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All comments by Ercan Cem
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Steve: As long as what you state is a partnership agreement, it is okay. But if the discussion is whether it is more logical or not, I'd say:

1. Your proposed style puts too much emphasis on game contracts (considering that both opponents are bidding).

2. How would you handle your example hand after, (1) — Dbl — Pass — 1 // Pass — 2? (I suppose you agree with one spade). You ought to play three diamonds as forcing in this sequence also, else you need to either cuebid or bid something other than three diamonds.

3. Nonetheless, if someone can provide three examples from high-level expert game where strictly forcing is superior to not forcing, I am willing reconsider my stance.

(4. I am really curious about those two deals where we missed four spades or six diamonds and played in three diamonds.)
June 15
Ercan Cem edited this comment June 15
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Though one spade limits South's hand, it does not strictly limit it.
June 15
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Naturally, it all depends on the absolute minimum North can have in this sequence (that South volunteered a bid). South's bidding is consistent with, say, Kxxx (x)x Kxxxx xx(x). And North can have, say, 3=3=5=2 | 3=4=5=1 | 3=4=4=2, with a 17-18 count. South's three diamonds did not promise any more than what he already promised, thus treating it as forcing makes little sense.
June 15
Ercan Cem edited this comment June 15
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“Suggesting, but not guaranteeing, four hearts” part makes it slightly problematic. If it guaranteed four-plus hearts, then “extra values/game try” would be logical. Now, it is reasonable to play it as penalty.

Does the initial double at least promise three hearts? If not, then playing the second double as penalty looks like the best option.
June 13
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(1) I'd never judge partner for a swindle like that. He had limited time to sort things out, and there was the added pressure of playing in the trials. Plus, one should be respected for at least putting his plan into practice despite the obvious risk that he could end up with an egg on his face while the whole world is watching.

(2) There is no such thing as making such risky plays and coming out on top all the time. Further, suppose a somewhat similar situation occurs again, and you win some finesse (or whatever) and you know that it is extremely unlikely that the player on your right ducked it, and you need to make a plan based on that information. Well, against Wooldridge now you know that that reasoning is not that straightforward. So, in time, his duck will come back with interest one way or another.
June 12
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Perhaps, Zia's comment—just bid four clubs—is the worst. If he thinks three spades cannot be natural after the three-diamond jump response, and had to be showing spade control (spade ace?), then he should have suggested his partner to jump to six hearts, trusting Zia to bid the grand if he happened to also hold the heart ace or king.
June 10
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(1) A two-club opening is premature, so much that had this been given to BW panel, I bet there would be at least one panelist who would advocate rebidding two clubs over one spade response.

(2) Without specialized methods, it is not easy to bid the slam confidently. It is the sixth heart in partner's hand that makes the slam desirable. Give him more picture cards but one less heart, it is not so good now. With one less heart, even five hearts is not a lock, so it is not free to probe for slam at the five level.

(In my view, those who make the responder jump to five hearts over three notrump are suffering a heavy having-seen-both-hands syndrome.)
May 29
Ercan Cem edited this comment May 29
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Well said, Mike. The problem is that when dealing with shameless person(s), words have zero force. G.R. has proved that no matter who thinks what of him, he feels zero shame.

Bridge federations along with world class players must either force WBF to resign, or establish an alternative WBF (and effectively force the current WBF to eradicate).

We should start discussing about how to establish an alternative WBF so that a whole federation does not become the puppet of such corrupt, immoral, unabashed people again.
May 7
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Yes, but irrelevant.

After major suit agreement following a two-over-one response, many pairs treat three notrump as some form of S3NT. So, it may the case that responder has values in hearts and/or in spades but lack the required strength to bid three notrump. The point is, in the context of Last Train, skipping a step or steps does not indicate a control in the bid suit if that suit happens to be one step below the game contract. The only indication, obviously, is that the it denies controls in the skipped suit(s).
May 3
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Who says four diamonds cannot be Last Train? What if responder has a useful hand with values in hearts and spades? Or, say 4-4-3-2 with A-K-Q-x in hearts.
May 2
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Rather, not bidding three diamonds with that holding is unacceptable.
April 14
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In that structure, what is 1NT (I guess natural), 2C, 2D, and 2S?
April 3
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I am willing to bet that in an expert field, only few, if at all, would embarrass themselves by not opening with one notrump.
March 24
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After the partnership sequence one minor — one major, there are hands that opener would like to raise to three, but bids two because it would be a bit of a stretch. This two spades is that two spades.
March 16
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@Craig, “control-bid” was just a general remark. North should have done something.
March 2
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I remember a similar story of a top player (Barry Crane? Vic Mitchell? I am not sure.) who bid 7NT (could be 6NT) to get a zero for a similar reason and then went on to win the tournament.

Those who claim that the suggested behavior is unethical, should first and foremost realize that with respect to this issue, the conditions of contest is incompatible. (And seems like there is no way to fix it.)

(Say a pair who needs something big, takes a risk and bids an anti-percentage slam in the last round. Who can blame them? Yet, in the final analysis, this is exactly the same ethical problem.)
March 2
Ercan Cem edited this comment March 2
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John, what is much more disturbing and worrisome is that bridge federations, including EBL, seem to be okay with all of these. The Italian president guardianangels his countrymen, and they don't even react.
March 2
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They both get the blame. South should have appreciated that even a wasted spade queen with nothing in diamonds will prove useful if the opponents lead a spade. And what did stop North from bidding a non-committing four diamonds with his pure values? (Assuming that is a control-bid.)
March 1
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Interesting that WBF acts in sloooooow-motion (as in not acting at all) against real cheaters like Fantoni-Nunes & Co., and still have them on their ranking list. And when it comes to controversial rulings, they are lightning fast.
Feb. 27
Ercan Cem edited this comment Feb. 28
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Four spades would be so outrageous that unless one of the opponents has a clear double, they may refrain from doubling thinking that you have an extreme hand and actually trying to get doubled before taking eleven tricks.
Feb. 23
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