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All comments by David Levin
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By attacking s, the defenders effectively let Dummy's Q function as two entries. If RHO wins the K and doesn't have the outstanding , RHO should shift to a (won by South), to the Q, A (pitching a ), A, toward Dummy (won by either defender), return. At this point, the only entry to Dummy is the A and the s are not yet established.
June 24, 2015
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Your idea seems to require more entries to Dummy than are available. Assuming that Declarer is able to use the Q as an entry to the A (for a discard), I don't see how Declarer could arrange to lead the third round of from Dummy except by first leading to the A.
June 24, 2015
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Right, but I meant to convey that the defense's holdup in trumps seems to be available even if the opening lead is in a side suit.
June 24, 2015
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I resonated with the examples of Monday-morning quarterbacking and would like to nominate the following for dishonorable mention (which phrase I stole from the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest):

If a trump lead would have set the contract: “With two or four cards in each side suit, Opening Leader should have inferred that they weren't breaking well for Declarer and that passive defense was called for.”

If a trump lead failed to set the contract: “With two four-card side suits, Opening Leader should have been more concerned about being squeezed after a passive opening lead.”
June 24, 2015
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“On any other lead, however, he can ruff the fourth round of diamonds after drawing two rounds of trumps. So, if the leader pursues trump leads, he must win the second round and return the third.”

Even if the opening lead were in a side suit, it's not clear to me why ducking the first round of s would not prevent Declarer's ruffing the fourth round of s.
June 24, 2015
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I'm not sure that any critical comments here were directed at Mr. Monzingo's efforts as a district rep, and I am glad to hear that he has done good work.

The main concern I have is with his accusations that state or imply that all Xs are Ys, even in cases where it is patently infeasible to examine every X in order to ascertain that it is a Y. Using such fallacious logic can hardly avoid damaging a speaker's credibility.
June 23, 2015
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If advancer bids 4, the opponents can estimate that combined, they hold about 23 cards outside of s, making a double fit for them highly likely. If opener is much weaker than responder and as a result cannot find a 4 bid over 4, that might well be a gain for us. But if opener has enough to bid at least 4, this would seem to position the opponents to diagnose the double fit and move toward slam.

I wonder whether bidding a gentle 3 might make it more difficult for the opponents to diagnose their double fit and to assess how many points are in the deck.
June 23, 2015
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“Since I hold AQxx, I know partner's hearts aren't huge, and so if he could have 1(2) side cards, bidding 5H would be silly.”

I would agree. The possibility that the A is cashing and partner has one of K, K, or Qxx (which from Declarer's perspective would be a more likely holding for advancer than for preemptor) and that this would suffice for a set of 6 seems high enough not to warrant going for -500 or worse in 5.
June 23, 2015
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I've been at this website for only a few months, but I quickly came to appreciate that virtually all discussions here are earnest, thoughtful, and civil. I also realized that subtle humor (even if you don't find it subtle) tends to be regarded roughly the way I regard suit preference signals: it might not be spotted unless there's some other indication that it might be present.
June 23, 2015
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“To my knowledge, the term ‘Lightner’ is reserved for a double of a freely bid slam contract, asking for an unusual lead, guided by principles different from those for a double of 3NT.”

Yes, I believe that the term for Lightner-like doubles of game-level suit contracts is “mini-Lightner.”
June 23, 2015
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Perhaps East holds a hand that didn't quite meet the strength and suit-quality requirements to act over 1, and these concerns are now mitigated by the knowledge that N/S very likely have an eight-card fit (and therefore that E/W very likely have an eight-card fit).
June 23, 2015
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“The thrill they get from a real game is unforgettable. If they like it, they're hooked.”

One of the charms of bridge is that it's plausible for a beginner to get a great board against experts (who might, for example, be the only pair to reach an excellent slam that goes down on fiendish breaks).
June 22, 2015
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“…and The Cardturner by Louis Sachar (didn't hear back from my friend, which meant he either didn't read it or didn't enjoy it)”

Or didn't want to return it?
June 22, 2015
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“That trend, combined with the nonsense that a player with more than a certain number of total points may not play in the more relaxed games, is what has made the existing ranking such a muddle and so unable to make everyone happy.”

An alternative might be to permit players to enter a flight where they exceed the MP ceiling, but to reduce any MP award in proportion. For example, a player with 2500 MPs who enters a flight with a 2000-MP ceiling and nominally wins 15 MPs, would see that award reduced to 12 MPs.
June 22, 2015
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To meet the objective of motivating players who like seeing their masterpoint totals eclipse the various tiers, creating more of these tiers might make sense.

To meet the objective of better reflecting a player's having excelled in tough events, perhaps these successes could be tracked by a code of say, five characters, that would be maintained separately from masterpoint total. For example, the lowest-order character could be for sectional events and have a value from 0 to Z (that is, 0-9 followed by A-Z), thereby providing 35 nonzero values. The criteria for a sectional event to be reflected in this code, might include that it be the only event in the session with no masterpoint upper limit, such as the open or Flight A/X swiss typically held on the final day of the tournament. The next-to-lowest-order character might apply to regional events, and so on. The character corresponding to the event might be bumped up two for winning or one for placing second, for example. The inability to go beyond “Z” seems a minor disadvantage, in that having reached that point seems ample demonstration that the player can compete at that level.

If at least one of the players on a team has a code value that indicates their having won or placed in enough events of sufficient quality, the team might be given the option of requesting placement in a higher knockout bracket than their masterpoint total alone would qualify them for.
June 21, 2015
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The following is an excerpt from Section 20 of an ACBL publication called “Duplicate Decisions.” The second paragraph of the excerpt concerns a matter that does not seem to be covered explicitly in the Laws of Duplicate.

<EXCERPT>
5. When explaining the significance of partner’s call or play in reply to an opponent’s inquiry, a player should disclose all special information conveyed to him through partnership agreement or partnership experience, but he need not disclose inferences drawn from his general bridge knowledge and experience.

If the meaning has not been discussed, “no agreement” or “undiscussed” is the proper response. Players should not say such things as “I am taking it to mean …” In addition, “standard” or the name of a convention is not a proper answer.
</EXCERPT>
June 20, 2015
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Gary, the Laws unfortunately don't seem to explicitly address the situation you describe (and which I and probably many others here have experienced also). However, perhaps the following excerpt from the Laws might help.

Law 20, F. Explanation of Calls (asterisks added)

1. During the auction and before the final pass, any
player may request, but only at his own turn to
call, an explanation of the opponents’ prior auction.
He is entitled to know about calls actually
made, about relevant alternative calls available
that were not made, and about relevant inferences
from the choice of action **where these are
matters of partnership understanding.** Except on
the instruction of the Director, replies should be
given by the partner of the player who made the
call in question. The partner of a player who asks
a question may not ask a supplementary question
until his turn to call or play. Law 16 may apply
and the Regulating Authority may establish regulations
for written explanations.



The phrase I've drawn attention seems to imply that if you don't have a partnership understanding, there is nothing for you to explain (which we already knew). But it would be nice to find an official document that states this explicitly, so that it could be quoted to help inform folks who aren't aware of it.
June 20, 2015
David Levin edited this comment June 20, 2015
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“Since it was not my turn to bid, could I look at the opponents convention card, or ask them whether two diamonds was pre-emptive?”

The Laws of Duplicate don't seem to address this precise question. But, I would say that given that answering the opponent's question requires your knowing what the 2 bid meant, it would be proper for you to consult an opponent's convention card for how they define the jump overcall. If the question instead required information not found on the convention card, then I would say that it would be proper for you to ask the partner of the opponent who made the call.

Disclosure: I am not a director, or even a lawyer.
June 20, 2015
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Perhaps the defense's best chance is for East to try to mislead Declarer about the distribution. The play from Trick One might go, diamond ruff high, trump to dummy, diamond ruff high, trump to dummy (East pitching the 4), diamond ruff, club to dummy (East taking the A), diamond return ruffed by dummy, trump (East pitching the 9). Declarer has to now decide whether to play a (playing East for his actual distribution) or to play a (playing East for Kxxx=x=AKJxxx=AJ, to catch the defenders in a winkle, for example).

This defense seems realistic: the first few tricks should indicate to East that Declarer will take three ruffs and four natural trump tricks and that East cannot afford to be stuck with Kx at the end.
June 20, 2015
David Levin edited this comment June 20, 2015
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“I don't mind a good result, lol. But I don't want below par based on selecting the wrong penalty that allows the opps to make an abnormal play.”

Thanks for clarifying. It seems to me that at the very least, you have legitimate cause to ask the director to waive your right to constrain whether LHO leads a after RHO picks up the penalty card.

And I wouldn't draw too strong an inference from this choice's not being explicit in the Laws. The custodians of the Laws might have judged it more practical to omit it, and I would agree. It's easy to imagine the confusion that would likely result from a director's having to explain, “…you may permit LHO to lead any card, while requiring RHO's penalty card to remain on the table; or you may permit LHO to lead from any suit, while requiring RHO to first pick up the penalty card, and if LHO led anything other than a , then LHO could lead any card, but if LHO led a , then LHO would be constrained from leading a spot that s/he wouldn't ordinarily consider leading because s/he doesn't know whether RHO holds the A, because even though LHO just saw RHO's A, that observation actually constitutes unauthorized information to LHO…”

Edit: And after the director has explained all of the options to Declarer, only to behold four magnificently perplexed expressions, the director will be tempted to say, “Oh, **** it. I'll assign each of you an average. Please start the next board.”
June 19, 2015
David Levin edited this comment June 19, 2015
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