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All comments by David Levin
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“How youth should be taught bidding is dependent, I think, upon what they have been taught about bridge before being taught about bidding.”

Definitely.

“Compared to what David is proposing, I suspect the bidding lessons we teach are a little more mechanical and a little less evaluative. <snip> I am not sure if that difference is good or is bad, but at least it has the general benefit of using the bidding’s estimate of values to reinforce what the youth have already been taught about components that contribute to trick taking and about the value of game bonuses.”

Perhaps for programs such as New England Youth Bridge, the method I'm proposing would best serve as another tool in the instructor's repertoire.
July 20, 2015
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“To me a bid can be ‘forcing’ or ‘non-forcing’, but not both (in reference to the semi-forcing 1N response to 1M).”

In the form of semi-forcing 1N response to 1M with which I'm familiar, opener passes only with a balanced minimum.
July 19, 2015
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See also the following recent Bridge Winners articles and the comments therein:

posted June 27
http://bridgewinners.com/article/view/a-rationale-for-1-of-acbl-dues-going-to-the-wbf/

posted June 23
http://bridgewinners.com/article/view/funding-international-teams-funding-cheating/
July 19, 2015
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I agree, the instructor has to allow for different learning styles.
July 19, 2015
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“I've always thought keyboards should come with automatically-faulty caps-lock.”

The caps-lock does seem to be in a pretty stupid place, apparently taken mindlessly from the mechanical typewriter.
July 19, 2015
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I believe that Ed's metaphor is based on usage of the word “shouting” to refer to all-caps.
July 19, 2015
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Sam, for Deal 24, the auction is given differently in the two diagrams.
July 18, 2015
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Sorry, I should have made clear that the confusing part for me was "doubleton spade".
July 18, 2015
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I'm confused by this sentence in the second paragraph on page 6: “The most dangerous situation is when West has a doubleton spade and you go the wrong way in clubs. ”
July 18, 2015
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“Finally I find our ridicule of North's claim that he would have bid 4 a little ironic.”

Tom, being that it was in a comment rather than in the article, perhaps you missed the original poster's statement that North is an experienced director/player/teacher. I would assume that such a person would suspect from the auction, that 3N wasn't natural (lack of alerts notwithstanding). Yet, he waited until after his final pass to seek information about the opponents' bids. These actions seem inconsistent with an earnest intent to bid 4 if 3N had been alerted.
July 17, 2015
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Has the possibility been considered, to send the edited draft to all attendees of the proceeding and ask for comments. Among its benefits would be to avoid having to guess whether the person who uttered a given statement would want it published.
July 17, 2015
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This discussion brings to mind a question that might not bear on the issue at hand: should the Laws or supplementary documents make explicit whether a player is entitled to consider information about his/her teammates (such as their partnership agreements), which would be applicable when playing BAM or IMPs? (I haven't checked whether the Laws or supplementary documents already address this.)
July 16, 2015
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@Dan

Instead of my giving an example of what South might have been thinking, I probably should have listed tendencies I would associate with many novices (not necessarily most), such as the following:

1. They perceive that they don't understand the Laws very well.
2. They find it unpleasant when their action results in a director call.
3. They perceive that they don't understand conventions very well.
4. They find it embarrassing to ask about calls that have not been alerted.
5. They don't understand matchpoint strategy, perhaps not even that such strategy exists.
6. They have low confidence in their bidding judgement.
7. They aren't accustomed to reconciling conflicting information that can arise from an auction.

I guess this leads to the question of whether some novices might implicitly trust RHO's ostensibly strong 3N bid and as a result doubt their ability to count their own HCP.
July 16, 2015
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“In my opinion the answer to all these questions is ‘no’ therefore double is clear cut regardless of what the auction means.”

South might have been concerned that doubling 4 could be for takeout and might induce North to bid a non-making 5.

Edit: The post from which the above quote was taken has been deleted. I guess I'll let stand what I had typed and add that I can understand a player's being flummoxed by an unfamiliar and bizarre-sounding auction and deciding that pass is the safest action.
July 16, 2015
David Levin edited this comment July 16, 2015
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…and apparently not experienced enough to have realized that the opponents' bidding is incongruous with East's holding a game-forcing balanced hand?!
July 16, 2015
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If an irregularity can be a “normal” play, the implications are profound.

Suppose that in a NT contract, North (Dummy) holds A KJ 432, South (Declarer) holds 432 AKQ, and East had discarded when the A was cashed. It is South's lead, and Declarer claims by saying, “I'm going to cash my winners and take the marked finesse in hearts.” Can a defender object on the grounds that after cashing the clubs, South might illegally call for Dummy's A, East could accept the lead, and the heart finesse would no longer be possible?
July 16, 2015
David Levin edited this comment July 16, 2015
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Around 10 years ago, my partner and I were leading after the first session of a regional open pairs, when I ran into Scott Stearns. He suggested that we consume a little alcohol during the break. I asked why, and he said it frees the mind so that you play on instinct. I said, what if my instincts suck? He chuckled and said that he couldn't help me.

P.S. - We drank no alcohol and played okay in the second session, but we fell to fourth overall.
July 15, 2015
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I belatedly looked up Jump Shift (which has a paragraph on Soloway) in the Encyclopedia of Bridge (6th Edition), and it indicates that in the sequence 1-2-3-4, the 4 call shows a fit for hearts, a club fragment, and therefore a diamond singleton.

This discussion is like the old television show To Tell The Truth. “Will the real Soloway Jump Shift please stand up?”
July 14, 2015
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“I'm not sure what 4 (after 1-2-3-?) should be, but I'm pretty sure that I don't have an agreement with anyone on what it should be.”

Agreed, it's not a call I'd consider making without its having been discussed.
July 14, 2015
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“Since a jump shift is usually understood to be ‘Your suit, my suit or NT,’ at least in my experience…”

With that understanding, if the auction begins 1-2-3-?, would responder who wanted to confirm “your suit” ever not bid some number of hearts? If bidding some number of hearts were the only way to confirm hearts as trump in this sequence, would 4 confirm “my suit” and be natural?
July 14, 2015
David Levin edited this comment July 14, 2015
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