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All comments by Debbie Rosenberg
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I believe “President” is the word that gets the automatic warning.
2 hours ago
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“When I was an active ACBL director, we were instructed to distinguish between ”bad claims“ and ”good claims, badly stated.“ This is clearly the latter.”

It isn't clear to everyone.

The problem with this attitude is that without reading the claimer's mind, it is often impossible to tell whether it is a good claim, badly stated or a bad claim.
Players make mistakes, both in playing and in claiming, all the time, at all levels of the game. Why should they get the benefit of the doubt when they claim badly? It could easily be that they were thinking badly, and about to play badly.

An example which occurred against me a few days ago:

Declarer started with AKxx of trump (clubs) facing Jxxx in dummy. He played the Ace, then King, and when the Qx dropped, he claimed, stating that his diamonds (side suit) were good, and that he would lose a spade at the end.

I didn't call the director (sorry, Ed), but did suggest to declarer that he mention drawing the last trump. It hadn't occurred to me that he didn't know one was missing.

At that point declarer volunteered that he thought dummy had five trumps.

I wasn't going to call the director anyway, but suppose I had, and declarer had not been so honest. I feel like those on Bridgewinners who like to give claimers the benefit of the doubt would think I was being ridiculous, and punishing declarer for a careless statement.

Yet this time he actually had no intention of drawing the last trump, because he genuinely didn't know there was one out. How many of you would have laughed at the suggestion that declarer thought dummy had five trumps?

This was not a novice declarer. It was a player with 3500+ ACBL masterpoints, and a Power Rating of over 60.
Nov. 15
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Max, I don't see why defining 5N as a queen ask rather than a king ask (partner's new suit continuations show specific queens rather than specific kings) would alter the statement that 5N makes.
Nov. 14
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Nah, I'd have known it was penalty with MR.

I voted based on the fact that takeout seems more logical to me in this particular instance - I was thinking I might even want to do it with a 4-1-3-5 6 count:)
Also, I'd generally default to takeout without specific agreement, and MR is probably the only recent partner with whom I've had a specific agreement which covers this as penalty.
Nov. 14
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“What if you have AQ84 in your hand and dummy has K7532? Do you have to also specify that you will unblock the 4 under the 5?”

No, because you'll have followed suit with it under the 7.

As to the rest, at one point you mention “an expert”, so I assume that is who you mean in your whole comment. I think it would be ok to have different standards for “experts” when playing against fellow experts if we had a reasonably accurate ranking system for that purpose, and didn't have to judge who was an expert and who was not. We'd still then need to establish what the standards are.
Alas, we are a long way from either of those things.

In the meantime, shouldn't an expert be able to have a firm enough understanding of bridge to mention any unblocking play which might not be totally obvious to every level of player? If you choose to leave things out of your claim because you deem them to be obvious, you are taking your chances, and often making life more difficult and uncomfortable for everyone. Why not just say it?
Nov. 13
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Alan,

Following through on that line of thought, here's a big difference I see.

Play errors are far more likely to be clear errors; i.e. plays that couldn't work based on the available information.

On the other hand, with the exception of system screwups, bidding errors are far less likely to be provable errors. A bid that didn't work, usually could have worked if the deal were different,
and there was no reason the deal couldn't have been different.

It's hard to prove that bids are even anti-percentage, whereas that is often easy during the play. And play errors are often made even when the full layout is known (knowable).
Nov. 13
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What I wish, and I believe many others on this forum concur, is for declarer to say that he's starting the T to the K. Or, even better, just do it before claiming, since that's probably faster.

That way we don't need to judge whether declarer is in the class of player for whom this play is routine, or whether a declarer in that class might be having a blackout.

If declarer neglects or declines to mention the T, he takes his chances on what the opponents will do, and what the director will rule if called. Until the OP incident, my understanding had been that it was routine for a director to rule against this sort of unmentioned unblock. Others on this thread have supported that view, yet I feel that I've learned it is obviously not routine.

The majority vote includes at least a couple of prominent international TDs. Yet I don't think anyone has pointed to guidelines which cover this specifically. It seems to be up to the judgement of each director.
Nov. 13
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Nikos, I have no idea what you believe. I found what you said amusing - sorry to all for going off topic.
Nov. 12
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“I am not saying that it's right for women to have the right to vote or not to..”

Whew, good thing you carefully avoided saying anything controversial like that.
Nov. 12
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No, not that many. Some…

I shouldn't have said “largely” about that.

What I meant was that the trump leads are probably occurring more often on the hands where the grand was always making no matter what was led.
Even if a trump is indeed usually the best lead when the opponents bid to grand such that the defenders don't think they have a quick trick, or that the opponents have a trump loser, it still may be only a small percentage of such hands where the lead actually matters. That wouldn't contradict the common wisdom.

Whereas the grand may be far more likely to be failing on the hands where a trump lead is counter-indicated.

That's why I don't think the stats necessarily speak to the conventional wisdom being bad.
I do agree with you that it's noteworthy.
Nov. 12
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You Be the Judge.
I expected most bridge players to get this, so Georgiana's question surprised me. The question also prompted me to Google YBTJ, to see how mainstream it is.
First hit. Google is your friend:)
Nov. 12
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Cool, thanks Emily.

Is it possible for you to research hands where the contract was 3N at one table, and 5m at the other table (by the same side!), and see how those fared? If possible, I'd prefer to limit the sample only to those cases where neither is doubled.
Nov. 12
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Dale, regarding the convention wisdom looking bad:

Could it be largely about players not leading a trump when they have a cashing Ace?

Not that I necessarily agree with the conventional wisdom, but I believe it assumes that the opponents were bidding with reasonable accuracy, rather than bidding a no play grand (or a grand with a likely trump loser).

Another time a trump won't be led is when partner has doubled for a lead. I'd imagine a much higher percentage of such grands fail than those with no particular lead indicated.
Nov. 12
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YBTJ Bill.

I had a thought, started typing something, and don't think I'd even completed a sentence before deciding not to comment. I'm pretty sure I intended to hit delete on my keyboard, and somehow instead clicked on “add comment” Those are very different parts of the bidding box, so I'm not sure you should buy mechanical error……
Nov. 12
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Btw, Lynn, I'm not at all sure of this, but based on my understanding of this nutty law, 3 may well be a “comparable call”
It doesn't seem comparable to you and me, but if it represents a subset of hands that would have bid 2, I think that's all that is required. I'll leave it to others to quote the law.

Assuming that without interference, a direct 3 over 2 was available as a natural positive, it seems to me that there is extra info here, but I'm not sure how relevant that is to the ruling.
Nov. 12
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Thanks, Lynn.

I was assuming that nobody would choose 3 knowing that it would bar partner, therefore the poll question seemed moot unless the OP was saying that responder first made the call, then the director would rule on whether or not it would bar opener.

Upon reflection, I'm guessing that the OP intended to be asking whether a 3 bid would bar opener (and therefore, presumably not be chosen), or whether responder should be given the option of a 3 bid allowing the auction to proceed normally.
Nov. 12
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Deleted - sorry - accidental posting
Nov. 12
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“3D is not comparable so partner must pass.”

Wait, are you saying responder doesn't get to know whether or not their call will bar partner until after they've made it?

I find this whole comparable call concept rather nutty, but that seems even nuttier.
Nov. 12
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Ok, I see that point, Benoit. However, as Alan Frank noted, even in this case declarer might have made the contract if play had continued, whereas he surely won't get to if called on the claim.

On careless/bad, but not nullo, claims, declarer at least sometimes is credited with tricks he wouldn't have actually made if play had continued. So arguably at least, it's a matter of degree of likelihood that the “bad” claim is gaining, rather than a stark difference between a “careless” and “nullo” claims.
Nov. 11
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Phil, how do you know it's a different type of blind spot? The whole point of my case, from my perspective, was that if declarer couldn't say that he was unblocking the 8, even after being questioned, we can't know that he was going to unblock if play continued. You say that declarer needed to clearer claim statement to make it legitimate, but what if in fact he needed to recognize the need to unblock?

The only inherent difference between the nullo claim and
the careless claim is the ability to take the tricks claimed with accurate play. Accurate play is far from a given in reality.


Declarer's state of mind, and the result if play had continued , are often identical, in the two cases, so it feels to me similar to being a double dummy result merchant to treat them as totally separate.
Nov. 11
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