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All comments by Ian Grant
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You have your agreements, I have mine.
Oct. 22, 2015
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If only :-(
Oct. 22, 2015
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So I placed my opening bid on the table and my partner correctly announced weak. She was then interrogated by my LHO “So what is he showing?”.
“5-9 hcp and a 6 card suit”
“with 6 spades?”
“yes”
Followed by a slow pass. My partner passes and my rho doesn't have much option.
During the play my partner is getting increasingly angry and frustrated as I keep ducking tricks and on the two occasions I get in I fail to lead trumps.
I keep a straight face (apparently) even though I had intended to open 2H but had somehow managed to open 2S.
-600 was an absolute top with the opps taking 10 or 11 tricks in NT at all of the other tables.
Oct. 22, 2015
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I wasn't here when Dean was posting so have no idea whether his ban was justified or not. However, he is banned and anyone else posting on his behalf should get a ban too; otherwise there is no control over who posts or what is posted.
Oct. 22, 2015
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Card Play Technique by Mollo and Gardner.
My candidate for best bridge book ever written.
Alternate chapters on declarer play and defence with quizzes at the end of each chapter. I pick a quiz every now and again and if I don't get 100% I read the chapter, helps to stop you getting into bad habits.
Oct. 22, 2015
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Hi Nick, I think I was wrong about whether culture matters, certainly if someone played as you are suggesting in the UK it wouldn't be long before they were facing a disciplinary committee.
I may be wrong but I think you are just having some fun here….
Oct. 22, 2015
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For me on this sequence 2H is ‘to play’ but note that I play a weak NT.
Oct. 22, 2015
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Option 5: east should X 2H and then pass 2S.
Oct. 21, 2015
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I don't open 1C light, in fact I need 15 or more Pearson points (HCP + spades) to open 1C or 1D.
So I'm quite happy to just punt 6S on this auction.

(Yes this does mean that I pass hands such as xx jxx akjxx kxx)
Oct. 21, 2015
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I abstained because if 3C (which is what I would bid) isn't fsf then I want a new partner.
Oct. 21, 2015
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I don't like psyching, I don't object to others doing it but its a once in a blue moon tactic for me.
Oct. 21, 2015
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Me too.
Oct. 21, 2015
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deleted, misread the aution
Oct. 21, 2015
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There's another way of looking at active ethics; its insurance. Insurance against yourself being ‘tempted’, insurance against your opps getting ‘uptight’ and insurance against TDs making ‘odd’ decisions.
There's mileage in being regarded as an ethical player so that when you do occasionally screw up (and we all do) its not looked upon as “he's at it again”.

For me active ethics starts with a well completed CC; I even take one when its not required (most club nights in the UK). Its my first line of defense when anyone queries our methods.
For years we had a note which said “If we make a penalty double of our opps 1NT we don't let them play in any undoubled contract”. This followed a bad ruling where my partner asked for an explanation of our opps alerted wriggle bid and then passed because she was going to bid one of the suits they were showing. I then doubled the resulting contract and this was wound back to give us an awful score.

There is one area of bidding that I believe is laden with UI possibilities; the opps defense to our weak 1NT opening. So its the first (and sometimes only) thing I find out about our opps methods. That way I can actively avoid a situation that has ethical problems written all over it.
e.g. My partner opens 1NT and my rho bids 2H (may be alerted, may not be!). I ask and am told this shows H+S and I then pass. My lho now bids 2NT which is the final contract. What happens if my partner now leads a spade? I can avoid this by discovering that my opps are playing ppAstro before play starts.
Oct. 21, 2015
Ian Grant edited this comment Oct. 21, 2015
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I have just had a quick look through Paul Mendelson's ‘Control the Bidding’ where he describes this approach (2D waiting, 2H double-negative, other suit bid shows a good 5 card suit) and of course the sequence above isn't considered!

There's obviously 2 options here, yes or no!
If yes then I think 3S should be a slam try and showing a stronger hand than a 4S rebid.
If no then how does opener force if too strong for a 4S rebid?

NF looks great on the odd occasion where you have a complete misfit (say you have a spade void); but I doubt it will be correct often enough.
Oct. 21, 2015
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I don't try to second guess the question setter either; if my normal methods don't work then I either shrug or modify them. (Told you I was a world class shrugger).
Oct. 21, 2015
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Here's a real life example (sadly I was too excited at winning the event to pick up the hand records).

Last round of a multiple team event and we are playing the leaders and favourites for the event, a team of four international players. We manage a 2 imp swing on the first board, and then the crucial hand.

I open 1S, lho bids 2NT (minors), partner bids 3S and rho bids 4D. rho is happy because he has some defence to a spade contract. The auction at the other table is so far identical.

I now bid 4H (natural) and this is passed around to rho who now tanks, eventually says ‘stonking bid’ and puts 5D on the table.

At the other table the bid is 4S because 4H would be a cue bid.

4S makes 9 tricks (4H would make 10) and 5Dx goes for 1400.
Oct. 21, 2015
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I would have bid 4D and not 4C, but definitely bidding 5S now.
Oct. 21, 2015
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I don't think the different cultures approach applies to Bridge (least I hope not). For example in some cultures it is customary to ‘reward’ government officials for doing their job (on the basis that they won't if you don't).

Active ethics is I think something we should aspire to, but mainly in the way we approach the game and issues such as tempo rather than giving ‘over-enthusiastic’ responses to queries.
Oct. 21, 2015
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I think its just a song, a pleasing combination of words and music; it doesn't have to make sense.

I can highly recommend Jennifer Warne's album Famous Blue Raincoat which includes this and some other Cohen songs, sung far better then Leonard can manage.
Oct. 21, 2015
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