bid with a very marginal opener. Partner is second to bid and breaks tempo before passing. It comes around to you at three passes. Are you now required to pass? I believe that this is the same question.
March 7, 2018
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