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All comments by Eugene Hung
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Comment by Ellen Kent flagged by the community for violating copyright, and removed. Please do not copy information verbatim from other sources for public consumption, especially information from behind a pay wall. A link is sufficient.
March 9
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Comment by John McWhinnie flagged for bringing the discussion into a non-bridge political discussion area, and removed. This site is not the place to bring up political discussions that offend a significant number of our users without providing useful information to bridge players. The topic of coronavirus itself is acceptable because it is impacting bridge tournaments, but extending that discussion out of the bridge realm into observations about specific politicians is not acceptable.
March 9
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Comment by Richard Willey flagged by the community for containing a personal attack, and removed. While there's a lot of understandable emotion in this topic, ad hominem attacks will not be tolerated here.
March 9
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Comment by Jim Perkins flagged by the community for containing non-bridge-related political content, and removed. In general, if a comment references a contemporary politician and there is no direct link to bridge, then it will be removed as soon as someone flags it.
March 7
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Ray -

In general, we only create a forum if :

1) The forum needs to go to a private subset of people and not the entire Bridge Winners population. For example, the recently created Junior Training Forum, or the USBF discussion forums, which restrict ability to read or post to its members.

2) The forum is public (open to all), but contains a significant number of posts that would be better off lumped together, and will continue to do so for a long time. Examples of this would be the Intermediate Forum or the Partnership Desk forum. Both of these forums provide a service for people looking for a specific type of article. While it also has the effect of removing these types of articles from the front page, the primary purpose of these forums is constructive, to gather articles of a specific type in a location for someone to seek them out.

Remember that forums are permanent and cannot be undone. It would look silly right now to have a SARS forum, an Ebola forum, a Zika forum, or even a 2016 Cheating Scandal forum. A forum needs to have sustainable long-term interest to justify its creation. Let's see how this plays out before committing to a forum. For now, if you can't stand seeing coronavirus threads, you don't have to click on them, just like Laws discussions or Director call discussions or Assign the Blame polls.
March 6
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This was flagged as a bidding poll and will be removed. Please repost as a bidding poll.
Feb. 27
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Comments by Lars Andersson and Ron Steele flagged by the community for containing references to a contemporary political figure without relevance to bridge. All such posts WILL be removed immediately.
Feb. 27
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I agree slow play is a bane but some time for thought is also part of the game. Many hands can be handled with normal time controls but some positions are really complex and deserve some thought, especially if you might have to factor in what the other table(s) might be doing. What I'd like to see is something I've seen used in poker tournaments: some sort of time bank that could be used once per session for the really complex positions in critical contracts, giving extra time on a hand that really needs it.
Feb. 16
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I don't know what the power lead is in Junior Standard, but I'd lead the top spade that isn't the power lead. Seeing the dummy is so important against notrump.
Feb. 16
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While I agree that our auction does not in itself create a force, one could argue that the opponents' does. East is a passed hand, and West has made a (presumably) weak jump overcall, and they have bid to the 5-level at equal vulnerability. I feel it's reasonable for a partnership to define that when opponents go to the 5-level with a preemptive call opposite a passed hand, and they are not unfavorable, they are saving, not bidding to make, so this could be treated as a forcing auction. This is a good area for partnership discussion.
Feb. 15
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Yes. Even though 3 might sound non-forcing (as a rebid of 2 would be in standard bidding), it is impractical to cater to stopping on a dime in the undesirable contract of 3 after partner shows near-game values and six good hearts. Most responding hands have enough to force to game or can tolerate passing partner's jump rebid. There are a few hands with minimum values, extra spade length, and shortness in partner's suit that would prefer that 3 be non-forcing. However, these are outnumbered by the hands that have enough to force to game but want to explore spades as an alternative strain, such as this one.
Feb. 14
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Moved.
Feb. 14
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I don't know what bid is definitely right, but 5 is wrong. How much better could our hand be given that we've limited it to a non-mixed raise in competition? There is no way you can consistently reach the right spot if you bid the same way with this hand and with the worst hand in your range (something similar to Kxx Jxx Qxxx xxx).

Remember, partner could have cue-bid 4 or 4 but did not - they forced us to the 5-level missing the AJT of trump and another ace (likely not pulling full value, but an ace is still an ace). Both minors must be controlled, or partner would have bid the minor they control first (then follow up with 4 to highlight the problem). There are very few hands opposite a proper 4 call where you have no play for 6. Even Kevin's hand with the minors switched so that you don't have the perfect T98x mesh opposite AJx still has play (most 3-3 clubs, doubleton QJ in either hand, or doubleton quack with overcaller - around 43%). So I'm fine with forcing the auction to 6 and showing my hand with 5 so that partner, who knows what 4 is based on, can make an intelligent decision.
Feb. 13
Eugene Hung edited this comment Feb. 14
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Comments removed for being political without any connection to bridge, and likely to spark even more posts in that vein.
Feb. 13
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Just so that it's clear. Political discussions that are unrelated to bridge are not welcome here and will be removed when a flag alerts us. However, this is a discussion that is directly related to bridge, so it's allowed. Similarly, mentioning any current politician by name is in general grounds for removal, but if such a politician were to start playing bridge or make laws that directly impact bridge, then that discussion would be allowed. (“Directly impact” means bridge or similar games being the target of the law, not as a side effect of a broad law such as tax or immigration policy.)

Keep in mind that this *is* a political discussion in that there are significant numbers of passionate believers on both sides of the issue - you may think all the evidence supports your side, but many reasonable people would disagree. This site is not the place to resolve those disagreements; keep the discussion to bridge.

Ultimately, we don't care what political position you hold as long as you discuss bridge in a courteous manner. Posts that divert the discussion away from bridge and towards general political issues, and posts that are flagged by the community as rude and disrespectful will be removed.
Feb. 12
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It's not standard, because it exploits stronger players, but in a good event I like a jump to 3NT over any intervention of a strong notrump as “to play” without promising anything specific in their suit(s). I call it “macho 3NT” (“stoppers? we don't need no stinking stoppers!”). Reason being, I have rarely observed good results from identifying that we have no stopper in their suit(s) and telling the opponents what to lead. Meanwhile I have gotten many good results from making unmakable games when our bid blocks advancer from indicating their preferred lead at the 3-level (when opener's overcall has two playable suits, or when the overcall is ambiguous such as Woolsey 2), or by giving opening leader a guess about whether or not to lead their suit, which is more often broken than not. True, opposite a known one-suited overcall , advancer can double 3NT to demand the lead, but now that they've committed to leading their suit, we can redouble in passout to show no stopper, and then we're no worse off than standard.

The big downside of macho 3NT occurs when overcaller has a solid suit: then they have no problem on opening lead and we really don't want to be in 3NT. However, I've noticed experts tend not to overcall a strong 1NT with a solid suit - they either pass because most pairs do focus on stoppers after they overcall, or they double for penalties if they're playing penalty doubles. Since adopting macho 3NT in all of my partnerships, I've personally never experienced the opponents cashing the first 5+ tricks after they overcall (although I don't play much at the club level where people will overcall solid suits over 1NT). Finally, it's simple to remember, since it applies in all 1NT intervention auctions where you are jumping to 3NT. You don't have to remember anything except “Be macho! Jump to 3NT without promising a stopper and dare your opponents to find the right lead to beat you!”
Feb. 11
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Today, I received a request from Mr. Donnelly, the author of this post, to take this post down along with a companion post containing the April 2020 problems, after a comment in that thread by Frank Stewart urged him to consider respecting the intellectual property of Jeff Rubens, the author of these problems.

I have taken down the post containing the April problems but I leave this one up for several reasons.

1) When the March problems were posted by Mr. Donnelly, I privately contacted Mr. Rubens asking for his opinion on the matter. He did not reply. Meanwhile, I contacted the editor of the ACBL Bulletin regarding the It's Your Call problems that were also posted by Mr. Donnelly at the same time on our site, and he was fine with the copying provided that the problems were properly attributed. This indicates to me that this copying to a large audience of interested bridge players may have some benefit to those who own the intellectual property, as it provides free advertising for their work. I have also contacted Mr. Rubens about this article, and have yet to receive a reply.

2) With no guidance from Mr. Rubens imminent, I consulted people with legal knowledge and they said that it is an open legal question whether it is fair use to copy problems without permission. Given that the problems are already published on the web at www.bridgeworld.com, and that they also serve as positive advertising for the publication, I decided to leave the March MSC problems up until Mr. Rubens tells me otherwise.

3) It is also an open question whether it is fair use to copy the panel's vote results on these problems without permission. I personally feel that replicating the comments by the panel would NOT be fair use, but Mr. Donnelly did not do that. Instead, most of the post is dedicated to his own analysis of the outcome of the voting choices - if a reader wanted to read an expert's specific take on the problems (which is where the true value lies), he still needs to purchase a copy of the Bridge World. So I have ruled that this article can also stay up. Most of this current article is original and doesn't need to be taken down, and the current article provides a natural conclusion to the original article (which I already deemed fair use for the reasons in point 2).

4) While it's an open question on whether it is fair use to copy problems on a consistent basis (i.e., every month), I will rule that until Mr. Rubens specifically grants permission, a regular monthly copying of the MSC problems and their analysis violates fair use. At this point, I feel the Bridge World has already obtained the majority of any ancillary benefits from this unauthorized reproduction of their intellectual property so the downside is much greater than the upside for them. If you want more quality problems and analysis, go subscribe to the Bridge World.

4) Finally, I needed a place where I could explain all of my reasoning and get feedback from the community, so leaving this article up provides us with a natural place to do that.


Bottom line: I'm leaving this one up for the reasons stated above unless Mr. Rubens himself tells me to take it down. Further efforts in this area will be removed unless Mr. Rubens tells us it's okay to continue.
Feb. 11
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First, I prefer to say that a splinter that has just enough values to force to game is a game splinter, as opposed to a full (slam-invitational) splinter, while a splinter that doesn't force to game is a mini-splinter. I'm not a big fan of mini-splinters as defined by me, but enough people use them so that it's important to know which is being discussed, and mini-splinter is a lot easier to say than non-game-forcing splinter.

To me the choice is between 3 and 2NT, because with a strong ruffing value, I definitely want to show the 4th trump. A cursory evaluation might say this hand is worth an invite, with 9 HCP, a known 9-card fit, 8 losers, and a singleton (3 points). However, in my experience this hand doesn't play nearly as well as that, due to the terrible honor location. All your values are all soft high cards in the side suits, meaning some of them won't be full value if your partner has shortness opposite. Contrast this with Axxx xxxx x Axxx - this is an invite despite one fewer “point” because now almost any opening hand with shortness in either black suit opposite gives good game chances. In fact, the original hand has duplicated values opposite any singleton, so if you invite and partner accepts based on shape, they will be disappointed. Finally, the singleton diamond queen is not full value - any combining diamond honors won't help much in the play unless significant values are in the diamond suit - which again, is a duplication of values. So I prefer the low road here, at any form of scoring or vulnerability.
Feb. 7
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Comment by Michael Beyrouti flagged by the community for an oblique reference to politics, and removed. Please keep non-bridge political discussions off our site.
Feb. 6
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Fixed.
Jan. 29
.

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