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All comments by Henry Bethe
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From the evidence presented, West forgot that he was playing Precision. When his partner alerted, he was reminded, and had unauthorized information. But he properly alerted the 1 response. If I were playing standard, and had the auction P-1-1-P I would not assume that was forcing (although Roth, in a R-S context, said it was). Thus passing 1 is consistent with a natural third-seat opening.

In general, players are allowed to forget their methods, but are not permitted to try to save a board by altering their bidding to get out of the trouble they have gotten into if they learn (or might have learned) of the misbid through the alert procedure. They have to continue to bid as though they had not heard the alert. But, at least arguably, West did so. He passed 1; it was purely fivetuitous that East actually had diamonds. So there was no infraction. If there was no infraction there is no penalty.

Personally, I think the fault was South's, who had a clear opening bid even by my standards.
Oct. 17, 2014
Henry Bethe edited this comment Oct. 17, 2014
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You might also want to consolidate Edith Seligman(9) and Edith Kemp(19) (who are the same person) and check whether she won any NABC titles as Edith Freylich.
Oct. 15, 2014
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And then there are people like Kitty Bethe Munson Cooper who has three NABC wins (and a VC) as Bethe, I think two as Munson and I believe two as Cooper.
Oct. 14, 2014
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My guess would be Meckwell, Hamman, Wolff, Palmer and Deas
Oct. 14, 2014
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Less likely to happen in my partnerships because we virtually never open 1 with 4=5.
Oct. 12, 2014
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Kit: there were six different auctions.
At one of the tables the auction went
1 - 1
1N - 2
2N - 3
3N - P

The other auction to 3N was
P - 1
2N - 3
3N - P

The auction to 4 was
P - 1
2N - 3
3N - 4
P

The auction to 6 by South was
1 - 1
1 - 2
2N - 3
4 - 6

The auctions to 6 by North were identical:
P - 1
1N - 2
3N - 4
5 - 6

When you take the heart finesse neither the 9 nor the 10 appear.
Oct. 11, 2014
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Many of my favorites come from the commentary table. Well over half were made by the mourned Edgar Kaplan, but both HH and Bob Hamman when he wasn't playing contributed some. Here are a couple.

Declarer was trancing in a now hopeless contract after getting some bad news at trick three: “Well, he knows he can't go down if he doesn't play a card.”

Another declarer is trancing: “Well, this has resolved to a double dummy problem. He has to figure out which opponent is the dummy.”
Oct. 10, 2014
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Standing at a party conversing with Mike Passell, I remarked into one of those lulls that sometimes occur, “Sometimes I think I'm my own worst enemy.” From the audience came back, “Not as long as I'm alive!”
Oct. 9, 2014
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No. It was Paul Trent.
Oct. 8, 2014
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Wrong person. Known story. It was George Kaufman, a very witty playwright during the 20s and 30s who was also a fine bridge player. He had been inveigled into playing a mixed pairs. His instructions to his partner were only “have four trumps when you raise me.” …

Kaufman was the initiator of many of the bon mots cited here and attributed to others. One of my favorites is that George came into his rubber bridge club and sat down at a table where he hoped to cut in. Both sides - the story goes - were vul and both had major partials. One of the players was in the process of going for a telephone number. Kaufman watched for about a half hour, and the same player bought a doubled contract which was again going to result in a phone number. “This is where I came in,” announced Kaufman, rising from his seat.
Oct. 8, 2014
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As you all know, I am very old fashioned and try to involve partner in the auction. I believe that the redouble says that opener has significant extra values in high cards, and that those values will be useful on defense. It says further that the auction is forcing to 3: either we compete to 3 or we double them.

Pass by responder therefore simply says “Okay, what do you want to do, Marty?”
3 shows disinterest in defending and disinterest in bidding game. Disinterest in defending is probably due to extra heart length.
Oct. 8, 2014
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I believe that 2 in this auction should be a one round force. After all, responder doesn't have a four-card major so must have either clubs or diamonds. I further think that with 3=4 in the minors and minimum values responder should take the false preference to 2. 3 should be a minimum with 5(+) clubs. With a max responder should be bidding a major suit concentration or 2N or 3 with four diamonds.
Oct. 8, 2014
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I believe the exemption for multi applies only to 2. I might be wrong but I don't think I am.
Oct. 6, 2014
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I learned bridge back in the day of simple-minded “approach forcing”. Responder bid four card suits up the line. Opener rebid 1M even with balanced hands over 1. In those antiquated days 1-1-1-1 was either natural, 6+ points, or fourth suit. Opener assumed it was natural but could not bid past 3N.

Some of my sophisticated bridge acquaintances proposed that 1-1-1-2 should show short spades with primary support for one of opener's suits and game forcing values. This made a lot of sense to me then and still does. (It follows the general rule that a jump when a simple bid would be forcing shows shortness.) I now include diamond one suiters not strong enough for an initial strong JS.

In a “Walsh” context this makes even more sense since whichever of the agreements John Adams suggests (I play #2, gf but not necessarily slam invitational) playing 1 is either natural with the appropriate strength or FSF seems inescapable. And in that same context, where 1-1-1 promises real clubs, usually five, the ability to take a non-forcing preference seems to me to be potentially quite valuable.
Oct. 6, 2014
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Those questions never crossed my mind. I don't usually play forcing no trumps, and I never have by passed hands. I start all raises by passed hands with Drury or fit jumps.

I suppose a corollary of this is that I make PH 2/1 responses lighter than UPH, and don't promise another bid. One of the reasons I respond 2 or 2 to 1 as a PH is that I feel uncomfortable being passed out in 1NT. I have somewhat stricter preempt requirements than many modern players: I like my partners to have some confidence in suit quality and in the notion that I almost always have a one suiter when I preempt.

But that is just my view. Since this is not actually my problem, I should not impose my views on the answers. But if I sat down opposite you, I would not expect P-1-2-3 to be forcing. And I certainly wouldn't expect the 2 bid to include three card spade support.
Oct. 5, 2014
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FWIW, I feel that I should point out that under WBF convention regulations a possibly weak opening at the two level or higher must have (at least) one known suit when weak.

Otherwise it is a Highly Unusual Method and makes your system “Brown Sticker”. Multi 2 is then specifically exempted, as is Gambling 3N showing a solid suit (but not exempted AFAIK is a 3N opener showing a non-solid-minor preempt to allow use of 4 and 4 as transfers).

Brown Sticker methods cannot be played in WBF pair games. When a pair uses BS methods in team events they lose all seeding rights.

At least those were the regulations in effect 3 years ago.

This means, for example, that a 2N opener weak with both minors is fine, 2N weak with one minor is BS. In general it is a reasonable assumption that ACBL regulations would make all BS methods mid-chart for use in long matches only or superchart or bar them entirely.
Oct. 5, 2014
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Now I have adopted a very different version of Lebensohl in this situation which my ex calls S'Dom, meaning “Slow denies other major”. Thus

(2M) - X - P - 2N
P - 3C - P - 3M shows values, no stopper and not four of other major
3N shows values, stopper, and not four of other major

(2M)-X - P - 3M shows values, no stopper and yes four of the other major
3N shows values and both a stopper and the other major

Seems to cover all bases
Oct. 3, 2014
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Eric, that is certainly true by an unpassed hand. I don't think it is when responder has already passed.
Oct. 3, 2014
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Would someone please explain to me why you would want to play ‘XYZ’ after 1-1-1? Assuming not playing “Walsh”, couldn't responder have some seven count with five diamonds and four clubs, and want (need?) to be able to bid 2 natural and nf?
Oct. 3, 2014
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With respect to (1) I think 5 over 4 would pretty much clarify my intentions. Don't you?
Oct. 3, 2014
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